The most important advice I would give someone who is adopting is to not give up. Our adoption process took nine years.
When I was first told that it would be almost impossible to have biological children, I was devastated. Shortly after, one of my best friends told me they were going to adopt a little boy from Haiti. My husband and I met with her, her husband, and another couple who had adopted from Haiti, and we felt so strongly that this was what we were supposed to do.
While starting our paperwork, I got pregnant. We were so excited and grateful for this little miracle. Unfortunately, at eleven weeks I miscarried. Although I was heartbroken, I had hope now that we could in fact get pregnant. A few months later, we had another positive pregnancy test. This time, I was much more cautious with my emotions, or at least I tried to be. At thirty weeks, I went into preterm labor and delivered our first son five days later. He was only three pounds, three ounces and was our little miracle baby. We went through some scares at the NICU, but six months later we brought our baby boy home, cords and all. It was amazing when the day came that we were able to hold our cordless baby!
I was hesitant for the next couple of years to try to get pregnant again because of how early I delivered, and also the fear of losing another baby. Three years later I got up the courage to try again. Again, we got pregnant rather quickly (which is something they told me would be very unlikely, but we were so grateful that wasn’t true). I tried not to get excited about the baby. I didn’t even buy anything until I was six months pregnant. Every day I was terrified of losing him and that it would be my fault. I had shots every week that were supposed to help me not go into preterm labor, but at twenty-seven weeks, I went into labor. Fortunately, they were able to stop the labor and I was put on bed rest with medication that made me shake and my heart race, but I would have done anything to keep that little baby boy inside me longer. I was admitted to the hospital six more times and by a miracle delivered at thirty-seven weeks. We were even able to bring our baby boy home with us, which was an amazing feeling for sure!
After the very emotionally and physically draining pregnancy with our second little boy, I felt for sure that I could not do it again and have a live baby, and my doctor also thought the same thing. A few years passed and we never felt that our family was yet complete. Because we had already once gone through the hard process of considering adoption, we quickly decided adoption would complete our family. That week we contacted an agency and started our paperwork and classes. We also created a profile on our agency’s site as well as another adoption site, a blog, made a family video, a Facebook page, paid for an ad on an adoption blog, made albums to pass out, and told everyone we knew we were hoping to adopt.
A month after we were approved to adopt, we were contacted by a birth mother in Kentucky who was pregnant with her third daughter. We were in contact through email for the next four months, and a few weeks before she was to deliver, she emailed me to tell me she had decided to parent. I was devastated that night, but a calm came over me the next morning. Even though I was still sad, I just knew that whatever baby was supposed to come to us, would. That very next week, we were contacted by our caseworker, saying that there was a couple who had tried to email us and never heard back from us. I still don’t know what happened to that first email, but I was sure happy that the couple didn’t give up on us and asked their caseworker to contact ours.
I truly believe that our children, wherever they are, will find their way to us in the time that we are supposed to get them.
We started emailing, then texting, then we met in person and it all felt amazing and good and right from the start. I knew that even if they decided to parent, we were supposed to meet this couple and be in their life. We built a relationship for the next five months, and the birth mother and I became really great friends. She went into labor six days late and gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I’d ever seen. The next few days at the hospital, and the day of placement, would turn out to be one of the hardest times in my life. I was in so much pain about this birth mother, who was one of my best friends, and the pain that she was going through. I had so much guilt about it for the few months to come as well. I look back on it though, and I am so thankful I had that relationship because I feel it made me more compassionate to what she was going through.
We now have a perfect little girl in our family, and our family now feels complete. We couldn’t imagine our family without her! She brings so much joy and happiness to everyone around her. Although, it took nine years for her to come to our family and a lot of trials in between, I believe all of those things prepared us for what was to come. Adoption is the biggest roller coaster ride of emotions I have ever been on. I was naive to what emotions I would go through and still sometimes am shocked when things come up that I would never have thought would affect me, and they do. I truly believe that our children, wherever they are, will find their way to us in the time that we are supposed to get them. Sometimes it isn’t when we would like them here, but after, we often see why we went through the trials we did and the things we learned by going through them that prepared us for things to come.
So, whatever part of your adoption journey you are in, don’t give up!!! Do whatever you can to get the word out that you are hoping to adopt. You need to be proactive in adoption. You can’t expect it just to happen. Just do all you can and again, don’t give up! Your child is out there somewhere.