Written by Lauren Bates, guest blogger
Hi, there! My name is Lauren. My husband, Ryan, and I are attorneys and live in Encinitas, California. After a several year-long journey, we recently adopted a beautiful baby girl and in light of World Adoption Day, I am honored to share our story.
We always wanted a family, so we started trying shortly after we were married in 2013. After trying for a while on our own, we had all of the tests done – and they came back normal. I knew conceptually that it was a good thing that the test results were normal, but I was also disappointed.
How can you fix something if nothing is “wrong”?
We were used to being in control and solving problems for a living, so this was an incredibly difficult concept for us. For the first time in our lives, no amount of hard work, research, studying, or creative thinking could solve this problem and get us the one thing we wanted the most.
We saw a specialist, did two rounds of Clomid, and then one IUI. Unfortunately, I reacted very poorly to the Clomid and the injectable medication used during the IUI. At that point, we made the decision that we would not pursue any further fertility treatments because it was not good for my health.
It was a difficult decision to make, but also a relief in so many ways. We started discussing the possibility of adoption, and both felt strongly that this was the right path forward for us. For years, it had been sad to discuss our unsuccessful efforts at starting a family. But once we began looking into adoption, we had a renewed excitement for what was to come.
We began researching adoption agencies and attended several information sessions. We also spoke with a couple (who were friends of friends) who adopted through a local adoption facilitator in San Diego, and they had a very positive experience. After attending the information session for the facilitator, we knew it was the right fit for us and we began the application process. It took about 6 months from when we attended the information session to when we were officially on the “wait-list.”
Waiting for a match was incredibly difficult. In a way you feel like you’re expecting, but you have no idea when your baby is due. You are told to continue to live your life and it will happen when it is meant to, but that is so much easier said than done! I found it hard to plan anything, because I spent the entire time thinking that it could happen any day now.
All in all, we waited 1 year, 2 weeks, and 6 days.
Finally, on a Tuesday night in September, while we were out to dinner with my parents, who happened to be visiting, we got the call. We had been chosen by a birth mom! Our facilitator told us details about the birth parents and we knew it was the perfect match.
We asked, “When is the baby due?” Our facilitator paused for a long moment and then said, “Well, actually the baby is already here. She was born yesterday and is being discharged tomorrow. Can you come to the hospital tomorrow morning?” We were overcome with a range of emotions, but the most intense was joy and we didn’t hesitate to respond, “Yes, we will be there!”
The rest of the night was a blur as we didn’t sleep a wink. We went to the hospital the next morning and met with the birth mother for a couple of hours. We instantly connected and, for so many reasons, we all felt like this match was meant to be. She confirmed that she wanted to go forward with the adoption and that she wanted us to be the parents. There were many tears!
After several hours at the hospital, we finally got to hold our daughter for the first time, which was the most surreal and amazing moment of our lives. We took her home the same day, about 20 hours after we got the call. She is 8 weeks old now and doing great!
When we were in the thick of the waiting period, it was hard to understand why we had to wait so long and why we were not being chosen. We would tell ourselves that God had a plan and that there was a specific child that was meant to be ours that we were waiting for. I usually believed it, but sometimes it felt like an empty mantra we were just telling ourselves to feel better. Now that she is here, I can honestly say that I know without a doubt that she is the child we were always meant to have. I cannot imagine it happening any other way. We feel so incredibly blessed that she is finally here!