Posts tagged ‘adoption journey’

January 12 – Meeting Uncle Nick | Mae’s Adoption Journey

I have to admit that having a slow day that wasn’t full of texts, secret meetings, and big decisions was kind of nice. But after what seemed like a slight pause in a crazy fast race, we were back on the path. A baby was up for adoption. We were first in line to be her parents. And a meeting needed to happen.

We had agreed to meet the uncle, Nick, a few days earlier when we got Scott’s call that adoption was underway. What we couldn’t decide was if we were comfortable meeting the baby yet.

Part of us wanted him to bring her. Something about meeting her in person would make everything feel real.
Yet at the same time, we weren’t ready for that and wanted to wait.
What if this still fell through?
What if we didn’t “hit it off” when we met the uncle?
What if he didn’t like us?

So, fitting our typical pattern – we initially said no, we didn’t want the baby to be at the meeting.
And then we changed our minds, and said OK.
We wanted to meet her.

Trying to Make it Through the Workday

There’s nothing like trying to stay focused with a big meeting planned for the afternoon. And this wasn’t just any meeting. I mean I’d worked in advertising and was used to anticipated afternoon pitches. But this was in a whole new league. This wasn’t a potential client at hand. It was the possibility of a new family. And my opportunity to be a mother.

I had transitioned jobs a few years earlier and worked for our church which allowed me the freedom to process everything happening while “on the clock.” I dabbled in getting a few tasks done but most of the morning was spent talking to my coworkers Jeff and Orion, and getting them caught up with what all had happened the previous three days. It was the first time out of many I would see eyes open wide and jaws drop at the timing and craziness of the story.

Perfect Timing for Activation Papers

The morning actually seemed to go pretty fast and just a few hours before our scheduled meeting time I noticed an email come through from our adoption agency. I hadn’t heard from them in a few weeks and last I knew all of our papers were being processed and we were waiting to go “active.”

Well, as luck would have it, those activation papers arrived just a few hours before our meeting with the uncle. As I opened the email and realized what had just happened, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Good timing, God. Wouldn’t you know that we’d get these papers just hours before we would be meeting a baby who needed a home.” I still wasn’t sure if this was a sign that things would or wouldn’t work out, but I huffed at the irony.

A Memorable First Meeting

Scott & Patti offered up their house as a neutral meeting place. We wanted them there to introduce us to their friend. As I left work, I confirmed with Scott about the meeting and he informed me the baby wouldn’t be there. She had a cold and Nick didn’t want to drag her out into the snow. Slightly bummed initially, I soon became relieved. It was probably best. Emotions from seeing a little baby wouldn’t get in the way of getting some important facts.

Luckily for us, Uncle Nick also tended to run late. Even to life-changing meetings like this one. Mike was coming straight from work, so he arrived as soon as he could. I blamed my getting lost and missing the exit on my uneasiness, yet arrived in time to hug Mike and gather my thoughts before Nick got there.

I heard the rumbles of a big SUV pull up and soon Nick and his daughter were stomping off snow and standing in Scott & Patti’s entryway. His daughter ran off to play with the Simmons’ son, and we were left to begin the awkward introductions. We didn’t leave much time for small talk. Nick slid an ottoman to the middle of the living room and sat right in front of Mike and I who were seated on a love seat, trying to appear madly in love and desperate to be parents. As Scott & Patti tiptoed to the back of the room, we got down to business.

Nick began to tell us about the baby and that he’d been taking care of her for several weeks. He loved her with all of his heart but he knew adoption was going to be the best option for her. He assured us she had been well taken care of and loved since the day she was born.

Although it ran the risk of feeling like a sales pitch, the compassion in Nick’s eyes let us know that this was for real. Scott had already told Nick about us before the meeting so after Nick explained the situation, he asked if we had any questions. And finally I was able to ask about the birth mom.

Big Questions, Surprising Answers

I didn’t waste any time and immediately asked about guardianship and legal custody. Nick explained that his sister (the birth mom) was unable to care for the baby and wanted her to be with Nick. And while he loved this little girl, he knew it wasn’t ultimately best for her, nor for him. He was convinced that she needed an adoptive family. And while he needed to have a conversation with his sister to see if she agreed, he was confident that it would all work out.

Signal: Tires Screech Sound

Have a conversation with her?” That changed up the game a bit.

Up until this point, we didn’t realize that Nick really didn’t have any legal say-so in the baby’s adoption. Sure, he thought his sister would agree with him and be okay with it – but that didn’t guarantee anything. Suddenly this story had taken a twist.

Although relieved to understand the full picture, I began to dread that once again we’d headed down a road that would ultimately lead in disappointment, just like the other opportunities in the past. And part of me wondered if we should close it all down now and head home to sign the activation papers with our agency waiting for us in my inbox.

