Hilary and Dirk (both 28) adopted their daughter G domestically and brought her home from the hospital. They have no other children. While their adoption story has a happy ending it was spiked with doubts and fears. Read all about Hilary and Dirk’s experience and why they are ready to adopt again.
Why did you decide to adopt?
We decided to adopt when we learned that we could not have any biological children. This was a very difficult time in our lives. We had so many questions and felt so lost. After we were done feeling sorry for ourselves and realized we truly are not in control, we turned to our one and only God.
What was your spouse’s reaction when you brought up adoption?
Considering we were not too fond of the idea of “sperm donor” or “adopting an embryo”, and we had tried everything else we could possibly do to get pregnant (my husband even had surgery), we knew adoption was the solution. We wanted a family so badly that we were willing to take the ‘risks’. (I will be sharing a post about the myths and rumors of adoption as part of the Adoption Awareness Blog Project.)
When did you first realize your desire to adopt? And how much longer until you took the first step?
God definitely put adoption on my heart long before my husband, Dirk. We didn’t know a lot of people who were adopted, and it scared and intimidated us with all the horror stories out there. But after my husband read a book his spirit shifted. Six months after his surgery, we had our first meeting at an adoption agency.
How did you choose your adoption agency?
I visited a few adoption agencies and prayed over our decision. In the end, we went through Bethany Christian Services. We are so glad we did!
How did you raise funds for the adoption?
Since we had been trying for kids for years, we eventually figured we’d have to try in vitro fertilization or seek some other expensive method to get pregnant. So we were saving for a while before we even knew we’d be going down the path of adoption. Which means we were able to cover all adoption expenses ourselves. It felt like such an accomplishment for us to be able to do that.
What road blocks did you have to overcome? And how did you resolve them?
Overall, our adoption process went smoothly. But I remember a few times feeling like What are we getting ourselves into?
One time in particular, after a meeting with our case worker and answering all six pages about our expectations for our child: From race, to mental health risks, exposure to drug/alcohol abuse and so on…That night my husband and I barely said a word to each other. We felt completely out of control. All we could do was pray.
The next big road block for us was the birth mom’s father who wanted to raise the baby and when his daughter (the birth mom) would be ready he was going to let her parent her baby. This was very emotionally draining for all of us, birth parents included. The birth mom’s father said he was going to fight for custody against his own daughter even after our baby was born.
While Dirk and I were at the hospital meeting our daughter G for the first time our case worker informed us that the birth mom’s father was still standing strongly about fighting for her. But God once again calmed our hearts and performed a miracle: Within the three hours we were at the hospital, the birth mom’s father called again and finally agreed to the adoption.
Nonetheless, we still felt uneasy the next month…thinking about the birth parents, not knowing how they are and what they were feeling. prayed so much for them, their hearts, minds and future that they would feel no regret.
What what was your biggest fear about adoption and how did you conquer it?
Our biggest fear was the health of the baby, and then also the relationship between us and the birth parents. We talked a lot with our case worker at Bethany about all this. She was a big help.
How long did you wait for your daughter?
From the time we filled our application with Bethany to the time G was born and home with us was only 4 months! We turned our application in at the end of September. By the end of October, we submitted our references, medical reports, finger prints, completed our home study. We finished, printed and turned in our profile book mid November. We didn’t realize that once you turn in your profile book you are eligible to birth parents to start checking you out. Which is exactly what happened: The first couple to view our book chose us.
The first weekend in December we received a call that a couple wanted to meet us. We were so excited! About three weeks later we met the birth parents who told us after talking to us for a while that they chose us to become parents to their little baby girl, and that we could name her too.
Explain your relationship with the birth parents.
Our relationship with the birth parents is filled with respect, gratitude and openness. They know they can visit as much or as little as they want. Every month, we send them a letter and photos. The times we have met up with them, they came over to our home and we had pizza, played games, went for a walk, and just hung out with G letting them get to know her and connect as much as possible while they are with her.
Does your adopted child know that she is adopted? When did you tell her?
G is still a baby but we have already started a photo book describing her story. Also, because of the open adoption she will grow up knowing her birth parents.
Would you adopt again?
YES! We are hoping to start the paper work at the beginning of 2012, and we will be working with the same adoption agency again.
What advice would you give parents seeking to adopt?
Be upfront with your fears and concerns. Pray about everything, then just watch God work miracle after miracle. Whatever baby he brings you, it will be a perfect match. He designed and created that baby for you and with you in mind.
Hilary and Dirk, thank you so much for opening your hearts and sharing your adoption story! I can’t wait to hear all about baby #2!