My wife and I have been on our second journey to adopt a newborn.
Here’s the latest update to our story. I hope this will encourage and inspire you on your own adoption journey.
The Call and the Match
Waiting for a match with birthparents was long and difficult. We tried our best to be hopeful and prayerful that we would get a call that some birthparents found us and wanted to match with us.
During our adoption journey, there have been some really special moments, as you might imagine. I call these special moments my “WOW” moments.
It is when I am so taken with what just happened that all I can do is say…WOW. Well, one of these WOW moments came when we first heard that some birthparents where interested in us.
We were eating dinner one night when the phone rang. For a fleeting moment, I thought “this could be the call” but then it was a telemarketer so I hung up. Ugh. No sooner than I sat back down, the phone rang again. This time I jumped up and picked up the phone thinking I’ve got that telemarketer calling me back. I was wrong.
One of the adoption coordinators from Lifetime Adoption Center called saying there were some birthparents interested in us and how they wanted to talk with us. WOW. What a surreal feeling when you are waiting and waiting for something to happen…and then it does.
Lifetime is an adoption facilitator based out of California and they helped match us with birthparents (as they did for our first adoption). They do a great job presenting us all over the internet on sites such as OpenAdoption.com and Lifetimeadoption.com. Our son’s birthparents (I’ll call them M & V to protect their privacy) found us on another Lifetime site, CatholicAdoptionOnline.com.
Our relationship with M & V started out great and has continued to get better and better. The first phone call with them was a bit nerve racking – but after a minute or two we felt more and more comfortable. They were just easy to talk to.
After talking with them several times, we wanted to go visit them. Since M wasn’t due to for a few months, we were able to go see them two times – the first time we took along our 5 year old daughter, and the second time we went by ourselves.
What a blessing and truly an amazing experience to get to know them more and talk about the adoption plan. They even wanted us to name the little guy – how awesome is that!
Since this was a private domestic adoption in another state, we had to retain an attorney in our home state (to represent us). We also had to retain an attorney and a social worker from the state where little J was born (to represent his birthparents).
So as we got closer to M’s due date, we were talking & texting with them almost every day. The plan was for them to call us when they were going to the hospital – so then we knew it really was time for little J to be born. We would get on the next plane.
The call finally came 10 days after the due date! They called us at 2am and we jumped out of bed, finished packing, made flight/rental car arrangements, and called Grandma & Grandpa so they could come over to our house to stay with our daughter. WOW.
Since we planned ahead, we knew there was a daily flight that left really early. We were able to get everything done and got to the airport in time. We sent text messages to M & V before we got on the plane so they knew when we would arrive.
At The Hospital
When we picked up our rental car, just about to start driving to the hospital, we got a text. Little J was born 30 minutes ago! By God’s grace, we made it to the hospital an hour after he was born! WOW.
We had to sit in the waiting room for almost 30 mins because the hospital social worker wanted to talk with M and V before we got to go in and see them. The social worker finally came out and talked with us about the adoption plan. She was a bit short with us and wanted to make sure everything was handled the “right” way. Thankfully, our attorney made sure she was happy in the end.
We finally got to go into the room – we saw baby J for the first time – M was holding him and he looked so sweet sleeping against her.
When I saw him for the first time…I thought, is this really happening? Is this little bundle going to be ours? WOW.
M looked pretty good. She was very tired, but as always she was still smiling. The hospital staff was great. They knew about the adoption – they hugged us, welcomed us, and did a fabulous job taking care of us. They even set us up with a room to stay overnight – and it was just a few doors down from M’s room.
We took lots of pictures, took turns holding little J and talked with M & V. They were so awesome – wanting us to be there with them the whole time. They authorized the hospital to give my wife a wrist band that allowed her (as the adoptive mommy) to go get J from the nursery any time. That was so cool!
When there was a spare moment we were able to call our parents and siblings – telling them our little boy was born! WOW. We both got a little teary as we talked with our family.
