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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
I asked you, The Adoption Diaries readers, for a feel-good adoption story if you’ve been considering adoption. I wanted to know how long it took — once you knew you were not going to get pregnant — to consider adoption after grieving.
Jessica’s story below is amazing! Stay tuned for Friday when she gives us Part 2!
Jessica, 28, and her husband Greg, 34, live in Phoenix, Ariz. “It took us four years and four months to decide to adopt. After my fourth and last miscarriage in February of 2009, I was ready to pursue adoption, but my husband was not. He was not sure he could love a child who was not biologically his,” said Jessica.
“In November of 2009, after five rounds of Clomid, I finally broke down and told my husband I couldn’t take it anymore. I missed the girl he married… I felt like a robot trying to get pregnant month after month, year after year. I could tell Greg was torn. He really wanted a biological child, but he also couldn’t stand seeing me in pain. I’m very blessed to have a husband who loves me dearly.”
Greg was always very supportive and even Jessica’s parents and in-laws were there to nurture and support the couple. “I knew deep in my heart that God’s plan wasn’t for me to conceive. I knew that I was going to be a mother and I knew my husband was going to be a father, but I knew I wasn’t going to get pregnant.”
Jessica said, “I spent many years as a nanny and many of the families I nannied for had adopted children in their families. I never put the two together but I think God was preparing my heart for adoption long before I even knew my husband.”
They began the adoption process in November of 2009 and began a home study with social workers immediately.
“And then my husband received long-awaited word that he was accepted into the army! We were never sure if he would be accepted because he injured his knee a few years back. It took many months for us to know if he would be accepted and by or not.”
By March, Greg was officially property of the United States Government and all adoption paperwork was put on hold! “Our social worker explained that the high rate of divorce during deployments was astronomical, and she thought the process would not be fair to an adoptee. We were crushed,” said Jessica. But the couple refused to give up on domestic adoption. They started looking for a more supportive agency.
Stay tuned on Friday for the happy ending!
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Monday, October 31st, 2011
Last month, I profiled Courtney and Patrick, both 36, a courageous and infertile couple who tried for a decade to get pregnant. They subsequently went through foster care training and, after several months, were elated when two boys were placed in their home for fostering. At the time, the couple felt strongly that the birth mother who gave up rights would allow them to adopt her newborn twins.
Good news! The adoption of these twin boys will be finalized on November 19! If you recall, the tiny twins were born last winter and were placed with this unprepared couple wrapped in towels (right from the hospital!) and delivered on a snowy night when they were just days old! Husband Patrick remembers the day vividly now that the happy ending is near:
“While we were waiting, we didn’t leave the house, we didn’t even really talk to each other, we just sat there waiting for the doorbell to ring. Of course, they didn’t actually come until around 10 p.m. that evening — so it was a long day! Jack was so tiny, 4 pounds, 13 ounces, that he came to us wrapped in just a blanket. Jake at least had a onesie on!”
When the legal adoption is finally complete, the couple will have had the boys for 11 months. Patrick says now, “Those first few months were an absolute roller coaster of emotion. On one hand, all our dreams had seemingly come true and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. On the other hand, we knew that until a judge signs off, there was no guarantee they would be ours. That’s something you try not to think about and just focus on those beautiful boys.”
As for the birth mom who placed them into foster care? Wife Courtney emails bio-mom pictures every 4-6 months. After the last batch, bio-mom replied that she’s glad the couple will adopt the boys because she knows they’ll be taken care of and she realizes she could not have provided for them.
Hurray for a happy ending! Tell me your adoption story to help inspire other parents.
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
There are four of us, you’ve probably heard us cackling at the Los Angeles Museum of Art, sipping wine near the Rodin Statue Garden. All members of the media: two writers, a marketing maven and one hot PR chick. We get together monthly (or so) to gossip and motivate each other to try that new belly dancing class, or debate the need for Four Square.
Going around the table, on our second glass of Chablis, I tell my tribe about this exciting adoption-blogging gig for Parents.com. As PR chick launches into a social media plan for Tweeting all week long — generous friends — I happen to look across at *Barbara sitting opposite me.
She is sitting over a half-eaten stuffed jalapeno with tears streaking down her pale face.
Barbara has been trying to get pregnant with her husband for six years. She had health complications and by the time doctors cleared up down below, well, she’s nearly 50.
I am the first to notice Barbra’s hand cupping her tears like a goblet, like a precious offering at the dinner table.
