Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Adoption Journey

I've often heard the cliche "adoption is not for the faint of heart." And as I look back at our own journey thus far, I have to agree with this statement. Adoption is not an easy journey, but it is worth the hard work and difficult experiences that accompany it.

We chose to go the adoption attorney route after trying to go through a local adoption agency for over a year. Our experience with the agency we worked with was frustrating. We were told at the front end that "most families" were placed with a baby in a year or less. We entered excited and hopeful that an adoption would occur quickly, because of our openness. When I did not hear back for over 6 months, I called the agency to inquire. "Well, we've had a really slow year, but we've showed your book to a couple of mothers." This response led us to move in a different direction. If they were moving that slow, it would be years before we adopted a baby.

I contacted a cousin who had successfully adopted two precious babies through her own independent efforts. She encouraged us to set up a blog. And so we set up this blog in July of 2010. She advised us to get the word out to as many people as possible. And we did! We printed up postcards (Vista print has some good deals) announcing that we wanted to adopt, included a picture of us and our contact information and passed them to as many people as possible. We left these postcards in community college bulletin boards, laundry mats, hair and nail salons, hospital waiting rooms, really anywhere we could think of we left the postcards. We networked with a couple of local adoption attorneys. We posted on Craigslist our desire to adopt and included our blog address. Yes, I said Craigslist. Before you laugh this off, my same cousin who has two beautiful boys had connected with a birthmother who was in crisis and looking for baby furniture on Craiglist when she saw my cousin's post. As a result, she now has adopted a beautiful baby because of her Craigslist posting.

And it was through these efforts that we connected with some amazing people. Folks that simply wrote to encourage us. Others who shared their own adoption journeys and even passed some helpful advice to us. Some who sent us adoption possibilities or agencies to look into. And quite a few who asked if we would consider surrogacy. And we did connect to some amazing birthmothers along this journey. In the end, those we connected with decided to keep their babies. But it was a great gift to get to know them and be a part of their pregnancy journey. And I do have to admit, we were contacted by a few shady folks too.

As we spent countless hours on e-mails, phone calls, networking, we soon found ourselves emotionally fatigued. It was exhausting, and we began to think that perhaps a baby was not out there for us to adopt. We decided to give ourselves six more months before closing the door on adopting a baby. We decided that we needed to give our efforts a rest and find someone else to do it for us. That is what led us to Shorstein and Kelly in Jacksonville, Florida. And I have to say, as soon as we made that decision, we were able to let our worries go. We truly felt like we had done everything we could to expand our family through adoption, and if it was going to happen, then it would happen.

And I'm so overjoyed to find that it finally did. Was it easy? No, but I find that not much in life is easy. Was it worth it? Yes, every bit of this journey has been worth the struggles, the challenges, the questions, the doubts, the frustrations. And really, this is just the beginning of our adoption journey. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, want advice, or just need a boost of encouragement. We will pass on what we know and have learned thus far.

Blessings on your Journey.



  1. So so thankful FOR you. You don't know the amount of people that were praying for you and your future family member--and what a beautiful one at that. what a gift. I need to meet, and love on, these girls someday. Happy Mullaneys.

  2. Would love for you too. Griff is truly one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen. So adorable. Would love for our families to get together one of the days. Thanks so much for all your love and support Amanda! D

  3. Beautiful baby! From the time you posted this, I assume baby Lucie is or about two years old by now? So, I know it's a little late but still, I want to congratulate you on the adoption. I could see she's been a perfect addition to the family.

    (Aiko )