Why did you choose IPAS?
We began our journey by searching the internet for adoption agencies. I contacted over 20 agencies and the majority of agencies sounded like they were reading from a script. Then I heard the voice of Gloria R. She was warm, friendly, caring, and she seemed genuine (something I didn't receive from the other phone calls). The next day, Stephanie Grant spoke with me. After our conversation my husband, Dean, and I knew we had found the right agency.
What was your wait like?
We turned in our album, and maybe we were being over zealous, but we thought it would take a few months. We received a few phone calls. For whatever reason, we were not the "chosen" ones. Yes, a lot of emotions were felt including disappointment, fear no one would pick us, frustration because we felt so ready to have a child join our family, and maybe a bit of jealousy that others were being picked and we weren't.
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
I remember "the call" so well. My husband was away on a business trip. Our baby was a preemie, born at 27 weeks. Our social worker needed an answer right away. I said, "Yes - show our album." I went to the gym, and when I returned the mother had chosen us. I left my husband a text to call me. Dean called and said, "We have a baby!" He knew right away. We were both excited and couldn't wait to meet our baby girl.
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
Our baby girl was in the NICU, born at 27 weeks. When we saw her Dean and I thought, "What a miracle!" She was too fragile to hold, but we both knew she was a survivor. Our baby was sucking her fingers and we couldn't believe how well she was doing. Felicity, our social worker, was amazing and provided us with all the information we needed. We drove home (four hrs away) with a sense of delight, joy, anticipation, and a touch of fear. She was so small and there were so many wires and tubes hooked up to her!
How was the finalization process?
IPAS made the finalization process seamless for us. We just had to focus on our children and they took care of all the details. They were meticulous, and the only thing left to do was schedule an appointment with the judge.
Are you enjoying parenthood (of another child)?
We have a four-year-old son (he likes to say 4.5 years). Our son loves his baby sister. He is so proud, and wants to show her off to all his friends. Deven (our son) wakes up every morning and the first thing he wants to do is go into baby Ria's room. As parents there is nothing that makes us happier than our children interacting together.
Other thoughts you might like to share?
IPAS is a phenomenal agency. We live in the Bay Area and they went out of their way to accommodate our hectic schedules. Words can't express our gratitude to IPAS. For all the waiting parents, our words of wisdom to you- we wondered why some babies were not meant to be ours. Now we know, we were waiting for baby Ria to enter our lives, hearts, and family.