In the open adoption community, it’s known as “getting the Call”—the magical moment when everything suddenly changes.
It’s the event that every waiting parent waits and prays for—when an expectant mother (or your agency or social worker) contacts you to tell you she’s chosen you to adopt her baby.
Sometimes the match falls through. The expectant mother may change her mind and decide not to go ahead with her adoption plan.
But for those adoptive parents who do go on to adopt, getting “the Call” is an event that is forever seared into your memory and an important part of your and your child’s adoption story.
Over the years, we’ve heard countless families share the joy about the moment they got the call. We thought we would share a few recent ones here, in their own words.
1. Allie and Jamie
Little did she know that a few short months later, she would be an adoptive mother.
But first, there was “the Call.”
The day it arrived was just another ordinary day for Allie. She was at home on a conference call when she got a call on another line from a number she didn’t recognize.
Initially, she thought it was a wrong number or a marketing pitch. But when she realized the caller had left a voice message, she checked her phone.
The message her caseworker left her nearly made Allie fall out of her chair. I’ll let her describe it.
“‘Hi Allie and Jamie, I’m excited to tell you that you have been chosen by a birthmother in Texas. Her due date is… um, tomorrow, actually. Please call me back.’”
Even though Allie has tried to describe what that moment was like, “words just don’t do it justice.”
Like many waiting parents, she had waited so long for “the Call” she was starting to question whether it would ever come. But come it did!
“I started crying and shaking with excitement…I just wanted to bust down the door and scream, “We got the call!’”
While she was waiting to adopt, Allie had pictured what the moment would be like and how she would share the news with her husband.
She had seen another adoptive parent’s announcement on Pinterest and thought she would also surprise him with “something cute.”
But that’s not the way it worked out.
“It just spilled right out of me without any pomp or circumstance. ‘We’ve been chosen! AHHH!’” Our baby was due tomorrow, so there was no time for cutesy stuff. This was happening. And it was happening now.”
The takeaway: You can imagine the moment when you get “the Call” all you want, but when you get it, when it becomes real, it will likely be different than you imagined. And in a good way, too!
Also, don’t forget to create a dedicated line where expectant parents or your adoption lawyer can reach you. You want to make it as easy and accessible for people to contact you as you can.
And be sure to answer every call. You never know when the call will come or who will be on the other end of line.
Read more of Allie and Jamie’s story here.
2. Kristen and Josh
Everyone who goes through the adoption process dreams of the day when they’ll be chosen. But when Kristen and Josh pictured what might happen, they likely didn’t imagine they would get the news when they were in their PJs while they were lounging on the couch watching Duck Dynasty at 1030 pm.
But that’s exactly what happened. What’s more, their daughter had already been born that morning.
Here’s how Kristen imagined that magical moment would unfold:
“The ring tone I had assigned to our agency director would sound and my heart would race. She would tell us about an expectant mom who had chosen us from a stack of profiles because of a small detail. Maybe she liked that we were going to homeschool, or that we had three dogs, or that I was going to stay home with the baby.”
She imagined that the woman would be in her second trimester and that they would have plenty of time to plan and get to know the expectant mother.
But that’s not how it turned out. As Kristen writes, the scenario she had dreamed up was nice except it lacked two things: fun and excitement.
And that’s exactly what they got when they finally got the call from their agency director, Michelle.
“ I answer and immediately my heart races (I don’t think that part would change in any scenario) as Michelle tells me she’s at the hospital and a beautiful little girl had been born. I put her on speaker for Josh. She gives us all the info she can and asks if we would like our profile shown to the birth parents.”
As Kristen explains, no matter how long you wait, no matter how much you want it, the idea of immediately having a child that you didn’t even know existed that morning takes time to sink in.
But sure enough, after asking their adoption worker for some time (10 minutes!) to discuss the situation, they called her back asking her to show them to the expectant mother.
Twenty minutes later, Michelle got back to them.
“They had picked us and the ride of our lives began. She gave us the hospital info and told us to be there at 9:00 the next morning. Longest. Night. Of. Our. Lives.”
Takeaway: There are so many things about the adoption process — and “the Call”– that you can’t control, so don’t even start.
But once you learn about a situation, no matter how good it sounds, take the time to discuss it carefully and rationally.
Sometimes, as in Kristen and Josh’s case, you won’t have a lot of time to do it. Just to be on the safe side, establish your non-negotiables early on. And then be ready to change them and be flexible, depending on the situation that comes your way.
Read more of Kristen and Josh’s story here.
3. Amy and Alex
As Allie explained, once you get the call, it’s hard to think about anything else. All you want to do is to jump up and down and let the world know you’ve been chosen.
When adoptive parents Amy and Alex got the call telling them that they had been chosen to adopt a baby, Amy couldn’t hide her excitement.
“If I could relive the moment.. I would relive it a million times. It was the most breathtaking feeling I’ve ever experienced. To finally hear those words we had so desperately been waiting to hear.”
She and her husband had only been home study ready for nine days when they learned about a situation. As often happens, it all began with an email.
They were on their way out the door to attend some adoption workshops and celebrate their anniversary when they got the news.
I’ll let Amy take it away from here.
“As I began to read it my heart began to beat quickly. My nerves were on high alert. I knew. I knew this was a situation worth presenting to. I immediately called my husband and he too had the same exact feeling. We couldn’t really pinpoint why our hearts had such a desire to present to this situation. There were many things that stood out that made us feel a connection. Yet, the feeling was so much more than a connection to the words on this email.”
And yet even though the situation sounded perfect to them, there were still some hurdles to overcome. Putting together the financing, for one.
But despite the obstacles, they were able to put all of the pieces in place, and no sooner had they done that when they got the call of their life.
“We heard the words “She chose you… I will never tire of remembering those days leading up to our ‘yes.’ I will never tire of telling this story. I will never forget the intricate details that had to be knitted together to bring us to this mother and this baby.”
The takeaway: As any adoptive parent who’s been matched will tell you, it’s never over until it’s over. The adoption process isn’t described as “an emotional rollercoaster” for nothing. Anything can happen.
Just when you’re about to throw in the towel and give up hope because of a last minute snag or roadblock, things have a way of changing. And often in your favor.
Read: Read more of Amy and Alex’s story here.
As these three stories show, waiting for “the Call” can be a nerve-wracking process and that often turns out differently than the way you imagined it. But once it comes, it’s an unforgettable moment that you will remember for the rest of your life. So don’t give up. As long as you keep at it, one day you too will get “the Call.”
Do you have an adoption story? Share it and inspire others.
Help us remove the stigma around adoption. Like us on Facebook.