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The Truth About Being Picked by a Birth Mother

Woman browses Internet on a tabletAmanda rested on the sofa, with a cup of tea resting in one hand one. She grabbed for her iPad and began to browse through her adoption agency’s website, something that she did every night upon getting home from work. As she navigated the site, Amanda began feeling defeated. As she looked at all the happy photos of other couples hoping to adopt, she wondered, “How will we ever stand out from all these other couples and get picked by a birth mother? What makes a birth mother choose one couple over another as the parents to her child? How can we compete against couples who are charming, well-educated, attractive, and wealthier?”
 
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. Plenty hopeful adoptive parents feel worried from time to time that a birth mother won’t choose them. Struggling with jealousy and frustration during your adoption journey is normal. Today, we hope to bring clarity to the open adoption process and give you some bottom line truths about being chosen by a birth mother.
 

Why Them and Not Us?

Today, birth mothers pick adoptive families for a variety of reasons. Lifetime has seen women choose a certain couple just because they looked kind, or familiar, or fun. Birth mothers have decided on their baby’s adoptive parents based on where they live, their pets, or their hobbies. We’ve even worked with birth mothers who felt an instant connection to an adoptive couple because they both liked the same candy! As you can tell, there’s no specific formula to explain why a birth mother might like one family over another.
 
The truth is, a birth mother can only pick ONE adoptive family for her baby. Once she realizes that there are so many wonderful, loving couples who would make amazing parents for her baby, it makes her difficult decision even more so.
 

How Long Will We Wait?

Adoption is unique. If it were easier to adopt, there would be more people pursuing this path to parenthood. It’s challenging to predict exactly how long your adoption wait will be. That because here at Lifetime, adoption depends on a birth mother’s choice.
 
So, it’s important to follow your adoption agency’s guidance and expertise on your adoption profile, website, and video. Also, make sure to be as open as you’re comfortable in your adoption preferences for a child. Every time a birth mother sees your information, it’s another opportunity to be picked.
 
The bottom line is that there are a variety of reasons why some adoptive couples wait longer than others. Some hopeful adoptive parents may have put off turning in their home study paperwork or getting their adoption profiles in. Or, they might even have turned down an opportunity to adopt that was given to them and was inside their preferences. For couples who have been ready and proactive from the beginning of their adoption journey, it’s just a matter of time!
 
Each adoptive family’s path to their child is unique, but it can be hard not to compare yourself to others. Whether you’re seeking an adoption match on your own or with the help of a professional, we hope that the insights we shared here help you get through the frustrating days.
 

Do you need encouragement and inspiration during your adoption wait? Make sure to check out these helpful articles about waiting:

8 Ways to Be Positive During the Adoption Wait
 
In Your Adoption Wait? 5 Ideas on What You Can Do
 
A Lesson In Patience as You Wait to Adopt
 
Coping With Your Adoption Wait
 
Struggling With Your Adoption Wait? Read This!

“Can I Stop Her From Putting Our Baby Up for Adoption?”

A couple argues at the subway Question: “My girlfriend is pregnant and is thinking about adopting out our baby. I think she’s crazy for even considering it and I’m totally against adoption. It’s my baby too. Do I have any control over this? Can I stop her from putting our baby up for adoption?”
 
Answer: Yes, you do have a say in your child’s future. It’s not out of your control. As the baby’s father, you have the right to get answers to your questions. You also have the right to take part in the adoption planning process.
 
Lifetime encourages you to find out more about what’s called “open adoption.” It has been the right choice for many, especially those who aren’t ready to become parents. In an open adoption, both of you can work together to pick the adoptive parents for your baby. You can remain a part of your child’s life.
 
Here are some things to think about: are you giving your girlfriend any financial (or emotional) support during her pregnancy? These things will come into play when thinking about the adoption decision.
 
Also, you might ask yourself why she wants to do adoption. Many women choose adoption because they have other children and can’t afford another baby. Others make an adoption plan because having a baby would derail education or career goals. There are many reasons why women choose adoption.
 
