Tell us about your adoption journey!
The night he was born!
In court for finalization.
The little boy who has my heart! This was just about a week ago.
Okay here goes:
Shaleigh: Dan and I married in 1998 and we tried to have kids but nothing happened. Finally we decided to do adoption. A friend of the family knew about this girl who wanted to give her baby up. We got a private homestudy done and was all prepared and she decided to keep it. We heard about a seminar about how you could afford adoption and went. We went around the room to the other agencies and asked each one if they took a private homestudy and one said yes....LifeTree Adoption Agency out of Dallas. We paid our fee and started the process. We put together a scrapbook and started the waiting game. 11 months later I got a phone call at work on the 21st of April at 2:00 asking what we thought about hispanic babies. My reply was they deserved as much love as the rest. They said come and get your daughter. You can imagine my surprise and the tears that ran down my cheeks. The whole hospital (my work) was so excited for us and could hardly wait to meet her. We began the long journey (500 miles) to get her. We got to the hospital and they took us to a room and went to get the little girl for us. Unfortunately, we never got to meet the birth mom she didn't want to see Shaleigh and didn't want to meet us...we do have a picture of her and her sons for when Shaleigh asks about them. We began our journey home with a day old little girl.
Cody: We decided that we didn't want Shaleigh to be an only child so when she turned 2 we started the adoption process all over again with a local agency. After 3 years of waiting and praying thinking that we would never get another child we got that phone call again at work at 10:00 in the morning on the 20th of April. They had another agency out of Abilene with a little boy they were looking for a family for him. He had several health problems when he was born and the birth mom took her time picking from their selection. We told them they could present our profile and we just blew it off until they called and told me that the mom had picked us. Cody was 2 months old at the time and we traveled to Abilene to get him. At the time he was living with a foster family through the agency and we did get to meet the birth mom and hope to have a good relationship with her.
Would I adopt more kids...yes in a heart beat. Probably won't because they cost us so much. I don't know if I could adopt through the state...I think it would break my heart if we had some and then lost them.
Shaleigh (4/21/06) Blessings Cody (3/1/11)
I cant wait to read the rest of these! Will read them later today (need to get the girls going for the day). Thank you so much for sharing in advance...beautiful families!
Here's a long one for you (I'm going to copy/paste my blog post)
My husband and I always talked about adopting a child who needed a family. We thought, if we can’t have kids of our own then we will adopt. Even if we can have kids of our own, maybe we will still adopt. After the birth of our second son it became clear that going through another pregnancy was not going to be good for me or our family. My doctor told me not to risk it, that my health was at stake. But we wanted another child. Well, here was our chance to adopt!
We chose to adopt a child out of foster care. We found an adoption agency that places foster children into adoptive homes. We went through all of the training, the homestudy, and all of the waiting. We were open to adopting one or two children (there are lots of sibling groups needing homes) between the ages of 0-5 years old. I knew that I really wanted to breastfeed another baby. I also knew that it was much more likely that we would get a toddler. There was also the issue of would it be okay to breastfeed a foster child? Would I just not tell anyone and do it anyway?
Either way I spent hours researching adoptive breastfeeding. I joined adoptive breastfeeding discussion boards like Ask Lenore and Four Friends. I read every book on the subject, including Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation. I read the article Foster Breastfeeding over and over. I tracked down foster moms who had breastfed their foster babies in California (some successfully, and one who described a baby being taken from her home after the baby’s doctor “turned her in”).
On Monday July 6, 2009, we drove to South Lake Tahoe (about a 2 hour drive) to meet with a social worker. We were one of a few families they were considering placing a newborn girl with. We knew that the baby was a “safe surrender” baby, and that she was born premature. They had already asked if we would be able to go stay in Reno (where she was in the hospital) so that we could have daily visits with her in the NICU until she was ready to come home. It would be a few more weeks until she was ready.
We learned at that meeting that we had been chosen to bring her home if we wanted. Also, the hospital had just called and she was ready to go home! The social worker asked if we could go out to Reno, spend the night in the hospital with the baby, and take her home the next day. Of course we said yes (and I cried, a lot!).
