By Taryn O'Flynn, Choice Adoptions Advocacy and Outreach Director
Mike and Jessica began their adoption journey with Choice in April of 2017. They knew from the time that they got married that they were called to grow their family through adoption. For months they excitedly filled out their application, tirelessly worked on their home study packet and anxiously awaited to be matched with a birth mother. After the first year, Mike and Jessica (like most waiting families) began wondering when it would be their turn to become parents. Mike and Jessica had adopted their first son, Gregory, at birth in 2015 and were busy raising him and plugging along with their jobs, investing in their church community and living life, but the wait became a struggle. Eighteen months went by… they waited… Two years went by… still they waited… AT 24 months their home study needed renewing, they renewed but begin wondering if this will ever happen for them and their family. They ended up doing one more home study update this past August.
On October 14th, a Choice advocate received a call from a young woman named Haylee who had just given birth to a baby boy at 29 weeks gestation. She seemed calm and her thoughts and questions collected. She shared with her advocate that she went into spontaneous labor almost two months before she was due and the baby had been transported to a hospital nearby with a NICU. She said that she was feeling okay and just wanted to make sure she could find loving, stable parents for her baby. She understood that she had to make a decision fast.
Haylee had planned all along to make an adoption plan for her son, but hadn’t found the courage to pick up the phone. She and her longtime boyfriend knew they weren’t in a position to care for a baby and wanted to make another family’s dreams come true. Haylee knew that she didn’t want her baby to end up in the foster care system. (She herself was a product of the system and knew the challenges that came with it.) Her boyfriend (and the father of the baby) was supportive from the very beginning, saying that he supported whatever decision she felt like she needed to make. He knew he wanted to be a father someday, but he wanted to wait until he was more financially stable and in a better place in his life.
So they made the decision to place their baby for adoption and asked their advocate to choose a couple who already had an adopted child and that were “really happy together... like a couple who genuinely like each other and who are plugged into their communities and are super family oriented.” When a birth mom does not choose, Choice then chooses the longest waiting family that meets birthparent wishes. Haylee wanted a closed adoption so she could move on with her life knowing her baby was well taken care of, and so her son could bond with his new family... She felt a sense of peace knowing they would provide everything that he would ever need. This was going to allow her to find her new normal.
Generally this is the kind of phone call WE LIVE FOR!!! But this placement came with more uncertainties that most. The baby was very, very premature (born at just three pounds), had little prenatal care and we didn’t know anything about the birth parents other than their nationality. Baby was intubated due to respiratory distress and on a feeding tube. This little guy was a fighter, but we just didn’t know much more about his future. We called Mike and Jessica and cautiously told them about the opportunity to be this baby’s parents. They didn’t hesitate for one second before simultaneously packing their hospital bag and asking where they needed to go to be with their son. This is the kind of response WE LIVE FOR!!! Just as much as this baby’s birth parents knew Mike and Jessica were the parents for their baby... Mike and Jessica knew in an instant THIS. WAS. THEIR. BABY.
It’s been and will continue to be a long road for sweet baby Tyler (who is still in the NICU but making progressive leaps and bounds every day) and his parents. But this is what adoption can look like. We always say “There is no cookie-cutter way adoption works. It can be equally messy and chaotic and beautiful and miraculous.” No one ever said adoption was easy, but we know it’s worth it. It’s worth it for birth parents who can rest easy knowing their baby is in a safe, loving, permanent home with parents who are prepared to be parents. It’s worth it for couples who are unable to have children biologically or simply have a heart to grow their family through adoption. It’s worth it because we know that God has created the model of adoption and we believe that adoption has been in His plan all along.
"If we accept that God has made a world with the gift of choice and yet our choices are part of a complete divine plan, then we can better understand God's will for the adoption of children. I believe that to best understand God's plan, we must first accept God's plan/will as perfect - that God makes no mistakes. Even if life seems and looks chaotic, God has a plan. This, in essence, is what faith is all about—trusting in God and His plan even when it seems like there is no plan.”
-The Spirit of Adoption by Brian Lewis
If you are pregnant and need support, here are pregnancy resources:
9 Things to Know About Adoption In Oregon and Washington
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