“One common question I hear as an adoptive parent is, ‘Why did you decide to adopt?’ I have heard many other families talk about how faith drove them to the decision or that infertility led to adoption. Neither of these apply for us. Instead, it was really a matter of, why not adopt?
Before adopting, my husband and I already had two beautiful children and a pretty great life. Neither of us had an interest in starting over and going through the infant and toddler stages again, and I was fine with never experiencing pregnancy again, but we both knew there was something missing.
Over the last ten years of marriage we have had several conversations about adopting an older child one day, although, it was never the right time. Two years ago, we decided our children were getting older and maybe it was time to start preparing for the possibility of adoption. We sold our home and began building a larger home to accommodate a growing family. Even so, the idea of adoption was still not on the immediate radar. We just wanted to be more prepared when the time felt right.
In the fall of 2016 I was invited to the adoption ceremony for three wonderful kids who I teach. I had the privilege of watching these children grow and blossom over the last two years after they were placed with their grandparents for adoption. It was then that we knew the time was right to grow our family.
Over the next few months we spent much of our time attending orientations and filling out paperwork, a lot of paperwork. During one of the trainings, I remember listening to families speak who had already finalized their adoptions. Each story was unique in the path that it took to get there, but all the speakers spoke with such pride and love when talking about their new families. Listening to these families made us even more confident that we were doing the right thing and for the right reasons. We finished the trainings, completed a home study and a bit more paperwork and became an approved licensed adoptive home in July of 2017.
The next step in the path to adoption was the matching process where we would be selected as an adoptive family. Our family profile was sent out and the waiting game had started, or so we thought. Two days after our approval, our lives changed forever, we had a match! I was sitting at work when I received a phone call from our Gladney case worker saying that we had been selected for a sibling group of two boys, ages six and nine. We were told to look over their profile and let her know if we wanted to move forward. It didn’t take long for us to look at the picture of these two beautiful boys and know we needed to meet them.
Two weeks later, the day had finally arrived to meet our boys. We drove the three-hour trip to their foster parent’s home eagerly anticipating the moment we would meet our children. I don’t think I have ever been more excited and nervous than that moment when we walked up to the front door. It was quickly apparent we were not the only ones nervous about the meeting. It took several minutes before either of the boys mustered up the nerve to speak to us. A trip to McDonald’s and a toy aisle of the local store was a great ice breaker for us all.
The next two days were a whirlwind of parks, arcades and bowling as we got a glimpse of life as a family of six, and a great life it was.
Over the next few weeks we prepared our home and our lives for their arrival. We had two weekends of pre-placement visits with our boys before they came home forever. By the end of our second weekend together no one wanted them to leave, but we knew they would be home for good very soon.
Finally the day came in late August that our boys came home forever. I will never forget the moment the boys came running from the car to greet us that day. They were finally home and we could begin our lives as a family.
Many older children adoptions are said to have a ‘honeymoon period.’ That wonderful time where everyone is on their best behavior and all is right in the world. Ours lasted about three days. Over the next six months, life happened. We had great days full of new experiences and small victories and hard days of working through triggers from the past. My mommy heart has been broken while helping my children through loss and pain no child should experience. My heart has also never been as full as the sweet firsts in the hugs, the ‘I love you’s’ and the amazing way the word ‘Mom’ sounded when said for the first time.
On February, 23rd 2018, we officially became a forever family. As we stood in front of the judge amongst our family and friends, we waited to hear the words ‘adoption granted.’ At that moment, all the weight of the last year fell away instantly.
These boys were safe, loved and above all, ours forever. No more homes, no more foster care and no more unknowns in their future. People have told me several times how lucky my boys are to have found us. I tell them they have it backwards. It’s ME who is the lucky one.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Boyer, 31, of Texas. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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