At one point in the meeting the social worker looked at me and asked, “Are you going to breastfeed her?” For a moment I wondered if this was a trick question. My heart skipped a beat. But it wasn’t a trick. “We were so excited to see that you are aLa Leche League Leader, and were hoping that you would plan to breastfeed her.” I knew this baby needed to be breastfed and I wasn’t going to have to do it “behind closed doors” as many fost/adopt moms told me they did.
I told them that I would if I was allowed. They couldn’t think of any reason why not, but decided that we would not talk about it any more, or put it in writing anywhere. You just never know how someone might react. People can be weird about breastfeeding.
In that meeting we also learned that this little baby was a bit of a miracle. All of the doctors and nurses at the hospital could not understand why she was alive and doing so well. She was born in a campground in the mountains above Lake Tahoe. Her birth mother did not know she was pregnant. In fact she did not know she was giving birth until she heard the baby cry. The birth mother was taken to a local hospital while the baby was flown to the NICU in Reno. To this day I don’t know if the birth mom ever saw the baby, or even knows if it is a boy or a girl. She gave very little information at the hospital when she surrendered the baby (I won’t get into the paperwork mess that her in one hospital and the baby in another at the time of surrender lead to). She said that she drank alcohol about every other week and smoked a half a pack of cigarettes a day. She told them she did no illegal drugs, however she tested positive for THC (as well as alcohol) at the hospital after the birth.
The baby weighed 3 lbs 2.8 ounces at birth. She was exposed and unreachable by rescuers for 30-45 minutes after the birth. (Even a full term newborn can quickly succumb to hypothermia right after birth, not to mention a 3 lb baby.) At first they expected she whould be in the NICU for about 2 months. She surprised everyone when she needed no help breathing and was quickly eating and gaining weight.
When we went to meet her at the hospital she was 17 days old. The NICU nurses were very nice. They had all “adopted” her temporarily. It was clear that she was a very special baby to all of them. However, she was exclusively bottle-fed formula that whole time and I was wanting to breastfeed her. I was told by the NICU nurses to “just shove it in there” when I held the bottle nipple to her mouth, waiting for her to open like she would for the breast. I was shown the “right” way to hold her and give her the bottle, with her on my lap, away from my body.She was to be fed on a strict every 3 hours schedule. We were told to not hold her too much. “You can’t hold her so much like that when you get her home. You need to put her down so that she can sleep. She really needs to rest.” I smiled and nodded, knowing that we would be leaving in a matter of hours and that when we got home this baby would not get put down for the next several months.
The NICU doctor told us that we MUST keep her on the special 22 calories per ounce formula until she was 12 months old, no matter what her pediatrician said, no matter how well she was growing. Again I smiled and nodded, knowing full well I was going to do everything in my power to get her off of this formula. I had my own “special formula” in mind for her.
We gave her a name we had picked out for a baby girl years earlier. The next morning when we took her home she weighed 4 lbs. 0.8 ounces.
When we got home I called my LLL co-leader and she drove into town and up the mountain to my house to bring me a hospital grade, Medela Symphony breast pump and a Starter SNS. I needed to get started on bringing in a milk supply! I also went on-line and ordered a Lact-Aid, the at-breast supplementer of choice of adoptive moms. On-line I also ordered domperidone (a prescription that has the side effect of increasing prolactin levels, that is not available in the US) from a pharmacy in New Zealand.
I took my baby up to my room and lay back on the pillows on my bed. I took off my shirt and put her in only a diaper. I put her warm, tiny little body on my bare chest. She wasted no time. She threw herself down and latched onto my right breast. She started sucking and her body completely relaxed. She was home. She had found her mommy. Now, I just needed to make some milk!
The first few weeks I tried to put formula in the Starter SNS and then the Lact-Aid and feed her at the breast. She could latch on great, but her suck was weak and she could not get any of the formula through the tube. I went ahead and got a full sizedSNS to try as, unlike the Lact-Aid, liquid would flow out just with gravity. I bottle fed, and then tried the SNS a couple of times a day. Eventually she could get an ounce from the SNS. Gradually I increased the number of feedings at the breast. Soon she could nurse with the Lact-Aid and get formula from that as well.
