Happy Adoption Day, Anna!

Happy Adoption Day, Anna! Anna and her parents, Eva and Jeff, celebrated the finalization of her adoption in court on July 25, 2018.

Anna was born on March 20, 2018 and was placed directly from the hospital into the care of her adoptive parents, Eva and Jeff. Anna's birth had no complications and she was healthy upon delivery. The couple enjoyed an open adoption with Anna's birth mother prior to the birth, and they plan to continue having contact with her in the future.

Happy Adoption Day, Anna!.2.jpg

Anna's day in court was very special, because the judge presiding over the finalization hearing was usually a judge in criminal proceedings. He had asked to be a part of Anna's special day because of his own connection with adoption. The judge and his wife adopted their daughter when she was an infant, and his daughter, now seven years old, was present in the courtroom for Anna's adoption hearing. The judge's daughter helped push Anna's stroller into the courtroom, and everyone was a little teary-eyed after the finalization took place. Eva and Jeff told AOW that the moment was very special for everyone to witness.  Anna was so excited that she even rose her hand for the oath!

Happy Adoption Day, Anna!.3.jpg

After the hearing, the family of three went to the Capitol to take some photos. Eva and Jeff had wedding photos done at the Capitol when they were married, and now they have adoption photos with Anna there, too. They celebrated with a cake at home later that day!

Thank you, Eva and Jeff, for sharing your adoption journey with us. Anna is very loved by all around her and we are excited to watch her grow. We wish you all the best!

Happy Adoption Day, Clark!

Congratulations to Clark and his parents, Katie and Jake, who finalized Clark's adoption on June 25, 2018!

Clark was completely at ease during the hearing, which calmed his parent's nerves. Judge Mitchell presided over the finalization and Katie and Jake reflected that he was incredibly warm and kind to their family.

Happy Adoption Day, Clark!.2.jpg

Clark's family members traveled from New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison to be there for his special day. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a late breakfast to celebrate the occasion!

Clark was completely at ease during the hearing, which calmed his parent's nerves. Judge Mitchell presided over the finalization and Katie and Jake reflected that he was incredibly warm and kind to their family.

Happy Adoption Day, Clark!.3.jpg

Thank you, Katie and Jake, for sharing your adoption journey with us! We wish you nothing but the best moving forward and we can't wait to see updates of Clark a few months from now!

Happy Adoption Day, Carter!

Happy Adoption Day, Carter! This handsome baby boy celebrated his adoption finalization with his dads, Scott and Troy, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

Carter was born on December 22, 2017 and was placed directly into the care of Scott and Troy from the hospital. Scott and Troy formed a bond with Carter's birth parents from the start of the matching process and continue to have an open adoption relationship today.

Carter's birth mother and father spoke at a recent AOW Waiting Family Group about their experience with open adoption and how their feelings have changed after placement and the termination of their parental rights. Carter's birth mother spoke honestly and confidently about her decision to place Carter with Scott and Troy. She spoke highly of her choice in adoptive parents for her son, and stated that she feels comfortable continuing their relationship into the future.

Claire Schulz Bergman was the social worker who worked with both Scott and Troy and Carter's birth parents throughout the process. Claire enjoyed working with both families to facilitate their matching and placement processes. Claire reflected on the adoptive couple and had this to say about them, "Scott and Troy were so wonderful to work with. Baby Carter has so many people who love him! The care and respect that Scott and Troy showed Carter’s birth parents throughout this whole process is heartwarming. Carter will only benefit from the relationship that his parents have with his birth parents. It takes a village!"

Claire is going to miss the monthly visits with Carter during post placement, but is happy that this family of three is complete. AOW thanks Scott and Troy for their openness with Carter's birth parents and we wish them the best of luck in the future!

Happy Adoption Day, Matthew!

Congratulations to Bethany and Jeff on finalizing the adoption of their son, Matthew! Just one day after Mother's Day on May 14, 2018, Matthew's adoption was finalized in court.

Happy Adoption Day, Matthew!.1.jpg

Matthew was born on December 18, 2017 and was placed with Bethany and Jeff a few days later. He has been welcomed into the family with open arms and has been showered with love and attention from his parents and big brother, Marcus.

Big brother Marcus was lucky enough to be able to help finalize Matthew's adoption with help from the judge.

Congratulations Bethany, Jeff, Marcus and Matthew! We're so excited for your bright future together.

Happy Adoption Day, Jaiden!

Happy Adoption Day, Jaiden! Jaiden's adoption was finalized in court on April 18, 2018. He was with his siblings and parents on his big day and he seemed to enjoy appearing in court before the judge!

Happy Adoption Day, Jaiden!.1.jpg

Haiden, Jaiden's biological older brother, was adopted by Mel and Jon at birth in 2010. Jaiden's birth mother parented Jaiden from his birth in 2014 until he was placed with Jon and Mel in November 2017. Jaiden's birth mother reached out to Mel and Jon late last year when she decided that she could not provide her son with the life that she wanted him to have. She also wanted him to have the opportunity to be raised alongside his biological brother, Haiden. Mel and Jon readily accepted the unexpected role of becoming parents again, and welcomed Jaiden into their family.

