The Journey

My husband and I were married only 4 months when we learned that we wouldn't be able to conceive without a great deal of medical intervention.  We weren't even thinking of trying to have children yet even though I was already over 30, but it was quite a blow to deal with that so early in the marriage.

Before we married, we talked about having a family and I thought I might not be able to get pregnant, so I brought up adoption.  We agreed it was an option, but even after finding out we couldn't conceive, it was almost 7 years before we checked into adoption.

I won't go into the details of the process, but I will say that unless you or someone close to you have gone through it, you have no idea how much work is involved and how much personal information you have to disclose.  You have to really, really want to adopt to jump through the endless hoops of applications, fees, interviews, references, parenting classes, etc.

And most people don't realize that in the vast majority of domestic adoptions these days, the birth mother chooses the adoptive parents; not the agency.  So once you have laid bare your soul, medical records, and financial details, you are at the mercy of a woman or even a teenager who is under a great deal of stress herself.  Don't get me wrong - I think it is the BEST possible way for adoptions to occur, but as a 30-something professional, it does have it's irony.

Our lives were condensed to an 8-10 page "book", as we competed with all the other "books" out there for attention.  It's like high school all over again; wondering why you aren't being picked.  What's wrong with us?  Are we too fat?  To religious?  To goofy looking?  Not wealthy enough?  It can undermine your self esteem like nothing I have ever experienced.  We waited for almost 2 years as we watched all the other parents in our program get picked and take home their little bundles of joy.  You are truly happy for them, but you begin to think that perhaps this is not the path your life is meant to take. 

After a year and a half, I was emotionally spent and every contact asking for fees or paperwork, or another home study update reduced me to a blubbering mess.   In June of 2005 I told my husband that I could hold out until the end of the year.  Then I was throwing in the towel and needed to move on with our lives.  Either we were going to get a baby, or we were going on one freaking fantastic vacation. 

A year before this we moved to a kid-friendly neighborhood - all part of our plan to look like the perfect adoptive parents.  The shrubs were horribly overgrown and we wanted to take it all out and redo the beds, but our money was going into savings for the adoption expenses.  Well, on July 3rd I was off work early for the holiday and to vent some of my frustration, I spent the whole day chopping down and digging up the shrubs.  My poor husband had no idea.  It was just a spur of the moment thing.  I'm sure the neighbors thought I had finally lost my mind, out there in the hot sun all day, making a complete mess!!  But man, it felt so good to just destroy something - to get out all that frustration and pain!!  And I was very proud of my work.  My husband actually took it pretty well, even though he did have to spend the whole weekend digging up the roots and finishing off what I had started.  And the yard is his "thing" so having it now so unattractive really bothered him. 

Then 1 week later, as we were deciding how to rebuild the beds, we got "the call" or actually "the e-mail".  A wonderful woman had seen our book and we were the only people she wanted to speak with.  She couldn't believe that we hadn't already been picked.  She felt we were the answers to her prayers.  She was more than we had ever expected in a birth mother and kept thinking it was to good to be true. 

We talked to her on the phone that night and again a few nights later.  It was scary but she took the lead and got all her questions answered.  The father signed away his rights to the child a few days later and we drove down to meet her in person.  We were thrilled, but scared, so we hadn't told anyone that we'd been picked.  We wanted to wait until after we met her to make sure things still felt right.  The meeting was fabulous and we drove the 5 hours home making calls to everyone with our good news.

August flew by as we furiously tried to get ready for our son to be born.  We spoke to our birth mother every week and since meeting her in person, she always referred to the baby by the name we had chosen.  She even put it on his original birth certificate.  She made us as much a part of the pregnancy as possible and it really felt like we all three became parents together over those few weeks.  Our son was born a week early, but healthy as can be.  She called us from the hospital just before she began to push and again after he was born.  She even commented that he had dimples just like me! 

In the state where he was born, the birth mother cannot sign away her rights for at least 48 hours.  Between leaving the hospital and being placed with us, he was cared for by a transitional care couple who worked for the adoption agency.  His birth mother was insistent that he be with us as soon as possible and she wanted to sign as soon as she could.  Of course, this meant traveling out of state before she signed, and there is always a chance that she might change her mind.  We were caught between doing what she felt was best and the agency's warning about possibly driving all that way for nothing.  But our commitment was to our son's birth mother, so we went. 

