In the spirit of creating awareness during National Adoption Awareness Month, we are thrilled and thankful to share Dana’s words below. Dana is an extraordinary mother who began her journey as an adoptive Mama about 12 years ago. After 12 years of wisdoms and experiences with her boys, she has grown even more confident in her advocacy for adoption and remains enthusiastic about her decision to become a single adoptive parent. Dana doesn’t mention it and that’s probably because it’s a norm for her ~ but hers is also a story of becoming a more conspicuous adoptive family… as she has enjoyed a successful transracial adoption. Thanks to Facebook, I (Stacy), have had the privilege of watching their lives unfold. I’m so lucky to have been able to watch them grow together and see their three smiles long after my time with them was finalized… which was on the day they became a forever family.
The Story of Dana & her sons…
In my late twenties I learned I could not have biological children. My dream was to be a mom; it was what I was meant to do. Rather than dwell on what couldn’t happen, I knew adoption was my path to parenthood. Single and entering my 30’s, I decided it was time. Although I could be called a bit crazy to adopt two boys on my own as a single mom, I never gave great thought to this. I was meant to be a mom; single or not, I was fulfilling my destiny. I am not so foolish to think that it wasn’t going to be a bit more difficult for me, since I was a one parent family, but I had a great job, a great family and incredible support system to encourage me.
I met with Stacy at Chrysalis House and knew they were the ones to help and guide me through the adoptive process. Stacy and I spent many hours searching for the match that was waiting for me. Anxiety, nervousness, excitement, and determination are just a few of the feelings I was trying to sort through in my head while waiting to find one of my sons. The process was long. I was a single parent looking to adopt on my own, and it was an emotional roller coaster. I was a successful business person who now desperately wanted to be a mother. The day I met Isaiah, who we now also call Izzy, there was no question that he was my son! From the moment I set eyes on him, I knew we were meant to be a family.
The transition was challenging. Izzy had been with an amazing foster family since he was born (he was 2 years old at the time I met him) who lived 3 hours away from me. We eased into the transition with play dates in the beginning, then overnight visits, then a week long visit. There was a lot of travel and time to think about and prepare for my son to come home. The entire process took a few months. I was fortunate, my company gave me maternity leave for six weeks so Isaiah and I could begin our lives as a family.
During our first year together we relocated to a different city. Once settled into our new home, I knew it was time to begin the search to complete our family with another child. Chrysalis House once again was there to help and guide me. This time around, possibly because I already had one adopted son, the process was much quicker. Within a few short months I met Devon, who meant to be Isaiah’s brother and my son. I will never forget the moment I told Izzy about his new brother, I showed him a picture of Devon on the computer and he started jumping up and down screaming “That’s my brother! That’s my brother!” Our excitement was difficult to contain. Our family was now on the road to becoming complete!
It has been just over 12 years since Isaiah’s adoption and almost 10 years since Devon’s adoption was finalized. My boys are my life! I could not be more proud of the young men they are becoming. Isaiah is an amazing athlete, he is playing football for his high school. Devon is a fantastic cook, has a passion for the culinary arts and wants to be a chef and own a restaurant one day.
What I’ve learned is: Parenthood is a journey unlike any other. Whether you have biological or adoptive children you never knew you had the capacity to love someone as much as your children. It is like a switch that enlarges your heart to enable you to love, care for and put these children first … in your life. It’s just unlike anything else!
My switch was flipped the moment I set eyes on my sons. It was destiny, we were meant to be a family. I am so thankful to all those who are a part of adoption plans: birth mothers, foster families, state and local agencies, and of course, my personal support system. Adoption is a gift of love that I am thankful to have received!