Adoption is one of those decisions that you make based on what’s best for the child. Sometimes, the decision is made despite your own desires. She may long to become a mom, but realize that it just isn’t in the cards right now.
 
Talk more with your girlfriend about this. And when you do, don’t think about what you want. Think about the life you want your child to have. Looking at adoptive couple profiles online can sometimes help you picture the possibilities with adoption.
 

Here are some articles to help you learn more about birth fathers & adoption:

 
“I’m a Birth Father…Do I Have a Say in Adoption?”
 
What Should I Do If My Girlfriend is Choosing Adoption?”
 
What Are My Responsibilities as a Birth Father?
 
How to Get Your Baby’s Father Involved in Adoption
 
Birth Fathers and Adoption
 

If you like to speak to someone right now about adoption, call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.

Discover the Basics of Infant Adoption in This Webinar!

baby girl sleepingThere is so much to learn, to prepare, and to think about when it comes to adopting a baby. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Lifetime is here to help you sort through your questions and get the details and tips you need to pave the path that’s right for you and your adoption goals.
 
A great way to learn about infant adoption is through Lifetime’s webinars. Our webinars are helpful, casual, interactive, and FREE to attend! You will get a lot of information and encouragement in just an hour.
 
Lifetime recently hosted a webinar where we answered some of the most common topics, using very individual questions from our audience of future adoptive parents. This webinar will help you learn (the basics and beyond!) about adoption AND also discover how things work at Lifetime.
 
The replay of this webinar now available here: Adoption 101 Q&A: Adoption Basics…and Beyond
 
Whether you’re just starting to learn about adopting a baby in the US, or if you’ve reached the point where you’re searching for the right help to reach your adoption dream, the topics we discussed in this live webinar will help you better understand modern adoption AND get to know Lifetime.
 
Learn all about newborn adoption in this webinar!Wondering who this webinar is good for?

  • Anyone just starting to learn about domestic adoption.
  • Hopeful parents curious about open adoption.
  • Parents hoping to expand their family through adoption.
  • Adoptive families who want to adopt again.
  • First-time parents deciding when to move from infertility to adoption.
  • Future parents ready to choose the right adoption help.

Listen to Adoption 101 Q&A: Adoption Basics…and Beyond if you want to learn (the basics and beyond!) about adoption. Our audience of future adoptive parents asked the best questions! We got to cover several hot topics that come up for people who are thinking about adopting a baby.
 
Here’s the link to the replay of this webinar: Adoption 101 Q&A: Adoption Basics…and Beyond. And you can visit AdoptionWebinar.com to get FREE access to dozens of recent webinars, helpful for anyone hoping to adopt.
 

Take a step closer to the child you’re meant to adopt by completing Lifetime’s Adoptive Parent application!

How to Find Adoption Help You Need

Learn about the adoption help you can get from Lifetime Adoption Agency!The emotional rollercoaster of choosing adoption for your baby can seem difficult enough without adding paperwork and all the steps involved. It might seem impossible to get through when you look at the adoption process with one glance. But just like with anything, when you take it one step at a time, it’s much easier to finish.
 
With every step along the way, you have the right to receive adoption services to help you. From deciding to place to post-adoption services, there is adoption help available to you.
 
Today, we’re sharing some of the most important adoption services available to you as a birth mother:
 

Adoption Counseling

The emotions that you might face when you’re thinking about adoption can feel overwhelming at times. You’re not only are you making life-long decisions for your child, but you’re also working through your thoughts and feelings. Counseling is available for such times like these. From the moment you start thinking about adoption, counseling is available to you at no charge. Lifetime can refer you to a licensed third-party counselor, as well as a peer counselor. Adoption counseling can guide you during the process, and after with post-adoption therapy services.
 

Finding a Family

Finding the best family for your child is probably one of the most important decisions you will make after deciding on adoption. Most women who choose adoption don’t have the family picked out already and need help locating the perfect adoptive parents.
 
When you’re ready to start looking for the family, help is available. Lifetime Adoption Agency can send you info on hopeful adoptive couples in a variety of formats from printed and bound profiles, to websites and videos that the adoptive couple creates. There are many families across the US looking to adopt, so you’ll have a wide selection to choose from.
 
