Posted by Michael and Lisa
JF&CS Adoption Resources thanks Michael and Lisa for sharing their family’s adoption story.
Having adopted a child six years ago, we are occasionally asked for advice about the adoption process by prospective adoptive parents. Much of what we say is passing along advice we received: Be patient. Talk to lots of people. Be ready for the unknown. And be prepared for a lot of phone calls.
We did our pre-adoption home study through JF&CS Adoption Resources in person, and we met our child and the birthparents in the hospital in person. In between were all the phone calls that we will never forget.
The calls to tell us that we were being considered by various birthmothers. The calls to tell us that we had not been chosen.
The calls to ask whether we would like our profile book to be shown to birthparents in a different state than we had planned on? Would we consider adopting a child with a possible medical concern? Would we like to know more about birthparents who were considering us? Yes, always yes.
The call to tell us that this time we had been chosen. We had a match. We would become this child’s parents. I know exactly where we were standing when that call came in, in my aunt’s apartment, barely able to breathe.
The calls became more frequent. Would we like to know more about the birthparents? Would we like updates from the prenatal checkups? Would we like to know the child’s gender? Yes, always yes.
The call to tell us the child had been born that day, to tell us that the Apgar scores were good, to tell us we should buy our plane tickets for the following day.
I know exactly where we were standing outside the hospital two days later when the agency counselor called to say that the birthparents had signed the paperwork, that we could come upstairs and meet this child with the wonderful shock of spiky black hair who was now our child.
We stood outside the hospital, alone as a family of three for the first time, not quite believing that we were now responsible for this new human being. We drove to our condo that would be our temporary home in this distant state. We made the long-awaited calls to our parents to tell them that they were now grandparents.
Nearly two weeks later came the phone call telling us that the interstate paperwork had been completed, that we could buy our plane tickets home.
Our child’s adoption was finalized three months after that, when a judge reviewed all the paperwork and declared that our child would forever be ours in the eyes of the law. The judge was in a courtroom in another state, and we were gathered in an office at JF&CS Adoption Resources. It was entirely fitting that the finalization was completed over the phone.
If you’re going to become an adoptive parent, prepare to open your heart and your life in new ways. And make sure you answer that call.
If you’re interested in starting your own adoption journey, get in touch with an Adoption Resources counselor by filling out our contact form.