After trying to conceive a biological child for five years, we decided that we would try to adopt a child. We had so many concerns in the beginning. We were worried about the cost and how we would afford the adoption process and still be financially stable enough to comfortably raise a child. We were worried about the process of home study and all of the different background checks and paperwork forms, which seem like they take forever to complete. We were worried about the possibility that the birth parents would seek to regain custody. We were worried about the emotional toll the adoption process would take on us as individuals and a couple.
Then we discovered Graceful Adoptions.
We were referred to Graceful Adoptions by our home study social worker. We wanted an agency that would respect our personal beliefs and would work with us on an open and honest platform. We wanted an agency that truly cared about the welfare of the birth parents. We knew that we didn’t want to go through a large agency who charged insanely high fees and churned out adoption matches like they were a commodity. We wanted an agency that was selective of their clients, on both sides, and only took on a case load which was healthy to manage.
We liked that the staff at Graceful Adoptions are real people who talk to us like real people and listened to our concerns and our hopes and worked towards finding us a birth match that reflected those values.
The waiting was the hardest part. Everyone will tell you that. We worked on staying busy and doing fun things with friends and family so we didn’t focus too much on the wait, but it’s still difficult not to let it seep into your mind.
When an expectant mother wanted to interview us we were really excited and nervous. We had about two days notice before the interview and a general idea of what we were expected to talk about. We were anxious that our personalities wouldn’t be reflected in the interview but we were hopeful that what we had to offer was what the birth mother was looking for. We walked each other through answers to potential questions and spent time talking about a lot of possibilities. It felt like we were going on a job interview.
The actual interview was fantastic. We stopped being nervous within a few minutes. A Graceful Adoptions staff member was on the phone with us and the birth mother and she made sure that everything kept moving and we all had time to talk. Not that we needed much refereeing since it was pretty apparent early on that we all got along. We hit it off fairly quickly and learned that we all had similar hopes for this child and complimentary personalities. We were touched by the birth mother’s assertiveness in the situation and general love for this unborn child. We were able to laugh and cry and it was just an awesome experience.
We had gotten along so well when we had our phone interview that meeting the birth mother felt natural. Graceful Adoptions was fantastic at setting our schedule for the meeting, so we didn’t have to think about entertainment or worry about being neglectful or pushy to do something or not do something. We could honestly just hang out and get to know each other. We just had to focus on talking and being ourselves. It was great.
When the big day came, we were fortunate enough to be invited to the hospital for the delivery. In fact, Sarah was invited by the birth mother to be in the delivery room when the baby was born. It was amazing. We were so lucky to have been invited to be a part of such a personal and intimate experience for this woman. Sarah remembers this screaming baby girl with lots of hair and a very serious look. She was perfect and beautiful and already full of personality.
Other than the awesomeness of the birth itself, we spent three days in the hospital with the birth mother. The hospital was gracious enough to give us our own room, just three doors down. We had all worked out a birth plan before we even got there, so we knew what the birth mother’s wishes were when it came to seeing or caring for the baby and the nurses knew our relationship and our responsibilities as well.
Three days in the hospital gave us all plenty of time to get to know each other and get to know our baby. The birth mother took her own time to see the baby and we were happy to share that time with her. She was nervous about getting too attached to a baby she was committed to placing with us and sensitive of our feelings trying to bond with the baby. We were careful of her emotions, her physical and mental recovery, and her needs to be with or distance herself from the baby.
For a little while we were all feeling each other out, but we quickly got over it and figured out how to spend time with each other and the baby. She let us know when she was ready to see the baby and we were happy to match whatever her comfort level was.
It was an incredible, beautiful, unforgettable experience. Exactly what Graceful Adoptions promised it would be.
Sarah M. and Nate L.