On a balmy Thursday afternoon in 2009, my life changed. It was approximately 4:00 pm and my son, who had just turned 3 a week before, was napping. I remember the hum of the cicadas in the trees outside and the constant groaning of the air conditioner as it struggled to keep up with the Arizona heat. Seated at the computer desk, working on who knows what, I soaked up the peace that is a toddler’s nap time.
The phone rang and I picked it up, despite the fact that I didn’t recognize the number and usually ignored unknown callers. On the other end, a woman’s voice told me she wanted to remain anonymous for the time being but wondered if my husband and I were still hoping to adopt and then asked whether Michigan were too far away. I confirmed our hope to adopt and willingness to travel for a placement.
My mind was racing. I remembered hearing something in the past about Michigan adoption law being complicated. Somehow, my usually cautious nature was suppressed by a hopeful optimism I didn’t quite understand. The caller explained that her daughter’s friend was in labor in the hospital. She asked if it would be okay to pass my number along to the expectant mother. The call was quickly over. As far as I can remember, I didn’t even think to ask how she had gotten my number.
In the past, we’d encountered many prospective adoption contacts that never came to fruition. I felt unusually peacefully about this one, enough so that I immediately dialed our caseworker before talking to my husband. Once I had her on the line, I felt a little silly realizing the unlikelihood of the scenario. I had such little information or reason to believe anything would come from it. I began to rationalize away the soft glow of hope I felt inside me, assuming the woman who called was just a well-meaning friend’s mother and that I would never hear anything more. I gave my husband a quick call to tell him about the experience I’d had and then hung up, trying to forget about it and filing it away.
Right after hanging up with my husband, my phone rang again. The display showed a different number sharing the same area code as the first. I answered as fast as I could. This time, the female voice I heard on the other end said she’d gotten my number from her friend. I could hardly believe what was happening. I remember struggling for words. Being chosen to adopt a child is always humbling. A woman who was a stranger the day prior becomes your hero in an instant. I won’t recount the details of our conversation that afternoon or the whirlwind of events that unfolded over the next 12 hours, but the outcome was nothing short of miraculous.
After being up all night packing and getting things in order, my husband and I boarded the first flight to Detroit the next morning. By early afternoon, we found ourselves walking through the big glass doors of a hospital together, anxious to meet the newborn baby girl who would become our daughter.
I don’t remember when exactly we learned the role of Parent Profiles in our daughter’s placement, but now I share our story with hopeful adoptive couples whenever I get the chance. There are many ways to reach out on the road to building your family through adoption. We had tried to open as many doors as we could in our efforts. Parent Profiles was something we were reluctant about at first. Anytime you open a new door, there is risk equal to the potential for success. We heard scammers were more likely to find you on a site like Parent Profiles, but we also knew we would get a lot more exposure. After a failed match, we both had a change of heart and were willing to redouble our efforts, including activating our profile on ParentProfiles.com. Putting ourselves out there was a little scary, but we really felt the need to be vulnerable in order for the right expectant mother to find us. At first, it was nice just to know our profile was being seen. The steady increase in page views was encouraging.
Four months later, we found ourselves in a hospital waiting room, just outside a nursery full of newborn babies. The minutes we waited there felt like hours. We looked around the room full of celebratory families and felt so small. I remember fumbling with my wallet to retrieve my ID so that we could check in before being allowed entrance to the nursery. Once inside, we stood nervously looking around and wondering what our baby might look like. The hospital social worker pushed a bassinet from the far side of the room toward us. When I saw her face, I felt my breath leave me. Time seemed to stand still. The moment was more unique than any other I have experienced.
Looking back, my husband and I see our daughter’s placement as a series of miracles. I could tell story after story of how things came together and each part is unbelievable on its own. These miracles add up to one amazing story, and Parent Profiles is the reason our daughter’s birth mother found us. Hopeful adoptive parents have many choices about how to attempt to grow their families, and each has to decide what doors are right for them to open. If we hadn’t opened our hearts to the potential of Parent Profiles, we wouldn’t have found our Ruby.
Have you experienced something amazing as a result of reaching outside your comfort zone?