January 13 – Agency Calls | Mae’s Adoption Journey
Once again, my head was spinning. This wasn’t a new occurrence though. In less than a week there had been several days where the room was spinning. It started with a text and then a meeting. Then it really started spinning after a decision. But after I hung up with our adoption agency the morning after meeting Uncle Nick, I knew this was all for real.
You Ready to Proceed With Adoption?
The previous night, we left meeting Uncle Nick with unsettled feelings. Excited, yet uncertain. The situation called for several more meetings and several more phone calls. Part of me dropped some hope once I realized the “this person needs to call that person” web that was to come. I figured something was bound to fall through. Yet the next day when I recognized the phone number of the adoption agency calling my phone, I new we’d made some progress.
Yet once again, blood surged through my veins. Nick had talked to his sister and she knew that adoption would be the best thing for her precious girl. It didn’t take much convincing, she was already there. She wanted what was best for her, as did Nick. He let her know about us. And she trusted him. So much so that by the next morning, she had already called our adoption agency and set up a meeting with them. They were calling us before noon to fill us in on the morning’s activities.
“Hi Danielle, we’ve already talked with the birth mom and she’s ready to move forward if you are. Are you wanting to move forward in this process and adopt this baby?
I shouldn’t have been surprised at the question. It was one that I’d been asking myself all week. Yet something about having our adoption agency ask it put it in the major leagues. This was the real deal now.
“Yes, we will move forward.”
And with that, we were on our way. I quickly called Mike. He was in the middle of eating lunch with co-workers between classes. I had always tried to avoid calling him during school hours, not wanting to interrupt his teaching. But luckily I caught him at a good time. Making she he knew we had agreed to adopt a kid was sort of big news. Mike’s response was the same as mine. Surprised everything had moved quickly. Still in agreement to move forward. Happy. And probably more than anything, dumbfounded.
Time to Spread the Word A Bit
Granted, I was in shock that this was all real and happening. But I’d had five or six days to know it was coming. It hit me that Mike and I would be becoming parents very quickly, we had a daughter out there … and yet none of our parents knew any of this. So, although I hadn’t quite processed everything yet – I picked up the phone and called my mom. We needed to start telling our parents.
My mom has always been able to take my phone calls at her job. Working in a school gives her the flexibility to put her kids first, even if we are, ahem, nearing 30. So, I called her school and asked the receptionist to find her. I needed to talk to her. In a grand opening statement where I stumbled over my words and such, I basically got out the gist of it: something’s been going on, everything is moving fast, there’s this baby, we’ve been put in line to adopt her, and as of this morning it’s real and looks like it’s happening. Mom’s response gave me a little comfort knowing that my reactions all week didn’t come from nowhere. She was excited, yet quiet, and mostly in shock. I could tell the room was spinning for her, too.
Next up, I needed to tell my dad. Since his office is less than a mile from my house and his birthday had been the previous day, I thought it would be fun to somehow surprise him with a late birthday gift. I waited for Mike to get home from work and we slipped by his office. I’m sure when we walked in he thought we needed to talk about our cars or life insurance or something. But rather, we sat down across from him at his desk and proceeded to give him a gift wrapped frame. And then we began to explain to him that he could put his granddaughter’s photo in there. His eyebrows shot up. We started sharing the story again. Since I’d already had a first run with Mom, this one wasn’t as rough. Plus, Mike chimed in to help. Yet it was still stop-and-go and shocking. My dad is usually pretty calm and collected about everything … well except my colon cancer. So in his usual fashion he sat there, legs crossed (and shaking), hands clasped rested in his lap, head nodding as he took in our story. At first I thought he wasn’t surprised. But then I realized he was just processing. And at the end of our story, he got a big smile on his face. “I’m gonna be a grandpa!”
Telling Mike’s Mom & Dad
Last up, we wanted to tell Mike’s mom & dad together. Since we also lived just down the road from them, we decided to stop by once we knew Mike’s dad would be home from work. We knew this would probably already tip them off that something was going on. Years before we’d had a similar “drop by” experience when we told them we were planning to move to LA. We’d set this scenario up the same way, so they were excited to see us yet anxious to hear the “news” we had for them. I could tell they were hoping it was good. We didn’t mess around – we got right down to it. We began to share the story again about how a few days earlier, we’d received a text and had a few meetings and well – as of this morning – we’d agreed to adopt a baby girl. Reactions were the same. Excitement. Surprise. Little bit of shock. The super fun part was sharing that this little gal was just shy of two weeks younger than my niece. “They can grow up together!” I jumped at the thought. The reality had hit me once again in a whole new way. Holy cow, this was real.
Letting the News Soak In
After a long emotional day, we headed home to recover. We wanted to share our news with so many others, yet were exhausted and drained. We were glad all of our parents knew. We’d told just a handful of friends. We just needed to rest.
Before my eyes took their last blink, I reflected back on the day’s events. All of our parents responded differently (in a good way), yet they were all very similar. Cautiously excited. Surprised and shocked at the timing. Unsure exactly of how to react. Yet happy. And if we were being honest, Mike & I felt the same way.
It hit me once again that the journey of adoption is unique and different. There’s not one way it will ever be done. And most of the process is uncertain and requires great faith. There’s a typical pattern of responses when it comes to pregnancy or birth announcements. Even if they’re a total shock, most of us get what came before (that’s assumed) and what will come after. But with adoption, and especially our journey, there were no assumptions. We had no idea what had come before (only bits and pieces we’d managed to piece together) – and we especially had no idea what would come after. Nothing about adoption was familiar to us. And even if it would have been, each story has its own twists and turns and details to work out. And while I wasn’t saddened nor scared about the unfamiliarity of this process, I was just praying that I felt everything I needed to feel, and that this was right.
All we knew was that our lives were about to change. We handed the legal stuff and the details over to our agency. We asked our closest friends and family to be praying. And with that, we called it a night.
Entry filed under: Biracial Adoption, Burgess Adoption, Maeby, Memoir. Tags: adoption after cancer, adoption journey, adoption journey unique, adoption story, adoption vs pregnancy, biracial adoption, birth mom, fast adoption story, telling parents youre adopting.