In 2015 I began to write at Prayer Wine Chocolate. One of the main reasons I started to blog was to share my husband and I’s “road less traveled”.
It was the beginning of what we thought would be our second adoption journey (it ended up being our second and third adoption journey!).
We became the luckiest parents in the world when we adopted our oldest son. Taking that road involved carrying the cross of infertility and entering a path of lots of choices and tons of unknowns. We began our road to adoption not knowing where we were being called to adopt from (international or domestic). Prayer and faith were major guides, our family and friends were an incredible support system. It was in those years that we learned a lot about adoption. For our son’s adoption, we used an agency and decided to adopt from the United States. We saved money for years while both of us worked full-time. We were blessed with a baby boy in the summer of 2012. Our hearts were filled with so much joy and I wouldn’t be surprised if they physically grew bigger! God made me a mommy and my husband, Matt, a daddy. So many prayers were answered.
But our prayers were always to have children. We always wanted to have more than one child. We felt the greatest gift we could ever give our son would be at least one sibling. For a couple years though, we didn’t pursue another adoption. We loved and cared for our son. My husband and I decided it would be in our family’s best interest for me to resign from my teaching career and become a stay-at-home mom. This decision changed our financial situation drastically . . . but God always provided.
When our son was about 2 1/2 we started to discuss our next adoption plan. We knew that our income and financial status had changed and that going with an agency was not in the budget.
We also believed in our hearts that God always provides.
Personally, I had heard story after story of how people adopted privately. I heard how one person knew another person that knew someone who was pregnant and considering adoption for her unborn child. These connections were made without the help of an agency (which on average charge potential adoptive parents more than $30,000). Some of these situations took place long before social media.
I believed we could make a connection without the help of an agency.
I wanted to document all the steps we took to make our adoption happen in the hopes to help other couples like us. We believe that many couples would make amazing parents – but do not have the amount of money adoption agencies require to begin the process.
My first few blog posts documented how we started what we thought we be our second adoption journey. The first post I wrote was titled Pursuing an Adoption Without An Agency
That post was so thorough I realized I would have to give more details, connections and ideas I had in a second post, which I titled:
It took about three years . . . here is what we did right:
We relied on faith.
I can not emphasize how important prayer is in this journey. Matt and I prayed that God would bring us more children. We prayed a novena to Saint Therese‘, we prayed the Rosary and we prayed the Spiritual Adoption Prayer.
Each of these prayers are truly powerful. When we received the call about our twins being born, we were in the 7th month of praying for a boy and a girl.
This was our third round of praying the Spiritual Adoption prayer as a family. It was the first time we ever spiritually adopted twins – let alone a boy and a girl.
We prayed the Spiritual Adoption Prayer before dinner each night. Our twins were born at dinner time on a Wednesday. That night, the skies were blue and pink at sunset. I was so in awe of the sky that night I took a picture of it and posted it on my Instagram account.
Relying on faith was not just constant prayer, but trusting God every time we paid for our home study – at first to get it completed initially and also to get it updated each year. We relied on faith knowing that God would bring us our children. We didn’t know if they would be healthy, we didn’t know if they would look like us, we didn’t know if they would be born in our state or across the country. We let God take care of the details. His work surpassed our dreams. His love is unmeasurable.
We Completed Our Home Study
We were “matched” with our twins on their birthday!!!!
The paperwork required for a home study typically takes longer than a month to process – if we did not have our home study complete, the twins would not have been permitted to come home with us when they did (at 3 days old).
In fact, there is much more to this story. A lot happened in the three days between their birth and release from the hospital.
The fact that another person did not have a completed study was also a factor in what was ultimately divine providence.
“Stork drops”, as this kind of quick match at birth is sometimes referred, are not uncommon. Some women go into labor with adoption on her heart and mind, but no plan. It’s best to be ready for a baby at any hour!
We didn’t even have a crib or bassinet set up! You might want to have one ready!! Here is a best seller from Amazon: Baby Bassinet
We Did NOT Give Up after a Year of Waiting
We completed our home study in January of 2015. In our state, after your home study is a year old the law requires that it is updated in order to remain valid. So then 2016 rolled around, we had to pay fees to both update the home study and re-apply for several clearances (child abuse, criminal, FBI fingerprints, etc.)
. We had some leads one possible match, but the mother chose to parent. When that mom chose to parent I was happy for her, but – it’s such an emotional journey and it can really take a toll on you and your spouse. We chose not to give up though.
Then January of 2017 came, and we updated our paperwork again. At that point we started looking into a special needs adoption agency and re-considering foster care. We were in the midst of considering those roads when our youngest son and daughter were born. We spent a good amount of time waiting – and we are not “young”. It was all totally worth it!
It’s amazing what happened during the wait – the same month the twins were born, my first book was published (Be Yourself: A Catholic Journal for Girls) !! I still can’t believe it somedays!!!
We were open about our hope to adopt we told EVERYONE
We let everyone know we were hoping to adopt again. We told friends, strangers, acquaintances, family members, hair dressers, etc.
We told people in person and through social media.
Our connection was made – now try to follow this – through a hair stylist I went to randomly one day in February.
I went to Ulta to get my hair done. I met a young new hair dresser who was so sweet and incredibly good at doing my hair. As she combed and curled, we chatted. It started out about “This is Us”, and I shared with her our hope to adopt again. I told her about our sweet son. She told me her mom was adopted – and that she was a labor and delivery nurse. I immediately asked if she could tell her mom about my husband and I and keep us in mind if she ever heard of anyone considering adoption. She did . . . and that is how we became our twins’ parents. We have yet to meet the hairdresser’s mom who connected us, but we certainly plan on it! – update, we met her – see a pic I posted on Instagram!!
When I made that connection with Sarah (the hairdresser) I didn’t have our adoption profile I usually brought everywhere. I did, however, have my prayerwinechocolate.com business card. That business card enabled Sarah to get a hold of me the day the twins were born. Make sure you tell everyone – and make sure they have a way to get a hold of you when they hear of a baby – or babies – that need a family!
We Chose the Right Attorney
By talking to other families that adopted, we were introduced to our adoption attorney. He was not the first adoption attorney we met or worked with – but, he is the best. When Matt and I got our home study done we reached out to Jay Ginsburg of Adoption Advocates. He spoke to me with kindness, hope and patience. He assured me that I could call him any time and with any questions. He never charged us for calling him. He never charged us when he spoke with an expectant mother who was considering us as potential adoptive parents. He let us know what he would do once we were matched and how much it would cost. Jay and his assistant Genevieve rooted for us while we waited, and truly were happy for our family when we finally finalized.
I definitely recommend finding an adoption parent support group in your area. Find out which attorney is held in high esteem, and make a connection with him or her.
Adoption is overwhelming when you first start the journey. It’s a great idea to look at adoption agencies in your area and see if they offer “free information sessions”. Of course those agencies hope you sign up – but many do offer these for couples just getting started. We highly recommend you go to one or two!
You can get this question sheet for free by clicking here! (It is #10!)