When a family first considers adoption, it can be helpful to hear from adoptive families about their experiences to help them determine their best path for their journey. Today, we are sharing a Q & A with “E.C.”, an adoptive momma who chose Purl to advise her and her husband during their adoption journey.
1. Tell us about your journey to adopting your daughter.
We went to an adoption information session in late 2018 and started calling adoption agencies in our state. We immediately felt overwhelmed. It’s hard when you do a lot of research and still feel like you don’t have answers! We didn’t have confidence in picking an agency based on the information we found. A friend told me about Katie at Purl and we booked a consultation with her. Within a few minutes, what Katie shared made sense and it was such a relief! Knowing the steps and getting advice from someone who has helped families grow was really comforting. This was around January/February 2019. We signed up with Purl shortly after and started working on our home study and gathering photos for our profile book. Katie shared a plethora of resources with us. We were approved to adopt in mid-June. Our profile book was ready around that time and we immediately started mailing out profile books to attorney and then signed up with a few adoption agencies. We also started a home remodel around this time and it ended up taking twice the amount of time that we thought! It was a busy summer! We started responding to expectant mothers considering adoption through attorney or agency leads late that summer. In mid-September we were matched with an expectant mom through an agency who was expecting in mid-October. We had our first phone call with her on a Thursday evening and were planning to have dinner with her the following week. But she went into labor Sunday night! We immediately called Katie and packed our hospital bag! It was a short delivery and we arrived at the hospital. We were lucky enough to see our daughter’s birth mother and our daughter pretty quickly after the birth. It was an eventful few days following her birth (more on that later), but our adoption was finalized in December 2019.
2. What were some of the hardships you encountered in your adoption journey?
Our biggest hardship was that the adoption plan almost disrupted after birth and before consents were signed. We spent the night with our daughter in the hospital the night she was born and that afternoon we went home to get the car seat and a few other items and planned to return at the agency’s direction. A few hours went by and I called the adoption agency contact and had immediate heartbreak, I still get tears thinking about the call. A family member came to the hospital and was talking with the expectant mother about raising the child. We were told not to go back to the hospital and not to contact the expectant mother. I was in shock and kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason, but it was awful to feel helpless. Our attorney and Katie were amazing, keeping us in the loop and providing suggestions on next steps. Our home study social worker was also great, we consulted with her immediately to work through the circumstances and grieve what we thought would be a disrupted adoption. The next few days were hard and I went to work because I really wanted to think about something besides the heartbreak I was feeling. I had told my boss about the adoption when we were at the hospital and asked him to honor our privacy. To make things worse, he ended up telling colleagues. On top of handling the emotions, I was also dealing with sharing news the adoption was on hold with work colleagues, even though we hadn’t even shared that news with our own family and friends. A few days later, we heard the expectant mom had decided to go back to her adoption plan! We know this does not happen very often and we feel blessed that she choose us after all! We wish we had had more time with our daughter’s first mother before she was born and more time at the hospital with her. We had not talked about the post-adoption communication plan in advance of the birth and there were some hiccups finalizing that plan. We got there, but I think it was painful and difficult on both sides. This also got worked out and our attorney and Katie were very helpful in navigating these conversations.
3. What made you decide to adopt?
We had experienced fertility issues and then I had a small stroke in August 2017. Talking with my doctor the next year, one of them asked us our goal and we said “a healthy baby;” in which he replied, “there are lots of ways to have a healthy baby.” We then started having conversations about adoption and discussing the possibilities for the next six months.
4. What has been a surprising piece of adoption for you, in hind-sight?
There were a few months we were not hearing back from our daughter’s birth mother after the adoption and it was harder on me than I thought it would be. We are back in communication now and had a nice conversation on Mother’s Day last week, which was so heartwarming. I’m glad we were able to reconnect. Also, I was surprised about how much love surrounds adoption. There are complicated situations where a woman chooses adoption and the process itself is complicated, but our daughter is loved so much by friends and family. To hear her birth mother say how relieved she is to have picked us and is so happy that our daughter will grow and blossom into the person she will be with us guiding her while she gets to watch her grow. You hear about the heartbreak; but love subsides that, breaks it up and surrounds it.
5. What made you decide to sign up with Purl to help in your journey?
Starting to do research on my own, I realized quickly there was a lot to learn about the process and it’s not like there are consumer reports for adoption to be able to know you are picking the best resources. Katie has tons of resources and experience to guide families through the process. Experience, reputation and feedback from other clients of hers made it an obvious choice to work with Purl. We are super grateful that the whole process took us less than a year. We feel lucky that it all happened so quickly and working with Katie helped with this.
6. What was the best part about working with Purl?
Connection. Katie works hard to be there for her clients and to walk with you through the entire journey.
7. What advice would you give to others considering adoption?
Work with Purl. Trust the process and be true to yourself. We were grateful for the adoption agency we worked with, but we were not their priority, which is okay, just know that going into it. Katie was the one there for us during the adoption and post adoption.
We love sharing stories of how families are built through the gift of adoption and we thank E.C. for sharing her experience with us! We look forward to sharing more Purl Family adoptive stories to come.