Zach & Elise’s Adoption Story
GiveForward can help with a variety of needs, and adoption is one of them. Zach, who is already a father to another child he and his wife lovingly adopted, shared with us their journey with adoption, how they decided on adoption, and advice for others who are considering it. Adoption is a big decision, so obviously a lot of thought goes into it. How do you know if it is right for you? Zach shared, “My wife and I have known from the beginning that we would never be able to have children biologically, and we both have always wanted children. Adoption has been our plan all along.”
Like most things in life, adoption doesn’t come easy. There are obstacles you have to go thorugh in order to reach the outcome that you would like – a baby! Zach shared with us the struggles that he and his wife faced while going through this process, “We have worked with three different adoption organizations. We were with the first one for a year, with no luck. We had finally switched to a different agency, hoping for a better outcome, when out of the blue a friend of ours called asking if we would be interested in a 2 month-old little girl. Our friend’s coworker’s cousin was trying to find adoptive parents for her baby, and 11 days later that little girl–our daughter Ellowyn (left)–was in our home.
With this adoption, we had a similar experience of waiting with one agency for more than a year before changing. Again, shortly after changing to the agency we are now with, we were matched with a birth mom. The timeline of adoption is not standard. When you are pregnant, the baby grows for 9 months. There’s a schedule, and you can plan. When you’re adopting, there’s really no schedule. We were told what “average wait times” were, but averages don’t make you feel any better when you’re waiting for a child with no sign of anything happening for more than a year.
Another thing that is difficult is deciding who you are willing to adopt. There are the easy questions, like “Which genders are you open to?” (we didn’t specify a gender). But then there are the harder questions, like “Are you willing to adopt a baby whose mother smoked during pregnancy?”. What about alcohol during pregnancy? Or drugs? Which ones are ok? We spent a lot of time researching the effects of various drugs on unborn babies. Those were some strange conversations. Of course we want a healthy baby, but the more restrictive we make our requirements, the harder it is for an agency to match us with a birth mom.
We ended up being fairly open. As it turned out, we were matched with a woman who takes very good care of herself and our pending son.”
So what if you’re trying to adopt and you’ve hit obstacles? Zach provided advice for others when taking on this journey to parenthood, “Don’t hesitate to change tactics if things aren’t working out. If an agency is not working out, maybe a change will help.
Adoption can be crazy expensive. Don’t be afraid to ask your community for help. An online fundraiser can be great, but if you can supplement it with a fundraising event or two (a dinner, community garage sale, or whatever!) you will probably find that there are a lot more people out there who would love to help you build your family than you realized.
If you have had your profile shown to birth moms and not been picked, it feels terrible. You can’t let it get you down. The reason that one woman didn’t pick you could very well be the reason that the next one picks you. Maybe you have a dog, and she hates dogs. Who knows?”
When going through a journey like this, support is necessary! Financial and emotional support can help, and with GiveForward that can be made easy! Zach discussed his experience with support from his community, “Our GiveForward page has been wonderful. The outpouring of support and generosity from people has been beautiful. It has really made us feel loved to see how so many of our friends and family (and even a few people that we don’t know very well) have come around us and helped us out.”
What can adoption bring you? Zach shared a funny little story from his experience with his daughter Ellowyn, “Having an adopted kid can lead to some funny situations. Our daughter is blond, but my wife and I have dark hair. There was a nurse at her pediatrician’s office who would ask, every single time we visited, “Where did she get her blond hair?” After three months in a row of the same question, I finally answered, ‘Oh, we don’t know who her dad is.’ There was a bit of an awkward pause, and she never asked again.”