Toby and Stephanie Paschal are new parents after adopting their daughter in 2014 through Adoption Network Law Center’s 2nd annual pro bono services in honor of National Adoption Month. After years of trying to have a child, they suffered through three rounds of failed fertility treatments before deciding that adoption was the journey they were meant to be on. “We talked about adoption before getting married. Adoption always felt like a natural fit for our family. We believe adoption was always God’s plan for expanding our family.” We checked in with the Paschals almost a year after their precious baby girl was born and here is what they had to say: ANLC: How did you hear about our Pro Bono Services? PASCHALS: We found the contest while researching adoption online. ANLC: Did you have any fears about the adoption process? PASCHALS: Yes. I think anyone going through the adoption process goes through some level of fear during the different stages of the process. We were "thrown a curve ball" on the day we were released from the hospital, and didn't know if our daughter's Birth Father was going to consent to the adoption. Our lawyer was amazing, and handled everything for us. She called us a few hours later to let us know that he had signed all necessary paperwork. ANLC: Describe the call when you found out you’d been chosen by a Birth Mother. PASCHALS: Pure joy! Knowing that we were a step closer to becoming parents was such an overwhelming blessing. The Birth Mother that we were matched with was so sweet. She was just as nervous as we were with the initial call. ANLC: Describe the wait. PASCHALS: We didn't really have a long wait time, so much of it was spent building a relationship with our Birth Mom. ANLC: What was your hospital experience like? PASCHALS: I, Stephanie, got to be in the delivery room. It was such a blessing to be able to watch our daughter, S, be born. I am so thankful for that opportunity. At first, I wasn't really sure what my role was. I knew our Birth Mother, V, needed me as the baby did. After she was born V was so selfless and would remind me to go be with the baby. Due to the number of births at the hospital, we were unable to have our own room, but V allowed us to be in the room with her. It really gave us a great opportunity for all of us to bond. We got to care for the baby together, and those are very special memories that we have to share with S when she’s older. ANLC: What kind of relationship do you have with your Birth Mother now? PASCHALS: We have had a very open relationship with V. She is a treasure in our lives. We have also had ongoing communication with V's extended family. They truly have become an extension of our family. That is one of the great parts of open adoption! ANLC: How has your life changed? PASCHALS: Our lives are filled with so much joy. Our desire to be parents was so deep, and now we are parents to the sweetest little girl. We count our blessings every day. We both still get teary eyed when we look at S. She not only brings joy to us, but to everyone around her. People in grocery stores stop to "talk" to her. She truly is a miracle, and we are so thankful to be her parents. To apply for this year’s Pro Bono Services, ENTER HERE. The last day to enter is November 6, 2015. Good luck!