We would like share our adoption journeys with you. These adoption experiences have taught me so much and have been the inspiration behind the creation of Forever Family Designs.
My Husband, Steve, and I began the adoption process in September 2005. We looked into many different programs, and decided that the domestic program fit our family the best. We researched many agencies in our state, and finally chose Journeys of the Heart, as we really connected to their domestic program coordinator and we were pleased by their adoption ethics. We contacted Journeys of the Heart in mid-September, and completed all of our Paperwork/Applications by the first of October. After so many months of infertility, it felt good to finally “do” something, so I worked around the clock to get everything completed quickly. Our home study and education classes were both completed in mid-October, and we were officially waiting. We got a call the last week of October saying we had been chosen by an expectant mother due the next week in Hawaii.
We quickly prepared a nursery for our soon to be baby boy and then packed our bags and headed for Honolulu. After spending over a week waiting for the birth and meeting several times with the expectant-family, every thing seemed perfect. We finally got the call that our expectant mother was in labor. We spent that night at the hospital with our coordinator. We saw the baby as soon as he was born and spent time with him and his mom at the hospital. As we prepared to leave for the hospital the morning of the signing, we got a call from our coordinator saying the mother had changed her mind. We were absolutely shocked and heartbroken, as no one saw it coming. Even as the pain was still very vivid that day, we knew it was for the best as there was another child out there that God had planned to be ours.
The day we flew back to Oregon we decided to meet with our agency and let them know we still wanted to stay in the program. That day we learned of a three-month old baby named Gabe. They asked us if we would like to be shown and we spent the next few days praying about it. We called our coordinator that week to tell her we would like to be shown. A week later we found out we were chosen, and two weeks after that we headed back to Portland to pick up our son.
The day we met Gabe we were extremely nervous, as we had never met his birth family and had already been disappointed once, and we knew they could still change their mind. We were absolutely amazed at how well everything went. Gabe’s birth-family was and is amazing, they loved Gabe so much but after trying to parent for a few months, knew an adoption plan would be best for him. Everything went very smooth and an hour later we left with our beautiful son. It was the most exhilarating and wonderful moment to finally be a mom, but it was also heartbreaking to know how painful this was for his first family.
Gabe is now 2 ½ . He has changed our lives, and the love we have for him is beyond what we ever imagined. Truly he was meant to be our son, and we know that we had to walk through a trial in Hawaii to get our precious son and we would do it again in a heartbeat. The most amazing part for us is that Gabe was born before we even started the adoption process.
When Gabe was about 21 months old we contacted Journeys again. We knew we wanted another child, and we did not want the kids to be too far apart in age. We started the application in May 2007, and were officially waiting June 15th. We had planned on it taking a year or so because we already had a child. On June 21st we got the call from Journeys. They said a baby boy had been born that morning and we were chosen to be his parents. We were absolutely shocked, I didn’t even know what to say! We took Gabe to Grandmas, and packed the car seat. My friend went to a baby store and got us a blanket and some clothes, and we drove 3 hours to the hospital to meet our new son.On the way over we made a list of names, and talked about how our lives were about to change.
When we arrived at the hospital we met the birth-parents, and talked with them most of the day. We also met our precious son, the second he was placed in my arms I knew it was meant to be. He was tiny, only 5lbs. 4 oz and seemed so fragile, especially considering that Gabe was 17 lbs when he came home. We talked to his birth-mom about names and she said she loved the name Zach. It happened to be one of the names on our list, so our precious son became Zach. It was really special to us that both Gabe, and Zach’s birth moms named them. We drove home with little Zachey on June 22nd, it was truly an adoption miracle.
Gabe immediately loved his little brother, and always wants to help take care of him. Both of our boys are easy going and quick to smile!
The journey to our third child was a more surprising route. In the summer of 2010 when our boys were 3 and 5, our family temporarily relocated to a university town so my husband could work on his graduate degree. It during our year there that I made a friend who would introduce us to our daughter. Our family of four was on a camping trip when we received a text message asking if we would consider adopting a third child. We drove home to meet our sweet daughter who was nearly 7 months old and being lovingly cared for by her birth mom. Three weeks later, Brooklyn was placed in our arms and we brought her home. It was a bit of a whirlwind but we are so thankful for all the joy she brings to our family! We returned home the summer of 2011 but our year away completely changed our lives forever.
We are so thankful to each of our kids birth families, we have wonderful, open relationships with all them. Their choice is not and was not easy, our greatest joy came at their sorrow. We are thankful they have chosen to remain present in our kids lives. Our kids are now 7, 10 and 12- and they treasure those relationships.