“Our love story started as two sorority girls with boyfriends and turned into the greatest love, and the best friend, either of us has ever had.
It was our senior year of college at a national sorority convention, and neither of us knew very many people. We became great friends really fast. All of a sudden, we were spending every weekend together, using any excuse we could. Whether it was a sorority event or just to hang out, we started driving the 45-minutes between us every weekend. Before we even realized what was happening, we had fallen so deeply in love.
After a few months of trying to pretend we were just friends, we finally realized this was more. More than we had expected, more than we were ready for, quite frankly, and so more than we could’ve ever possibly imagined.
Once we finally admitted our feelings to ourselves and each other, those weekend 45-minute drives became every day. It didn’t take us long to realize we would need to live together, soon, to make things work well. Cindy was in school in North Carolina but she lived in Florida at the time. Us being together meant she would need to make the decision to stay in North Carolina with her girlfriend of 3 months. So, we drove down to Florida to get the rest of Cindy‘s things from her mom’s house and came back to start our life here in North Carolina.
3 months after we met, we were together. 3 months after we were together, we moved in. Then, 3 months after we moved in, we got engaged! Our engagement stories (yes, there are two of them!) are something we love to talk about!
Cindy proposed to me the weekend of my birthday, 2018, on a camping trip in the mountains. We had a great day and we were finally going to bed and Cindy kept leaving the tent to go to the bathroom. Obviously, it was dark and spooky so I went with her! She tried a few times to get me to stay in the tent while she left and eventually she just blurted out I needed to stay.
Confused, I stayed in the tent. A few minutes later, she came back and unzipped the tent, and said, ‘Baby! There’s a family of deer right outside, come see!’ It was really late at that point and I was sleepy, but I got up and obliged. When I got outside the tent, small pathway lights started to light up. I didn’t really know what was going on until the sign at the end of the pathway lit up with the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ Before I knew it, she was on one knee asking me to spend my life with her. It was the easiest yes I’ve ever said.
Exactly a week later, I finally got my plan to propose to Cindy in order. I printed out a bunch of our favorite pictures and strung them together. I took them to a park that she’s never been to and found a perfect spot on a little bridge overlooking a beautiful pond. With the help of an older man, I hung up the pictures in between two trees.
Cindy ended up getting off of work later than I had expected so I waited at the park for a while, long enough for people to start asking me what I was doing. I quickly said, ‘Oh, I’m proposing to my fiancé!’ I got a lot of interesting looks, to say the least. When Cindy finally got to the park, I went out to meet her since she didn’t know where she was going. On the way back to my little setup, people started to comment on it! People were asking us, ‘Are those your pictures? Did you set that up over there? Oh, that’s the couple from the pictures!’ After I facepalmed repeatedly, I just continued with my plan and when we got to my setup, she definitely knew what was going on. I got on one knee and asked Cindy to be my wife. A couple of people even clapped afterward!
Wedding planning took off pretty fast. We had originally planned our wedding for May 23, 2020. Then in March, the covid-19 pandemic started and we made the decision to push back our wedding. It was a difficult decision, but we needed to consider safety first, and it ended up working out for the best. We postponed our wedding to September 19, 2020, which also happened to be my birthday! It was the absolute best birthday present I could’ve ever gotten. We cut our guest list in half, people wore masks, and there was a lot of social distancing. But it was our perfect day.
We got married at Walnut Lane bed and breakfast in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina. It is a gorgeous little cottage nestled in the woods, surrounded by wildflowers. We were able to stay there Friday night and Saturday night, so we really were able to relax while putting the wedding together on Saturday — the day of our wedding. We had previously decided we wanted to have the intimate experience of getting ready with just the two of us. This was one of the first traditions we decided to leave in the past.
After we got ready and watched the guests come in from the window upstairs in the bedroom, we prepared for the ceremony to start. Cindy walked out from one side of the house and I came out from the other side of the house. We met in the middle and walked down the aisle together. This was important to us because we didn’t like the idea of us being given away. We had our family in the front row and walked each other down our beautiful aisle, covered in flower petals.
Waiting for us at the end of the aisle was our best friend. She got ordained just to perform our ceremony. It was the most incredible, special wedding present she could’ve ever given us. There aren’t words to describe how wonderful it was to have her officially marry us. A few hours before the ceremony, we left the venue to get some food. We ended up changing our plans and writing our vows right before the wedding, on the backs of pizza receipts. We said our vows off of these crumpled little pizza receipt things and laughed and cried, and became wife and wife. Even though the guest list was smaller and there were some hiccups, our wedding was everything we could have hoped for.
In June 2020, which was supposed to be a few months after our wedding, Cindy and I began the process of applying to adopt from foster care. We thought we were going to be applying after our wedding, but 2020 showed us life doesn’t really wait for anyone. We decided we wanted to go ahead and start the process.
I had always wanted kids, that was never a question for me. I had always wanted to be a mom. When I was a kid, I played house and just knew I was going to have a family. Cindy, on the other hand, did not grow up thinking that. It just wasn’t on her radar. That meant when I started dropping the ‘k-word’ (kids!), she was honestly a little hesitant. And by a little hesitant, I mean a lot hesitant. But over time she ended up realizing having kids with something she wanted too. It started with her saying she was excited to see me as a mom. And then she said she was excited to see her mom as a grandma. Then she started saying things like, ‘Oh, this would be fun with a kid’ or ‘Oh, I can’t wait to have a kid to do this with!’
All of a sudden, it wasn’t a daydream anymore. It was something we were actually pursuing. When we first started planning, we bounced ideas back-and-forth about ways we could start a family. After a lot of talking about it, we were pretty set on neither of us being pregnant. It’s not something either of us is interested in and it’s not going to be something we ever feel the need to do. That brought us to adoption! After a lot of research, we chose to adopt through the foster care system, instead of adopting privately. The biggest reason we made this decision was we don’t agree with how expensive domestic adoption can be. We don’t want any part of our family building to be transactional. There are many great benefits to other types of adoption, but we are very excited to adopt through the foster care system.
We submitted our application in June, had our very first interview in November, and started our parenting classes a couple of weeks ago. Now we’ve started the classes, we have to get background checked, fingerprinted, have our references checked, our home-study approved, our medical forms approved, our psych evaluation approved, and information about our individual backgrounds and background as a couple. Mountains and mountains of paperwork and some time are all that stand between us and the little being that will come into our lives! Our parenting classes are working on teaching us how to be the best parents to a child who may have experienced trauma of some kind. We are learning behavioral management techniques, de-escalation methods, and in general, just learning about the difficulties children in foster care often face.
We respect the foster care system makes every effort to reunify children with their birth families. Adoption has a heavy side that is hard to talk about. For us to be able to have our happy ever after, somebody else has to face their worst nightmare. It feels weird to be excited about another family losing their child because that’s what is going to happen. It feels weird planning and being over the moon excited when another family is in the process of losing their child. So we remain humbly excited, so ready for the next chapter of our lives, yet also remaining aware of the situation that brings our future children into foster care and into our lives.
We are so excited to see how our life changes in the next few months. We are so excited to see who we love, and how our family will grow. When we were first starting this journey, we found it hard to find stories like ours— as a gay couple adopting through foster care. We found some Instagram accounts and some blogs but really felt like there wasn’t enough representation of lesbians adopting through foster care. So, here we are! Telling our story, sharing our experiences, and hoping we are able to be the voice that someone is looking for.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sarah and Cindy Metzger from Greensboro, NC. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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