Where are they now? 2012 Pro Bono Winners David & Melissa Willmarth

“The struggle is a part of the story.” This rings true for so many families like the Willmarths, whose adoption story is one of heartbreak and then magnificent healing. David and Melissa Willmarth were the lucky winners of our first annual, 2012 Pro Bono Services in honor of National Adoption Month.

“We tried to have children but were unable to. In 2008, we got a phone call from David’s sister about a friend’s sister who was thinking about placing her baby for adoption. We went through the home study and getting everything ready, but the mother decided to parent the baby. We knew that we had to keep trying because we felt like that is what God was leading us to do.” Deciding not to give up on their dreams of a family of their own, the Willmarths found out about Adoption Network Law Center’s annual pro bono service. .

ANLC: How did you hear about Adoption Network Law Center’s National Adoption Month pro bono service?


ANLC: Did you have any fears about the adoption process?

WILLMARTHS: Yes. Yes. From 2008 – 2012, we had 4 attempts to adopt that didn’t work out. We didn’t want to have to go through the pain again.

ANLC: Describe that call.

WILLMARTHS: Melissa was at work when she got a call about a baby boy that had already been born. I (Melissa) called David to tell him about the baby. David and I were both very nervous but excited at the same time. We were nervous because of the failed adoptions in the past. It was exciting to think this could be the baby for us.

ANLC: How about your hospital experience?

WILLMARTHS: The hospital time was great. We were allowed to keep our son with us the entire time. He felt like he was really ours starting at the hospital because we got to have that time with him.

ANLC: How was your relationship with the Birth Mother?

WILLMARTHS: We only met the Birth Mom at the hospital and talked with her for just a few minutes. The only contact we have now is to send letters and pictures to her yearly.

ANLC: Describe the wait after that.

WILLMARTHS: The wait was only about a week so it wasn’t really that bad. It was nice to have that time with him to bond with him. The wait was nothing like the 5 years had been waiting for a child.

ANLC: How has your life changed?

WILLMARTHS: It has shown us a love that we could never imagine.

ANLC: Did you adopt outside of your race?

WILLMARTHS: Yes we are Caucasian and our son is African American. When we look at our son, we don’t see the color of his skin, we just see our son who we love more than anything. Our friends and families love him as well. We are thankful to have him no matter what race he is.

ANLC: What is your life like now?

MELISSA: Our life now is very busy. There is never a dull moment. Our son has been totally worth the wait and all of the heartache we had to go through to get to where we are now. We are so happy and thankful to have him. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to us.

We are so thankful God led us to Adoption Network Law Center. From the minute our son Brian was placed with us in the hospital until we finalized his adoption, everything went so smoothly. Our failed adoption in 2008 felt so chaotic, but with Brian everything was different. It seemed like everything just fell into place. Whenever we had a question, there was always someone available at Adoption Network Law Center to answer our questions. Everyone at Adoption Network Law Center was so caring and thoughtful from the first minute we started working with all of you. We are so thankful to Adoption Network Law Center for everything you have done for us. Any time anyone asks us about adoption, we always tell them how wonderful Adoption Network Law Center is and how much we enjoyed working with all of you.

To apply for this year’s Pro Bono Services, ENTER HERE. The last day to enter is November 6, 2015. Good luck!

Written by Jason Granillo

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