Why did you choose IPAS?
We had seen an IPAS ad in our church bulletin and called a few years prior just for information. Then we needed some time to think and heal from previous challenges. When we were ready to learn more about the process, it almost seemed meant to be when Miss Gloria answered the phone and had remembered us from so long ago. We researched our county agency and a few others, but IPAS just felt right even though they were out of town.
What was your wait like?
We always say our wait time felt like stages for us. We got everything in order and ready pretty quickly.Then we said we were fine with a little wait time. We knew that it would be a good opportunity to focus on our family and our older daughter. We felt really good about it. But then as the months passed our emotions went from happiness to being depressed then even a little anger, and finally feeling numb to the wait. The longer we waited the more the adoption felt like a far off fairy tale that was never going to happen. We felt more than ready, but we realized we had to recognize the process. We started trying proactive measures like speaking to our priest to get the word out and getting our mini profile on the IPAS website. It felt like we were in a perpetual limbo with an end that we couldn't predict. We ended up waiting about a year and a half before getting "the call."
What was it like to get "the call?" What happened?
It was a Monday morning and Concetta was driving to the store when Ashley called. We didn't think much of the call because we often were kept up to date by Ashley. So Concetta pulled over to talk. Ashley said, "Hi! How are you? Well, I'm calling to let you know that there was a baby born this morning and they picked your family." We have no recollection of anything else! It was all a blur of calling Brad and telling our older daughter and other family members, running to Babies 'R' Us for last minute items like formula and diapers (which we had refused to buy unless there was an actual baby), notifying work and making all of the arrangements! It was unbelievable joy and shock that it was all finally happening!
How did you feel when you saw your baby for the first time?
It all happened so fast but what we all remember was the three of us walking down the long hospital hall to get to the room where the birth mom and baby were waiting. We were all thinking that in just a few minutes our lives were going to change forever! It was like we were in a dream walking down that hall. When we opened the door we were so focused on the birth mom and giving her a hug that we didn't even notice our baby was right there in bed with her! She was of course the most beautiful little baby with sweet delicate features. She was so content and peaceful. We got to hold her and take a few pictures and then we left for the night. We had to stay an extra night for hospital processing. We all laugh about it now because we had not brought any extra clothing with us and we checked into the hotel without anything at all! It was all part of our adventure and our story and it brings a smile to our face each time we think about it!
Now that you have finalized, what would you share with others about the adoption process?
It takes a lot of work to get pregnant, grow a baby for nine months and give birth. It is also a lot of work to go through the process of adoption: take classes; file loads and loads of paperwork; go through finger printing; physicals and back ground checks; home studies; interviews; making an album; and finally the wait. The process is consuming and along the way you will have feelings of elation and also of uncertainty. These are all normal. It is true that once you get that baby in your arms all the waiting disappears from your memory.
What would you like to share with families who are waiting?
It is very hard to wait and we have great sympathy for those families. We pray for all of the waiting families, and for their bundles of joy to come quickly. When people say, "Everything happens for a reason" or "It will all work out the way it's supposed to," we know those words are delivered with good intentions, but they really don't help ease your pain. The wait is at times torturous and there is no way around it. Adoption is not for the weak but certainly for the most gracious of hearts. It is a lot like labor...when it's over and you are filled with joy your memory erases that pain over time.
Other thoughts you might like to share?
Now that we have our beautiful family complete, we can't really remember life when we didn't have them. Adelina and her beautiful birth parents have brought us much joy and taught us a lot about love and sacrifice. We are blessed in so many ways and our lives are definitely more fulfilled. If you are considering adoption, or are already going through the process, it is definitely one of the most beautiful acts of love that you can be a part of. Don't lose your dreams or hope. It will happen and it will be wonderful!