How it all began...
Pursuing Our Dreams
When we found out having biological children was not going to be possible for us, we knew we had limited options to grow our family. We always wanted a big family, and there was no way we would give up on that dream. We started fostering and absolutely loved those experiences, but ultimately we accepted that it was not going to be the path that led us to permanently adopting our own children. When our foster care agency suggested domestic adoption to us, we were unsure of the financial commitment and felt discouraged by the low placement numbers of the agencies we looked into. In total, we spent almost eight years working toward growing our family.
Finding Angel Adoption renewed hope in our journey. The fact that they could work nationally and had higher placement numbers than the bigger agencies we considered made us feel like it was the right path for us to take. The contract timeline with Angel scared us, but knowing there would be extension opportunities gave us the confidence to move forward with Angel.
Waiting Ain’t Easy
It’s not supposed to be easy, but sometimes it felt like it would never be our turn to adopt. We talked to other adoptive parents about their experiences as a form of support. It’s great to hear the success stories, but to be honest, it doesn’t void the fears and doubts when you’re in the thick of it. It’s much easier to reflect back on the journey once you’ve adopted and see it through rose-colored glasses. All of the trials and tribulations feel insignificant now, but that does not invalidate them when they are a reality.
We leaned heavily on our support system, each other, and prayer to persevere through the waiting period. Our families were so supportive, and we felt overwhelming joy from the people who showed up to celebrate all the little victories with us. Through all of the ups and downs, we decided pretty early on to celebrate everything we could. Birthdays, holidays, and eventually a baby shower helped us stay positive and hopeful. We learned to appreciate what we had when we had it and hold on tightly to those memories so we could remember those feelings when times got tough.
One of the biggest challenges we faced was learning how to develop an authentic relationship with an expectant mother, especially early on in our journey. The first few times we texted with someone who liked our profile, it was easy to over-analyze every single detail, and it led to distress and discouragement. We wanted so badly to be who she wanted us to be. After reflecting and communicating privately, we realized the best way to approach these awkward and uncomfortable conversations was to be completely honest. Understanding that an expectant mother is searching for a family she can trust and rely on shifted our perspective on what we wanted. We did not want our relationship with our future child’s mother to be based on anything other than truth and authenticity. It felt like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders when we accepted that. We knew the right connection would find us and would feel effortless when the time was right.
Dreams Become Reality
Just when we felt like our contract might expire without a successful adoption, we got the call we’d been waiting for. It turned our whole lives around in an instant. This expectant mother lived in our home state and was due soon! Meeting in person was as easy as a few hours in the car, so we met her and her friend at Applebee’s one day for lunch. We sat and talked for around two hours. We were open and honest with each other about our wishes and expectations for an open adoption. She understood that holidays and birthdays would be spent with our families, but we undoubtedly wanted to share those special days with her as well. She brought a sonogram photo and shared with us that she was expecting a baby girl. We left the meeting feeling confident and hopeful. The very next day, she texted to inform us she was officially choosing us to adopt her daughter. We were stunned reading that message and just so happened to be with family at the time. Their excitement shocked us back to reality that this could actually be happening.
Love at First Sight
Rachel was at the tail end of the school year and arrived in the morning to teach her class like any other day. Within 30 minutes, she got a text that the expectant mom’s water had broken and she was headed to the hospital! We both left work immediately to run home and grab the hospital bag we had started packing the night before. Little did we know! We excitedly rushed to the hospital hoping we would make it before our daughter was born.
We greeted the expectant mother in her room when we arrived. Rachel was honored to be in the delivery room and witness the miracle of our daughter being born. She even got to cut the umbilical cord. The birthmom did skin to skin for an hour or so, and then we got to spend some private time in our own room with our baby girl. We truly did not understand what “love at first sight” meant until meeting our daughter. We had never known such overwhelming, unconditional love until that moment.
Since our adoption, we have maintained an amazing open relationship with our daughter’s birthmother. We visited around Christmastime and have plans to get together around our daughter’s first birthday. We text and video chat on occasion as well. Receiving a Mother’s Day card from her was a beautiful moment. It solidified our connection and trust in each other. It reminded us of our entire journey up to that point. Our hearts were broken more times than we expected, but we were never going to settle for anything less than being the parents we knew we were. Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams. All of the unknowns and second-guessing are worth it.