Pregnant girl sits outsides

Legal Help

Legal representation is an important part of the adoption process, especially if you have a difficult relationship with your baby’s father. Lifetime Adoption Agency will coordinate legal representation for you, at no cost.
 

Financial Support

When you’re pregnant, your living expenses will probably go up as your grocery bill, doctors’ visits, and the need for supplies increase. You may be able to receive financial assistance from the adoptive family you choose, depending on your state. You might look to non-profits and local churches for help too. So if you need help during your pregnancy, make sure to learn about all the local resources available to you.
 

Adoption Planning

Planning an adoption involves filling out paperwork, and deciding on your plans and goals. While paperwork can seem like a chore, it’s important that your desires during the adoption process are made clear to us. Paperwork can help you in your decision-making process about the type of family you are looking for, how you want the process to move forward, and more.
 

Why Should I Accept Adoption Help?

Using the adoption help and services we offer will keep you focused, and motivated. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. You might not think you need counseling, but later come to find it’s beneficial to you. There are many adoption support resources available. We’re here to help you, and there isn’t anything wrong with a little help when it comes to such a major decision like adoption.
 

If you have questions about the types of resources available, or if there is something you need and don’t know where to go to find it, feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-923-6784 for help.

“We knew that there was a child meant for us!”

Brandon and Megan with their cherished daughter, ArianaThe blessing in reading adoption stories is that you can really learn a lot from them. This especially holds true when you’re hearing from adoptive couples who have adopted recently.
 
Florida adoptive couple Brandon and Megan were blessed to adopt a baby girl through Lifetime just last year. In this family’s story, we hear from Megan about how they decided adoption was the way they’d build their family and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption.
 
You’ll learn valuable tips about how to cope with the adoption wait, as well as how to educate your family and friends about the beauty of open adoption! Now a forever family, adoptive mom Megan shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog post!
 
 
Megan gazes lovingly at her daughter“When I think of adoption it is with mixed emotions, the most overpowering one being love. We have been blessed by the adoption journey and by our daughter. However, I can also remember a time not so long ago that adoption was bittersweet and only wishful thinking. We had known we wanted to adopt long before the infertility issues began.
 
Once we were told that we would not be able to have children, adoption became more real. Throughout the process, there were fears, yet there was always hope. We knew that there was a child meant for us. Now, we can’t imagine our life without adoption and the greatest gift we’ve ever known: our daughter, Ariana.
 
Our adoption journey was relatively short. We spoke with Lifetime in August, and by March we were blessed with our daughter. During the process, I underwent a hysterectomy, and my husband and I endured a lot of grief during that time.
 
For me, adoption was something to hold onto, and I kept the faith that we would be parents. The waiting period was difficult, but my husband and I kept busy. We went on vacation for his birthday the month before we were matched. We focused on enjoying every moment before it would no longer be just the two of us.
 
Brandon with ArianaWhen we shared with our family and friends that we were going to adopt, they were both excited and nervous. Many people were skeptical of our decision, and we received a lot of questions about cost and age and the process.
 
One hesitation that people had was regarding an open adoption. Although we had researched the topic and felt comfortable, I think it made our family uneasy. We would get questions like, “How can you have a relationship with the birth family?” and “What if the birth mother wants her child back?” So we would educate them.
 
We were set in our decision that this was the right path and felt strongly that open adoption would be best for our child and us. We wanted that relationship, and now that we have it, we’re so thankful that we stuck to our guns. Once people realized how passionate and confident we were in the process, they were more enthusiastic and supportive.
 
We continue to speak with Ariana’s birth mother every month. For Christmas, she mailed Ariana a gift, and we sent something in turn. We love having an open relationship with her. She is uncomfortable with visits at this time. But she knows that if she changes her mind in the future, we are open to visits. We are so glad that our daughter will grow up knowing her birth mother and how much love we all have for her!”
 

Lifetime would love to help you adopt a baby, too!
 
Start your open adoption journey today by completing Lifetime’s free application to adopt.

