Our Adoption Story: Leaving the Hospital

The day we left the hospital with Miles was one of the most emotional of my life. We were so excited to be taking him home but it was also very difficult to leave his birthmother at the hospital. My heart was truly broken for her, and I found myself crying for her loss and for Miles’ loss as she signed the papers. adoption-reality

I will never, as long as I live, forget that moment. The “magnitude of that tragedy” hit me very hard. It was such a happy event for our family, but such an incredibly sad one for hers. And I know it will be sad for Miles when he learns about his adoption. I felt all of that so deeply, and meant it when I told our birthmother that she would always be in our hearts, and always a part of our family. I wish I could have erased her hurt and that I could erase his future hurt, but I know that is not in my power. All I can do is love Miles with every ounce of my being, celebrate him every day of his life, and foster a connection between our two families.


When it was finally time for us to leave, they insisted on wheeling me out with Miles in a wheelchair. At first I felt a little silly, not having given birth to him, but it didn’t take long before I let myself enjoy the ride. I was, after all, his mom now. And even though I’d only known about him for 3 days, there was no question about this. I was 100% Miles’ mother–and I could not possibly have loved him any more, even if I had given birth to him. So I let them roll me out, and I soon found myself unable to stop smiling. I may have been the happiest mom to ever leave a hospital!


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Our Adoption Story III: The Journey

The morning after talking to our birthmother for the first time, we were debating when to leave for Texas. Her due date was the day before but she hadn’t received prenatal care so the date was really just a best guess. We wanted to be there for the birth but we didn’t want to be in Texas for a week or two prior to the birth because we knew we’d have to stay for a week or two afterwards.

photo-61We were so excited but a little unsure what to do. I got the feeling that it was going to happen soon, though, so we made a Target run to get a few things we needed to bring the baby home (blankets, somewhere to sleep, diapers, formula, etc.).  photo-62We had been planning to trade our 2-door SUV in for a 4-door when the baby came, and since we were now going to be taking a road trip of undetermined length (and had to bring the dogs) we needed to do that now, too.

When we got back from running these errands, I decided to call and check on our birthmother since she told us she had been having mild contractions. When we spoke she told me that the contractions had gotten worse and that she was heading to the hospital.

We no longer had to wonder when to leave. We packed up the new car, loaded the dogs and all our baby gear, and set off for Texas.

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Our Adoption Story, Part I: The call

So happy to say we are finally home with our son, Miles! He will always be a little bit Charlie, too, but as we were in the car, speeding past Nashville, Tennessee, on the way to Texas–trying desperately to get there before he was born–it became clear that Miles was the perfect name. It has been such a journey to get to him, and when he finally found us we drove many, many miles to bring him home. It fits him perfectly. I’m wearing him in an Ergo carrier as I write this, enjoying his sweet little breath against my skin. Motherhood is all I thought it would be, and more. I am in heaven.


Our adoption story is a long one, so I’ll have to break it up into a few posts. And I’ll start at the beginning… Thursday afternoon three and a half weeks ago on April 3, 2014… I was at home on a conference call for work when I got a call on the other line from a strange number in Texas. I couldn’t answer it and figured it was probably just a wrong number or a marketing call so I didn’t think twice. But they left a voicemail which was odd, so I checked it immediately after my meeting. And I almost fell out of my chair. A caseworker from AdoptHelp left a message that I could not believe. “Hi Allie and Jamie, I’m excited to tell you that you have been chosen by a birthmother in Texas. Her due date is… um, tomorrow, actually. Please call me back.”

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We got the call… and now we have a son!

When the phone rang last Thursday afternoon, our lives were forever changed. We got the call we had been waiting for–a birthmother in Texas had chosen us to parent her child. She didn’t know if it was a boy or girl, and she was due the very next day! We spoke with her on the phone Friday evening and immediately knew that this was the miracle we had been waiting for. This was our child.

The next morning she started having contractions so we packed up our car and began to drive. Talk about a whirlwind! She had a c-section at 7:30 pm that evening. We drove through the night, about 15 hours(!), to get to the hospital at 4 a.m. to meet our son. Words can’t express my love for him–it was instantaneous–and for his birthmother and her family, too. I swear my heart grew five sizes this weekend.

I have never felt anything like this. He was our child from the moment we laid eyes on him. I can’t stop staring at him.photo-59

We brought him home from the hospital a few hours ago and now we will be in Texas until we get approval from the ICPC to take him home to Virginia, probably a week or two. We are just now coming up for air and are exhausted, as we have been running on adrenaline and love and fear and excitement for the past 72 hours. So many emotions. So much love. So many blessings.

I have never felt anything so profound in my life.

There is so much more to this story, but I wanted to share at least this much for now. I will write more later… but right now I need to feed my baby (ahhh!)… thank you all for all of your support!

p.s. We didn’t end up naming him Charlie after all, but that’s for another post…



Another year older…

flyWell, it happened… my birthday was this past weekend. I turned 36 on Saturday. I am now officially in the last half of my 30’s.

