Ever since I was a little girl the Lord put the desire to adopt in my heart. Ryan and I both felt that it was time to start the adoption process in the spring of 2008. After a few weeks of research without knowing Ryan and I found Adoption STAR separately on the same day. I found them online and Ryan found STAR’s business card on a bulletin board at work. So we knew right away that this was the agency we would use. We were impressed with STAR’s educational program and immediately felt welcomed by the whole staff.

Ryan and I were home study ready by the beginning of August 2008. Six weeks later were received the most wonderful news, our son Jesse “JJ” was born. The next day we were at STAR signing papers and holding our son. It was so comforting knowing that Adoption STAR was there to hold our hands through the whole process.

Our first year with JJ was amazing. Life took on a whole new meaning with this perfect baby that became the center of our world. We talked about adopting another baby in the near future so that JJ could grow up with a sibling. On September 23, 2009 we were celebrating JJ first birthday! That afternoon we received a phone call from our family advocate. She called to tell us the JJ’s full-blooded brother was born 2 days ago and the birth parents wanted the baby placed with us so the brothers could grow up together! I couldn’t breath! JJ received that most wonderful birthday gift, his brother Joah, and Ryan and I received the most precious two boys in the world! Our hearts are so full of love and gratitude! We are so thankful to Adoption STAR, our sons’ birth parents and mostly to God for blessing us with these two beautiful children!

We were unable to conceive and, weighing several options and longing for a child, we turned to adoption. We attended a seminar at another agency where we met an attorney who referred us to Adoption STAR. One of my sisters has two children, both with open adoptions and we wished for a similar experience. After completing the application and home study process, we endured several months of waiting and hoping for the call that would change our lives. We were profiled several times unsuccessfully but nine months later, we finally received it. After talking to our daughter’s Birth Mother on the phone and, later, meeting her in person, we knew this was the road we were meant to take. We brought our daughter’s Birth Mother to the hospital on that cool spring morning and I was able to witness the birth of our beautiful and amazing daughter on April 6th, 2002. We, along with her Birth Mother, decided her name would be Madison. The days that followed were not easy for any of us as we rode the inevitable emotional roller coaster that is adoption. Ultimately, we took our bundle of joy home April 9th (“gotcha day”) and began a journey for which nothing but love could have prepared us. Eight years later we’re still overjoyed with the blessing of our daughter and maintain a close relationship with her Birth Mother. We suspect that, at some point, Madison might have a questions that only her Birth Mother will be able to answer. We believe that our relationship also helps her Birth Mom feel at peace with her decision, and see how her birth daughter continues to grow, play, laugh, love, and live.

When the phone rang at 3:31 on October 2, 2006 I was involved in a team meeting at work. I remember walking to the phone, wondering whom Kathy was and hoping the call would be quick! When I picked up the phone Kathy introduced herself as a member of Adoption STAR and then said, “We found your baby.” I was shocked; we did not know we were being profiled, I fumbled around trying to find a piece of paper to write down the information I was being given. I called Mike and told him about the situation and we both knew that this was our baby! The baby would be delivered the following day in Indiana.

We spent the next 24 hours getting ready for our baby: buying supplies, assembling the pack-n-play and packing for the road trip of a lifetime! On October 5, 2006, my 37th birthday, we were given the most precious of gifts, our son, Jacob. I will never forget the moment we walked into the hospital room, met Jacob’s birth mother and those beautiful words she said, “Would you like to hold YOUR son?” I cried, as she handed me that wonderful little bundle of warm baby, Mike, Jacob and I, had our first family hug at that moment. Those first few days we spent in our hotel room in Indiana getting to know our son were magical. I remember feeling like the world was a brand new place, everything was new, giant gumballs in a machine at a rest stop had vibrant colors, colors that we would one day share and explain to Jacob. Adoption made me feel complete again, and full of life, we have enjoyed every minute of our new life!!

Adoption has always been a part of my life as I am an adoptee. The only thing that bothered me was not knowing my birth story. When we decided to adopt that was one stipulation I myself had. I wanted to have the medical history along with a story I could tell my daughter when she asks questions.

My husband and I are having a great journey. After we adopted Isabella I found out I was pregnant. I was scared to tell anyone because I never wanted our daughter to think she was a second choice to having a biological child. The first people I told was the staff at Adoption STAR. Yes, I was nervous because we were still going through process and I did not want anything to change. The staff made us feel very at ease and helped us through. Now as we look at our girls we tell everyone we have the best of both worlds. Each of our girls knows their birth story and can tell it back to us. That was one of the most exciting days when we were in the car and they each told their own story.

My advice to all those adopting or thinking of adopting, follow your heart and know what you want. You must be comfortable with your decision and never turn back and I believe this will help your children be strong and confident.

I hope my story was not boring and may help you in your decision. I recommend Adoption STAR to anyone who is thinking of adopting and encourage them to go to an orientation session to get the information and bring family members who may be skeptical.

