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.