I was expecting to feel a little blue about turning another year older and not yet being a mom. Last year, when I turned 35, it was pretty hard. We were trying to get pregnant and I was getting poked and prodded at the fertility doctor. Turning 35 at the same time was not easy. It was another reminder that the clock was ticking away and that I was not getting any younger.

While people age differently, 35 is the scary number you always hear when people talk about fertility. Doctors say that getting pregnant after 35 is much harder, much riskier, much more of a longshot. Fertility doctors put you in a different category at 35 than you are at 34. When you turn 35, you are considered to be of “advanced maternal age.” If I was not getting pregnant at 33 and 34, then surely I would not have any chance at all after 35. Last year on my birthday, it felt like the curtain was closing.

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Keeping an eye on the finish line

alliegraciemarathonRunning, for me, has always been cathartic and I’m pretty sure it’s what keeps me sane. It tires me out physically and energizes me mentally–both things that help me stay balanced. I also just plain love to run. Being in motion, running in the woods or down a country road, (especially with my dog) is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

So when I was starting to feel frustrated with the wait for an adoption match a few weeks ago, and feeling like I might be nearing my wit’s end, I went for a run. Instead of stopping at 3 miles like I usually do, I ran 5. That extra distance felt so good and was such a release that I decided to train for a half marathon. I’m up to 9 miles now and am feeling awesome. (My dog also loves to run–she’s up to 9 miles, too.)

A few years ago, I ran a full marathon. At that time in my life, I was going through some tough stuff and running provided a much-needed therapeutic outlet for me. I would go out to run and get lost in my thoughts, work through my feelings, push my body (sometimes quite painfully) to its absolute limits, measure my progress, and then be too tired later to worry much about anything. Running helped me stay healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally, then and it’s helping me now.


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A little break… and some house news

photo-54I took a little break from writing the blog, and thinking about our adoption, while I was in San Francisco for work last week. It felt good to be distracted and busy and, even though I was working, it ended up feeling quite a bit like a vacation. It was like a little reprieve from reality and the stress I was beginning to feel from the wait for a match. I feel refreshed now and re-energized, better equipped to handle the wait and ready for whatever is coming, whenever it comes.

photo-53It also helps that we have some great news. If you’ve been reading the blog, you know we were looking for a house to buy and then stopped looking for a house to buy. Well, wouldn’t you know it–after we decided to stop looking, we found our house! And it’s the perfect house for us. My mom kept saying that the right house would find us, and it actually did. It is such a happy house, with lots of natural light, big beautiful windows, and spectacular mountain views. It just feels good to be in it. It feels like home.


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5th Monthly Agency Update

5_en_rayaWe got our 5th monthly agency update last week. Unfortunately, the agency ran out of our profiles last month and we didn’t get notified right away so we were only shown to potential birthmothers during the last week of February.

During that last week, we were presented to 7 women. One chose us as her third choice and the others had not chosen yet as of last week. This is the second time we have been chosen as someone’s third choice. That gives me hope and is exciting, but I’m really ready to be someone’s first choice.

This is probably typical of the roller coaster that is adoption–but I have been moving between feeling like it will happen any day to feeling like it is never going to happen.

We’re now officially in our 6th month of waiting–the agency’s quoted average wait time for a match. I’m trying my best to not over think it and wonder why we haven’t been chosen yet, but, honestly, it’s a little hard not to. Is it because we don’t seem like we’d be good parents? Is it because we have two dogs? Is it because I work? Is it because our current house is small? Is it because our profile is home made? Is it our profile picture? Is it because we aren’t enormously wealthy?

I know it’s a waste of time to wonder about these things, so I will try not to. I’ll just carry on, stay busy, and keep hoping for that phone call.

Study shows breastfeeding is over-rated

formulaWhen we first started the adoption process, the one disappointment I felt was that my child would miss out on the benefits of breast milk, as I will not be breastfeeding. Will he or she be unhealthy and get sick all of the time? Is formula bad for a baby? Will it take longer for us to bond?

Breastfeeding is the gold standard these days and both the medical and mommy community tout it as the very best thing you can do for your child. That’s all you ever hear about it. Breast is best, yada yada. Like everyone else, I simply accepted that as fact because, well, it makes sense that the best thing for a baby would be milk from the most natural source. I’m from the organic generation and I have a healthy mistrust of processed food. But, I’ve been reading more and more studies and articles that claim to prove that the benefits of breastfeeding are majorly over-rated.

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Showering Charlie

photo-47Some people might think it’s a little odd to have a baby shower when you have no idea when you’ll be having a baby. But, that didn’t stop me from celebrating the eventual arrival of Charlie yesterday. A friend of mine threw a baby shower brunch for me at her farmhouse and it was such a great time.

As I drove the winding country road out to the farm, I had time to reflect on our journey up to this point. I was on the way to a baby shower–and it wasn’t for one of my friends or family. It was for me. Even though we don’t have a due date yet, we know our baby is coming at some point (hopefully in the near future) and yesterday made it all feel very real.  This is happening. I don’t know when. But it’s happening.

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