Jason and Sara share about their journey with IPAS.
Jason, Sara, and Ethan Freitas with the judge on Finalization Day.
Why did you choose IPAS?
From the second we met with Infant of Prague, we knew this was the agency for us. We had done some research on adoption and it was actually a connection at Valley Teen Ranch that gave us their information. I (Sara) made a call and Gloria was so friendly and helpful. She answered all of my questions and gave me the date of the next orientation. From that moment on, we felt like a part of the IPAS family.
What was your wait like?
Our wait was about seven months long. I will admit that there were times during the waiting process that felt like a lifetime, but now looking back, it really went by rather quickly. We kept ourselves busy with preparing a nursery and reading lots of baby and parenting books. Our niece was born the same month that we turned in our album, so we took that time to be an Auntie and Uncle and to get lots of "practice" in. It is so wonderful to have our niece and our son six months apart.
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
The day we got "the call" was such a blur. I (Sara) worked that morning and then headed to my parents' house to spend time with my mother, sister, and niece. We were watching a movie and my phone rang around 4pm. I didn't recognize the number at first, so I let it go to voicemail. I knew our social worker, Stephanie Schmidt, was out of town and, of course, I had her number programmed in my phone. A voicemail popped up and it was Stephanie Grant telling me to call her back. I ran into a bedroom and she asked me, "How quickly can you and Jason be at the hospital?" I screamed, "What?!" which alerted my mother and sister that something was going on. I ran out to them and screamed, "I have to go! A baby has been born and we have to go to the hospital!" There was a lot of screaming, crying, and jumping up and down. I called Jason and we screamed and cried some more. Luckily, Jason was already home from work, so he rushed over to pick me up and we headed there. It was such a wonderful and memorable day that we will never forget
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
We fell in love instantly. He was fast asleep and precious as can be. I remember thinking, "This is our son. We have a son." It was so wonderful to say that out loud. We spent that entire evening holding him, feeding and changing him. We were back first thing the next morning and spent the entire day in the nursery with him. We couldn't get enough of him! We have some great memories of those days in the nursery. The hospital staff was so helpful and answered many of our first-time parent questions.
How was the finalization process?
The six months flew by. When we met with Stephanie, she went through all of the paperwork with us and we went and filed it down at the courthouse that day. We had arrangements to have a family friend, who is a judge, perform the finalization. So we went directly through her to get on her calendar. She actually took care of a lot of the 'behind the scenes' stuff for us. Unfortunately, she became ill the day of our finalization, so she had another judge step-in for her. He was amazing! He didn't skip a beat with what we had planned for that day. We had a reception with family and friends to celebrate.
Are you enjoying parenthood?
Parenthood is amazing! It is such an honor to be called our son's mommy and daddy. Even on the crazy days, it is still such a wonderful gift. As we are approaching his first birthday, we just can't believe how quickly time flies by. It really feels like it was just yesterday, that we received "the call." We just love watching him grow and learn. We can't imagine our lives without him!
Other thoughts you might like to share?
Infant of Prague is such an amazing agency that was and is a HUGE support to us. We never, for one second, felt like they weren't there for us. Everyone on staff is so encouraging and they always meet you where you're at. It is a family, without a doubt. And, Jason and I - and now Ethan too, feel so blessed to be a part of this family.