How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
I have had endometriosis since I was in my teens and had a lot of scar tissue created from many surgeries over the years to treat it. We were unable to get pregnant on our own, so we attempted IVF and were unsuccessful. At that point I had to dig deep and decide — could I live a child-free lifestyle or did I truly want a child to complete my family? All I had ever wanted was to be a mom, so we took some time off and travelled and then moved toward the world of adoption.
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
We actually first signed up with another agency, but what they were asking of us was not for us. We researched more agencies. We liked that Angel had a limited set of families they work with at a time, and there was a selection and initial meeting to get to know what Angel was about along with them getting to know us. They want to know that you will not give up if an expectant mother changes her mind, and oftentimes they do.
What were you most excited about?
Finally having the family I always dreamed of and having someone call me Mommy, someone I could share the world with.
What were you most nervous about?
The fear of not being chosen is always there in this type of environment. It is tough putting yourself out there and hoping that someone connects with your profile enough to request a phone call or visit.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
All of our family and friends knew of our IVF attempts and hurt with us, so they were so supportive of us making this decision. We had many write letters in support of us becoming parents when we entered the adoption world, and their words were so touching and made us realize that we were not in this alone.
What was it like meeting the expectant mother for the first time?
We actually had four different expectant mothers and I had great conversations with all of them. The fourth one was the one that finally brought our baby Joey to us. It is always a little nerve-wracking, the anticipation of feeling like you need to sell yourself to the lady that can provide you your dream come true. You become friendly and close with them depending on how long you are connected until the baby arrives.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption, and how did you make that decision?
Open. We came to the decision through our classes at the place we did our licensing. It really opened our eyes to hear from all sides, adoptive families, birthmoms, and then adopted children. It appeared to us that it was best for the overall well being of the child to have the contact open to them if later in life they have questions that only she can answer.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him.
Our expectant mother's mom called me at work to let me know our expectant mother was in labor, so I called my husband and we headed straight to the hospital. I was in the room with her family while she was laboring all day. I saw my son as soon as he was born. It was wonderful working as a team to deliver this much-loved child into the world.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
There was a chance that he was going to be born with some deformities due to an issue during pregnancy, so, unfortunately, I was looking to make sure he was okay. I was also very conscious of the feelings the birthmom would be going through, so I did not want to express too much love in front of her. Since my husband was not in the room due to privacy, he was actually the first person to hold our son. I literally watched my husband fall in love at first sight right in front of me. It was simply beautiful to witness.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We have an open relationship, but since she was young (she was 18 at the time), I often times need to pull her back in to make sure she is here if and when our child wants to have adoption discussions with her. We invited her into our home the week after our little guy was born so she could see where he lived and how he was doing. She really appreciated that from us. My son and I attended her high school graduation and attended the family meal afterwards. Since then she has come to see him only three times in six years. I have sent pictures and letters through the years to her and her mother. You need to do what is comfortable for the birthmom once the baby comes and what fits with your family needs. It can change and evolve over the years.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
To me it was the ugly part behind adoption that people do not think of, such as coming up with how much money is acceptable to you to provide to the expectant mother for shelter, clothes, and food. We had a bad experience where an expectant mom kept asking for more and more money and was extremely demanding, and it was a very difficult decision to make, but we had to walk away from her. That was hard not knowing whether someone else would select us as their potential adoptive family.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
We went through four different expectant mothers, so it was tough. You have to stay strong and not give up hope that your child is out there. I always believed that we would be chosen for the child that was meant for us. My husband and I traveled a lot and kept busy during the wait. We did not sit around thinking about a child or the journey we were going through. Our contract actually expired the day before our son was born.
Would you adopt again?
No, I am now too old to adopt a newborn. I have always said the only way I would go through the process again would be if my child's birthmom were to have another baby she was unable to care for.
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
Keep hoping and knowing your child is out there — maybe he or she just hasn’t been conceived yet. The right child for you may come at any moment, so be prepared in the back of your mind at all times. Stay positive and keep talking to your counselors. Angel really helped me through any questions and concerns, allowed me to vent when needed, and supported me through my entire journey. Best wishes on your forever family!