“We’re not going to adopt,” she tells us in a rush. While her husband was willing to take fertility tests, shoot her in the ass with sickening hormones every day, and all that waiting waiting waiting, he is finally not open to adoption. He says looking into adoption now, after all the other infertility disappointments, is just too much.
He says the baby longing and the crushing disappointments are too hard on their marriage. “She’s dying,” he says of his wife.
Tonight over tapas, Barbara says in a too-calm tone: “I can’t talk about this anymore. Let’s move the conversation onward.” It sounded like she is blandly discussing a 401K bond. We all look around the table and fight for control; we’ve been getting no baby updates from our friend for years now.
We all finally raise our glasses to toas. To Barbara. To moving on.
But I cannot help myself. I finally say, “Barbara, you would have been the most absolutely, fucking amazing mother.”
She stops crying.
Join me next week where we discuss how infertility and adoption intertwine.
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
If you tuned in on Monday, I explored the story of Courtney and Patrick, 36, who have battled infertility for all ten years of their marriage. Finally, only last summer, did the IVF costs and eternal dashed hopes lead Courtney to the decision to adopt. Patrick has been open to this decision for years but it took a lot longer for Courtney to catch up!
“I had it in my head that old argument about giving birth to my biological children, blood of my blood kind of thing,” says Courtney today. It took this smart nurse almost a decade to make her decision!
Last summer 2010, the couple Courtney and Patrick earned a foster care license from their Lincoln, Neb. county. They took a 3-hour orientation (as any foster family must) and underwent the 24 hours of hardcore parental training.She says, “We let our assigned resource foster partner know from the very beginning that we were interested in newborns and twins only, and we definitely would adopt any foster children.”
It happened quickly: On January 5, a case worker called to say a potential twin match was made and we waited. And waited for the twins to be released from the hospital in mid-January. “The babes were dropped off one snowy night, we signed four sheets of legal paperwork to foster these twin boys, and then we were finally alone with them!” she says.
Did the new parents feel freaked out? Yep. “We knew next to nothing about these little guys but had a ton of social workers visit, follow-up agency care and the months have passed with now monthly visits from our social workers There is still so much paper work and regulations to formally adopt these two twin boys but overall the foster care experience has been wonderful.”
Courtney also reports, “We’ve had the boys 8 months and I can’t imagine life any other way. I thought of them as mine from the moment I looked at them, despite being told not to do that. That is the one drawback of adopting through foster care; in most cases family reunification is the goal. Our case was a bit different in that there was little chance for reunification because this particular bio mom has six other kids that have been removed from her care over the years.”
Bottom line advice from joyous mom Courtney: “From that first moment, I could not love them any more. Love like this is everything I dreamed it would be; it makes me the woman I am meant to be, the family we were meant to be. All worth it.”
Please tell me your story, and thanks to Courtney and Patrick for their perseverance!
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Monday, September 19th, 2011
I am getting some great stories about adoption, especially wanting to adopt, and I’d love you guys to meet my friend Courtney, a 36-year-old nurse who has battled infertility with her husband for 10 years.
If you’ve tuned in here, you know I feel so strongly about this subject because so many of my 40-ish friends are facing IVF and long-term infertility. I sent out a prod asking readers to help me explain the next step for infertile couples. After the horrid tests, rounds of hormones and the chronic aching disappointment, at what point do you turn to adoption?
What makes a couple move from the heartbreak and desperation of infertility to the hopeful journey into adoption?
Courtney says, “My husband, Patrick, and I have struggled with infertility throughout our entire relationship. In 2008 we were on the verge of moving forward with in-vitro fertilization, but the cost was too prohibitive and we were moving from Indiana to Nebraska.”
After another year with more fertility specialists in Nebraska, Courtney began giving up all hope of motherhood.
Husband Patrick was contacting adoption agencies and getting information while Courtney became overwhelmed with increasingly invasive procedures in hopes of getting pregnant. So Patrick was considering adoption at least a year before the wife. Interesting.
“Cost played a huge part in our choice not to try more vitro,” says Courtney. When the couple explored newborn domestic adoption, cost was still an issue: the fees, the home studies, paying the birth mother’s expenses just felt like too much.
She says, “I was slipping into deep depression that left me doubting I even wanted to stay married; Patrick was living in the hell I was creating with my constant misery.”
From my friends and directly from Courtney, my heart aches for so many couples such as this: Do you have an infertility story that turned to adoption that you’d like me to tell in order to inspire other couples to not give up hope?
Contact me below, and tune in on Wednesday for Part 2: Courtney’s happy ending!
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