I can't describe the feelings when she brought him in and placed him in our arms.  It still makes me cry to think about the sacrifice she made.  She truly became a part of our family in a few short weeks and she entrusted us with the most precious gift of all - her child.  We cried and hugged and looked at our son for what seemed like hours.  The social workers took lots of pictures so we have always had a picture of our son being held by his birth mother in his room.  After the birth mother left, we got to meet the transitional care parents who had already fallen in love with him in just one night.  We changed him from the outfit they had dressed him in and into our "going home" outfit.  I have never felt more awkward in my life!  And then we were off with our paperwork, emergency phone numbers, and this tiny little 6 lb. baby in the car seat. 

What were they thinking, just handing over this baby to us?!  We both sat there looking at each other, like "now what?"  We had to stay in the state for almost a week waiting for permission to take him across state lines and back to our home.   Talk about a crash course in baby care 101!  No grandparents or friends, just the three of us in that little hotel room.  But with so much time alone, we were able to bond with him and get into a routine.

Three years later, I can say I don't regret one day of the pain of waiting, but I can truly remember how hard and painful that journey was.  I call my son "the love of my life" because he is in so many ways.  He's the best part of my life for sure.  It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life - and I have had some very hard times, but it's the one thing I am most proud of - becoming his mother.


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23 Responses Sep 29, 2008

Your story is very inspirational thank you for sharing your love, pain and joy of the heart!

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, so when I was married we knew I may have to have some "help" when we wanted to have children. We have been married almost 5 years, and in 2009 we decided we wanted to start our family. We tried for 14 months and I still wasn't preggers, so I went to a wonderful Reproductive Endocrine Specialist and all of my tests came back PERFECTLY normal (Metformin WORKS wonders for me), so my husband had all of the necessary tests. We found out that he has a very low ***** count. He does produce SOME *****, but not enough, and the ones he has are slow. (My husband knows I am putting this here, he doesn't mind). He used to race BMX bikes semi professionally when he was younger, and we aren't sure if that had something to do with this problem (he has no blockages or anything and his bloodwork is pretty much within normal limits). We are good candidates for IVF, but we simply cannot afford it at this time. IVF is actually our ONLY option at this point, other than adoption, which we are strongly considering. I know adoption is expensive as well, but I'd rather give a child that needs someone a home. Sigh.

Wow, what an amazing love story. :) I'm young and want to adopt later in life. I've recently found out that conceiving a child would be detrimental to my health. I was devastated at first but I've always wanted to adopt ever since I was a young girl. I have an aunt who used to be a social worker for foster kids and she's told me some very sad sob stories. Though I know it is a grueling drawn out process, I want to go through it so that I can give love to a being who may not receive it otherwise. I have one question though. If I want to adopt a child that is already born will the process, paperwork and permissions still be as long and tedious?

Wow, what an amazing love story. :) I'm young and want to adopt later in life. I've recently found out that conceiving a child would be detrimental to my health. I was devastated at first but I've always wanted to adopt ever since I was a young girl. I have an aunt who used to be a social worker for foster kids and she's told me some very sad sob stories. Though I know it is a grueling drawn out process, I want to go through it so that I can give love to a being who may not receive it otherwise. I have one question though. If I want to adopt a child that is already born will the process, paperwork and permissions still be as long and tedious?

good for you I heard it is very hard to adopt now and days

this is a truly lovely deed<br />
my husband and i too cant have children<br />
10 years tryin ivf and every other treatment under the sun<br />
we would love to adopt but dont knoe how to go about it????<br />

My wife is an adopted child - we now enjoy both the friendship and love of her mother and father who adopted her and her biological parents - in fact we had them all attend our wedding - but whether or not you understand this or not - my culture is tribal and familial links are very important to us - it turned out that my wife is more closely related to me than we imagined...I showed my father my wifes family tree from her biological parents side - now my wifes biological paternal parent is Maori like us and my father immediately recognised several names on teh family tree as being within our tribal familial lineage - ha ha ha I married a cousin of mine - go about keep it in the family...strangely we may have to adopt as I am no spring chicken any more we have had two miscarriages that were too heart renching for us to go through again so we're talking through our options...I'm 42 this year and my wife is only 38 - Doc's say all our plumbing and machinery is perfectly fine to concieve...guess we'll see

Wonderful story! God bless!

what a beautiful story...thanks for sharing it!

