Mario and Veronica share about their journey with IPAS.
|Mario Sr., Veronica, and Mario Jr. Mariscal with the judge on Finalization Day.|
Why did you choose IPAS?
We didn't do much research before picking IPAS. When we were coming to the realization that we wanted to expand our family and that adoption was the way we were going to do this, I felt like I was getting lots of signs telling me to do this through IPAS. I learned of different friends and acquaintances who adopted and they had adopted through IPAS. It just seemed like the best choice. Both Mario and I really liked the feeling we got after the first meeting. It has been the best experience for us. We feel like we are part of a family and that we have the support we need.
What was your wait like?
The wait seemed very short for me but long for Mario. We turned in our album in early July and we received the call on October 7th. Mario thought about the baby almost every day during that time. He would make comments about how he was struggling in the wait. I just reminded him it would be closer to a year's wait, so I was extremely surprised when the call came. I was in shock.
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
The call came on a Sunday night around 8 pm. We had some family over to watch a football game and they had just left. We were sitting around the house. I was talking on the cell phone and Mario was watching TV. The home phone rang and we ignored it like we always do. It rang again and maybe even a third call when Mario decided to answer it. It was Stephanie calling to tell us our baby was here. Mario ran to the room were I was and franticly told me it was IPAS. I looked at him and it didn't register at first. He then said, "It's about the baby!" I quickly hung up on my friend and truly it's a blur after that. Mario drove to the hospital and it's a good thing because if I was driving we would have ended up at Kaiser in Fresno, and we needed to be in Visalia. We ran and got in the car when we started to argue about where we were going. I texted Stephanie who confirmed Mario was right and added to pack a bag because we could stay the night with the baby. We pulled back into the driveway and ran into the house. We packed in about five minutes and we were out and on our way. The drive to Visalia was surreal. We had moments of quiet and then moments we couldn't stop talking about how crazy this all was. It seemed like the longest drive to us.
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
The emotions were overwhelming at that moment. We first saw a picture of him that Stephanie sent us during our drive there. He was beautiful. We noticed right away how big his hands were. He seemed big to us from the picture. When we got there we were so nervous. How do you prepare yourself to meet your son? The second we saw him we just cried. Again he was beautiful and so small (he just had, and still has, big hands). We couldn't sleep that night. We were parents and everything changed in that moment. We were so happy.
How was the finalization process?
We thought it was going to be more complicated but it went smoothly once we were able to schedule an appointment. Both our families were there. It's a powerful moment to hold this child you love and have a judge say he is officially yours. We definitely had moments we both wanted to cry.
Are you enjoying parenthood?
Yes, very much so. We love our little guy. He is definitely our biggest blessing. We look at him and can't believe how much we love him. How perfect our lives are because he is our son. We pray the Lord gives us the knowledge and strength we need to be the best parents for him. Don't get us wrong, parenthood is challenging. We don't get to sleep in like before. We don't get to take naps like we did. We feel tired all the time now. Life revolves around MJ but it's funny how we don't mind. Making him giggle is all the reward we need. It's awesome how when one of us leaves to go to the store or some short trip, we get the biggest smile and excitement from him when we return. Like he hasn't seen us in days. It's just the greatest feeling.