How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With the Adoptive Parents

Pregnant woman talking on the phone at a parkYou’ve put a lot of time and effort put into choosing the perfect family for your baby. You’ve read profile after profile until you finally found “the one.” It can be a big relief to have that part of your adoption planning behind you.
 
That is until you realize now it’s time to meet them. If the thought of meeting them has you feeling stressed, you’re not alone. The adoptive couple is very nervous too because they want to make a good first impression.
 
Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you get ready for that first meeting or phone call with an adoptive couple. She can also join the phone call, too, to help you begin the conversation and move it along.
 

Here are three helpful tips that’ll have you feeling more prepared for your first meeting with the adoptive couple:

Be Natural

Since you’ll need to create a connection with your baby’s potential adoptive parents, just be yourself. They’re just as nervous as you. The adoptive couple isn’t there to judge you, they want to get to know you and to show you that they’re dependable.
 
The more calm and open-minded you can be, the better. This will set a good tone as you get to know each other. You’re seeking a genuine connection because this will be a lifelong relationship.
 

Choose a Neutral Location

Try to meet in a neutral setting if possible, one where you’ll feel comfortable. You might choose to meet in a spot such as your favorite restaurant or shop. We recommend that you don’t meet up in the adoptive couple’s home or your home because it can create pressure. If you don’t live close enough to the adoptive couple to meet, we recommend talking on the phone for your first meeting.
 
If it’s hard to break the ice or the conversation goes off course, a public setting will give you more to talk about. Small talk can help make everyone comfortable and lead to a more meaningful discussion.
 

Ask Questions

You’re in charge of this meeting, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want. After looking at their profile, you can try to get a better feel for who they are and what they have to offer. Use the information in their profile to dig a little deeper. When you’re getting ready for the meeting, we recommend writing down the questions you’d like to ask. Then, you can add more questions as you think of them.
 
The most important thing to remember as you prepare for this first meeting is that it’s up to you. If you don’t feel comfortable with the adoptive couple, you don’t have to choose them. Adoption isn’t easy, and the hardest part can be making sure you’re choosing the right adoptive family for your baby. So, don’t stress, take your time, and remember that you are in control.
 

Questions about adoptive couples, or about adoption in general?

Call or text Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-800-923-6784 anytime of the day or night!

Home Study 101: All You Need to Know

Adoptive couple being interviewed for their home studyAre you wondering what a home study is? Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency is giving you answers to the most frequently asked home study questions, so you can be fully prepared for it!
 

What exactly is a home study?

An adoption home study is a document that states you can become an adoptive parent. In it is a story of your current life: your family and marriage history, financial state, and health. The home study also includes personal references, your criminal record, a description of your home and neighborhood, and addresses any health concerns. It describes your family relationships, your thoughts on adoption, parenting beliefs, and addresses infertility issues if relevant. It concludes with the social worker’s recommendation that you’re approved to adopt. Sometimes it also designates how many children you may adopt, and of what ages.
 

Are we required to get a home study?

You’re legally required to complete a home study before you can adopt. This is true no matter if you’re adopting through an agency, facilitator, private lawyer, or seeking an international adoption. Prospective adoptive parents must get a home study regardless of their state.
 
If the idea of opening up your life to a social worker sounds nerve-wracking, know that you’re not alone. Many couples worry that they’ll be deemed ineligible to adopt. In our experience, though, it’s pretty rare for a home study to conclude with a negative recommendation.
 

How can I help my spouse get through the home study?

The home study can be a long and tiresome process, with all the documents to collect and return, and visits to schedule, and classes to take. Many adoptive parents say things like “This seems unfair because pregnant couples don’t have to go through all this” at some point during their home study process.
 
If you or your spouse is reluctant and feel like having their lives examined is too much to shoulder, try to shift your thought process around. Work on your home study in pieces, so that you don’t become too overwhelmed. And instead of seeing the home study as a burden, think of it as an opportunity to ask an expert everything you want to know about adoption. You’ll find your Social Worker will be a great asset for you before, during, and after you adopt.
 

Who will perform the home study?

