by Ryan & Daniel (lifelongadoptions.com)
Our Family Was Not Complete
We always knew our family was not complete with just the two of us, but being a same-sex couple, we knew it was going to be challenging to build a family. Adoption has been close to our hearts since Daniel was adopted. He knew the benefits of adopting firsthand, which made our decision to go this route much easier.
Since the timing was right in our lives, we started researching different adoption agencies and found LifeLong Adoptions to be the best fit for us. We immediately got started with them and found the paperwork process to be more than we anticipated. After we muddled through the beginning stages, the waiting game began.
The Painful Beginning
One day while we were both at work, we got notified that an expectant mother wanted to start talking with us. We were so eager to start talking with her; it was surreal. Everything seemed to be going great, and it seemed like a great connection. We FaceTimed that night and exchanged text messages and phone calls back and forth.
From that moment on, we were officially connected with this expectant mother. The holidays were coming up, and we were so excited to share the wonderful news with our friends and family. They were overjoyed about the connection, and they supported us the entire way. As we stayed in contact with her, we started planning a trip to meet her and her sister on Valentine’s Day. Just a few weeks before the trip, we received the devastating phone call that she was deciding to parent.
Thankfully when we received the phone call, we had a trip planned the next day to Hawaii with some of our closest friends. We were extremely grateful for this trip because it allowed us to be surrounded by our friends during this hard time. It let us escape the world at home and just take time for ourselves.
As Our Wounds Were Beginning to Heal
Almost a month had gone by when we received a call from our lawyer informing us that the first expectant mother’s boyfriend was no longer in the picture and she wanted to move ahead again with the adoption plan we had before. It seemed like it was meant to be.
Just as our relationship was forming again, the boyfriend surfaced again and was part of the picture. With our anxiety building, we received the unfortunate call they were once again deciding to parent. We were completely devastated. Just as our old wounds were healing, they got ripped back open again.
Some time had passed when LifeLong reached back out to us to inform us another expectant mother wanted to talk with us. We were completely shocked we were potentially getting chosen again. We started communicating with her, which involved FaceTime and texting all day. There were some red flags that appeared while talking with her, but we wanted this so badly we pushed those aside and continued to talk with her. We weren’t so shocked when she stopped responding to us. The team at LifeLong and we agreed to let her go and move forward with our process.
The Leap of Faith
For about five to six months, we were in a dry spell. We had essentially no activity with expectant mothers. We talked things through and decided to share our adoption journey with the world by making our profile public on our Facebook pages. We were not expecting much to come from this, but we wanted to showcase the profile we had put so much time and effort into. Our profile was public on our Facebook page for about three weeks when we received our life-changing phone call. We had a nurse friend call us about her friend at a different hospital who had a case where they urgently needed a family because the birth mother did not have an adoption plan in place. The nurse we were friends with saw our profile online and asked if she was able to share it with the birth mother. Of course, we said yes.
We immediately contacted LifeLong to tell them our situation. They did such a great job getting the paperwork over to us even though it was over Labor Day weekend. We were a little apprehensive because the birth mother did not receive prenatal care, but we figured a miracle like this does not often happen. Once we got the go-ahead from our lawyers and LifeLong, we started driving to the hospital.
When we got there, they sent us straight into her room. We didn’t know much about her since we had only learned about the situation three hours prior! The minute we introduced ourselves everything just seemed to fall into place. We spent the next two hours getting to know her. We wanted to know so much because we wanted to be able to one day share with our child what his mother was like and where he came from.
The staff at the hospital was outstanding. We were able to have our own room while she was in labor. When it was time to start pushing, the nurse came to our room and asked us if we were ready to be dads! The birth mother wanted us in the room for the delivery and for us to cut the cord. At that moment, shock filled our bodies. We started freaking out because we only had a boy name picked out (and didn’t know the gender of the baby) and then realized we did not have any baby gear. The hospital was so accommodating to our situation and gave us all the essentials we needed.
Finally Becoming Dads
As we entered her hospital room, tears filled our eyes as goosebumps rushed over our bodies. We entered knowing that our lives were about to change forever. We stood by her head as she delivered our beautiful son, Lincoln. Daniel was able to cut the cord, and at that moment, we finally became the fathers we always wanted to be.
When we initially went to the hospital, we decided to not tell our parents what was happening. We were guarding our hearts, and theirs, because of what had happened previously. The day Lincoln was born, we both texted our parents a text that read, “Grandma and Grandpa, are you awake?” They immediately called us, and we got to share our amazing news.
Over the weekend, we spent time getting to know Lincoln’s mother more as she got to know us better as well. She and Ryan went on a long walk around the hospital and discussed her future plans, as well as her involvement in Lincoln’s life. She did such a selfless act, and we could not thank her enough for giving us the gift of finally becoming fathers. We are still in contact with Lincoln’s birth family, and share photos and provide updates on him.
Through all the heartache and anxiety, all we can say is to trust the process. We didn’t have an easy journey, but that does not mean we are not grateful for it. If we did not go through the struggles we did, we would not have Lincoln. At the moment, you start to question if this process is for you, but all you can do is be patient. All the doubts and fears get wiped away the moment you lay eyes on your little one. Know that this process works and that you have an amazing team guiding you through your journey to become parents.