‘The day before we were supposed to fly out, we got a call. ‘We haven’t been able to reach her for 24 hours. This isn’t a good sign.’ My heart sank. We were completely shocked.’

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“My husband and I had all these big plans when we got married about when and how we were going to start our family. We were going to have at least one kid by the time we hit our third year of marriage, maybe even two, but things don’t always go the way you plan them. I always had this feeling it was going to be hard for us to get pregnant, I just didn’t know how hard it was going to be. We did tests and fertility treatments – the whole nine yards. We did get pregnant once, early on. We were so excited! When the first doctor’s appointment rolled around we were so nervous and couldn’t wait to see and hear the baby that was growing inside me. As we started the ultrasound the doctor stopped what he was doing and gave us the worst news we could possibly hear on a day that was supposed to be so happy. We were going to miscarry. It was the most heartbreaking thing. How could we ever move on from such a terrible thing? But we did, and we kept pushing forward. I had this gut feeling that I knew we would be parents somehow, some way. While we were still pushing on with more fertility treatments and more disappoint, I kept feeling like we needed to pursue adoption and that maybe this was the way our child would finally be able to get to us. I couldn’t shake the feeling, it kept tugging at my heart and I felt called to the path of adoption. I brought up the idea to my husband that this is how I felt, and he completely agreed.

Couple who miscarried stands smiling in front of bridge with cars driving on it
Courtesy of Tori Story

We had no idea where to start. It was a big question mark. We knew we wanted to go with an agency, but which one? There were so many out there to choose from that promised this and that, and some are even unethical. But this was the route we felt was best for us. We started talking to people who had adopted and asked them what their experiences were, how they went about choosing which agency to go with. Through one of my husband’s co-workers, we got in contact with someone who worked for an adoption agency. She graciously answered the thousands of questions I had. We had a connection with her and the agency and it just felt right. We started our adoption paperwork in September of 2017. And let me tell you – it is A LOT of paperwork. They want to know about your whole life, literally every little detail. Once we submitted our paperwork, it was on to background checks and home studies and waiting, lots of waiting. It felt like an eternity of waiting for our background checks to get done.

Then in December of last year we were finally approved to start the matching process. We were ecstatic! We had finally hit the point in the adoption process where it felt like we were actually getting somewhere. Unfortunately at the time we were approved to be matched it was the slowest time of year so we waited and waited some more. Finally a situation was presented to us and we thought, ‘yes, this is the one.’ We submitted our profile, but to our dismay we were not chosen. It was another heart wrenching experience, but I thought if this one isn’t it, then our baby is still out there waiting for us.

A few short weeks later in February of this year, we submitted our profile for only the second time. Everything felt right and we were confident we had found our baby. Our profile book along with a few others were overnighted to North Carolina. We thought for sure it would take at least a week until we heard anything back on whether we had been matched or not. To our surprise though, we got a call the very next day. We answered the phone and were so nervous. I wanted to know what the verdict was, but if it was bad news, I didn’t want to hear it. We waited for the response on the other end and she said, ‘congrats, you guys were chosen.’ It was the best news ever. I was shaking, crying, speechless and so happy. I couldn’t believe it. We had finally found our baby, our missing piece.

Husband and wife take selfie in BYU Football stadium
Courtesy of Tori Story

We talked to Londyn’s birth mom on the phone the very next day and felt an instant connection, almost like we had known her our whole life. After that first conversation, we had a weekly phone call with her until our baby girl was born. The day before we were supposed to fly out to North Carolina though, we got a call from our agency. I answered the phone and my heart sank. They said, ‘We haven’t been able to reach her for almost 24 hours. This isn’t a good sign and you most likely will not be flying out the next day.’ With tears running down my cheeks, sobbing uncontrollably, I turned to my husband and told him the news. We were devastated. How could something we felt so good about be crashing down around us? There were no red flags no warning signs, we were completely and utterly shocked.

My first thought was, ‘How could this be happening?’ I still however just had this gut feeling that everything was going to be ok. That we were still going to fly out there and that we were going to bring our daughter home. After what seemed like another eternity of waiting, we received another phone call from the agency that said they finally were able to get in touch with her and that her phone had been giving her problems, but that she was still excited to meet us. We were so relieved and happy and couldn’t wait to meet baby girl and her birth mom.

The next day we got on the airplane and knew we would be coming home with our little baby girl in tow. We met up with her birth mom for lunch right before she went in to be induced. We were finally able to put a face to the woman we had been talking to for several weeks. As we sat there, I couldn’t help, but have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for her and the miracle she was about to give us. The next morning, we were called to the hospital. She was in labor and our baby girl was coming. I was invited to be in the delivery room by Londyn’s selfless and brave birth mom. As I watched our beautiful baby girl enter this world, with tears streaming down my face, I was overcome with the purest joy. The second I laid eyes on her I just knew that she was ours. It was an instant love like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. She was the most precious and beautiful little thing I have ever seen. I was even able to cut the cord! In that moment, nothing else mattered. Our long-awaited prayers had finally been answered. We had longed for so many years to become parents and the moment we laid eyes on her, all our heartache and pain we had experienced suddenly melted away. I may not have given her the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of her.

Mother smiles in hospital as she looks down at her adopted newborn
Courtesy of Tori Story

Besides getting married to the love of my life, that day was the best day ever. Looking back now I know the plan for me and my little family was always this. We have a saying in our house, ‘Things don’t always go the way you want them to or even when you want them to, but they turn out a heck of a lot better than you ever expected.’

Husband and wife standing beside glass wall in hospital watching their adopted newborn
Courtesy of Tori Story
Adopted baby girl sits in lap of parent holding hand to her mouth
Courtesy of Tori Story

I never anticipated how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to her birth mom. I will never know the pain and heartache she felt as she placed Londyn in my arms. I will forever be indebted to her for everything she did for us. We have an open adoption with her birth mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Honestly, it is the best thing we’ve ever done. I love that I get to share the sweetest moments with a woman who is so selfless and brave that she gave her daughter something she knew she couldn’t. I WANT Londyn to know where she came from. I WANT her to know she was chosen and loved on both ends. I WANT her to be proud of her birth mom. I WANT her to feel her love and support. How could I ever deny her MORE love? I want her to grow up knowing where she came from and be proud of the most brave and selfless woman I have ever met. I will forever be indebted to her brave and courageous birth mom for the most beautiful little girl that we get to call ours.

Father smiles as he holds adopted baby girl up to his face
Courtesy of Tori Story
Husband and wife stand at adoption court while wife holds adopted baby girl
Courtesy of Tori Story
Adopted baby girl lays on stomach with yellow bow in her hair
Courtesy of Tori Story

I am grateful though for all the trials and struggles that we went through. From struggling with infertility to the ups a downs of our adoption, because in the end I know it has made me a stronger and better mom. Remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it. Keep pushing forward the best way you know how and the reward in the end is going to far outweigh what you are feeling right now. I promise you that.”

Husband and wife stand outside at night with their adopted baby girl
Courtesy of Tori Story
Close up of adopted baby girl laughing
Courtesy of Tori Story

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tori Story of Utah. You can follow their family’s adoption journey on InstagramSubmit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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