Our adoption journey began in September of 2013. We began the adoption process after we struggled with a very difficult pregnancy with Gavin and miscarriages and finding out we only had a 40% chance of growing our family biologically. Both of us knew instantly when we found out having children biologically would be very difficult for us that adoption was the option. We knew we wanted a bigger family.
We began our home study with a different agency back then. We had our home study complete and we were ready to be a “waiting family” in October of 2013. We had a good experience with our old agency but month after month the contacts slowed down. We met with 1 birth family during our wait from October 2013 to November 2014 but were not chosen. In November 2014 I received the call that our previous agency was closing! This was news that we did not expect and as you can imagine left us feeling very defeated. How were we going to grow our family through adoption if we didn’t have an agency? We began looking for a new agency right away. In November 2014 we met with Megan at Adoptions of Wisconsin and we were ready to sign up and keep our journey moving right along. However, we found out that there was a wait to join the program. Oh man, another thing that felt like a set back. Not to mention a new profile book, new home study and basically building a relationship all over again with our social worker. But we knew Adoptions of Wisconsin was the right choice so we joined the waiting list and started networking. We joined attorney Facebook pages all over the country, made our own Facebook page all hoping we would find a match and our family would grow. We happily waited.
Fast forward to the fall of 2015. We heard that a potential birth mother contacted Adoptions of Wisconsin from our previous agency and was interested in meeting us! We were excited but later found out that would not be our match. In the next 2 months we met with 3 other potential birth families and none of them ended up to be a match. We were crushed! But we knew we had to have faith and keep living and enjoy our family.
In June of 2016 we got THE call! The call all adoptive parents wait for! We had been chosen. Chosen by a birth family and the baby was born. Claire wanted us to meet her and the family at the hospital the next day. We were in shock! I remember asking Claire how many other families are being considered and when will we know if we had been picked? She said you are picked multiple times before I really grasped we had been chosen. She followed up and said the baby would be discharged in 2 days.
Kyle and I both left work and got the necessities for a baby. Car seat, diapers and formula – we had it. Later that day we went to pick up Gavin from school. He immediately noticed the baby carrier in the car. He was asking a lot of questions, so we told him that when we got home we were going have a family talk. We told him everything we knew. We are very open about adoption in our home so he knew about birth families. We were very honest about the situation with him. Gavin said, “so a birth family loves the baby and us so much that the baby should live with us?” We said they were thinking about that and asked him how he would feel about it. He said he was ready to be a big brother! He then asked if it was a boy or girl and we told him the baby was a girl. He asked what her name was and at this point she didn’t have a name. We told him the names we had picked when he was a baby since we didn’t know if he was a boy or a girl. He told us he didn’t want those names and he wanted the name Tenley. We told him we would talk with the baby’s birth parents and mention that name.
The next day we went to the hospital to meet Tenley and birth family. The birth family loved the name and we felt an instant connection. I won’t go into much about the birth family out of respect for them and Tenley. That is Tenley’s story to share when and if ready, but we spent time together at the hospital. We were just so instantly in love with everyone. Then it was time to head home and give Tenley and her birth family time together. We said our goodbyes and went home and attempted to sleep. They next day we went to the hospital to take Tenley home. This was a very emotional day for everyone. I remember hugging Tenley’s birth mom and just sobbing, so many emotions. We have an open adoption with Tenley’s birth family and love them very much.
Now we are loving being a family of 4. Gavin is the best big brother a little girl could ask for. We are so grateful for the love and support we received from Adoptions of Wisconsin and are thankful they were able to be with us on this journey.