November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In the spirit of bringing awareness to adoption, our agency mission and the successes of families we serve — we hope to fill our blog with guest stories throughout this month. Chrysalis House, Inc. believes in the power of sharing experiences and in learning from the stories of others. We present this series, realizing the words might be the insight that an adoptive family, adoptee or birthparent is searching the internet for! Our sincerest thanks to the families who have put their lives into words.
We are still seeking & accepting submissions through the month of November! Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below, please enjoy the story of a family’s: Domestic Adoption.
In the event you wish to discuss our Domestic program, please contact the office at 559.229.9862.
Ever since I was in high school, I have thought about adoption. I knew a few families in our neighborhood who had adopted and saw how it changed their lives. For some reason, it resonated with me and I always felt like it would be a part of my life in some way.
For my husband, adoption was even closer to home: his father and uncle were adopted from birth. My husband saw adoption as a huge blessing and was very grateful to his father’s birth mom for making the courageous decision to place him in his family.
As we dated and started dreaming about the family we would one day have, we both talked about adoption as potentially being a part of it. I think, however, that we both figured that we would have biological children first while we were young and then adopt one or two as our family was more established.
After we were married for a few years, we initially thought about starting our family through the “typical” way of getting pregnant. But we both felt that something different was out there for us. As we pondered and prayed about how we should start our family and when, we both felt a strong impression that we should pursue adoption now – not as a last resort and not once we were older and more established.
So the next day we researched local adoption agencies and by the following week, we interviewed several in Fresno. These introductions opened our eyes to multiple ways one can go about adoption – domestic, international, fost-adopt, etc. While we liked all agencies, we felt a more personal bond with the people from Chrysalis House and decided to work with them. We felt that domestic adoption was the right path for us at this time – we really wanted to look locally to help someone out, and we weren’t quite ready for the uncertainty that can come with fost-adopt.
Both my husband and I are go-getters and so we barreled through the application process, turning in all the paperwork and meeting the requirements just as fast as we possibly could. Once we had made our decision, we felt so good and clear about it that there was no turning back and we were anxious to be in a position to welcome a little baby into our home.
Both my husband and I really appreciated the classes that were given as part of the application process, as we had our own concerns. For my husband, he was fairly concerned about open adoptions. His father’s adoption had been closed and his father never pursued a relationship with his birth mom, so that’s what he was used to. We had heard stories about birth parents trying to get their children back, or trying to co-parent once their child was placed and that wasn’t something we wanted. Through hearing testimonials and learning more about what open adoption means, we both felt reassured. We knew that we could work out guidelines with the birth mother that would make both of us feel safe and comfortable. Additionally, we both realized that having more people out there who love your child, even if distantly, is never a bad thing.
For me, I was initially concerned about raising a child different than my own ethnicity. I personally had no problem with it and we were open to adopting all races, but I was worried about our child feeling like s/he could still connect to his roots, while at the same time be a full part of our family. I wanted to teach our child my family’s wonderful history, as well as his, but I didn’t know if I could do it justice. Again, the testimonies and discussion around raising children of different races was extremely helpful. I understood more completely the issues that children could go through and that while there might be difficult times of identity issues, that it was something we could tackle with love and empathy.
After we got approved came the hardest part of the process: waiting. In some ways, it was a bit of a let down. While getting approved, we had felt good being busy, proactive and working towards a goal. Once approved, we realized how helpless we were in the rest of the process and that we simply had to wait patiently until an opportunity arose. While we tried to lead our normal lives, our minds definitely were fixated on hoping and praying that we would receive a little baby sooner rather than later.
Luckily, our wait was not very long (something for which we are very grateful!). We soon welcomed home a precious baby girl. While we didn’t have a lot of notice to get things ready, we were so excited to start our family. We both immediately fell in love with her and couldn’t imagine our lives without her.
While adoption will come with its own particular struggles and ups and downs, we are so grateful for this opportunity. We feel a great deal of admiration and respect for our girl’s birth mom and the choice that she made. We are in love with our little girl and she couldn’t have been a part of our family any other way. We are looking forward to her growing up (not too quickly, though) so that we can share her wonderful story with her.