Little J’s hospital pictures were taken just before he was discharged – the photo lady knew we were the adoptive parents so she wouldn’t allow us to see the photos right after she took them because we had to get our attorney to fax a letter to them confirming the adoption first. This made me realize there is still so much change going on in the adoption world.
Discharge and Reliquishment
As we put the little guy into our car for the first time, drove to our hotel and unpacked his things we thought…WOW. Was this really coming true?
About 10 mins after arriving at the hotel, the attorney called and said he was waiting for us in the hotel lobby to sign the adoption papers. He talked with us for quite a while about the process, about what will happen next, and about his meeting with M and V.
He said that we couldn’t ask for better birthparents because they are so sure of their decision and have so much love for baby J. We already knew what amazing people they are. The attorney said he would get the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) paperwork started. ICPC approval is required when you adopt a child from another state rather than from your home state.
Staying in a hotel waiting for ICPC approval
M and V came to our hotel after they signed the relinquishment papers – the same day we brought little J to our hotel from the hospital. We spent several hours talking, feeding the little guy, and taking lots of pictures.
After they left, it was just us and baby J. We watched him sleep. We now had the honor of caring for this precious little boy. WOW.
When baby J was 8 days old, we got the call from the attorney that the ICPC clearance was approved and we were legally able to travel home!
Before we left we got to spend one last night with M & V. It was happy and yet very sad…
Our last goodbyes were very emotional. None of us had a dry eye. It was tough to watch them have to say goodbye to baby J. We told them to call or text anytime – and we would take extra special care of little J. We gave them one last long hug with the tears coming down. WOW.
The next morning we got on a plane to go home and begin our new life as a family of four.
Now that we are at home, we’ve set up a special invite only website where we have uploaded pictures and videos. M & V can go on the site to look at the pictures and videos anytime. They can also download or print any of them.
We finished setting up the nursery by placing a framed photo of M & V (that they gave us before we left) right near the crib.
We didn’t just get the most precious gift of little J, we also got the gift of M & V because they are truly amazing people – who are now part of our family.
All I can say is…WOW.
So…how can our story help you?
Well, if you are like us you may get discouraged during the wait to be matched, even wondering if it will ever happen for you. We were definitely there – during both of our adoption journeys.
Now that we’ve been through it twice, we can confidently tell you IT WILL HAPPEN FOR YOU. Stick with it, keep your chin up, keep praying, keep preparing for your little one because this is your time to get ready for a new baby to come into your home.
Here are some of our experiences that will hopefully help you on your adoption journey:
1. You don’t know what your birthmother will end up loving about you. She may love the fact that you have a dog, or that you have the warmest smiles, or that some of your favorite things are the same as hers. We connected simply by being Catholic. You just never know what your connection may be – so you have show potential birthmothers who you are and the right one will find you.
2. If you have been waiting for a long time or if you don’t like how your profile looks or sounds, I would consider making changes. Even if you kinda like how it is and it captures your life well, you should consider adding audio, video, adoption cards, or your own website to your adoption profile. Check out my adoption profile articles for more information and resources.
3. Adoption videos are worth making – maybe even necessary. Little J’s birthparents watched our video over and over again – they said that it separated us from all of the other couples because it was different and we were sincere. Our video showed us talking to them, mixing in pictures and other video shots. They told us that too many other couples have a video that is just pictures set to music with bad audio. If you’d like to watch our video click here.
One more thing I have to say: this was as close to a perfect adoption as we could have imagined. Little J’s birthparents were excited to find us – we were excited that they picked us.
It is definitely an exciting and sometimes stressful journey we go on when trying to adopt. It is so amazing when a birthmother finds you, wants to match with you, and makes the most loving decision to have YOU parent her baby.
Remember that it will happen in God’s perfect timing. Those words alone doesn’t make it easier. I know how hard the wait can be. I’m constantly praying for you who are still waiting. Yep – I’m praying for you. Hang in there.