“We would have never made it without all the help and support we got from other adoptive families and birth families who had gone through it (and survived).” Every family’s adoption journey is different with unique circumstances and challenges along the way. And every family needs a different level of support at every stage of their adoption journey. This is one family’s story: “We had been married for 15 years when we finally took the leap into our adoption journey. I had so many fears. Would the baby be healthy? Would the birth mother change her mind at the last minute? Could I handle an open adoption? I wanted to be a mom so badly that I embraced those fears and jumped. Our adoption was anything but easy. A few months after starting our search we got “the call” that someone had picked us. I was elated, only to have my heart broken before the match was official. Then a second and a third disruption happened all in the first year. Each time I cried myself to sleep and wondered if my dream would be realized. Then, nearly two years after our first step, the perfect match found us. A birth family wanted us to be the parents of their miracle. After meeting them I just knew this was it. Our son was born in March of 2014 and has changed our lives in so many ways. My heart is so full of joy it’s nearly impossible to contain. We Skype, text and talk to his birth family frequently, and I consider them family. The waiting, the fear, the uncertainty… they all led to the creation of my family and I wouldn’t trade it or change my story in any way.” Because waiting for a child to arrive during the adoption process can feel isolating, confusing and overwhelming, Adoption Network Law Center’s Client Liaison team created a Mentoring Moms program to give families additional support and friendship as they wait to be chosen by their Birth Mother. We feel that it is important to connect our waiting families with other families that have been down the same adoption road, especially families that are struggling with any part of the adoption process. Our Mentoring Moms are mothers that would like to share their successful adoption story, become a source of love and encouragement to a waiting family, and are available to have a listening ear and an open heart. Our Mentoring Moms want to give back and help make the process easier for Adopting Parents anxiously waiting for their Birth Mother to find them. Many of our Adoptive Mothers have been happy to help and have eagerly signed on to become Mentoring Mom volunteers. They have “walked” in these waiting families’ shoes and know how heartbreaking adoption can sometimes feel. A family who adopted their son with Adoption Network in 2013 said “Adoption is such a crazy journey and we would have never made it as far as we did without all the help and support we got from other adoption families and birth families who had gone through it (and survived). We would be honored to be a resource.” After a mom has signed on to become a volunteer, we create a “Mentoring Moms family album” that we share with hopeful Adopting Parents so they can choose which family they would like to connect with. We will then offer the email address to our waiting moms and dads so they can reach out to the Mentoring Mom volunteer directly. They can communicate via email, phone calls, Skype, etc. Carol Slater, Client Liaison at Adoption Network, summed up the adoption process best when she said, “The adoption process is like being pregnant with a roller coaster of emotions, except you have no baby in your belly, no control, and you don’t even know the due date.” We are excited that our Mentoring Moms are helping to offer faith and reassurance to our hopeful parents.