Chris and Gena
Adoption is Amazing
I was asked what adoption meant to Chris and I and found myself struggling to find the words. Adoption has been so amazing and awesome for our family but the words “amazing” and “awesome” don’t seem like enough. Adoption means everyday we get the joy of raising our beautiful baby girl, Nora. As amazing as adoption is, we don’t want to sugarcoat it. We don’t like using the phrase, “it’s not for the faint of heart”, but it is draining and it’s emotional. In spite of that, the reward of parenting is so very much worth it.
It’s All About Being Personal
Maybe the word we should use to describe adoption is “personal”. Not “personal” as in don’t talk about it, it’s a secret, but personal as in we wanted to matter to those helping us through the process. Our friends, family and co-workers had supported us through years of medical issues and infertility, we wanted to feel just as close to the agency we picked. We wanted to feel like the agency saw us as Chris and Gena, not just a case number. We wanted to know that the agency we worked with would be available to guide us through the emotional times and be a phone call, text, email away even if it wasn’t Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm. We wanted to work with an agency that truly lived adoption in their personal lives. After talking to friends who’d worked with All About U Adoptions, we knew AAU was the agency for us.
Going Through the Process
I said before that I wouldn’t sugarcoat what adoption is. I’ll stick to that promise in talking about our journey through the process. It can be nerve-wracking. It can be overwhelming at times. It was also a great time for Chris and I to revisit conversations we’d had while dating and when we first talked about starting a family. We got to look at where we were different from each other, how we were similar, and how we wanted to pull that all together into our family life. Chris is from a big farm family. I’m from a small city family. How can we represent this and how we planned to make our life?
Creating our profile allowed us to think about why we wanted to be parents. How do we represent who we are to a complete stranger? The first profile we put together and had shown to birth moms represented us but, looking back, it focused more on the material aspect of our life. It showed our house and where we lived and who we were but it wasn’t personal.
After having our profile shown and not being picked, we took a second look at our profile and decided it had to be redone. We had to make it more personal. The second profile still showed the basics from our first profile, but we opened up and shared our life. We decided to include photos of us doing activities that made us happy. For us, that meant sharing photos of one of the best days of our life to this point, our wedding day. It also meant showing us going to sporting events, Chris being out on the tractor with nieces and nephews, and me gardening and canning. Along those same lines, our updated profile included pictures of friends and extended family that are big parts of our life.
We literally received the updated copies of our printed profile book when AAU called that they had a birth mom they wanted us to consider. There was only one answer…ABSOLUTELY.
We Have a Match
A week and a day after we’d mailed our profile off to be considered, AAU called me at work with the most awesome news. We had been picked!!! It’s hard to even describe all the feelings at that point. Needless to say, I didn’t accomplish much at work that afternoon. When I called Chris and let him know AAU had called, he expected rejection. After breaking the news, Chris, too, became overwhelmed with emotion and was brought to tears.
The call came in right before Thanksgiving. Sharing the news with our family gave us all the more to be thankful for.
Building Bond with Our Birth Mom
We are beyond grateful to our birth mom for letting us be a part of her pregnancy as much as she could. From being at the doctor’s appointment where we learned we were having a daughter, to being able to be with her during the birth and even cutting the umbilical cord are experiences we will forever cherish.
There are not words to describe how much we enjoyed getting to spend time with our birth mom during her pregnancy. Getting to know her in person was absolutely awesome. We feel this experience has made her a part of our family and us a part of her family.
Today we continue to stay in contact with our birth mom via text and sharing photos of Nora’s milestone. We look forward to more in-person visits with her and her family.
We think our birth mom is absolutely an amazingly strong woman for looking out for her child above herself. Her gift of adoption is the most amazing, selfless gift we could ever have the honor of receiving.