Very nice story! Thank you for sharing. While I have been blessed with four children, I have a sister and brother who both have gone through the adoption process. What a blessing these young children have been to our family as a whole!<br />
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Please allow me to share a story with you and your husband that happened with my son. These are the types of memories you will charish forever. It's entitled "A Fathers Proudest moment".<br />
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I thnk you should be able to copy and paste the URL. If not, it's in my stories.<br />
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<a href="" target="ep_blank"></a><br />
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All the best!

most beautiful story i read.. :) glad for you

WOW that's a really amazing story!<br />
I think it's beautiful how perfectly everything worked out!<br />
God bless... I hope everything's still working out! :)

I was told the same thing- cant conceive, went through all the tests, etc...took us 2 1/2 yrs and i became preg and had a son , got preg again and had a miscarriage, got divorced, got remarried a few yrs later, before we got married i got preg and lost that baby too. I am thankful to have been able to have 1 child.

You have given me the information I needed about adoption. There is so little info avaiilable and nobody tells you anything. Is there a website for adoptive parents? <br />
Also did you try adopting a 3-4 year old child? Or a child whose parents were no longer alive?

You are a wonderful person for adopting a child. I never gave a child up, but thank you for giving the baby a perfect home. My friend is going through this and she is so scared. She wants so badly to become a mother and caller her little bundle "DJ"

I laughed and cried as I read your story. Beautifully written. thanks for sharing.

Good story! My adopted son is now twenty-three. We have kept in contact with the birth mother through out his childhood. We always invited her to major events in his life. I did this because I owed her something which I could never repay her for. Friends hated how she would swoon over my son. At my sons wedding I thought there was going to be a riot because my friends thought she out shined me. This is the deal, my son is a mommas boy. He knows who his momma is. The way he was raised we taught him that there is enough room to love as many people as possible. I do feel bad for her when she sees him because you can see she loves him and wants a relationship him, but its up to him to build that relationship with her. He's really not interested in that relationship. She has gone on in her life and has four children of her own. I know that this birthmom has a lot pain about giving him up. I would of felt the same way, because he is a most wonderful child. I can never repay her for the child she handed over to me. On that day she handed him over her face was wet and swollen from crying. This was the least I could do for her which was to keep in contact. I never talked bad about her, I always told my son the truth about the adoption, and how God used this wonderful woman to give me my son who I prayed for, because I couldn't have a child. He was always wanted, not rejected.

What a lovely story. I myself are where you were before adopting your son.<br />
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The difference is I have been told there is a chance I could conceive but my partner also has a low ***** count.<br />
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We are currently waiting to see if we can be accepted for IVF treatment and if we don't we have discussed route of adoption.<br />
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Your story filled me with hope - hope that it can happen for me too and that I don't always have to be the doting Auntie or friend that hugs and kisses them.<br />
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I pray for it every day. <br />
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I am so pleased for you and for your son.<br />
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God Bless

God bless you!! Adopting a child is a wonderful thing. I should know. I was adopted.

Thanks for sharing your story. It has a wonderful ending, and I'm glad for the little guy that ya'll hung in there. I wish all kids put up for adoption could be adopted by parents like you and your husband. Take care.

Thanks for sharing your great story Willo as well as the picture of your son, he is cute as a button!<br />
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The more I have started talking with others about adoption I'm starting to see that our wait thus far has not been too long, and there is a birthmother that will choose us one of these days!! <br />
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Until then we will just have to wait and wonder what god has in store for us!

Your story has truly touched my my heart willo. I have two granddaughters that have been given up for adoption, and it was very hard to except the fact that they would be cared for by strangers. It took awhile but have excepted the fact that they are in good hands and are most likely better off with their new family. After reading your story and knowing what all goes on through the adoption and can know in my heart that they are good for them . I already know that they love them as their own. It's just that your story has helped to strengthen that feeling. Thank you for opening up a part of you that has been so painful. For helping me open my eyes to what really is.

What a lovely story! <br />
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I had to laugh at your thoughts on leaving the hospital, <br />
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"What were they thinking, just handing over this baby to us?! We both sat there looking at each other, like "now what?""<br />
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My husband and I had the same thoughts when we brought our firstborn son home from the hospital. Seems like adoptive parents and birth parents are not so different after all.<br />
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Thank you for sharing the story of waiting and anxiety. I am just starting to look into adoption. We've always talked about it (we have two biological sons, but our home feels incomplete without a daughter). We are only now starting to look into adoption. I was hoping to find some candid accounts of what to expect. Looks like EP has come through for me again. :-)<br />
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Belated congratulations on your bundle of joy.