Words cannot express what a profound gift we have in our forever family. When Nejari came into our home, our lives, our heart, as a fifteen month old angel we realized how positively blessed we were as a family. He has flourished tremendously into an amazing individual. His birth mother, birth father and family would be so proud. We owe a debit of gratitude to the amazing, selfless Adoption STAR organization for making it all possible. Our lives are now complete. Thank you, Adoption STAR, for your incredible dedication, professionalism and profound love of your mission. You all are so greatly much appreciated.

We always talked about adoption as part of our plan to have a family. We thought we’d pursue the biological route first and then start the adoption process. After three years of unsuccessful fertility treatments/IVF we decided to initiate our adoption plan. After investigating MANY agencies (in MANY states) we decided to get the wheels in motion and move forward with Adoption STAR (notice the capital “S T A R”). During an emotional and tumultuous time for us, all the STARS (staff @ Adoption STAR) did all that they could to make this as easy a process as possible. They organized and prioritized all the documentation needed in a way that did not overwhelm us. They literally held our hand every step of the way and carried us through the most difficult challenges. Almost simultaneously we completed our portfolio (May 06’), I finished my last round of IVF (August 06’) and my partner was diagnosed with a brain tumor (September 06’)…the same day we found out I was pregnant. There’s a cliché that we’ve found to be right on…”Life is a roller coaster”. We took a deep breath called upon our resources (family/friends/Adoption STARS) – focused on first things first. By mid-November with the surgery behind us we concentrated on my prenatal care and the baby’s progress….and by some miracle we were chosen by a birth mom to parent her baby girl due the beginning of January. We chose the most OPEN of open adoption and therefore had numerous conversations with our prospective birth mother. We received a call on January 9, 2007 that our birth mother was in labor. On the 14 hour drive to the hospital we contemplated names — “Charlie” was one name we considered after my partner’s dad. We quickly decided that we are too superstitious to continue this conversation and immediately desisted. When we arrived at the hospital we were instructed to have a seat in the waiting room where the parents, children, and friends of the birth mom met us. They told us that she has been calling the baby “Charlie” and just wanted us to know. There are divine moments in life and this, for us, was one. Our birth mom wanted us present at her signing (highly unusual) so we could witness what it took for her to give us the gift of life. We made promises to each other ~ we would always keep her in our hearts ~ we would stand by our word that we would send pictures, letters, and updates. We have. She, her parents, her children are all a presence in our lives and we are forEVER grateful & blessed. We could not ask for a more fulfilling/rewarding ride than PARENTHOOD. However we get there … it is a magical journey.

My husband and I decided to adopt after a few years of trying to conceive on our own, with no luck. We attended the orientation session given by Adoption STAR with our families, and were very impressed. We submitted our application and became home study ready by the spring of 2006. Our first year waiting was very slow; we didn’t receive many profiling opportunities. Shortly before our home study was ready to expire, we met with Adoption STAR to go over our grids and our profile. We also met with other families who had adopted children of another race. After talking it over and researching, we decided to change some of our grids, and we renewed for another year.

The second year brought a lot more profiling opportunities. In the fall of 2007 we were matched with a birth mother in Indiana. I was at work, when I received the phone called letting us know that the birth mother had changed her mind, and decided to parent. We were devastated. We had the car packed and ready to go. My husband said the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, was to unpack that car, and look at our empty nursery. We took time off from being profiled, but started up again shortly afterward. We had a lot of emotional ups and downs, and were ready to quit several times.

In the spring of 2008 we decided to renew one last time. If it didn’t happen, then it wasn’t meant to be for us. We were still having a hard time emotionally and were about to call Adoption STAR and say this is it for us, when we got our magical call. I was at work again this time, and I was told we had been matched with a baby girl who was born that day! We were excited, but also nervous, because of our previous experience. At first the birth mother didn’t want to meet us, and then the day before we were to pick up our daughter, we got another call from Adoption STAR. This time to tell us she did want to meet us. We didn’t know what to think. We were so afraid this adoption would fall through too. However, when we walked into the hospital room and she placed her child in my arms and gave me a hug, I knew everything would work out. Our daughter, Brianna is now 2 years old. We still look at her today and can’t believe she is ours. She’s brought so much joy and happiness into our lives. We can come home from a bad day at work and she makes us forgot about all of that.

This past fall, we started thinking about adopting again, and asked for an application. We decided to put it off until this year, so we could get a 3 bedroom apartment or house, and make room for another baby. So when Adoption STAR called just before Christmas, I assumed it was to follow up with us, but that wasn’t entirely true. We were being contacted because our daughter’s birth mother was pregnant again, and wanted to know if we would adopt again. The best part of the news was that this was going to be Brianna’s biological brother!!! While we always hoped for this situation, we never ever thought it would happen! We of course said “YES!!” Our son was born a month later. Shane will be baptized June 2010 and our children’s birth mother will be attending, where she will also be able to meet Brianna for the first time since being born. We are very excited, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!

