Adoption Assistance Agency: Conception within the Heart

Conception within the Heart:

Not being able to have children was a difficult idea to wrap our minds around.  Growing up I was told about the “natural” order of life. School, Marriage, have kids.  It took me a long time before I wanted to have kids.   When I was finally ready I was told I cannot have them.  What a shock to Matt and I.  We knew instantly that adoption was the path we wanted to travel.  Before we went on the journey of adoption both of us had some grieving to do.  Sometimes I felt like damaged goods and other times I knew God had an amazing plan for us.  Throughout the adoption process God showed us his divine plan.  Finally the day had come for Matt and I to meet our baby girl.  What a day it was.

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Our Adoption Story

Our adoption story actually included being picked by birth families three separate times. We waited for months to be chosen the first time and were absolutely thrilled when we were told a couple had chosen us to be the parents of their baby boy, who was to be born in about four months. We met with the biological parents and went to a doctor’s appointment with the biological mom. But, for the next doctor’s appointment I waited and waited at the doctor’s office for the biological mom, who never showed up.

Adoption Assistance Agency had told us during the adoptive parents training that it was possible to be chosen but for the adoption not to be finalized, for a myriad of reasons. However, in their long track record the times this had happened to Adoption Assistance Agency adoptive parents was miniscule. Oddly, my husband and I had a lot of peace about this first adoption not coming to fruition, and we found out later that it was God’s gracious providence protecting us from a potentially difficult situation.

We were chosen again, this time by a couple expecting a baby girl. We really liked this couple and felt blessed to be chosen by them. However, they changed their mind and decided to raise the baby. This felt like a greater loss to us and after this event it was more difficult for us to allow ourselves to feel excited about adopting and to fully embrace the process.

But, however difficult, we kept the faith and God gave us the perfect baby boy! We got a call that a baby had been born and the birth mom had chosen us as the adoptive parents.

Throughout the process Adoption Assistance Agency was supportive and offered caring advice. We were so thankful we had chosen them as our adoption agency and continue to thank God for each of them.

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real perspective

Upon my entrance into the adoption world I couldn’t understand how a woman could give up her baby, at first I thought it might be a case of her just not wanting a child. But NOW… OH have my eyes been opened. I used to think to myself, I could never give up one of my children… How could any woman do that? As if I was a better mother than them. My eyes have been opened to the truth behind an adoption plan though, and it is one of my personal missions to make people know the true heart that goes into one.

It is NOT true. Having known a handful of birthmothers, learned their stories, and observed their hearts. I am no better. There is no difference in their mothering abilities and mine. These women courageously go against this culture and carry, nurture, love, protect and grow their child for 9 months in more difficult circumstances than most of us could imagine and then the lay out sacrificial love and do what they believe to the very best choice for their baby. If I had no other choice, no way to feed and clothe my baby, or was in dangerous circumstances to a child’s well being wouldn’t I do the same? I’m not any better of a mother, I can’t do a “better” job than she could. I have simply by grace been given the gift of a daughter.

A daughter who has been chosen by the Lord to have two mommies. Both of which I fully believe love her so deeply words can’t touch it. A daughter who has been given by grace. Not because I deserve her but because God has chosen to love me and bless me in spite of me. Just as He has chosen to adopt ME as His own. Incredible.

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Adoption Assistance Agency: Grandparents Love

Grandparents love:

Matt and I are so blessed that Juli has three sets of grandparents who think the world of her.  She has little rituals with each of them.  When she goes over the grandma and grandpa’s house she cons grandpa into giving her as many animal crackers as she wants.  Then she climbs up onto the piano bench and in her sweet little voice she  asks grandma to sing with her.  Juli says to her papaw, will you play with me? Papaw gets down on the floor and plays blocks with her.  He teaches her colors, numbers and shapes.  Grannie, reads to Juli and tells her the names of common household items.  Poppi and Gran live out-of-town and talk to Juli over the phone.  Each of them have a their own special relationship with our precious baby girl.

