How it All Began...
We had always wanted to expand our family and have more children, but the timing was never right for us. We have two beautiful biological sons, who are now 10 and 13 years old, and we knew if we were meant to grow our family, we could pursue adoption. About two years ago we made the decision to really commit to growing our family and started researching the best agencies to work with. Before making any major commitments, we spoke to our sons about our plans, and they were just as excited as we were to welcome a new child into our home.
We came across Angel Adoption, and we started to feel like this was the place for us. Once we called and spoke with staff to get further information, we were impressed by the kindness and care they had and the lack of pressure they put on us. We made the decision to work with Angel and happily shared the news with our friends and family. They were so excited and supportive. We were excited and full of apprehension as we started our journey. We were happy to finally be on our way and so nervous at the same time. What if we weren’t chosen because we had biological kids already? What if this didn’t happen and we walked away with no child? All kinds of thoughts went through our minds, but we focused on the hope and excitement and did our best to trust the process.
Waiting and More Waiting
As time passed, we were well into the second year of our contract and feeling a bit worried. We knew this would be our last attempt at growing our family and had decided to trust that whatever happened was meant to be. We decided to not focus on or really even talk about our adoption journey. After we made the decision to stop thinking about it all so much, that is exactly when things began to fall into place.
While having a particularly challenging week, Patricia received a phone call from Angel while at work. Staff let her know there was a birthmother who was interested in speaking with us. We were so excited. This call happened to come on “National Daughter’s Day,” and the birthmother was expecting a girl. We could not believe this was happening and reached out to her the next day via text. She had just a few more months to go and was looking for a closed adoption. We spoke mostly through texting and moved on to hiring services and working with an attorney fairly quickly. She was able to create a birth and adoption plan. She requested that Patricia be present in the delivery room and be the first to hold her. She also allowed us the deep honor of naming her and responded with joy when we told her the name we had chosen was Antera Jane. Things progressed smoothly, and we slowly prepared ourselves for the arrival of a new life as we moved closer to the due date.
Antera Jane Joins the Family
We were notified she could possibly need a C-section early due to low amniotic fluid. We prepared ourselves for an early arrival and began looking into travel arrangements. The birthmother had an appointment to check her amniotic fluid levels, and we had asked her to let us know what the doctor said. She texted us while she was there and asked, “How fast can you get here? They are going to send me to the hospital for a C-section, scheduled for 8:30 p.m.” Patricia immediately panicked, and within 20 minutes she was out the door, had a plane booked, and was taking only the clothes on her back.
She arrived at 1:00 a.m., well after the birth, but she was so excited to have arrived that it truly didn't matter. When she got to the nurses station, she saw there was a baby with the staff. Patricia told the nurses who she was, and they brought the baby toward her and said, “Here is your daughter.” She was immediately overcome with joy and love; it was a very surreal moment and one she will never forget. The nurses had taken her right away and had left the delivery room per the birthmother’s wishes. Patricia was in awe and in complete admiration of her strength and love for this child.
Holding Antera in her arms, Patricia walked to her own room and spent the next few nights in the hospital until Antera was discharged from the hospital and then stayed at a nearby hotel while waiting for ICPC to clear. Those first few days, being able to spend that quiet alone time with her was such a precious gift. When all paperwork had cleared, Patricia and Antera made their way home to meet Dad and her two big brothers. This moment was pure magic for us. Seeing the boys’ faces light up as they met their new sister was very beautiful and had us in tears. They had also made a “Welcome Home” sign in honor of her arrival and hung it up on our wall. We had arrived back home just in time to celebrate the holidays together as a family of five.
We Are So Grateful
There really are no words to describe how deeply grateful we are for Antera’s birthmother’s selfless decision. We are in awe that someone could give us the most amazing gift and make our lives feel whole. Although she initially wanted a closed adoption, we have received a couple texts from her, just checking in and asking for pictures. We are gladly open to having a more semi-open adoption, if that’s what she wishes, but only time will tell. We just feel so blessed to have our daughter home with us and part of our family. We are so excited to see what lies ahead for her.
Looking back, it’s easy to now share with others that positivity and patience are key while walking the adoption journey, but we know it’s easier said than done while in the midst of it. Our advice would be to stay busy and simply surrender to all the unknowns. Once your paperwork is completed and you have done all you can, it’s important to let go. There is literally nothing you can do to control the outcome, so you might as well enjoy the process and present moment, knowing that what is meant to be will be.