Wait, Is This Really Happening?

Guest blogger Jill Christiansen shares her adoption journey.

When we began our adoption journey in the Spring of 2011, we were already the parents of a 2 year old biological child, who is our miracle 28 week baby. We were met with lots of differing opinions of what our family should look like after his birth. Should we take his birth at 28 weeks as a sign that our family was complete or should we follow our hearts and add to our family. My husband and I decided upon reading STAR’s website and information from them that we were going to follow our hearts and give our son a sibling. We attended the six weeks of class and left with a huge sense of hope but were also overwhelmed by all the information.

Being an organized person and always being early with deadlines, when we left our sixth class we had all our paperwork handed in and our profiles were ready to go. We had no idea what the next two years would be like. We went through every emotion you would expect: happiness, hopeful, anxious, saddened, and back again. Through the first year, we received quite a few profile calls, all with the same dreaded, “they chose another family”. Each time we heard that, my heart sank and I was becoming more certain that maybe we had chosen the wrong path.

When we began our second year with the agency, we began to really examine our grids. We realized we had said yes to every profiling call and so we went through and changed all our maybe’s to yes’s. We were ready to add to our family and for our son to have a sibling. One piece of advice to all of you waiting is to take out your grids once every couple of months and examine it. Think of the profiling calls you have had and what you said yes to and make sure your grid matches that.

The second year was harder than the first. We felt as though we were doing everything the agency asked of us, we were looking at our grids, changing things as needed and moving forward in every sense. As we changed our grids, our profiling calls increased–which was great, but much harder when you still hear those dreaded words. We were close to the end of our second year and my faith in the process was truly becoming non-existent. Everyone had nothing but great things to say about our profile, grids and us as parents, but still no baby.

The last week of February 2013, we began to really question whether we were going to stick with the process. We had agreed with each other that if we had to update our home study (April 2013) we were going to stop and reevaluate whether or not adoption was right for us. On Friday, March 1st I went to work like any other day. My principal was in my classroom teaching a lesson when my cell phone rang. Of course, I saw STAR’s number and immediately excused myself. We had a few profiling calls we hadn’t heard about for babies due in the late spring, so I was hopeful that maybe we had some news about that.

Well, I was not ready for what our caseworker had to tell me. A perfectly healthy baby boy who was 2 days old already was in need of a family. I listened to all the information about him and called my husband immediately. There was no question, we were saying yes to this profiling call. It actually was the first in the two years where the baby had already been born! I called the agency back at 11am and was told the decision would be made soon. Let me tell you, the next two hours are a blur. I was trying to not get too excited, but to be a little hopeful at the same time.

When the phone rang at 1pm I had prepared myself again to hear those dreaded words. But, no dreaded words this time! It was finally our turn and our baby had found us. The next 24 hours are completely lost in my mind as it was constant decision making and signing of papers and flying to Florida. We knew that our baby was meant to be part of our family when we arrived to pick him up and our 4 year old demanded to be the first to hold his baby brother. His smile went from ear to ear and we were instantly in love. Our 4 year old summed up our whole experience when he said to me one night before bed, “So, Eli was lost and we found each other and now he’s my brother. I love him so much!”

Yes, it really does happen like this…even when you may not think it will ever happen!