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When we first got our baby we talked about adoption all the time. Mostly it was because all the sudden we had a baby and people were not quite sure where he had come from! They would look at me curiously and say, “I didn’t even know you were pregnant.” So, we would launch into our raves about the blessing of adoption. But, over time, we found ourselves talking about it less and less, probably because everyone was all caught up on our story. And, in the beginning, we thought about it a lot ourselves, about “our adopted son”, but within just a few months it rarely crossed our minds that our son was adopted. He’s just “our son”. Sometimes now, after just ten months, we find ourselves talking about our son’s adoption and it really is almost surprising that at one time we went through the whole adoption process, because it is the most natural thing in the world that he is ours. We love our son very much, and the coolest thing is, he loves us too! He lights up when he sees either one of us. He calls for us when he is sleepy or hungry. And he finds comfort and joy in our hugs and kisses and snuggles. We are a family, brought together by the blessing of adoption, but just a normal family.

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What Chores?!

I have wanted to blog about our adoption experience since November of last year.  The only problem is, I have a baby!  An active, curious, happy baby boy who wants to type when I type and scroll when I scroll.  When I’m sitting at the computer he crawls over and pulls himself up on my leg, begging to sit on my lap.  Because I was 39 years old when we got our beautiful baby, I had had plenty of time over the years to take care of and help raise lots of other babies.  This meant seeing how fast they grow and that they can change so much from one day to the next.  Sometimes they start a new funny face one day and replace it with a completely new face the next.  Each new experience happens so fast and can be so fleeting.  My husband and I have asked each other more than once, “Did we ever get that on tape?!”  So, even before we got our son I had determined I was going to enjoy my time with him.  Therefore, the laundry waits, piled up on the dining table, and the dishes linger on the counter.  And when my son wants to sit on my lap and pound on the keyboard, we do that and laugh instead of writing a long-intended blog.  But, it’s totally worth it.

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Infertility

Infertility is a blessing.  For a lot of people, this is an unimaginable statement, because infertility can also be such a heartbreak.  But my husband and I were always open to the idea of adoption.  So, when we were not able to conceive naturally, even though the doctor said there was nothing physically wrong, we willingly sought out adoption options instead of proceeding with infertility treatments.  My husband and I believe that it was God who put the inspiration to adopt into our minds and then our hearts, that it was always His plan for us and for our family.  And when you really consider what this means, our infertility is just a small part of a much larger, miraculous plan. 

Maggy

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Adoption Assistance Agency: Love At First Sight

Love At First Sight:

When Matt and I laid eyes on our daughter for the first time it was surreal. In the adoption process while you wait for your baby, thoughts  are born.  Thoughts like: What if I do not love my child right away.  This was my fear.  I wanted to be the best Mom I could be and I wanted our daughter to know love from the very second she took a breath on this earth.  Adoption Assistance Agency put this fear to rest for me before Juli was born.  They told us it was natural for parents to grow to love their child.  Love grows in the very act of nurturing them and seeing to their needs.  It happens over time.  I do not know how but I loved Juli at first sight.

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Adoption Assistance Agency:III Our Story

We stopped by Adoption Assistance Agency several times to ask many…many more questions.  Before we knew it, the time had come for us to fill out the adoption application.  What a feeling it was when we submitted our application and life book.  It felt like we just gave birth to the journey of our adoption.  Adoption Assistance Agency was there for us especially when we needed them the most.  They were there during the times we thought we would never be chosen by a birth-mom.  During the time we had questions about the next steps.  They held our hand, they cried with us, they prayed with us, they prayed for us, and educated us.  When the time came to take our baby girl home, we were truly prepared.  We still fumbled like new parents do but we felt  equipped to handle most things.

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Melanie’s Story: Another Precious Birth Parent Adoption Assistance Agency Had The Privilege To Know

Growing up,  I always said I did not want children, but there was something inside telling me I wanted children; this may have been that motherly instinct every girl has.  I had always said that because I have a little brother who I took care of a lot of the time and already felt as though he was mine.  I love to care for him, play with him, and just be there with him he is my little baby.  Whenever he needs anything, he knows to just ask, and I will get it or do it for him, this can be a negative thing as well.  I also babysat very frequently, so I was known as, “The Babysitter” or “The Nanny.”  I loved it though I cared for kids and was always able to return them to their parents, and often that was the best part!  I never thought I would have my own children.  I did not need them I had all different varieties of kids that i could choose to have around or return back to their parents.

In 2005, I became the mother of my own child, a beautiful baby boy.  He immediately became my world.  It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.  To meet this little baby for the first time and have so much love for him.  I was just wrapped around his little fingers immediately and knew I would adore him for the rest of my life, it was almost overwhelming!  I had never felt this way about a child before, not even my little brother whom I thought of as my own.