Jaiden is an energetic four-year-old who has adapted well to his placement with his parents and siblings. He shares a room with his older brother and seems to have developed close relationships with his sisters, too.

At his adoption finalization hearing, Jaiden excitedly announced himself and introduced his siblings to the judge. We are excited to see this family grow into a family of six! Congratulations Jaiden, Mel and Jon!

Happy Adoption Day, Kai!

Happy Adoption Day, Kai! Andy and Sarah celebrated the finalization of their son's adoption on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

Happy Adoption Day, Kai!.1.jpg

Kai was born on July 19, 2017 and has been in the care of Sarah and Andy since his discharge from the hospital. After completing six months of post placement visits, Sarah and Andy applied for finalization and were able to squeeze in a court date at the end of 2017. Kai looked very dapper at his finalization hearing, wearing matching bow ties with his dad.

Congratulations to Sarah and Andy on their journey to becoming parents. We are so grateful to have played a role in bringing Kai to form your family of three. Thank you for your continued support of adoption!

Happy Adoption Day, Harlow!

Happy Adoption Day, Harlow! Congratulations to Haley and Noah, who finalized the adoption of their daughter, Harlow, last Thursday, December 21st 2017.

Happy Adoption Day, Harlow!.1.jpg

Harlow was born on September 10, 2017, and has been loved and cherished in the care of her parents and big brother, Jason. Harlow's birth parents chose Haley, Noah and Jason to be Harlow's forever family at the end of September. Harlow's big day came quickly, and the family of four looked picture perfect with the judge at the finalization hearing. After a whirlwind few months, Haley and Noah are ecstatic to finalize Harlow's adoption and continue their journey together.

We wish Haley, Noah, Jason and Harlow the best for their future and we are very grateful that they shared a part of their lives with us. Congratulations, Harlow!

Happy Adoption Day, Ben!

Happy Adoption Day, Ben! His parents, Heather and Steve, alongside the judge, smiled happily as they celebrated his official adoption finalization on December 12, 2017.

Happy Adoption Day, Ben!.1.jpg

Benjamin was born on June 7, 2017 in Madison. His birth mother knew that she wanted to choose adoption for him, and she chose Heather and Steve to be his parents. After spending a few days in the care of licensed AOW foster parents, Heather and Steve arrived to pick up their baby boy. Ben has been thriving in the care of his parents since that day.

Happy Adoption Day, Ben!.2.jpg

Ben was surrounded by loved ones on his adoption day, and he even got to hold and drop the judge's gavel! We feel blessed to have been a part of bringing Ben to his forever home with Heather and Steve. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives for the last six months of post placement, and the months of preparation before that! We can't wait to see what the future brings for this family of three. Congratulations Heather, Steve and Ben!

Happy Adoption Day, Ben!.3.jpg

Happy Adoption Day, Zoe!

A warm congratulations to Zoe and her family, who celebrated her adoption finalization on this past Monday, December 4th!

Happy Adoption Day, Zoe!.1.jpg

Zoe was surrounded by with love from her extended family and friends who came to support her adoption finalization. Zoe was happy to hold hands with the judge at the hearing and looked adorable in her pink and white dress.

Zoe was born on May 4, 2017, and has been in the care of her parents, Elizabeth and Matt, since then. She has been the feature of a Too Cute Tuesday, as well as providing us many smiles when she visited the AOW office. We are excited for this family of three to explore life together and welcome future updates from Elizabeth and Matt. Happy Adoption Day, Zoe!

Happy Adoption Day, Baby S!

Congratulations, Baby S! Baby S celebrated her adoption finalization on Wednesday, December 6th with her moms and the presiding judge.

Baby S was born on May 19, 2017, and was placed with her moms and big brother a month later. She is thriving in the care of her moms and has happily become the fourth official member of their family through finalization. Baby S had a roller coaster first month of life, and we are beyond excited to see her settled in her forever home.

We will miss post placement visits with Baby S and her family, but more updates are sure to come in the future! Happy Adoption Day, Baby S!

Happy Adoption Day, Devin!

Another one of AOW's families celebrated the much anticipated Adoption Day! Erin and Tim, with their daughter, Devin, finalized Devin's adoption in court on September 6, 2017.

The journey that lead Devin to her parents was not a traditional agency adoption. Erin and Tim contacted AOW with an already established birth parent situation, which is referred to as an independent match. They hurriedly completed their home study so as to be approved to adopt through the state of Wisconsin prior to Devin's birth. AOW worked with both Erin and Tim and their birth mother throughout the process.

Devin was born on January 31, 2017. AOW Social Worker and Executive Director, Claire, has been working with the family to provide post placement services and help them prepare for finalization. Erin and Tim have been a pleasure to work with, as they have been timely in all communication efforts and have demonstrated a strong desire to respect the adoption journey.