Your home study needs to be written by a social worker licensed your state. Some states require that the social worker is attached to a licensed adoption agency. If you live in Florida, you have the opportunity to have a social worker connected to the Lifetime Adoption Agency complete your home study. You can learn more about Lifetime’s home study services here.
 
If your adoption agency is located in another state, we’ll provide home study recommendations in your state of residence. Lifetime Adoption Agency will only recommend reputable home study agencies with a solid background of experience.
 
Adoptive couple chatting in the kitchen

How much does the home study cost?

The cost depends on your state, the type of adoption you’re pursuing, and your agency. For example, if you’re seeking an international adoption, the home study may cost more. And sometimes there are additional costs when updating your home study at the one year mark, and when there are changes that need to be made. For example, if you move to a new home or if another person moves in with you, your home study would need to be updated.
 
Lifetime Adoption Agency provides home study services at a flat rate with no hidden costs. To get information about our full fee schedule, give us a call at
1-877-383-6847.
 

How long will it take?

Typically, the entire home study process takes around four to six weeks. How long it will take depends on how much time it takes for your background checks to get in, how quickly you submit the required paperwork and your availability for interviews and home visits. It’s Lifetime’s goal to complete your home study within 30 days of acquiring all of the required documents.
 

What is the social worker looking for?

A home study is intended to explore the kind of life you can offer a child. The social worker isn’t visiting to intimidate you; it’s fine if your home doesn’t pass a “white glove test.” They’re not assessing your housekeeping standards and will understand if there’s some clutter. In fact, people living in an Instagram-worthy house might have a hard time adjusting to the chaos of raising a child!
 
You don’t need to have a fully-decorated nursery, baby supplies, or toys yet or even have your home completely baby-proofed. The social worker is simply looking for signs that you’ll be practical, loving, and safe parents.
 

What about after we adopt?

After your child’s birth parents have signed paperwork consenting to the adoption and it becomes irrevocable, you will then apply for finalization. You’ll appear in court before a judge who will formally recognize you as a family. The judge will issue a new birth certificate which lists the two of you as the child’s parents. This court appearance is a simple and joyful ceremony.
 
Before they’ll approve the finalization, judges typically require a social worker to visit you at least once after the child is in your home. Some courts will accept an agency or independent social worker for this post-placement visit, but a few courts require the use of their own social worker. But the post-placement visit isn’t something to worry about; it’s more of a formality and not a test of your parenting skills.

Lifetime Adoption Agency provides affordable home study services in Florida. Learn more by calling us at 1-877-383-6847 or by submitting this short form:



Your Quick Guide to Finding the Best Adoption Agency in Florida

Adoptive parents Bobby and Chaun admire their daughterCreating a family can happen in many ways. If you’d like to build your family through adoption, it’s important to find the best adoption agency in Florida. Since there are a vast array of adoption agencies, it can be challenging to find one that will match what you desire.
 
With research and careful consideration, you’ll be in a better position to partner with the adoption professional who is the best fit for you. Keep reading to learn what you should consider when looking for the best adoption agency in Florida!
 

Interview Adoption Professionals

Schedule interviews with representatives from the different adoption agencies you’re considering. Since agencies might be located across the country, setting up a phone interview is best. Make sure to discuss important items like average match time, fees, the home study, and birth mother presentation. During the phone interview, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask them questions. Get ideas on possible questions you might ask here.
 

Consider Experience

Ask the representative that you speak with how many years that the agency has been in existence. How much experience do they have in the field of domestic adoption? To work closely with an experienced adoption agency, choose one that has been actively matching birth mothers and adoptive couples for a long time.
 

Ask About Adoption Fees

When you’re looking for the best adoption agency in Florida, consider the clarity of their fees. How up front is the adoption agency about their fees when you talk to them?
 
Make sure that you understand what all of their fees are before engaging with an adoption agency in your state. Before you pay anything, make sure that you know the purpose the adoption agency will serve in your adoption journey. For example, some agencies will charge match fees while others do not.
 

Speak to References

Ask your representative at the adoption agency to speak with references. Talking to couples who recently adopted through the agency will provide you with an idea of what to expect.
 