After about a month I did all of the daytime feedings with the Lact-Aid. I ordered more parts so that I only needed to wash and prepare the Lact-Aid supplies once a day. Soon I fed with the Lact-Aid around the clock and completely eliminated all bottles. I stopped pumping at this point, as she was nursing very frequently. I encouraged her to nurse for comfort, or for what little milk she could get between formula feedings.
She was such a good little nurser! She would nurse for a while on one breast, then let go and move to the other side. This is what breastfed babies will do naturally after finishing one breast, but I had to move the tube over to the other side so that she could keep eating. She would nurse and nurse for hours, even when she was getting very little milk. We would often take “nursing vacation” days when Papa took her big brothers out for the day. I carefully watched her weight gain to make sure I wasn’t being too stingy with the formula. I wanted to give her the smallest amount she needed so that she would nurse more and get more from me to help stimulate my supply.
Soon I was able to nurse her first thing in the morning and satisfy her. I would just keep nursing her until it became so frequent that it was clear she needed some formula.I was so excited when I realized I could go from about 3am until 10 am without using formula. Then I could go until 11am, then 1pm, then 3pm! Before I knew it she would get formula at about 2 am and I didn’t need to give more until about 4 in the afternoon. I could go out of the house with her all morning and not need to bring bags of formula! I was exclusively breastfeeding for more than half the day! She soon gave up her pacifier that she came home from the hospital with. Once you have the real thing, no substitutes will do!
When it got to the point that she needed two, 2-4 ounce servings of formula in the evening I stopped using the Lact-Aid. If I had to fill one more bag or clean out the tubing one more time I was going to go crazy!! She was 5 months old when she was only breastfeeding with the exception of two bottles of formula in the evening, getting a total of 4-8 ounces per day. She would nurse both before and after the bottles of formula. I really wanted to breastfeed exclusively, but this was pretty darn good!
At 6 months old I started to offer her solid foods. She LOVED them! She was onWIC and they gave her an obscene amount of jars of fruits and vegetables and boxes of baby cereal. She gobbled it all up. Within a week we had dropped one serving of formula and the next week we dropped the last one. She was now EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED! (Well, along with some solids, but close enough!)She never had a bottle again. In fact, the one time I left her at 9 months old for a few hours, she would have nothing to do with a bottle.
I thought that when she turned one year I would stop taking the domperidone. As I tried to wean off of it my supply really dropped. Baby got pretty frustrated. So, I did some more research and decided it was safe for me to continue to take thedomperidone longer and ordered another 6 month supply. Making More Milkdescribes a study showing no adverse effects for people taking 120 mg/day for over 10 years, and although for a while I took as much as 160 mg/day, I am down to only 90 mg/day.
At 15 months old she is still going strong.I really enjoy nursing her to sleep at nap time and bedtime. I love cuddling in bed with her early in the morning and hearing her gulp down my milk. I can’t imagine stopping any time soon.
When I breastfed my boys my goal was to nurse them for at least two years, as this is the suggested minimum by the World Health Organization. I learned about so many benefits of breastfeeding well into toddlerhood, that I really wanted to do this. Sadly, I only nursed my boys 14 months each. We ended early for different reasons with each, but both times I was disappointed that I did not make my goal. I still feel like I let them down, even though I know that I did the best I could at the time with the given circumstances. I am hopeful that I can nurse my daughter at least 2 years, and as long as she wants. I got another chance.
I am single and have always wanted children but did not want to bring children into this world without two parents and I have never found anyone who I wanted to marry. At age 39, I decided to start the process and become a foster parent with the option of adopting. I had one short term placement but May 3 of 2006, I got a biracial sibling group of 2. They were with me for two years as foster children, then on the last day of April 2008, bmom's rights were terminated. My DD (the oldest) was then free for adoption and was subsequently adopted on August 31, 2008. We had to wait forever for her original birth certificate from another state so it took months longer than it should have. My DS had to wait until we could go back to court to terminate bdad's rights and then he was adopted Jan 31, 2009.
