How it all began...
Our Dream Family
We knew adoption was our answer to the family we’ve always dreamed of. We adopted our twins in the spring of 2021 and shortly after decided we wanted to adopt our third child too.
We had been following Angel Adoption on social media since 2017 and actually reached out to them while we were in the middle of IVF treatments and just chatted away about what our options were. Fast forward to 2022, and we decided to start a contract with them. We just knew it felt right from the beginning. Every single person we had ever spoken with within their organization was polite, kind, and respectful. Their voices brought us joy, and the response times for communication were top notch.
The Toughest Fall
Coming into the process, we were nervous both emotionally and financially. Adoption is not a cheap decision to make. The financial aspect is terrifying, and then the emotional pull of dealing with disrupted adoptions is draining. But we were also excited! We are just a husband and wife who love being called Mama and Dada and couldn’t wait to go through adoption again.
During our time with Angel, we had a few disrupted adoptions. That was tough, but the toughest situation was actually with our successful adoption. We matched with our son’s birthmother at the end of 2022, and we spoke every few days, exchanging stories and photos and talking about what adoption would look like for all of us. We were very comfortable with each other, so much so that she even surprised us and did a little virtual gender reveal!
However, in the spring of 2023, everything came crashing down. We hadn’t heard from her in a while, and it was beginning to scare us. We received a text from her husband that worried us, and we honestly didn’t know what to think. We ultimately chalked it up to cold feet and moved along. We were struggling with this decision because we were in deep financially at this point, and we were feeling used, so to speak. We went almost three months without hearing from her. We knew the baby was born because of social media, but we still hadn’t had contact until she texted Stephanie 20 days after the baby was born.
The Most Surreal Day
We’ll never forget it. We were on our boat celebrating our wedding anniversary when Stephanie received a text from our son’s birthmother that said, “Will you please still adopt my son!! I didn’t want to let him go but I have to and I’m ready to.” Stephanie’s heart sank, and she instantly just looked up at Spence and said, “Look at my phone. Am I hallucinating, or is this real life?” He just looked at her and her phone, and we didn’t even have words.
We were in the northern Midwest when this text came through, and the baby was on the East Coast. Stephanie talked on the phone with the birthmother for about 15-20 minutes so she could explain to us what had been going on the past few months as we had discontinued conversations. She explained how it was all a huge misunderstanding due to no fault of her own. The situation was messy, and she was getting out of it. In order to do so, her child needed to be in our arms.
We quickly got off the lake, packed up the cottage, and towed our boat home three hours. All the while, Stephanie was on the phone with our agency in the birthmother’s state and Angel Adoption to explain what in the world was even going on. When we got home, Stephanie unpacked our boating bags and packed her bags for Florida, with baby items included! Spence had to be to work out of state the next day, so there was absolutely no way he could come with. Stephanie’s parents kept our twins, and we worked on all the accommodations all night long to ensure everything was in order.
We arrived at our home around midnight. Stephanie packed, slept for one hour, woke up to shower, and then headed to the airport. Incredibly enough, she was on a plane and in our son’s birth state by 11 a.m. From the first notice via text to touchdown, it was 16 hours and she was there. We called our in-state agency, and Stephanie just had to wait it out until all the paperwork was ready.
That afternoon, Stephanie met and held our son for the first time in a park. It was surreal and emotional to meet our son’s birthmother for the first time. They both just sort of laughed because they didn’t even know what to say to each other. She handed the baby to Stephanie instantly, and they just kept talking away while she explained what we had missed in the first 20 days of his life. Finally meeting our son felt unreal. Stephanie couldn’t believe he was in her arms. She couldn’t believe he was looking at her. She couldn’t believe his curly head of hair and his beautifully toned skin. Our third baby, our finally baby. It was absolutely breathtaking to have that moment.
They visited for about an hour and signed paperwork before Stephanie was driving off in the rental car to stay at a hotel with our newborn. You’d think meeting your child’s birthmother would be difficult, but the hardest part wasn’t meeting her for the first time but rather watching her walk away and back to her vehicle after she handed over her son. No amount of training or reading can prepare you for that emotional moment.
The next few days were filled with baby snuggles, paperwork, and FaceTime so our son could virtually meet some family members. Once we got the “all clear” to travel across state lines, Stephanie flew to where Spence was working so he could meet our son before anyone else did. We spent one night there together and then flew home the next day. When we arrived at home, our parents had decorated our yard and entire home to welcome home our sweet baby boy! It was absolutely surreal and the wildest experience of our lives. Our son’s “welcome home” story is one for the books, and the feeling of excitement we felt that day receiving THE text will never go away.
Our Open Adoption
Since our son’s adoption, we’ve kept a great relationship with his birthmother. We chat every couple of days, and we send her photos of the baby. She is very young but very respectful. She understands boundaries, and although she is sad and feeling disconnected due to the adoption and other life circumstances, her happiness for us tops those feelings; she’s very open about that. She’s always saying how grateful she is that her son, our son, will have a phenomenal life. She knows what we can offer, and she is so excited for him to live the life he will with us. We love and appreciate her so much!
Our journey definitely wasn’t always easy. Thankfully, we have twin toddlers, so they kept us busy. We had a lot of discouragement after we would match and then hear nothing, but that’s the process. Trusting our gut, setting boundaries from the beginning, and knowing how far each of us were willing to go before the process even began were key in our adoption. You just have to have faith!