How it all began...

Embracing the Journey

We always knew we wanted to start a family. Early in our relationship, we deliberated between surrogacy and adoption. After thorough exploration and heartfelt discussions, adoption clearly stood out to us as the path we were meant to take. With our decision set, we embarked on a journey filled with anticipation and a fair share of nerves.

We were excited but also had countless questions and a bit of doubt about the uncertainty ahead. Despite these feelings, the support from our friends and family was overwhelming; everyone around us was thrilled and fully supportive of our decision to adopt, further affirming that it was the right choice for us. Actually, it turned out that the last conversation the two of us had with Steven’s grandmother before she passed away was about our adoption plans. She had been so excited and hopeful for us, and having that memory with her is truly special.

Early Challenges & Opportunities

Our adoption journey was not without its disappointments. The first time we were chosen by an expectant mother, the situation did not work out. After that, we communicated with a few other expectant mothers, none of which were matches for various reasons. We were, however, surprised by how quickly opportunities arose, underscoring the unpredictable nature of adoption.

Throughout our wait, keeping our family involved and updated on our experiences and feelings really helped alleviate some of the pressure. We found immense comfort in the unwavering support and excitement of our families, which helped make the lengthy process more bearable.

The turning point came in July when we were chosen by an expectant mother who was just four months along in her pregnancy. The expectant mother and father both had backgrounds in art and felt a strong connection with us due to those shared interests. Our initial conversation with the expectant mother was comfortable and natural, and our relationship quickly grew into a genuine friendship that went beyond mere discussions about the adoption.

Meeting Clayton

Our son, Clayton, decided to come early, which brought us to the hospital sooner than we had anticipated. We met the birthfather in the waiting room, where we ended up spending several hours. We took the opportunity of being there with him to have a number of meaningful conversations that deepened our relationship. While Clayton’s birth came sooner than anticipated, he came at just the right time - he shares a birthday with his Grandma Sheila, Steven’s mother, and he was born just two hours before Steven’s birthday.

Holding our tiny son for the first time was surreal. In that moment, we transitioned from being partners to being dads—a profound transformation that was wonderfully joyous and overwhelming at the same time. Despite being born prematurely with respiratory issues, Clayton was a strong little boy, and we relished every moment watching him grow and flourish. The weeks spent with him in the NICU strengthened the bond between the three of us.

Navigating Emotional Highs & Lows

One of the most significant challenges of our adoption journey was the emotional rollercoaster we experienced during the wait for Clayton’s arrival. Every moment of silence from his birthmother stirred anxiety within us, prompting fears of saying or doing something wrong. However, we learned from Angel that expectant mothers often have these same fears about adoptive parents, which helped create a mutual understanding that strengthened our connection.

Our advice for other adoptive parents is to brace themselves for the ups and downs and to embrace every part of their journey, including the inevitable setbacks. Also, we strongly emphasize the importance of having open and honest conversations with the birth parents, no matter how difficult or awkward they may be, to lay a solid foundation for the future. Our journey with Clayton showed us that despite the initial setbacks, things eventually fall into place just as they are meant to be.