memories thinking back to when we began our journey to parenthood …
Our journey to parenthood began officially in July of 2005 signing on with an adoption agency here in San Francisco and signing on with a well known and trusted adoption facilitator in the area as well.
After our homestudy was complete we began work on our outreach, telling the world we wanted to be a Mommy & Daddy and we were looking to adopt! Our letters mailed to healthcare professionals, and our website turned on on the internet to help us become a family … The letters and website both were done and up and out by Thanksgiving of 2005.
We started to receive phone calls from our website, but there was one that my husband (who answered the phone) felt connected to. C called in early December and talked to my husband for quite some time that day. He listened and heard her and asked some questions. After he got off the phone, we talked together and wondered could this be the call?
The holidays that year came at us in a rush … and before we knew it C called us back again in early January. We had previously shared with the facilitator we were working with the info we had gotten from C on the first call and then the two of them spoke. At that time, C was very early in her pregnancy (about 8 or 9 weeks) and we were all told this was too early to be considered a ‘match’ (the engagement of prospective adoptive families with an expectant mother) and were to build a relationship and see what transpires.
C lives in Minnesota and we live in California so building a relationship meant phone calls, emails, and instant messaging through YAHOO! We did develop a relationship … all three of us … and before we knew it she was six months into her pregnancy and it was time to meet in person. Arrangements were made for C to come visit us here in our home and to meet with Ellen, our facilitator. I can still remember the date of her trip … April 29, 2006!
Picking her up at the airport was nerve wracking, we did know her through our communications, and we each knew what we looked like as we had all shared many photos … but we were meeting in person for the first time … we were meeting the young woman who might choose us to parent the baby she was carrying … how do you prepare for this meeting? We bought her her favorite flowers that we took to the airport, we also had bought her favorite fragrance of showergel to have in the guest bathroom and when food shopping had her favorite foods and drink! We are a family that food is always part of any kind of celebration so for us that felt right!
Meeting her in person, my nerves melted away … it was like an old friend coming to visit! My husband felt the same way and so did our dog, Cody! We had a great time getting to know each other in person, showing her the sights of San Francisco, having her see the home we hoped to raise her baby in and just spending time together!
By the end of our visit she had officially asked us to be the parents of her baby and asked us to join her for a birthing class and to meet her OB/GYN back in Minnesota the next month. We happily agreed.
In July near the baby’s due date we packed up our car, our dog, and everything but the kitchen sink to be with C when she gave birth and then on July 21, 2006 we met our daughter.
When our first daughter turned one, we began talking again about adding to our family. We found this time we were a little slower to get some of the things done … her birthday is in July and in July of 2007 we asked our agency for an updated homestudy and we finally finished it by February of 2008. By the time we officially re-signed on with Ellen, our adoption facilitator, it was just after June 2008 ….
At the beginning of August 2008, we were called by S having ‘met’ through our facilitator Ellen, to meet in person. S lived an hour south of us and as luck would have it when she called my husband and daughter had just left for their swim lesson so I told her we could meet later in the day.
We drove down to meet S full of excitement and nerves! We knew before meeting S that her baby was due in two weeks … after building a relationship with C for almost seven months this would be very quick and different from our previous experience.
We got down to where she lived a little later than we anticipated and wondered would she care that although we called we were late! So not only were we nervous we felt bad we might be starting off on the wrong foot … with our elder daughter in tow we sat down to get to know each other, all of us sharing how nervous we were … she telling us she had never known or met any adoptive parents before and us sharing we were just nervous meeting her … our nerves and fears subsided and before we knew it we had all been talking, laughing and watching our daughter for over four hours. After our meeting we immediately called our facilitator, Ellen, and shared with her we would be very open to moving forward whatever S decided and unbeknown to us, S phoned Ellen and told her we were it, she had found the family for her baby.
We had two weeks to start developing a relationship that would last all of us a lifetime and we all made haste to get to know each other … we had her over for dinner a few times and we met at a park near to where she lives another and then we got the call …. her water had broken and it was five days before her due date … like with C, we were invited to be at the hospital to support her and meet our newest addition …and on August 22, 2008 our daughter was born.
Our girls are now 7 and 5 years old, we have extended our family not only through each of our daughter’s birth mothers but through their extended families and at the time each girl turned 4 we reconnected with each of their birth fathers. We could not imagine it any other way!
So you never know what a first meeting will bring … but in each of our cases it started what is now a life long relationship with each of our daughter’s families that have seamlessly become part of ours 🙂
Its the memories of where we started to know where we are today that got me thinking about our initial journey to parenthood.