Why did you choose IPAS?
Our journey to adoption was a long, emotional one. Like many couples, we experienced numerous unsuccessful attempts at conceiving. After being told that we would most likely not be able to conceive even with assisted reproductive techniques, we knew that door was closed. We knew we wanted to be parents so we began doing our research on adoption. We chose IPAS for a couple of reasons. It has a long history in the valley and an esteemed reputation. Also, many moons ago, Karen Spencer's daughter and I went through the teacher credentialing program together at Fresno Pacific and I got to hear even more of the great things that IPAS was
doing for couples wanting to build a family.
What was your wait like?
Every adoptive family's story is different. For us, we finished our adoption classes and all paperwork in the early spring of 2009. By June, we knew we were officially chosen by our birthmother and father and that we were going to have a little girl. A little over two months later, we brought Brielle home. During that time we bought a few things to prepare, just the bare minimum. Not wanting to jinx anything, we held off on any baby showers until after we had our child. Friends of ours, Duncan and Theresa Needham were so generous and gave us many practical things that were outgrown by their youngest daughter Abby Grace.
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
We knew the general time frame of when the baby was due. So, we didn't make any plans and stayed close to home. We had made a plan with the birthmom that the birthdad would text us when they were on their way to the hospital. It didn't play out that way though. We got a call from our social worker early in the morning, letting us know that our birthmom had just been admitted to the hospital but that it would be a little while still. We slowly ate breakfast, got dressed, and headed over to the hospital. We called our parents and let them know that we were going to the hospital and that they should come keep us company while we waited. And there we waited for hours and hours in the main lobby.
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
Our daughter was so cute! We had to wait a long time at the hospital before we were finally able to see her. We had previously made a plan with the birthmom about how she would hand the baby over to us. It didn't play out that way. We were finally allowed to go up and see the baby while she was still in the room with the birthmom, birthdad, and birthgrandma. Being in the room was very awkward. I didn't want to show too much emotion while they were all watching us. We spent just a few minutes with her and then left again for Brielle to spend some last minutes with her birth family before being transferred to the nursery where we were finally able to spend as much time with her as we wanted.
How was the finalization process?
The finalization process just seemed like we were gathering one form after another while jumping through hoops. IPAS does a good job at letting you know what paperwork you need to get from the courthouse. The final home visit was fun to show our social worker, Lisa, how our daughter was progressing.
Are you enjoying parenthood?
We love parenthood! It is so evident that Brielle was destined by God to be our daughter. We enjoy every minute of every day with her! While it was not evident to us while we were going through the disappointment of unsuccessful fertility treatments, God's ultimate plan for us was revealed when we were able to bring Brielle home. We enjoy a good relationship with both birthmom and birthdad and their families. We are very thankful that they all want to continue to be a part of Brielle's life. There are so many more people to spoil her!