At AFTH we like to highlight those who have expanded their family though adoption. Particularly, during National Adoption Month when we have the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of adoption all month long.
Recently, we spoke with Jen and Eric who adopted a baby boy through AFTH 2 years ago. The couple opened up about their struggle with infertility, the challenges they faced during their adoption journey, and advice for parents going through the process.
Q: What led you to pursue adoption?
Jen: When we encountered primary infertility and secondary infertility the conversations on adopting became real. We questioned ourselves a lot, “are we going to do this.” Part of our story that I love is that I had started to give up… we had started to reach the end of our infertility path. I went back to school to get my master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner which really opened my eyes more to adoption. I prayed and prayed until I was emotionally and physically spent. Christmas morning in 2014, my husband wrote me a card. I thought I was getting a massage. The letter said how we really should pursue adoption. My response was “Wow.” So, we did and started the process.
Q: How did you begin the process?
Jen: I found out one of my co-worker’s mother-in-law is a social worker in the Lancaster office with Adoptions from the Heart. My husband really took the bull by the horn, and helped out with everything every step of the way. Before we knew it, we were in the books, our profile was done and our final steps were near.
Q: Did you face any hardships? If so what were they and how did you two overcome?
Jen: We were chosen by a family in Virginia. I got a call from Marylin saying that a baby was being born and they had chosen us. We drove all night to Virginia, but when we woke up the next morning, we could sense something wasn’t right. We learned the birth parents decided to choose another family – we were heartbroken. I knew if I didn’t get up the next day for work I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed for a while. So, we got up the next morning and went to work. My husband is a physical education teacher and football coach for middle schoolers. His co-worker came to him that day and told us that his nephew and his girlfriend are pregnant and decided to place their baby for adoption. We were immediately connected with them – they had a son and chose to name him Mason. We couldn’t believe it, because my husband and I always said if we had a son, we would name him Mason – which is my husband’s grandfathers name. It was amazing to think that this is the name we had wanted for so long. It was meant to be and truly made me realize that he was meant to be our son.
Q: How is your relationship with the birth parents and are you looking to adopt again?
Jen: We have a very open adoption. We see our son’s birth parents’ multiple times a year. My husband taught and coached [the birth father], so we had a connection and felt very comfortable with them. This process was the most transformative thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. The entire process has changed my life. There is no question he is our son. Our family is complete, we are not looking to adopt anymore. Our biological daughter is 8 and Mason is 2.
Q: Any advice for those who are going through the adoption process?
Jen: The wait was hard, however, it was important for us to trust the process. Although the process is bumpy and not without challenges – when your kid comes home, you know instantly that all that waiting was worth it. My faith was also a huge part in helping me cope, along with my family and husband.