We met when we were 14 years old and have been together ever since. High school sweethearts, we got married and had our first of two children a few years after we graduated. Our children are our everything! While we always had what we needed, a couple of wrong turns and all of the sudden our future was unsure.
We were struggling financially, working on our marriage, and we were pregnant. We spent months considering the options. Parent? Abortion? Adoption? It was complicated and we were overwhelmed.
Abortion wasn’t a good decision for our family, we simply couldn’t make that decision. We considered family members to raise our child; unfortunately there wasn’t a good option. We knew there were people who couldn’t have children who could and would give our child a better life. It was the hardest decision we ever made, but we knew it was the right one.
We had no idea what making an adoption plan was about or going to be like. We had heard so many stories, we were nervous. Would we get to select the adoptive parents? Would the adoption agency or the adoptive parents tell us one thing and do another? Would we see the baby after the birth? We had so many questions.
We started our research and started calling adoption agencies. Our first call lasted about 3 minutes tops. They were very straightforward and to the point but they lacked compassion. They took my name and phone number. They seemed distracted. They kept calling us even after we told them we were using a different adoption agency. And each time they called, they asked how much money we were getting. It was insulting, our child was not for sale!
Graceful Adoptions wasn’t anything like the other adoption agencies. Graceful Adoptions was different!
When we first called, we talked to Lacey Jo Burgan, the Adoptive Parent Coordinator. She was so nice and took time to talk to us and to answer our questions. She also said that the owner and service director of Graceful Adoptions would want to talk to us. It was refreshing to know that the adoption agency staff wanted to make sure we were being cared for. They were compassionate and caring. During the conversation we wrote one note, “company built around the birth parents.”
It was so easy to work with Graceful Adoptions. They were always there for us regardless if we had questions or just needed to be comforted. We didn’t know what questions to ask so the staff made sure we understood the options and why each was important to consider. We were involved with every decision and at the end of the day, every decision was ours to make.
While there are a hundred things they did right, there are three that we are forever grateful and will hold close:
1) When we explained that we wanted a closed adoption, they agreed to support us; however, they told us what that means and how it translates into everyday life. Based on the information they shared, we changed our minds. We are so grateful for their honestly. For us, a closed adoption would have been the worst decision we could have made. We will never have to worry how our daughter is doing because we will always know.
2) We had an opportunity to get to know the adoptive parents to make sure they were the right parents to raise our child. First we talked to them on the phone, then they came to visit us. We simply hung out getting to know each other better. We had a couple of meals together; the moms got a pedicure, the dads hung out at a music store which was a common interest. It was so easy. We are grateful that Graceful Adoptions gave us the opportunity to be comfortable with our decision.
3) We would have delivered our baby on the living room floor if it wouldn’t have been for the Graceful Adoptions’ staff. They called one morning to see how we were doing. We explained that I was having gas pains. A few seconds later I had one. They questioned the whole “gas pains” thing. You see, I had been induced with both my other children, I had no idea what natural contractions were like. They began to time my “gas pains.” Without being totally aware of what was really going on, they called the adoptive parents, they ordered and paid for a taxi to take us to the hospital and called the hospital to tell them we were on our way. What I know now that I didn’t know then is that my “gas pains” started 7 minutes 15 seconds apart and when the cab arrived they were 3 minutes 33 seconds apart. Like everything else they did, Graceful Adoptions took care of everything, even our delivery. We were grateful for their support.
We know we made the right decision. Our daughter will have a better life than we can provide with a family we like as individuals, as a couple, and as parents.
For those considering adoption, pregnancy is emotional, but being a parent is scarier. You are always going to have doubts, if you know in your heart you can’t parent at this time, give your child a better life. Make sure you work with an adoption agency that will support you in every possible way. With Graceful Adoptions’ help you will get through it.
Susan and Tom