About a year after my husband and I were married in 1991, we found out I was pregnant. Two months into the pregnancy, I went in for an ultrasound and the u.s.tech couldn't find a heartbeat. I was devestated. I was scheduled to have a D&C to remove the fetus. Afterwards, I was so depressed...I cried all the time. Finally, a month or so later, I climbed out of my "funk" and we started trying again. When I say "trying", I don't mean the conventional "way" of trying...there were fertility issues involved, so we were attempting pregnancy through artifical insemination. We tried off and on over the next 9 years, never succeeding in another pregnancy. We finally decided it just wasn't in the cards for us to have biological children.
My husband is nearly 18 years older than I am and has two adult children. When his son, "J", was about 20, he got married to "H" in October '94. They conceived within a month of getting married and on August 16, 1995 our grandson was born. H was very young when they were married and was more interested in going out and partying than staying home taking care of a baby. They were divorced shortly after he was born. J had no idea what he was going to do. He couldn't take care of a baby on his own, so J asked his grandma to care for "C" till he could get back on his feet. Great Grandma took the baby for about 3 months when she realized she was just not able to care for a baby either. So, we were asked to take baby C. He was 11 months old when he came to live with us. We had a difficult time at first, cuz he had formed a strong bond with his great grandma, but he soon came to love his grandpa and I like a "mom and dad". He even started to call me Momma instead of Grandma. We had C till he was almost 6 years old, when his dad, J, decided he was ready to take him back. BROKE MY HEART!!! I cried so hard the day he moved out that I thought I'd never be able to stop crying! It was a bittersweet time, because about a month before C moved out, we had been asked by C's birthmom if we would be interested in adopting the baby that she was pregnant with. We emphatically said "YES"!! So while "mourning"over the loss of C moving back in with his dad, we were celebrating the coming birth of our baby! We found out about the baby in July, C moved out in August and the baby was due in October! It was a crazy few months!
October 12th, 2001 my hubby and I were getting ready to go out to see a movie when we got a phone call. I saw on the caller ID that it was the hospital, but it wasn't who I was expecting. The caller said "Just so you know, I'm that baby's Aunt and you'll never get custody of it"! I was stunned....I didn't know what to say, so I handed the phone to my husband. He asked who it was and she just repeated what she had said to me and then hung up! H must be in the hospital! So I called the hospital and asked to speak to her and they said she couldn't take the call because she was in labor!!! I started crying and told my husband we had to get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY! We got there and found some people waiting in the hallway near the room where H was delivering the baby. It was the alleged "Aunt" and her mom. They started telling us that their son/brother, T, was the birthfather and that we would never get to adopt the baby. We didn't say much because we were in shock. Shortly after H gave birth, she found out we were in the hallway and asked us to come in her room. We stepped in and saw our daughter for the first time! H told the nurse that we were the adoptive parents. The nurse then asked me if I wanted to hold her and I said "YES"! I was so happy, yet scared. I asked H to be honest with me and tell me if T could be the birthfather. She told us not to worry, that there was no way that T could be the birthfather. Unfortunately, he and his family thought he was, so they insisted on a paternity test. So we had to do DNA testing and wait. It wasn't until the end of November when we found out that he was NOT the birthfather and we were going to be able to adopt our baby! Her adoption was finalized in June of 2002.
We were asked again by H if we would adopt the baby she was pregnant with due in December '02. We said "yes" and again, waited paitently. December finally came and we got a phone call from our attorney that she had heard a rumor that H had already given birth. We made several phone calls and found out that she had already had the baby and it had been placed with another family....T's family to be exact! (T was the alleged birthfather that gave us fits with our daughter's adoption). We were heartbroken, but managed to move on.