Staying Tuned…

As we slipped on our coats and scarves, Nick asked if we wanted to see more pictures of the baby. I was so torn, see more pictures of a kid that could or could not be mine? At this point I was so emotionally overwhelmed, I had no idea what I thought. But, not wanting to be rude, I leaned over to see a few more photos of a beautiful baby girl.

Mike and I weren’t sure what to think after this meeting. It hadn’t exactly gone as planned, yet not in a bad way. We realized that the final decision to put this baby up for adoption hadn’t yet been made. The decision maker hadn’t met us, she didn’t even really know about us. And although we were tempted to pass it up before we got too attached and keep things “safe,” we decided to hold out and wait to see what happened with an upcoming conversation Nick was about to have with his sister.

January 12, 2012 at 12:17 am 1 comment

January 8 – The Text | Mae’s Adoption Journey

After a year, I think it has “sunk in” that Mike & I are now parents to the beautiful Miss Mae. Please join me this month as we travel down memory lane. I’ve not yet told our full adoption story in the blog. Join me as I reminisce. Get caught up if you’re still confused about how on earth we became parents. Be encouraged if you too are on the adoption path. And through each day, may God be glorified.

January 8th – Holy Cow – This Will Be Us Soon….

That’s exactly what we were thinking at this time, on this date, last year. Our friends Scott & Amy had just had baby Ayla the previous day and we made a trip to Blue Springs to visit them in the hospital. We pulled up and giggled when we parked in the “ministerial parking” spot. I figured my church job had to pay off somehow.

We entered the maternity ward and located their room. Of course, perfect timing for us, we arrived right during Ayla’s dinner. While we waited for Amy to finish feeding her, we went and waited in a nice waiting room outside of the birthing room suites. We sat there, looking around at the kid toys, posters about breast feeding and pregnant woman fliers and became overwhelmed with the thought that we could soon be in a waiting room just like this one … except instead of waiting to see our friends’ kid – we could be waiting to see our kid.

A Little Background on the Adoption Journey

Leading up to Jan. 9, we had kicked off the adoption process earlier in Fall 2010. We knew we had both heard from the Lord that it was time to begin the process, and so away our application papers went in September 2010. Through the months of Oct-Dec., we worked on our home study. We announced to the world we were adopting through our blog. We had baby room furniture. I’d been shopping for gender-neutral fabrics and the nursery bedding was underway. (All while we tried to wrap our minds around the fact that we’d begun our path to parenthood.) With a completed home study, we planned to go “active” with our adoption agency in a few weeks – which meant that soon pregnant moms could begin “shopping” for us. So sitting in that waiting room was a stark reality of what was to come… and suddenly we realized how awkward it was going to be.

Visiting New Baby, Ignoring the Phone

Once the awkwardness hit us, the room got silent. We were the only ones in there, just staring at the flier about car seat safety. Something about it felt so weird and unnatural. I’d been having feelings creep up that I wasn’t really up for a brand new baby. Brushing it off as fear, I figured this was all part of the adoption process. Parts of it just felt so unnatural. Fear was a natural response.

Luckily, Scott came to get us and led us back to the room in just a few seconds. We were soon caught up with the excitement of a new baby, so small and tiny, so beautiful. We were excited for our friends and took in their beaming faces. It was a great moment. In the midst of meeting Ayla, holding her and getting the “we stopped by the hospital to see the new baby” photo, I began hearing my phone alerts. It was the text message alert so I figured it wasn’t urgent and I’d check my messages once we left the hospital.

New Message: You Want a Kid?

Okay, so the message wasn’t exactly that blunt. However, once we returned to the car, I realized I had a text from our friend Scott. He was asking if he and his wife Patti could talk to Mike and I the next morning before church. I quickly fired back, “Not if you’re leaving the church.” I wasn’t sure what else could be so serious that they’d need to make sure we’d be available to chat the next morning.

A few follow-up texts began to give some context to why Scott & Patti wanted to meet. I knew about Scott’s friend Nick and had just learned days before that he was taking care of his baby niece while also juggling being a single dad. The possibility of adoption for the little girl had come up. She was 3 months old, biracial and in Lee’s Summit. Not knowing if that’s what we were up for, they decided to go for it and text to see if we wanted to even talk about it.

When we realized why Scott & Patti wanted to get together with us, we shrugged it off and thought, “Why not, it won’t hurt anything.” We’d been the “go-to” couple over the past few years for situations that had risen up where a child needed an adoptive family. And after two or three of those situations had fallen through, we’d learned not to get our hopes up. We figured the pregnant-birth-mom-finding-us-through-our-adoption-agency was the right path for us. But, we were always open to what God had in store. Plus, there were some things about this that strangely matched our desires, even if she was already three months old.

After briefly discussing it in the car on the way to get dinner, we decided to respond back, “Sure, we can talk tomorrow…”

And that was that. Never did we expect for it to really go anywhere. But entertaining one last random opportunity like this wouldn’t hurt anything, right?

January 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm 12 comments

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