My next 2 guest posts come from very different perspectives... my first post is written by Christa. Christa's in laws have started an adoption foundation and she has written about her favorite adoption story from outside of the immediate adoption world. All adoption stories are unique and miraculous but this one touched her specifically... and it's not hard to see why;
My favorite adoption story to date is actually a story of several adoptions within one growing family. The Longstreth's, a middle class white couple living in Florida, decided approximately 8 years ago to adopt a little African American baby girl. A couple years later when they found out her birth mother was pregnant again, they adopted #1's biological little sister. Daddy Longstreth is a professor at a small private Christian college and is also a full time Preacher. This family made the conscious decision to serve God in their daily lives and to teach their children to follow suit. As the girls grew older, they knew that God still had big plans for their family. 3 years ago almost exactly, a baby boy was born in Northern California and he has Downs Syndrome. Many people would have considered this baby not the "right fit" for this reason alone, but not this family. He was the perfect fit for their family and although he was in the NICU for several months, they took turns flying out here to CA to be with him for weeks at a time, knowing he was their son and that he'd eventually make the journey HOME to Florida. When #3 was 5 months old, he got to go home! He was on Oxygen and they had to fight with their insurance to pay for his medi flight to Florida but eventually they did, so this family could have their son with them.
About a year ago exactly they heard of another baby to be born whose ethnicity could not be confirmed by his birth mother. She thought no one would want her baby when people didn't know what skin color to expect. Do you see a problem here folks?Nope! This family didn't either. They welcomed #4 with open arms and in May of this year, he was born and they brought him home. Thinking this time their family was complete, God showed them they were wrong! Never having been able to conceive on their own,In September of this year the Longstreth's celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary! On their anniversary, Mommy Longstreth confirmed at her Dr's office that she is in fact pregnant! #5 being due in March 2013. This means #4 and #5 will be just 10 months apart! They aren't scared or worried at all. They are ecstatic and excited to continue down this road God sets before them. I continue to be amazed and proud of the exemplary life this family leads. Their values and love shine through each of these babies and I can't wait to see what else is in store for them.
~ Thank you for sharing, Christa... the Longstreth family is living an adoptive family's dream! What a special family God is continuing to build!
My second guest post is written by Stacy. Stacy and I have gotten to know each other through our blogs over the past couple years... we also brought our babies home through the same agency! Stacy shared their story of bringing home their sweet son, Will;
My name is Stacy and I am an adoptive mother to a wonderful little boy named Will. Will was born on May 13, 2011 and has been with us since that day. Adopting Will has been life changing for my husband, Bryan and I. We can not imagine life without Will. Everyday, we praise God that he chose Will to be our son forever.
Leading up to our adoption, Bryan and I had a very rocky road with infertility issues. I have had four miscarriages and lots of different types of fertility treatments. Nothing seem to be working and I was so tired of being disappointed every single month. Adoption had always been in the back of my mind but nothing we had discussed openly. Finally, I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't go back to the doctor and I couldn't keep up the cycle of trying to get pregnant. Bryan and I had a very serious conversation one day about quitting all treatments and taking a different route. Adoption was the topic of our conversation and we decided to pursue it. We talked about the fact that we just wanted to be parents and love a child. We were just going to have to build our family in a different way and that was ok with us.
The adoption process can be very scary and we had no idea where to begin. So, we knew some friends through friends that had adopted. We contacted them and they met with us one night. They were open books and we could ask them anything. Nothing was off limits. They were such a wonderful resource and got us started in the right direction.
The next year and a half seemed to creep by but in a nutshell: we decided on an agency, completed all paperwork, home study, and required classes and trainings. We finally became officially waiting and that was the best part and the hardest part of the process because we had nothing to do but just wait. We tried to stay busy with other things in our lives but we jumped every time the phone rang. Just waiting and waiting and waiting for ten months. Now I know you think ten months is not a long time but when you are waiting on something so special it seems like forever!
Finally, one day I had a message from the agency. They wanted us to meet with a birth mother on a Friday afternoon. Of course, we both took off work, didn't sleep a wink the night before, and were almost sick to our stomachs on the way. Surprisingly, when we met our birth mother a peace come over us. She was just as nervous as we were but after just a few minutes of talking, everyone relaxed. She was great and we were so fortunate to be able to meet with her and get to know her before Will was born. Before we left she told us she chose us to be Will's parents. That was a surreal moment for Bryan and I. We had wanted something for so long and we were finally going to have the opportunity to be parents.
On a funny note, the agency never really told us how far along she was, they just told us she is really pregnant! Well, she was due in a week! So not only were we going to have a son but we were going to get him a week!
Right on schedule, the following Friday the agency called us and told us that our son Will had been born early that morning. Bryan and I called work, made arrangements and headed to the hospital. When we got there, Will was still in the nursery being fed and was being checked out. We had the absolute best hospital experience. They assigned us our on room so that we could stay with Will overnight. The nurses and staff were absolutely amazing! Our birth mother was in a different room and Bryan and I each went to her and spent some time with her before she left. We promised her that we would take absolute great care of him and that we were so honored that she chose us to be his parents. She was so strong and supportive of us and her decision.
Will was perfectly healthy! We stayed with him in the hospital till Sunday when we were released to go home. We did all the feedings, changing diapers, and just holding him. We bonded with him immediately and we were absolutely in love!
We brought Will home on May 15, 2011 and everything has been absolutely perfect! Will was a great baby and is growing into such a wonderful child. We finalized Will's adoption on November 21, 2011 during National Adoption Month.
We have a semi-open adoption with Will's birth family. We send cards, letters, and pictures to the adoption agency and they send them to the birth family. We love sharing with them how Will is growing and changing. I think they know that Will is part of such a wonderful family and has so many people who love him.
Adoption has changed us. Our hearts are bigger now and we never imagined we could love something so special. We know that God had all of this planned out for us we just had to be patient. He had the perfect son already chosen for Bryan and I. We feel like the special ones because we get to be Will's parents.
Bryan and I have a wonderful adoption story and we love sharing it! Thanks Lindsey for hosting our story on your blog. We love our adoption families and we have something wonderful in common: the gift of adoption!
You can read more of our story and see pictures of Will on my blog!
~ Thank you for sharing your story, Stacy... I have loved watching your journey to Mama-hood and your Will is precious! I'm anxious to find out if there will be a Baby Pruitt #2 at some point in the future ;-)