Several years later, we decided that we were ready to start our family, and I couldn’t wait to be a mama. This wouldn’t take long, right?
Long story short, I was basically betrayed by my body and society. Nothing was happening. Did you know that sex doesn’t always equal pregnancy?! (Having that information during high school and college could have saved me some serious trips to the health department!) After more than three years of continuing down the path of trying get pregnant, endless doctor appointments, medications, fertility treatments, tears, and heartbreak, we had enough. This is when we made the decision to adopt.
Before you can adopt, you have to get a home study done. Tons of fun, I mean, there’s nothing like telling a complete stranger every single intimate detail of your life. You know, the important stuff. How much money you have, how much debt you have, if you have a healthy relationship and sex life, when you pooped last. They really get all up in your business. That process took about five months, and then we waited to be matched with an expectant mom.
During that time, we kept busy by preparing the nursery. We selected a gender neutral theme so that we were set for either a boy or a girl. We had also created a 25 page scrapbook-like profile for expectant parents to go through as they try to find the perfect parents for their unborn baby. Our profile was viewed, but not chosen, twice before we got the call saying that we had been picked. We were absolutely thrilled! The baby was a little boy, due in two months.
We told everyone. We named him. We bought all of the baby necessities and adorable boy clothes. We even made an 11 hour drive to meet our future child’s birth mom, “R.” The visit was short and slightly awkward; no one knew what to say. But we were happy to meet her, and we promised her that we would be the best possible parents that we could be to her baby.
The days leading up to the birth were filled with all kinds of emotions. On top of the normal parents-to-be feelings, there was also the looming fear that she would change her mind. It’s a possibility that you have to be prepared for. But “R” had assured us that this was what she wanted to do; it was what was best for everyone. Then we got the call. Baby Boy had been born and “R” had decided to parent him. We were absolutely devastated.
For the next week, we laid low. We let friends and family know what had happened, and we asked everyone to give us our space. We had just lost our baby. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. But somehow, we made it through. And apparently, fate had other plans.
Not even a month after getting that dreaded news, we received another call from our agency. Our profile had been shown again. Four days later, we were making the five hour trip to our agency’s office to meet with another expectant mother and her parents. I was a complete ball of nerves, of course. But the meeting went really well! It was much more comfortable than our previous experience. “C” was prepared, and she knew exactly what she was looking for. Her baby was a little girl, due in two months. She told us that she had met with another couple, and she needed some time to make her final decision. With that, we headed back home, anxiously waiting to see our agency’s phone number pop up on caller ID. It didn’t even take 24 hours. “C” had chosen us as parents to her unborn baby. Once again, we were “expecting!”
This time, we were much more cautious and guarded. We only told immediate family and close friends. With the previous situation, the adoption would have only been semi-open. “R” only wanted pictures and letters. No visits. No identifying information. “C” wanted a very open adoption. She wanted pictures, letters, visits, phone calls, and so on. Kyle and I had decided early on in our adoption journey that we were open to any type of adoption. When you are going through the home study process, you decide what you are open to; that includes everything from race, to health of the baby, to birth parent backgrounds, to the level of openness that you are comfortable with. They are decisions that you have to make, and they are decisions that almost make you feel like a jerk. “This is okay, but that isn’t.” “I could handle this, but couldn’t handle that.” For us, the only thing that was important was a healthy baby. We decided that for the rest, we would let the cards fall where they would.
The next two months were spent beginning to build a relationship with “C;” though we were constantly worrying and wondering if she would change her mind, too. We wanted to be excited about Baby Girl’s arrival, but we were trying to remain guarded. At best, we were cautiously optimistic. Then it was time to make a birth plan. “C” originally told me that I could be in the room when she delivered. Then she decided that she only wanted her mom there, but she would like us at the hospital. Finally, she decided that she wanted those 48 hours after birth for just her and her family to spend some time with the baby and say their good-byes. I understood, but was scared. What if she bonded with the baby? What if there was no way she would be able to go through with it? We kept telling ourselves, “If she is meant to be our baby, she will come home with us.”
The due date came and went, “C”s doctor scheduled an induction. Saturday, the day of her induction, was pure torture. We waited all day for an update, but heard nothing. I kept reminding myself that this was her first pregnancy, and these things take time.
Sunday morning we got a call from the adoption agency. Baby Girl had arrived the night before, and she and “C” were both doing well. They told us not to come to town yet. “C” couldn’t sign her Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) until she was discharged from the hospital, but they would keep us posted.
Later that afternoon, the agency called again. “C” was wavering on her decision, and she didn’t know if she could go through with it. Once again, our world crashed down on us. We immediately assumed the worst. Kyle came home from work, and we spent much of the night in silence. I didn’t want to lose hope yet, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be able to handle having my heart smashed to pieces again.
Monday morning we were woken up by yet another call from our agency. I saw their name on my phone, took a deep breath, and answered. “Hi Tiffany, its Shannon. I just wanted to let you know that “C” has decided to go through with her adoption plan. She will be signing her TPR this evening around 6 p.m. You and Kyle should probably head this way as soon as possible.”
I’m pretty sure at that point I emitted a sound that could only be heard by dogs. This was it. It was finally happening! We threw our things together, carefully gathered our baby items, and jumped in the car. Most of the day was a blur. The drive, the hour of signing our portion of paperwork at the agency, and the two hour wait at the hotel for the call that “C” had signed.
But that first moment that I laid eyes on my baby girl, and the first time that I held her and inhaled her baby smell, those moments are all still crystal clear. That was almost a year ago. And every single day, I am still in awe over this beautiful little creature and the fact that I was chosen to be her mama. She is simply amazing. It’s also amazing how much love we have for “C”. She is without a doubt, one of the bravest women I know. And we are so lucky to have her in our lives and to have such an open and loving relationship with her.
Even though it took five years, endless tears and heartache, a huge blow to our finances, and lots of people to get us to the world of parenthood, it was absolutely all worth it. And I would do it all over again just to be Kennedy’s Mama. Adoption isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. Adoption is about creating Forever Families. And that is truly a wonderful thing.
Curvy Girl Guide Contributor, Tiffany, is a self-proclaimed superstar. She thinks she’s hysterical and knows she’s ridiculous. Her interests include photography, beer, wine, cheeseburgers, and ridiculously large hair flair and sunglasses. Motherhood is her current gig, and it’s better than anything she could have ever dreamed of. Married to Kyle and Mama to Keke. Currently residing in Upstate New York.