After being overwhelmed by love, I was suddenly plagued with fear.  It was up to me to provide everything to this little human being that just arrived in this world.  I was 19.  How was I going to do it?  I know I could not depend on his father, who shortly proved that theory to everyone; what was I going to do?  This was a child I was not able to return to his mother, I was his mother!  I finally calmed down and prayed.  I found a sense of relief knowing God would not give me something I could not handle.  I knew that everyday would be difficult, but knowing it was all for my baby, I would get through it.  I went through everyday wondering, “Am I a good mother? Am I doing what’s best for my son?”  I found myself skeptical of my skills as a parent and soon came to realize that it was not helping him in the least.  I decided to live everyday as it came and learn from my mistakes.

In March 2007, two days after my son’s second birthday, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl.  This child really made me question my skills as a parent.  In the weeks before she was born I had spoken with Adoption Assistance Agency and decided an adoption plan would be the best thing for her.  I had learned to call it an adoption plan because saying, “giving up,” was so negative.  I knew in my heart that was a positive thing that needed to be done.  I did not have the capabilities to raise another child by no means.  I knew my son was still too young to know what was going on, and I have every intention of telling him when he’s older about his little sister.   Adoption Assistance Agency was and still played a big part in my decision.  The family she would go to rushed to the hospital to see their new addition. The baby girl was placed in a loving home where she would be named “Nina”.  I had chosen not to see her, knowing of the bond you automatically form with your child when you embrace and see them for the first time.  I wanted her mother to have that with her.  Her mother (this is sometimes very strange to say) was very sweet by giving me a beautiful silver locket with a clipping of “Nina’s” hair in it.  I cried at the gesture.

Knowing I had my son at home gave me strength, which I very much needed at the time.  I know going home after giving birth with no baby was going to be very difficult as a mother and just as a human being in general.  My son’s amazing smile got me through one day at a time.

A week later, I was faced with another very difficult moment.  I had to go to court and formally give up all my parental rights as a parent.  The judge went through the motions during the relinquishment.  Then at the end he spoke in a soothing voice and said, “Melanie, I want you to know you have done an amazing and wonderful thing here today, and I would just like to say think you for giving this baby girl a chance you could not.”  My eyes welled up with tears, and I very quietly said, “Thank you.”  I proceeded out of the courtroom with my caseworker, Colleen, from Adoption Assistance Agency, and my lawyer.  We stopped in the lobby of the courtroom, and they both turned to look at me and said, “Thank you!”  Colleen then gave me a much needed hug.

I did not feel like a horrible person for giving “Nina” a life that I could not.  I know this was the best and probably the most important decision of my life.  I also knew I could live with it.  Some days, I will break down and just cry and wonder if it was “the right thing to do” and then, I stop and know without a doubt it was.  It makes me more human when I do break down.

Two weeks after “Nina” was born I received a phone call from Colleen telling me there were some pictures waiting for me.  Since I had never laid my eyes on “Nina”, I was so excited to see her face.  I rushed over to Adoption Assistance Agency, and sat down with Colleen. She first gave me a scrapbook of the family that they wanted me to have.  I was so happy to learn about these wonderful people, I nearly forgot about the pictures of “Nina”.  Just then, she handed me an envelope with the pictures in it.  I opened it up and just cried!  She was absolutely adorable!  I knew she would become an amazing child and be a joy to her family.

I look at my son and just know without him, I would not have been able to make a decision like I did and be comfortable with it.  He is my strength!  He makes me question a lot of things I do.  Even the simplest things like, loading a dishwasher, I always end up asking myself, “Why are the knives pointing up?  He is gong to end up cutting his finger!”  Then, I promptly turn the knives around.  As humans, we are all faced with many important decisions that affect our own lives, but when you become a parent, you are facing decisions that not only affect you life, but also affect the lives of your children as well.  This is probably the hardest thing I have faced as a mother.  I was so self absorbed in my own life and made decisions that only affected me.  Then all of a sudden I had to make decisions not only for myself, but for my son, it jut threw me for awhile.  Each day, I am faced with a new decision that will affect the both of us, so I make the decision very carefully knowing it will impact us both.

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