What was your wait like?
Adam and I waited for approximately one year to get our beautiful daughter. The wait was difficult. It is always so hard to wait for something that you want so badly. It felt difficult to plan family vacations, holidays, and just the regular "goings on" of life, as we hoped each day that it would be "our day". That being said, we did receive amazing support from Stephanie! She made herself available at a moments notice when I was having a hard day or inquired about an update. She always reminded us that when our baby finally came, that it would be so clear to us why we had been waiting. She was right! I cannot imagine our family with any other baby than our sweet Avery.
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
"The call" was a moment we will not soon forget! We knew that a baby had been born and that our album, along with others, would be shown to the birth mom within 24 hours of Avery's arrival to the world. That 24 hours seem like a lifetime! It was a time spent praying and hoping. We decided not to tell our family or friends that there was the possibility of placement. It is too hard to field the phone calls of all of the hopeful family and friends. When Stephanie's name appeared on my phone at 5:00 PM, we knew our answer was on the other end of the line. I nervously answered saying, "Please say something good!" She promptly replied, "You mean...come right now? Birth mom selected you." I felt frozen. My legs weren't working and nothing was coming out of my mouth. My anxious husband stood next to me with the look of, "Well???" on his face. I finally told Stephanie that I didn't know what to say. She said, "Don't say anything, just get in your car and come to the agency to do some paperwork." Our excitement in that moment is indescribable! We flew over to IPAS and on the way agreed that we still wouldn't call any family or friends until we knew when we would meet our daughter - or when, where, and how they could too. We anticipated that Avery would be at the hospital and we would need to coordinate with them to make these arrangements. As a side note, my mom and sister were waiting for us to get home and have dinner and watch Miss America. Additionally, Adam's mom was waiting for us to call and say that we were home so that they could come by and pick up their dog, who we'd been dog sitting while they were on vacation. When we arrived at IPAS, we were surprised to learn that both Avery and her birth mom were there waiting to meet us!
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
The meeting was very emotional, a flood of many feelings all at once. The joy of meeting our beautiful new baby girl was mixed with sadness for the brave and very sad birth mom before us. I don't think that anybody can prepare you for the moment a woman puts her child in your arms. After a brief meeting with birth mom we were left to savor the sweet moment we had been waiting for. We were overwhelmed with gratitude, excitement, love, and the beauty of our baby girl! This moment seemed as though time was standing still. But, not for long, as both of our phones were chirping with a volume of text messages from family wondering where we were, why we were late, and when they could expect us home. This is when we realized that we were about to deliver the best surprise EVER! We finished up with Stephanie, took a quick photo, and drove away... WITH A BABY! Adam called his mom on our way home to say that they could come get the dog. My mom and sister were already at our house, slightly aggravated at the fact that our delay made for cold tri-tip. As you can imagine, their aggravation faded quickly when we came through the back door with our baby. Seconds later, Adam's mom and step-dad came to the door to find the amazing surprise we had just delivered. Phone calls and emails flew and our house rapidly filled with the many friends and family that had supported us during our wait. Each of them were as excited as were were...almost.
How was the finalization process?
Finalization is kind of a blur. We were so busy with a new baby and our four-year-old son, that I think we almost forgot there was still a little bit more work to do. Gloria kept us on track with paperwork. This is really when we felt the support of IPAS. We adopted or son three years earlier via an independent adoption. That left us doing much of the legal paperwork required to finalize. With IPAS, we were not distracted by the work left in the process. We just followed instructions of sign here, deliver there, etc. What a relief to have this kind of support! When our court date finally came, we were so happy. Our actual finalization with the judge was such a celebration! It is a real sense of accomplishment, a "we all made it" kind of feeling. Having our little family completed is one of the happiest moments of our life. That day is an opportunity to reflect on where you have been, what you have done together, and excitement for what has yet to come.
Are you enjoying parenthood (of a second child through adoption)?
Avery is now 10-months-old and a ball of personality. We can hardly imagine a time when there wasn't four of us. She is crawling, standing with the help of furniture, her brother, or a dog. She says, "Mama" and "Dada" and is the joy of our life, along with her brother, Von. Watching and listening to our children play together is more wonderful than we could have imagined!
Any thing else you would like to share?
We really want to say a heartfelt "thank you" to IPAS for helping us build our family and making tiny miracles happen each day!