Here is what their Social Worker, Claire, had to say about them- "Erin and Tim are such a wonderful couple. It was such a privilege to help them through their adoption of Devin. They showed such high regard for Devin’s birth mother and her family members throughout this whole process, and it is clear that Devin will grow up knowing she has two families (plus numerous others) supporting her and caring about her well-being throughout her life."

Happy Adoption Day, Devin!.3.jpg

Although we are disappointed that we will not have any more monthly post placement updates about Devin, we are sure that this will not be the last time we hear from the family. We are excited to share news about Devin's life growing up and are hopeful that Erin and Tim will continue to be an active part of the AOW family.

Happy Adoption Day, Branson!

As promised, today we follow up on Branson's Too Cute Tuesday feature. Branson's adoption was finalized today, August 23rd!

The courtroom was full of Jen and Brian's family and friends today, who were all there to support them and celebrate Branson's big day. After the short hearing, the kids took turns sitting in the Judge's chair and taking photos.

Branson was born on January 31, 2017, and the almost seven-month-old has been never been short of any love or attention. Jen and Brian first found out about their son after AOW Social Worker, Megan, gave them the call that Branson's birth mother had chosen them and was in labor at the hospital. Jen and Brian immediately drove to meet Branson's birth mother for the first time in the hospital, and they stayed by her side throughout the duration of the delivery. It was a heartwarming moment for all to be involved in.

Pictured above, AOW Social Worker, Megan, holding a squirming Branson, attended the finalization hearing with the family. Megan has been working with Jen and Brian from the beginning of their adoption journey. Megan speaks highly of Jen and Brian as parents and hopes their experience was one to remember with AOW. When speaking about Jen and Brian, Megan said, "They are one of the sweetest families I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I was lucky enough to have been with them on their journey from the very beginning - I first met them at their information session, I completed their home study and I introduced them to their birth mother. Jen and Brian always speak about Branson's birth mother with love and respect. They genuinely love her and are so grateful to her for bringing Branson into their lives. I'm going to miss our monthly post placement visits!"

We extend our warmest congratulations to Jen, Brian and Branson! We wish you all the luck in the world for your future together, and cannot wait to see updates as Branson continues to grow. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your story!

Happy Adoption Day, Taliyah!

Happy Adoption Day, Taliyah!

Happy Adoption Day, Taliyah!

Happy Adoption Day, Taliyah!

Taliyah Rose celebrated her special day with her parents on August 15, 2017. Taliyah was born on March 22, 2017, with her adoptive parents and birth family present in the room. Taliyah’s life with her parents is comfortable and full of love, and she is healthy and thriving. Her parents share an open relationship with Taliyah’s birth mother and intend to continue to have communication as she grows older. After the six months of post placement visits, Taliyah’s adoption was finalized in front of a judge. We are wishing the best for Taliyah and her parent’s future! Our sincerest congratulations, and we are so glad to have been a part of your adoption journey.

Relaxing at the courthouse with her dad

Relaxing at the courthouse with her dad

Family of three!

Family of three!

An Interstate Adoption: Happy Adoption Day, Ella!

Happy Adoption Day, Ella! Ella's interstate adoption was finalized on August 2, 2017 in Illinois.

While AOW does most of our work with adoptive parents and birth parents in the state of Wisconsin, we also offer interstate and independent adoption services. In Ella's case, this was both! Ella's adoptive parents, Nicole and Dan, had a home study completed by their agency in Illinois and were connected with a birth mother living in Wisconsin. The birth mother reached out to AOW, informing us that she was already independently matched with a family in Illinois, but needed an agency to work with here. Over the months, we worked with both the birth mother and the adoptive parents to ensure that the birth and adoption would go smoothly. A necessary part of interstate adoption is completing the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) process. ICPC ensures that children being moved across state lines have the same rights and protections as children staying in Wisconsin. While this can often be a time consuming and tedious task, it is also necessary and relevant.

After Ella's birth, Nicole and Dan traveled to Wisconsin to receive placement and await ICPC procedures. They spent several days in Wisconsin, waiting for the go ahead to travel back to their home in Illinois with Ella. The process of an interstate adoption is often confusing, but AOW works closely with the adoptive parents and affiliated agencies to expedite the ICPC process as much as possible. We also work with families in Wisconsin to complete their home studies who are interested in working with out-of-state adoption agencies. Interstate adoption can happen either way, and we are here to guide you through understanding the requirements of ICPC.

Congratulations, Nicole, Dan and Ella! We wish you happiness and love in your future.

Happy Adoption Day Leo!

Adoption Day is like a birthday for an entire family. A big congratulations to Sara and Lauren on finalizing the adoption of their son, Leo. We wish you great things and happiness in the future!

It's always wonderful when a family can be created this way. Leo gained a loving, caring, and nurturing home; and a couple with love and kindness to show gained a son whom they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Happy Adoption Day Leo!.1.jpg