This guest post is by Jody Hoogwerf, an adoptive mother.
It was January 4th, one year to the date that we began our journey at the fertility clinic.
Our infertility journey had actually started years before, six to be exact, but that day was “D day”—the day we needed to start conversations about taking the plunge and paying upwards of $10,000 to try and have a baby with the help of western medicine or through adoption.
That night my phone rang. It was my cousin.
She started with small talk: How was Christmas? What was new? What were our plans for the New Year?
It was not unusual for us to talk. We talked all the time.
What was unusual was the hesitation in her voice.
Finally I said, “What’s up”?
That’s when she told me about her unexpected pregnancy and her thoughts about what to do next.
Over the next hour as we talked, it was clear that she had thought long and hard about her options and that raising this baby was not on the table.
It was also clear that she wanted to place him for adoption.
In a split second our lives were forever changed.
She asked us if we would be willing to adopt her baby.
WOW! All these months later, it still gives me shivers.
Talk about a game changer, a show stopper, a gift from the heavens.
My husband and I talked about it. Boy did we talk.
We talked day and night. We texted while at work.
We bounced the idea around with close family and friends. And finally we gave ourselves a deadline.
We asked my cousin to come down January 23rd and promised we would have a decision that day.
When she entered our home she was nervous. Nervous coupled with nausea from her pregnancy.
We didn’t waste any time telling her we were honoured that she considered us as parents for her this baby and that we accepted.
Quickly the colour came back to her face and there were hugs and tears shared.
A thumbs up selfie to her mom, and a ‘Happy birthday Grandma’ card to my mom to let them know we had made our decision.
Fast forward nine months—nine glorious months of bi-weekly texts, updates from doctor’s appointments, and periodic visits from her to our home to help tell our family and friends we were accepting, as well as visits from us for ultrasounds and shared excitement.
One day at 8 a.m. the phone call came asking if we were ready to be parents. Are you ever ready?
After what felt like the longest drive and the longest day we found ourselves in the delivery room rubbing the back of our son’s birth mom, feeding her ice chips, praying she felt our love and gratitude with each scoop.
When our son was born my husband cut the umbilical cord and I was granted skin to skin contact with him.
We made all of the decisions as a team in the months prior.
From crying at the sight of my son opening his eyes for the first time to listening to the sounds of my husband’s voice in the delivery room, I was immersed in love.
It was not lost on me to look towards our son’s birth mom and wonder “Is she ok? Is she ok with her decision?”
That night, as I laid skin to skin and chest to chest with my new son, I thought of the woman who had just given him birth down the hall.
Although we had visited her after the birth, I worried for her: “Is she feeling alone? Does she need me?”
We had been each others’ support through her whole pregnancy, but what now?
As it turns out, the next chapter in our story wrote itself.
Today, our son is nine weeks old. We have seen his birthmom five times since then.
She attended our baby shower, has come down for our two-month immunizations, and has popped in with various family members for a visit.
I would not and could not have it any other way.
When she is here my son settles onto her chest with a sense of understanding.
He is calm, he is content, and I truly believe he responds to the sounds and smells he hears from her.
Our adoption plan is to always share his birth story, to always have his birth mom close within our “village,” and to teach this young man about the love and respect that we as parents, both biological and adoptive, chose for him.
Jody Hoogwerf and her husband, Mark, are a married couple in their mid-30’s from Alberta.
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