Adoption has been a frequently used word in our home since the shortly after my husband and I were married. There was a good chance I would not be able to carry a child, and this was talked about after we were engaged. We just didn’t know the route that would be taken to get there. After being married for a little more than a year we decided it would be time to add a baby to our family. Much to our surprise we became pregnant in short order! As quickly as it happened, it all ended. We would go through this four more times without any answers from doctors. This is where our adoption journey begins!
As a young married couple we did not know anyone that had adopted and really didn’t know where to start. I began using my one hour a day at the library researching on the internet. We also started making phone calls to all the numbers under “adoption” in the yellow pages. After a few months of doing this we had made a decision to sign a contract with an agency in another state that did require us to pay a good lump of money up front. But it was okay, they had great references that we called ourselves and their adoption placements were solid…or so it seemed. Our contract was for two years and there was a 60% chance that we would be matched and have our baby in the first year and a 95% chance at adoption in the two year period. It all sounded good to us, but it was too good to be true. A little over a year into the contract, and failed matches later we decided to cancel the contract and be out the money that we had invested. We walked away praying that all agencies were not this way!
I can tell you now that they are not! It was shortly after this happened that a friend told us about Family to Family Adoptions Inc. I called them that very day! There was not a bump or a glitch after that point in our adoption journey, and it was a short one! Four days after my first phone call to Jennifer, she was calling me back with a situation that was considered “emergency.” There was a birth mother that was due in a little over a week with a healthy baby and they wanted to know if we were interested. Now before getting too far down the road here, I want you all to know that it doesn’t happen this fast for everyone. We were homestudy ready and already had our adoption profile put together and just needed to fax everything to the wonderful ladies at Family to Family.
The birth mother looked over our profile and chose us to be the adoptive parents of her baby. Because of the short time before her due date, we started making preparations right away. The plan was to fly down a few days before her due date to have the chance to meet her and so we could ask each other questions. But that plan didn’t stick, because she had the baby a week early…which puts us at 3 days after we were told about this situation! We very quickly jumped in the car and drove from our Midwest home to Richmond, Texas (a 26 hour drive!) The entire trip the ladies at Family to Family were calling us and keeping us up to the minute on what was happening. They called us when our baby was born, and even kept us up to date on how she was doing until we arrived! Upon arriving in Richmond we were able to meet all the great ladies in the office at Family to Family. They quickly had us do the paperwork that needed to be done so that we could go to the hospital and meet our baby and her birth mother. From the minute we arrived until the minute that I flew home with our baby, there was not a time that I felt alone because the ladies at Family to Family took care of us. They would accompany us to the hospital, help us to know what was helpful and respectful of our birth mother, and almost were able to answer our questions before we knew what to ask! They also helped us out with a place to stay, which was a huge blessing because we had never been to this part of the country before and we had such short notice in regards to planning.
Because of Interstate Compact, I was to stay in Texas until the paperwork was cleared to take our baby out of the state of Texas. My husband was not able to stay the entire week and a half that we needed to be there so I was left with our newborn baby in an unfamiliar place with no transportation. But once again Family to Family stepped up and really helped us out. If I needed to go to the store, the doctor, or even just go grab a bite to eat one of the ladies was always willing to help me out! I remember thinking I was going to run out of diapers the day before I was to fly home and it was after hours but they said to call if I needed anything! So picking up the phone and calling wasn’t an issue, I made the call and they made sure that someone brought me some diapers ASAP! They helped us out with the two visits we had with our daughters birth mom during that week in Texas, and called to check on me if I hadn’t called them!
When we received word that the ICPC paperwork was complete and it was okay to leave the state of Texas, once again the Family to Family team jumped in to help! Jennifer drove my daughter and myself to the airport and helped carry in our luggage. She really went above and beyond anything we could have expected! All of the ladies did! We look back on our adoption through Family to Family and cannot imagine it going any more smoothly than it did! And they have continued to be so kind and helpful with keeping us posted on how things were going when the police were having a difficult time serving the papers to the birth father, and what we needed to do at 6 months to finalize our adoption.
One other thing that really sticks out in my mind is how they treated our daughters birth mother. They loved her, and treated her with respect and kindness every second that they could. She was not just some lady that had a baby, she was a human being with feelings and cares, that to me was one of the most important things I remember!
We look forward to when we are able to grow our family through adoption again. And we will be calling none other than Family to Family Adoptions, Inc.!
See more adoptive family stories here.