An Adoption Story
Adoption involves a myriad of emotions as well as unexpected twists and turns. Grief, loss, hope, waiting, trust, fear, joy, resilience, frustration, love and grace are all a part of the adoption journey.
Hannah* called CFS because she and her husband had experienced years of infertility. They felt now, after months of prayer and consideration, that adoption was the best way to grow their family. Hannah’s questions about adoption and the adoption process couldn’t all be answered in one phone call but the couple had taken the first, hard step. Hannah and her husband, John*, eventually applied to adopt through CFS which included the completion of a home study. Their adoptive home study process involved gathering together important documents, completing background checks and adoption specific education, receiving personal and professional references, conducting multiple interviews and completing home visits. The information was then summarized into a home study report.
Once the study was complete, Hannah and John were legally ready to adopt a child and they officially became one of CFS’ “Waiting Families.” The couple created a photo “profile” book for the agency to keep on file. This book would be used as the initial introduction of Hannah and John to an expectant parent considering adoption.
Hannah and John then found themselves in a very vulnerable place in which they had no control – the waiting period. Waiting is a particularly difficult part of the adoption process. Hannah and John admitted it was especially hard when their profile book was shown to an expectant mother and she didn’t choose them, but instead chose a different family to adopt her baby.
One year passed, and then two. Marla*, an expectant mom who was adoption minded, had been working with a pregnancy support social worker at CFS. After a couple of months, she felt she was ready to look through profile books of waiting families. Marla was not perfect, but she was honest, loved the baby growing inside her, and tried her best to care for herself and her unborn child. After a series of nail-biting twists and turns, Marla decided to meet Hannah and John. At the meeting, although everyone felt nervous, the conversation between Hannah, John, and Marla flowed easily. The group began the lunch as strangers and left with the beginnings of a friendship. They discovered they enjoyed many of the same interests, had similar family backgrounds, and shared a similar sense of humor. Marla felt confident that John and Hannah would be awesome parents for her soon-to-be born daughter.
John and Hannah left the hospital with their new daughter.
Marla and her mother left the hospital knowing
Marla’s baby was with loving parents
Marla’s baby girl was delivered with minimal complications. The hospital graciously provided John and Hannah a room near Marla’s and they spent the next few days caring for their future daughter. During their hospital stay, they were able to meet more of Marla’s extended family. After two days, Marla signed papers relinquishing her rights to parent her baby, consenting instead for John and Hannah to embody this role. Before discharge from the hospital, the families and CFS staff gathered in John and Hannah’s hospital room for a devotional honoring God’s work in bringing their families together and rejoicing over their precious baby girl. Tears were shed, hugs exchanged.
John and Hannah left the hospital with their new daughter. Marla and her mother left the hospital knowing Marla’s baby was with loving parents. The emotions each experienced were widely different but the undergirding of trust, love and grace were the same for each.
* The names have been changed, but the story is real.