I asked a friend, who was looking to adopt a child if I could interview her about her experience. An interview with friends who have adopted children can help helpful in knowing how the journey works. After a decade of struggling with infertility, both she and her husband decided to become foster parents, wishing to one day become adoptive parents. Though there was some fear of uncertainty, this couple kept faith strong through the adoption journey, and both were over the moon when the adoption of two daughters finally went through. Here is this couple’s amazing and heartwarming adoption story.
First, can you tell our readers about your family?
“Our family consists of my husband, myself, my two daughters (8) and (7), and our foster son (17 months), two dogs, a cat, and a guinea pig. Our family describes ourselves as silly, noisy, and full of love. We are a family who loves to spend time together.”
What made you and your husband decide to adopt your daughters?
“After years of battling infertility (10 years), we decided to become foster parents with hopes to one day adopt. After moving from an agency to the county, our dream came true. Only two days after becoming licensed, we got the call for our daughters (5 and 6 years old). These two walked through our door and into our hearts.”
What’s it like raising biological siblings? Are your daughters close?
”On the one hand, it is great because they share memories and can support each other. Though, on the other hand, they tend to bicker due to being so close in age like all siblings do.”
Do you plan on talking about the adoption to your daughters, and if you already did talk with them about it, how does being adopted make them feel?
“Once we knew that adoption was going to be an option, we started to watch movies and read books that had a theme of adoption (there are so many). They were lucky to have sessions here in our home to help them understand adoption too (due to being in Foster-care). Once we told them it was official, they were so excited and happy because they wanted us to be a family forever. They did make a request though that they wanted to be princesses on their special adoption day and so they were.”
Awe, that’s amazing! How would you describe your adoption journey?
Our Adoption journey was a roller coaster of emotions. It started in April 2018 with the goal of reunification which was filled with uncertainty. The feelings of uncertainty changed to a combination of happiness and sadness in April 2019 when the goal was changed to adoption. We were over the moon to be one step closer to the adopting of beautiful daughters, but sad for the bios. The roller coaster of emotions came to a halt in July 2019 when our daughters officially became a part of our family forever.
What has been the biggest challenge with your adoption journey, and how did you both overcome it?
“The biggest challenge in this journey was the uncertainty. We overcame it by looking to each other for support and praying. We both reminded each other to take it one day at a time and to make the most of each day we had.”
Did you or your husband have any nervous feelings at all on adoption?
“Honestly, we were nervous about how the girls would feel about the whole thing especially with changing their last names. I am happy to say that there was no need because when we talked to them about it they both wanted to change it. Actually, they were excited to do it. We were also a little nervous on the day of only because we had never adopted before and really wanted everything to go right. I always hum when I am nervous so I was humming ‘A Million Dreams’ from the ‘Greatest Showman’ so the girls now say it is our adoption song.”
That’s so sweet! I bet it’s a special feeling that they call “A Million Dreams” their adoption song. Do you plan on celebrating their adoption day? If so, how will you celebrate their special day?
“We celebrated their adoption by having a big party at their favorite park. They helped to plan it. They picked what they wanted to wear, the activities, and gave input on the food. They wanted everyone at the party to get to adopt so they picked out baby Care Bears and set up an adoption station at the party. We also had a picture that everyone could sign that now hangs in their playroom. The one thing they still talk about is how Daddy (my husband) announced them as his daughters (they had asked him a few nights before). We are planning to celebrate their one-year adoption in July by having a small celebration at home.”
What has been the best part of your adoption journey?
“The best part was of course getting to make our daughters officially part of our family! They were both so excited to take our last name. Seeing the joy on their faces and hearing them telling everyone who would listen that they were adopted and introducing us as their parents.”
How did your family and friends feel about you wanting to adopt?
“Our family and friends have been really supportive of us adopting. They all know how strong our desire was to have a family of our own. They have been there all the steps of the way. Our friends and family have offered to babysit, pick up/drop off, or just spend quality time with them. It is absolutely amazing how much our daughters are loved not only by us but by the rest of our family/friends. They are very lucky to have tons of cousins to play with. They also have aunts, uncles, and grandparents who love them too.”
Do you plan on adopting any more children?
