Our story together began in high school. You can almost say we “grew up” together. We always knew we wanted children. We tried fertility treatments; however, due to the impact on my body we soon began talking about adoption.
When we started the adoption journey we were somewhat concerned (maybe even scared) of the trend towards open relationships with birth parents. We listened to people’s fears about the possibility of birth parents showing up at your door, birth parents intruding on our life, etc. Regardless, we decided to move forward cautiously.
The agency that completed our home study gave us a list of adoption agencies to consider. Even though Graceful Adoptions was recommended by our home study agency, as well as our social worker, our search for the “right agency” included a call to every adoption agency on the list, as well as online research. All of them sounded the same. But what bothered us the most is that it didn’t seem like they were invested in OUR adoption.
We were just a number to them, one more family to add to their list.
I’ll never forget my first call to Graceful Adoptions. After explaining why I was calling, the Graceful Adoptions’ representative said, “One of our mothers delivered yesterday and the adoptive parents are calling, may I call you back?” They were more concerned about their existing client than they were about getting a new one. I immediately knew this is the agency I wanted to work with. I wanted Graceful Adoptions in my corner!
We were interviewed by birth parents several times. Each time we were the second choice. We began to get frustrated and to wonder if we would ever be selected or be parents. Karen Nissly, the owner of Graceful Adoptions, kept telling us that this means that the “right” match hasn’t come along and that someday it will all make sense. Each time the mother didn’t select us, Karen told us the same thing. We thought she was just telling us what we wanted to hear. We continued to call Graceful Adoptions regularly to check-in, see if there were any prospects, and to see if we needed to make any changes to our profile.
We soon discovered Karen was right!
On a beautiful Spring day we received a call that another mother wanted to interview us. She had only been working with Graceful Adoptions a week and her due date was less than a month away so they were doing a lot of the work in parallel. Were we willing to talk to her? We agreed. She was amazing! Smart, a little shy, funny and easy to laugh with. We instantly loved her, we knew this was it.
And it was! Four days after we talked to her on the phone we traveled to meet her in person. We had a great couple of days together getting to know her and her other children. It was obvious she loved all her children. We drove home thinking that if we lived in the same city we would be friends with her. We knew she wanted updates because she cared about her child. We already knew our concerns about openness were unfounded.
A week after we returned home from our visit, we got the call that she was in labor. We immediately left. Sure we looked forward to the birth of a child that would become ours; however, we were really excited about spending more time with the mother. The next couple of days we shared in the care of the baby, told stories, and laughed and cried together. It was clear that one of our best days would be one of her hardest. As we all left the hospital together, our hearts ached for this woman we came to know and love.
When we started the adoption process our focus was on a child. We never imagined the experience would be bigger and better than that. What we found was an experience filled with people who we genuinely cared about and who truly cared about us. Graceful Adoptions invests so much in their adoptive parents and are so hands-on throughout the entire process that they really got to know us personally. They do the same with the birth parents. Because of this, they make perfect matches!
For other families going through adoption, I would tell them to have an open mind about the birth parents. Birth parents aren’t anyone to fear, they simply want updates because they love their child. And while the waiting is hard, don’t obsess about it, just enjoy it.
The “right” child will find its way to you. Everything will make sense in the end!
Brook and Adam