Jacqueline's Story

I was completely panicked when I found out I was pregnant after a birth control defect. My boyfriend and I decided we were not in a good place to be parents. We discussed all of our options. To raise a baby together, abortion or adoption. My family even offered to help me raise the baby.

I cried for days and was completely panicked. My relationship fell apart and abortion was not an option to me personally. I started to research an endless amount of adoption types and agencies. I came across Graceful Adoptions and for the first time, I felt calm.

The families looking to adopt seemed so warm. I appreciated the fact they had been through background checks, financial screenings, home checks, and training. I also liked that there was no “typical birth mom.” I’m a 30-year old full-time working professional in D.C. who travels and is getting ready to start a Master’s Degree. Parenting was never in my plan. We had taken precautions. Did I mention I was panicked?

Graceful Adoptions also offered more support to the birth parents than any other agency I compared them to. They helped me by providing a wonderful lawyer, support, counseling, medical and expense coverage. I immediately had a team of people in my corner that helped me navigate through each step of the process. They were always available to answer every question at any time, and have never failed to be there for me. There was never any judgement, just support.

My boyfriend and I decided adoption would be the best decision.
• She would have two loving parents, not just me as a single full-time working mom.
• She would have a stay-at-home mom.
• She would have better opportunities for education (they’ve already started saving for her college!)
• She would have opportunities to travel.
• She would be loved unconditionally by people who wanted and loved her before she was even born.

I called Graceful Adoptions and had several conversations with Karen. She took the time to really listen to what I wanted. I had a semi-open adoption with my birth mom, I knew who she was, had a heartfelt letter from her and a necklace. I met her and the rest of my biological family when I turned 18 and I cherish the amazing relationship I now have with her and the rest of my family.

As much of a wonderful experience as it was, I didn’t want my daughter to ever feel abandoned or unloved. I wanted her to know me, to know why I chose adoption for her and to always be able to reach out if she ever had a question.

I told Karen ideally I wanted an open adoption with regular updates and annual visits. She took all the information I gave her and sent me several profiles of families. My boyfriend and I looked at them separately and came to the same agreement on the couple we would like to talk to. I never heard from him after that.

I was nervous when I interviewed one of the couples on the phone, they were perfect. There wasn’t a single question they answered that made me pause for concern. They were funny, quirky and answered the questions in the exact way I would have. It showed me that Graceful Adoptions really listens to what you are looking for and takes the time to find the best match.

The couple flew out to D.C. a few weeks later. We met for dinner the first night, had lunch and walked around an artist gallery the next day. They met my family the third day and at that point they felt like family too.

During the pregnancy and through each step I had the support of Graceful Adoptions, their counseling services and legal advice. They handled so many things that would have just overwhelmed me. I was working full-time, going to endless doctor’s appointments and navigating my way through the adoption process while dealing with the end of a three year relationship and family medical emergencies. It was such a relief to have such a wonderful team of people to reach out to.

We established a communications plan for the future, I filled out documents so that my daughter would have as much medical and social history about me as possible, we even put together a hospital plan. There were so many things mentally and physically Graceful Adoptions helped prepare me for.

I will forever cherish the time I got to spend with my daughter and her adoptive parents in the hospital. I had the opportunity to watch them fall in love deeply and instantly. They helped me through my C-section recovery, they would care for our daughter while I was sleeping or eating but also gave me time alone with her. We exchanged gifts and I gave them a letter expressing my hopes and dreams for them as a family. Putting my daughter in the car seat to go home with them was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I knew she was always meant to be theirs, they were an answer to a prayer.

I had an opportunity to have dinner with my daughter and her parents before they flew back home. It was wonderful to get to see them as a family. They high-five before diaper changes and her dad sings to her the names of all the people who love her. It’s a wonderfully long song. We set up a private Facebook page to exchange photos and share updates. I can’t wait until our first visit. I miss my daughter terribly, but I would have never been able to provide the life and love she has with her parents. I never would have found her parents without Graceful Adoptions.

Jacqueline L.
Alexandria, VA