“We love our daughters more than anything and are so blessed to have gotten to adopt them. We plan to expand our family further by adopting again. Both my husband and I have always wanted a large family. He always jokes that he would be happy with six or a dozen. Since we started fostering, we have had two to five in our home regularly. We’re thinking three might be a good number to stop at especially because we both are one of three children.”
What’s your fostering journey like?
“Our fostering journey started out back in 2010 when we took in our two nieces (2 years and 9 months). After they were reunified, we continued to struggle with infertility, so, in 2016, we decided to officially start fostering and adoption through an agency. After fostering five children (under the age of 7) at once and doing respites for eight to nine children with no adoptions, we decided to move to the county. After switching, we got the phone call that two beautiful girls were needing a home. Once adopting our beautiful girls, we still had much more love to give so when we got a call for two brothers and this tiny little almost 2-month-old, we just had to say yes. We truly love having a large family. So far, our fostering journey has led to our first adoption, but only God knows where it will continue to lead us.”
That’s truly wonderful. It takes a big heart to foster and adopt. Not to mention a lot of patience.
“Yeah, we have had 12 long-term (over six months) fostering placements who have gone home, to be with relatives or stayed (our two daughters). If you count respites too, we have had over 19 children in our home and heart. Our belief is once you walk through our door, you are family, no matter how long you stay. Each child takes a piece of our heart. We got into this to expand our family but continue because of the joy it brings and the love we have for children.”
What surprised you both the most with both fostering and adopting?
“How attached we got not only to the children, but also the bios too. Also, the process itself was eye opening.”
“The process is not black and white because every case is different. The fact that circumstances change constantly. Another is how much support the bios get to assist in the reunification process.”
What was it like having multiple foster children in and out of your home? Was it hard on all of you once the children had to leave?
“It has been quite the adventure. We have learned how important routine and structure is. It is amazing how easy things are once that is established. We have gotten to love and see so many children grow (ages 2 months-12 years old). Our hearts do break with every child who left which is how it should be if you are doing this right. Each child who came through our door is part of our family for life–because you don’t have to be blood-related or live together to be family. We have been blessed to have built some great bonds with some bios and bio families, so we have been able to continue to be a part of the children’s lives even after they leave us. Our daughters to this day consider them their siblings.”
It clearly shows how much you both love children. What advice would you want to share with our readers who are looking to adopt older children?
“Our advice would be just remember that these children have a past that does not just go away once the adoption is final. If you can continue a relationship with bios in some way, try, but make sure it is in the best interest of your child/children. Also, that love, routine, and structure really do make all the difference especially for a child who seems out of control. Every child needs to know they are loved and are a part of a family.
It’s so great to see your support for open adoption! Do you still have a close relationship with the girl’s birth mother?
“We became Facebook Friends so she can see them grow, give updates, and she talks to them on special occasions. She has been very supportive and understanding.”
Was it easy for the girls to adjust when you adopted them?
“Both of our daughters are adjusting very well, but as with all children do need time to heal.”
What are your parenting styles like?
“We use a team approach to parenting with structure and routines. It is funny because most of the time all we have to do is look at each and the other picks up on what to do. We both believe in a positive approach to discipline and talking things out when possible with our daughters. We do use time a ways (one minute for each year of age) and calm down areas. We use a reward system where the girls can earn up to 60 minutes of iPad time a day depending on how they behave.”
What qualities do you think hopeful adoptive parents need?
“Understanding, flexibility, and an open heart. To understand that these children have had trauma no matter what age. Understand that it comes out in different ways and at different times. Understand that everything takes time. Be flexible to change and it will need to happen constantly. To have an open heart so you can love even through the toughest times.”
Do you have any final thoughts or anything else you’d like to tell us about adoption?
“It is a journey that is so worth taking because the joys absolutely outweigh the pains.”
The person that I interviewed preferred both her and her family to remain anonymous. Her, her husband, and I worked hard to get the adoption story told in the way that the family wanted it to appear. With all my interview articles, I make sure that whomever I’m interviewing likes the way the couple’s story is written, and if I don’t have the story just right, I’m very open with making the changes that the family would like to make. It was a pleasure working with this person, and I hope that this couple’s story has touched your heart, and that you’ve enjoyed reading it.