Our Future Becomes Brighter
When Our Child Enters Our World
Our adoption placement was a whirlwind, after waiting a long time for a match. On the day our son finished his first day of kindergarten, we went as a family to get ice cream after school. While we were there, we got a call from our caseworker with the surprising news that an expectant mother had looked at our profile book and wanted to meet us. We got to chat with the expectant mother on the phone and even drove to meet her in her home town for lunch a few days later. Just one week later, we celebrated our son’s 6th birthday on a Wednesday, drove out west on Thursday to meet our new daughter at the hospital just 2 hours after her birth, and brought her home at midnight Saturday, just barely missing my own mom’s wedding, but in time for the new big brother’s birthday party on Sunday! We had SO much to celebrate and be thankful for all in one week, and we rode that adrenaline rush for the first 6 months of Adair’s life.
It was really meaningful, after over 2 years of waiting for a match, to see how all of the little details fell into place. No one could have orchestrated it but God. We love that while we were patient and faithful in the waiting, while Gladney counseled us and walked with us, God was preparing everyone for just the right moment to welcome Adair into our family. I remember being worried I might not feel an emotional connection to the baby right away, like I did with our biological child. We were so nervous walking into that hospital nursery to meet her, but the moment I saw Adair, my heart swelled so full of love for her. Now, two years later, I still think my heart will just burst sometimes because of how much we treasure her and how perfectly she fits into our family. Growing your family through adoption includes many unknowns, and that was really a challenge for someone like me, who likes to plan and be in control. However, the wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources at Gladney helped us feel both confident and equipped every step of the way.
I feel spoiled to have been able to partner with Gladney. They offered us a lot of instruction, education, and hand-holding throughout the whole process. Their post adoption support services are a key factor in why we knew Gladney was a good fit for us. I have since learned that not all domestic adoptions are handled with ethics, tact, or compassion for all members of the adoption triad; and I feel so grateful that this was never a concern with Gladney. I always knew both we and our daughter’s birth mother were well represented, advised, and cared for throughout the entire process. Our daughter’s birth mother’s caseworker was literally the only person holding her hand in the delivery room and caring for her in the days after birth. One of the really big lessons I learned from Gladney was in the education requirements as we were getting approved, and I am so thankful they had us watch those videos and seminars about adoption. I had never considered there is trauma involved for all three parties of the adoption triad, and while that trauma looks different for everyone and may surface at different points in their lives, it needs to be acknowledged and processed in a healthy way. I feel adoption in our country is often promoted as such a positive and feel-good cause, but people don’t always stop to consider the reason adoption exists is because of broken and traumatic situations. I appreciated Gladney’s honest approach to facilitating adoption and offering hope and bright futures to adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents alike.
We have been taught that every child needs security, purpose, and hope to fulfill their inherit, inner needs. When a birth mother doesn’t think she can provide some or all of those needs, she may look to place her child with a family who has the resources and desire to make those things a reality for the child. That’s why we so respect and admire the birth mothers who walk this journey and want to give their children so much. We are fortunate to have been able to open our hearts and home to a child through adoption, and we share her birth mother’s high hopes and dreams for our daughter. We want her to grow up knowing she has a safe, secure, and grace-filled home; where she can grow, learn, and make mistakes. We want her to know she is loved, wanted, and needed for a bigger purpose in this world; and she has a hope for a bright future, where she is supported and secure in her identity, giving her the ability to achieve her dreams and goals.
While it's easy to look outward and see the opportunity for the child, it's also imperative that adoptive parents look inward and recognize adoption is a life changing moment for them. A parent's own future becomes exponentially brighter when a child enters their world, and we see that every day when we look at Adair. She's as sweet as can be, and we can't get enough of her.
We are part of the Gladney Family Association, and while our daughter has been a little young to participate in some of the events they offer, we hope to be able to do more in the future. Every year, we look forward to Gladney Night at Six Flags, and we have enjoyed getting to invite our friends and share the mission with them. We have gotten to see both our caseworker and our home study worker at that event annually, so it’s really fun to catch up and talk about how much everyone has grown and changed in the past year. Aside from the fun events, we are very aware our adoption is never “over” and that it will always be part of our family’s story. We are grateful to know Gladney is a resource for us now and in the future, as we see how that aspect of our lives continues to unfold and affect things. Adoption is such a unique and sensitive issue. It gives me a lot of security to know when we or our daughter have questions down the road, such as what adoption means to her or how she wants her relationship with her birth family to look, we have a place to go that offers expertise, compassion, and encouragement.
Gladney’s holistic approach sets them apart from other agencies. They are not placing babies and saying goodbye and good luck. They make it their mission to educate prospective adoptive parents on how to physically and emotionally prepare to bring a child home. They gently and expertly guide adoptive parents, expectant mothers, and birth parents through the often complex and stressful process of matching, placement, and finalization. Finally, they provide post adoption services, such as support groups and counseling for the entire adoption triad. Gladney supports families at every stage of the lifelong journey of adoption.
Nina & JR