In June of ’07, my wife and I became aware of a Birth Mom due with a baby boy on 07-16-07. The Birth Mom met with me only some time in the middle of June. She told me that she wanted us to be her son’s parents. She was going through our profile and she told me that there were many connections that she had strong feelings about. That was the last time we spoke for what seemed like an eternity. My Wife and I felt the loss of contact was a bad omen. We felt she had changed her mind. The last weekend in June of’07 my wife and I put the Boy’s crib together just in case. (We had purchased both Boy and Girl furniture after we started the adoption process). On Monday 07-02-07, My wife and I woke up around 5 am. We couldn’t sleep. I decided to go to work early. I got a paper and coffee and camped out at my office parking lot. The sunrise that morning was beautiful. Around 8:45 am, a Van came screaming into the lot. A young man got out of the van and started running towards my van. I recognized him as our Birth Mom’s Boyfriend (not the Birth Dad). He came up to my window and started yelling “ya gotta come ya gotta come she’s starting to push”. I was in shock for a moment I wasn’t sure what he was telling me. I told him, “I thought she changed her mind.” He said no Mr. Wells she wants you there and it won’t be long now.” I got my thoughts together and told him to get in the van and I would drive. We drove to the hospital. He took me to the Birthing Suite and in we walked. They had just cut the cord and to my left was MY SON!! and to my right was a scene I’m not sure I could describe. I realized I should step out of the room to offer some privacy. Now I know why God made me 6’6″. I could just see over the door and watch as they cleaned my son. Some woman came out of the Suite and bear-hugged me and said, “Congratulations Daddy.” That’s when it occurred to me I NEED to call my wife. I tried about 5 or 6 times and couldn’t get her. Then someone else came out of the suite and said would you like to sit and hold your son. It was magical. He opened his eyes and looked at me. It was as if he said don’t ever leave me. It was a moment in time that made me realize that I was going to be part of a Miracle. While all that was going on I realized I need to find my wife. I decided to use the phone at Birth Mom’s bedside. My wife must have been in shock. I told her I was at the hospital and everything was OK. I told her she needed to come and meet her son. There was a pause and the I heard her say, “I’m in a meeting,” then she said “Oh my goodness I’ll be right there.” I got her back on the cell phone and she could hear him crying. Then I started texting pictures to her. It was still shocking the whole day. The nurse took my son from me to re-warm him. It was perfect timing. It gave me a chance to meet my wife in the lot and walk her up. She hugged me and kissed me and whispered, “We have to go to the store, we have nothing we need. We went upstairs and were treated like Kings and Queens. We met our Birth Mom’s family. When they brought our son back in the suite he went in to Birth Mom’s arms. Then to her mom’s arms. I could see my wife in the corner of my eye. She seemed to glow a little. Then our son was placed in his Mommy’s arms. I didn’t think I was going to top the whole eyeopening miracle thing, but Oh my! That moment will stay with me forever. I stood and expressed to all those in the room that we were grateful and that words could never express how we felt about the gift we had been given. They asked what our son’s name was. My wife told everyone his name is Zacheus Andrew. I was pretty sure that was what the name was but not until she said it for the first time. This is just one of the stories we’ve been part of that day. Today I took my son to his 3rd Easter Mass. He sat on my shoulders, he tried to go potty, he cried when he couldn’t have a communion wafer. What a day.

We always knew that we wanted to have children and were excited when we began our adoption journey one year ago. We were recently blessed with the arrival of our son, Thomas, who was born on March 10, 2010!

We initially enrolled with STAR’s Traditional Agency Adoption Track. However, with the help of a close friend, we were connected with our son’s birth parents, a beautiful couple that truly cared about making a thoughtful plan for their child. We met the couple early in the pregnancy; and we wanted to support them in making a decision that felt right for them: whether it be to parent, to make an adoption plan with us, or to select another family altogether. We recommended that they connect with the birth parent advocates at STAR, who would provide them with their own set of services and resources, which would be apart from ours, something we felt was extremely important.

Adoption STAR’s Agency Assisted Private Track allowed us the benefit of independently developing a relationship with our son’s birth parents, but also providing resources, support, and guidance to everyone involved when needed. Over six months, we were able to develop a wonderful adoption plan with our son’s birth parents. We were active in the birth mother’s medical appointments and were present for our son’s birth… a moment we will cherish forever! We maintain an open relationship with our son’s birth parents; and he will know, from a young age, his adoption story and the special way in which we became a family.

We congratulate STAR. Your warmth and compassion have meant so much to us.

By the time my wife and I found Adoption STAR, we had been struggling with infertility for several years. Our dream of raising a family seemed like it would never come true. Back then, adoption wasn’t even on our radar. After attending an orientation at Adoption STAR, our outlook completely changed. We immediately signed up for their classes to learn everything we could about adoption. The information and support provided by the wonderful people at Adoption STAR helped to give us the confidence to adopt our two children.

Personally, I feel that adopting a child is a huge leap of faith. There are so many unknowns, so many questions and worries. All along the way, the people at Adoption STAR were there to guide us, answer questions, and to listen.