We are the parents of three amazing sons, but the path to have them was a roller coaster ride. Faith, patience and perseverance paid off – with help from ANLC.
My husband and I started trying to build a family early into our marriage, but found no reason why we were experiencing difficulties. We ended up using in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and on the third attempt I gave birth to our first son in 2004. Keeping the difficulty we experienced in mind, just seven months later we re-started IVF again in hopes of eventually having a second child.
But after two more years of attempts, with countless medical procedures and miscarriages, we eventually recognized that having another child was immeasurably more important than the natural desire to have that child be our biological offspring. I went through a lot of heartbreak and tears to reach that point. Looking back, I wish I could have reached that decision years earlier. Once we embraced adoption, it made so much sense!
We spoke with many adoption entities and selected Adoption Network Law Center. We completed the paperwork and “went live” in June; just six weeks later came the call that we were waiting for - a birth mother had picked us and she was on her way to the hospital to deliver “our” baby. Sadly, we soon learned she was hiding information about the adoption from the birth father, and when confronted about having him sign off his parental rights, the birth mother withdrew from working with ANLC, thus ending our hopes of adopting that child
Just a month later we received another call from an Advisor about an adoption opportunity, but after reviewing the profile of the birth parents, and doing some research of our own, we found an arrest record for drugs that was not disclosed by the birth parents, and we feared that there might be other issues that had not been disclosed; with a very heavy heart, we declined the opportunity.
Only five weeks later, ANLC called again, and we were thrilled - this situation sounded perfect. The birth mother had placed a baby with ANLC only a year before, so everyone was comfortable working with her. After some odd problems setting up and conducting our initial phone conversation, we learned the birth mother had been accused of promising a baby to more than one family in the past. We finally held our phone conversation with the birth mother and felt reassured that she was committed to working with ANLC, but a few days later, a family from another state called ANLC to see if they had been contacted by the same birth mother - this second family had found the birth mother online and had their own "contract" with her, and had been sending her checks to help her cover expenses. ANLC immediately contacted local authorities; we later learned that both birth parents had been arrested for trying to extort money from one family while promising the baby to another.
Having experienced these disappointing false starts in the adoption process, it would be easy to become discouraged, but we kept our focus, channeling our need to do something into adjustments to our profile and updates to our photos. It would be another four months before we heard back from ANLC with another adoption opportunity. Finally, in February, we received the call that we had been picked by a birth mother and, after speaking with her, we knew we had finally found the right opportunity. We were in touch with our birth mother throughout her last trimester (and even spoke to the birthfather), then flew to California to meet her in person for dinner the night before labor was induced.
Evan was born the following day, and the minute he was placed in our arms (only a few minutes after he was born!), we felt that he belonged to our family. But it was still a very different experience than completing my own pregnancy and giving birth myself, and we had to absorb this different process. Within a few days, the birth parents had signed off on all paperwork, the required waiting period passed and Evan was ours. We stayed in California a total of eight days before we could legally leave with our son. Imagine taking a four-day old baby to Legoland, the beach and out for dinner! We got some strange looks, but we made a special holiday of the trip.
Then within two months after we brought Evan home came a bigger surprise – I was pregnant! Although this pregnancy was considered high-risk and needed some additional care to sustain it, I gave birth to our third son in March the next year. We are certain this would not have been possible had we not adopted Evan first.
We send photos to our birth mother and exchange e-mails twice a year, and I love having the person who chose life for Evan and chose us to become his family, be able to follow his progress, thank us for making him part of our family, and tell me how beautiful our son is.