This blog post is written by Purl’s newest adoption advisor, Aubrey Cortez. Aubrey and her husband have three children through adoption, and they are a past Purl client. To read more of their adoption journey, read below.
“What have we done?!” That was the first question my husband and I asked each other after we hung up the phone, we had just been told we were matched with TWINS 3 years after adopting our daughter; where I admit we still often ask that to one another, we now know that ‘what we have done’ is fill our home with love. I’m Aubrey Cortez, the newest adoption advisor at Purl Adoption Advisory, and that was the beginning of a happy ending I never imagined would be my own.
The path to these blessings however was complicated, and where at the time, it was filled with emotions from all ends of spectrum, today I see so much of what we got to experience as lessons I can use both in my family and now as an adoption advisor.
Let me start from the beginning. In late 2017 we started our process to adopt, by January we were matched and by March of 2018 my husband was standing in the delivery room cutting our daughter’s umbilical cord before I began to bond with her through skin-to-skin. Don’t get me wrong there were stressful times during the (short) match period, strange things came up, and we were always nervous, but it always felt right and it was so easy. Having had the experience we did, we knew that when it was time to bring our daughter a sibling, it may not be that easy again, but we know what to expect…right? That’s when the learning began.
We decided in late 2019 to get our paperwork together for our second adoption and were ready to go about the same time the pandemic hit. We went back to the same agency we used for our first adoption, and were again matched quickly. Because we didn’t have anyone to talk to us about what you should and should not do in adoption, we went ahead and named the boy Mac and prepared his nursery as if he was our son already. After the July 4th holiday, while I was packing our travel baby bag, we received the text message (yes through text) all matched adoptive parents fear, the expectant mother had the baby over the weekend and had stopped communicating with the agency. That was it! Just like that, no clue what happened, just suddenly no more Mac. As I stared at the bag I now no longer needed to pack in the nursery
that suddenly felt strange, I reflected on the loss. Like many adoptive mothers this wasn’t the first time I’d had to deal with the loss of a child I had imagined, dreamed and prepared for but never got to meet, and where it hurt just as much, it hurt different. Are we sure we want to risk feeling like this again? Can we keep the name if we ultimately adopt another boy? Should we change the pictures or something in the nursery or even switch it with the guest room? And family, how can they understand? We’ve been telling our daughter that we believed a brother was coming, how do we explain this to her? So many questions…
At this point I knew we needed help and while updating our home study, learned from our social worker about the services offered by Purl. We decided to sign up, but before we did anything at all with Purl, our original agency re-matched us, this time with another boy due in 4 months. To say the least, our match was trying in so many ways and ended with another painful disruption. This disruption was very different though, in this situation we had been scammed, she had never intended to place her baby. After digging deeper, this wasn’t the first time she had done this. I learned about ways to prevent situations like the one I was in, and more importantly how critical it is to work with agencies and law firms that are both competent and moral.
As much as we wanted to give up, we felt it important for our daughter to have a sibling and the family dynamic that comes with that through life and adulthood. So we entered 2021 with a fresh start and the plan to give it one more try. Purl had established a new relationship with a firm where the attorneys were fellows of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys that we really liked. Not long after becoming an active waiting family, the firm called us to tell us that by the end of May we can expect Twins. To say the least we were shocked, beyond excited, and terrified.
I unquestionably brought my scars with me as we rushed to the airport upon getting the news the twins were on their way. Ugly crying the entire way as I stare at a photo we had just received, a picture of the two most beautiful babies laying back to back, one pink hat, one blue. We were already in love, and we did have hope that we would become the adoptive family for these babies. After two days in the hospital and an emotional goodbye to their wonderful birth mother, all the hurt we had felt seemed to become a beautiful piece of the story of our family.
As an adoptive mother, I’m learning a lot of other lessons too, from navigating and incorporating every one’s heritage and culture into our transracial family, to communicating through different levels of openness with our children’s birth parents, I’m very excited to share what I’ve learned in future blog posts.