Guest post by Justin and Sarah Bobick
is National Adoption Awareness Month and our story about how adoption touched our lives may be different than others who have adopted, but one thing remains at the heart of adoption: creating a loving family.
When people hear we have adopted, and may not know us or seen pictures of our daughter, Claire, we often are asked many inquisitive questions: “Where did you get her?”, “Does her birth mom get to see her?”, “What if the birth mom changes her mind?”, “Is it a white baby?”, and our favorite, “Why don’t these women use birth control?” To each person we pick and choose educating on adoption or maybe handle insensitive questions with humor or address them head on. We get it. People are curious.
But adoption is a very personal decision for both adoptive parents and birth parents. There are often very personal details woven through those stories which people often don’t consider. We would like to share our story with you.
Both coming from large families, we always knew we wanted to have children from very early on. But what happens when children don’t come ? For us, we struggled with infertility for five years. At first we thought it was no big deal, as most couples may not conceive in the first year of trying. But as time passed, we started looking into what was going wrong. Facebook and fertile friends are a bad combination. Every new ultrasound and due date announcement painfully reminded us about our own pregnancy issues. At church we watched all the babies being baptized with moms and dads much younger than us, feeling left behind in starting a family. We prayed to God for a child, asked Him, “Why us?”, and got angry with each ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and failed round of IVF.
We finally asked ourselves, “Do we want to be pregnant and give birth, or do we want to be parents?” The answer was simple: we wanted to be parents.
At first, adoption seemed daunting and we didn’t quite know where to start. We decided to begin with talking to adoptive parents and adoptees we knew, to ask them about their adoptive story. We also researched various adoption agencies and found one well recommended. The most intimidating part of the whole process involved the home study as a case worker asked us anything and everything, including adoption motivation, our relationship as a couple, employment, finances, childhood and family relationships, family history, and how you plan to raise a child. It all felt very intrusive and unfair that we had to prove our worthiness to raise a child, but we came to appreciate how all this information helped birth mothers make the biggest and best decision for their child. Finally, we took on the task creating an online adoption profile, which helped potential birth mothers learn more about us as a couple.
Our prayers quickly turned from ourselves to the well-being of our future child and its birth mother. We prayed God would give her peace as she made an adoption plan for her baby, and we prayed she would have a supportive family as she considered moving forward with her plan.
Our wait ended up to be surprisingly short! We received a call near Memorial Day of this year, telling us that a birth mother selected us and was due six short weeks away!
We met her and her young daughter with our caseworker the following week for lunch and were as nervous as could be. We brought photos of us as ice breakers just in case an awkward silence occurred: our first date during a homecoming dance, pictures of us and our families, and our recent trip to Disney World. The lunch was very surreal. We remember looking across the table at this beautiful, strong woman, and then down to her stomach knowing that she wanted us to parent the baby she was carrying. Mind. Blown.
But what blew us away more was how excited she was for us and how much she wanted us to be a part of the rest of her pregnancy. She wanted us to come to her OB visits and ultrasounds, but most importantly, to be in the delivery room on the big day. You could feel all the love she had for this baby and how she wanted the very best for her.
Our daughter’s birth mother continued to amaze us. She had contacted us a few days before her due date, wanting to know if Sarah wanted to do the “kangaroo care” for skin-to-skin holding and bonding time immediately after birth. She wanted us to know that this baby would be part of our family from her very first moment.
When the time came, Justin cut the umbilical cord and the OB gave our daughter to Sarah. Emotions flooded over us in those timeless first moments as a family. This tiny baby girl was our daughter. We were finally a family! We both shed happy tears uncontrollably. This whole process had been so beautiful and felt like this was what God had always planned for us and our new baby girl, Claire.
We continue to have an open relationship with our daughter’s birth mother, sharing Claire’s first moments with photos, videos, and letters. We continue to meet with her every so often to share our baby girl’s cuddles, laughs, coos, and babbles. Sometimes a few weeks may pass and we will say to each other, “have you heard from Amber recently?”, because we want to stay connected. We are woven together into each other’s families forever.
People often ask us if it’s hard or strange to incorporate more people into our daughter’s life, to which we always reply, “There’s no such thing as too many people who love this child.” Adoption is a beautiful thing and we now thank God every day that we didn’t get pregnant, because if any of those other times would have worked for us, we wouldn’t be Claire’s parents.
We’re Sarah and Justin, an adoptive couple from Michigan. We both work in the medical field and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors or at our second home in Disney World. We’re here to share our story of adoption and how we came to welcome Claire, our daughter, into our family through the adoption plan of her birth mother.