On a beautiful day in October of 2004, we were sitting at our dining room table eating lunch when the phone rings. It was H. She had just given birth to a baby boy that morning and wanted to know if we wanted to adopt him. He had been taken into state custody immediately after he was born due to having drugs in his system. Luckily, or moreso, miraculously, we had gone through Fost/Adopt classes about a month before this and were on the verge of being licensed foster parents. We were told that he had been transferred to a larger hospital in town about 35 minutes away because he had some breathing problems and because of the drug issues. We went to the hospital and saw our son for the first time when he was about 12 hours old! He was soooo small. Only 5 lbs. 12 oz. when he was born. Our daughter had been 6 lbs. 3 oz. Not a huge difference, but you forget how small they are if it's been awhile since you've held a newborn! He was in the NICU for 10 days. All the while, we had signed many papers and became his foster parents. He came home with us at 10 days old. His adoption was finalized in February of 2006....quite a bit longer than his sister's took, but that's the DHS system for ya....LOTS of red tape! But it was worth it in the end.
We had another opportunity to adopt another of H's babies (she had 7 all total and has custody of NONE of them!), but she had baby #7, a girl, out of state and she was placed into foster care in that state and we were never able to get custody of her. We do get to see her occasionally, which is awesome for our kids to get to see their sister. Thankfully, H had her tubes tied after baby #7, so there will be no more roller coaster ride of emotions for us. We're happy with the two we have. We might foster again when they're a little older, but not right now. :o)
My adopted kids were once my step kids. I met them when they were just 3 and 4 yrs old, so they remember very little if any of the BM. BM just outright gave them up with hardly a fight, just wanted child support to be waived..lol which the state wouldnt allow. SO ive been mom for a number of yrs to them
Bump...looking forward to hearing more of you journies with adoption.
My husband and I applied for international adoption after not being able to have our own child. We had the papers filed, were approved and just waiting. We had invested a lot of money into the process. One day I was talking to someone about our adoption. Days later she called to tell me that she knew of a young woman who wanted to place her baby for adoption. It was difficult for us at first because we didn't know how serious she was and we knew she had 30 days after the birth to change her mind. If she did we would have lost both opportunities as you can only be involved in one adoption at a time where I live. We prayed about it and met with the birth mom. We felt better but still were not sure. well I was not sure. My husband who is never a risk taker, said "lets go for it" Everyone tried to talk us out of it but I am my husbands number one fan and really trust his relationship with the Lord. God was telling him something about it that I was feeling. My heart was protecting myself from another loss. However, I moved on faith and we called to accept the baby. I got very close to birthmom in the months she had left in her pregnancy. I still was nervous she would change her mind and I admit I thought of backing out to protect my heart. I never told my husband my strong fear as he was so sure it would all work out just the way we wanted. The delievery day came and I was invited in the room with birth mom. I held her hand through her labour and witnessed her give birth to my beautiful baby. we cried, held each other and didn't say a word. I was in awe of this beautiful child she brought into the world and that she had chosen us as loving parents. My heart was torn between joy for us and grief and empathy for BM's loss. I left to be with my baby - she told me to go. I felt horrible leaving her. I didn't want her to think I was saying "thanks for the baby, bye" I spent time being a new mom. Something I never thought I would be. Then I went back to sit with BM. She told me she was happy for me, loved me and congratulated me on being a mom. wow! I told her she was the strongest and most courageous woman I ever met. I reminded her of our open door policy to she and her family. I spend the next few day in the hospital with my baby, well at the time her baby as she had 30 days to change her mind. Those were hard days. I fell in love with a baby who may not be mine and I also knew on the other side someone I cared for was feeling loss and sadness. I prayed that God would do his will for this precious child whether it be with my husband and I or birth mom. At midnight on the 30th day birth mom sent me an email saying "congratulations on being a mom. I love you" We have a wonderful open adoption today. My baby is loved by two moms.
At midnight on the 30th day birth mom sent me an email saying "congratulations on being a mom. I love you" We have a wonderful open adoption today. My baby is loved by two moms.
At midnight on the 30th day birth mom sent me an email saying "congratulations on being a mom. I love you" We have a wonderful open adoption today. My baby is loved by two moms.
Awesome! I am always deeply touched when Babygirl's birth mom shows her love for me. This must have sent you over the moon.
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