Find reviews online of the adoption agencies you’re looking into. Many review sites will have feedback from those who adopted through the agency. The Better Business Bureau’s website is a great place to start. You can see Lifetime’s BBB rating and read reviews here.
 
 

The better informed you are about adoption agencies, the easier it’ll become to choose one who will match your specific needs and concerns. With the proper research into adoption agencies in Florida, you can find one who is committed to your success!
 
Schedule your complimentary adoption consultation with Lifetime Adoption Agency today, by calling us at 1-877-383-6847!

Is Adoption What’s Best for My Baby?

Pregnant woman wonders, 'is adoption what's best for my baby?'Are you pregnant and considering adoption? You’re not alone; we’re here to help you. Lifetime Adoption Agency helps expectant mothers in Florida and across to the U.S. explore adoption in a supportive, safe, and personalized environment. We’re here to provide you with up-to-date adoption information and support.
 
Discovering that you’re pregnant unexpectedly can be a very emotional time. No matter where you live, we can connect you with a hopeful adoptive couple who wants to provide your child with a stable, loving home.
 

Why Do Women Choose Adoption?

Are you wondering “is adoption what’s best for my baby?” There are many reasons why a woman decides to make an adoption plan for her baby. Overall though, women choose adoption because they want the best for their baby. Here are a few common reasons why a pregnant woman or mother might choose adoption:
 

  • Not ready to become a parent right now
  • Not financially able to provide for a baby
  • Still in school
  • Doesn’t want to be a single parent
  • Desires the best for her child

How Will My Baby Benefit from Adoption?

If you’re not ready to become a parent, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby through our Florida adoption agency. Adoption can provide your baby with many things, such as:
 

  • Safe, stable, loving home life
  • Parents who are emotionally ready to care for a child
  • Loving grandparents and relatives
  • Financially stable parents
  • Opportunities for a happy, fulfilling life
  • Opportunity for a quality education

Women reads adoption profiles from hopeful parents

Getting Started with Adoption

After you have learned all about adoption and have decided to move forward, our adoption agency in Florida is here to help you create your adoption plan.
 
An “adoption plan” describes your wants and needs for the adoption process. It includes your preferences on the adoptive family you’re hoping for, the level of contact you’d like in the future, and your adoption hospital plan.
 

Choosing a Family

A big part of the adoption process is selecting the adoptive family for your baby. Lifetime’s hopeful adoptive couples have been pre-screened and are approved to adopt a baby in the U.S. Plus, they’re excited to provide a safe, stable, loving home for your baby.
 
After you select your favorite adoptive family, we encourage you to speak with them. During the phone call, you can ask them questions about their faith, family traditions, parenting style, family background, and more.
 

We’re Here to Support You

Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re happy to discuss your options, answer your questions, and help you make the decision that’s best for you and your baby.

Just call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 anytime, day or night.

“Our son is a gift, made of miracles and divine love!”

Anthony and Sara with their son ElijahLast year, adoptive couple Anthony and Sara were blessed to adopt a baby boy through Lifetime. In this family’s story, we hear from Sara about her life-long call to adoption, getting “the call” that a birth mother was interested in them, and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption.
 
Now a forever family, adoptive mom Sara shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog post!

 
On February 28, 2018, we got the call that would change our lives forever. For some reason, I didn’t have my phone on vibrate that day, and I heard the ringing from the next room as I was unloading the dishwasher. I set the plastic plate in my hand down on the counter and made my way to the desk where my phone was perched. Grass Valley, California was on the caller ID.
 
Newly-born Elijah“We have a birth mother who’s interested in you.”
 
Fast forward exactly four weeks. This time, the caller ID was flashing our birth mom’s name. Not the first time she had ever called, but this call was unscheduled, after 10 pm, and less than a week out from her due date.
 
“My water just broke.”
 
Fast forward about forty hours. We had just driven cross-country to a tiny town in upstate New York. There was another name, but it wasn’t on a caller ID, it was on a hospital crib. “That’s him. As soon as you sent her his name, she had us write it on the crib card.”
 
Fast forward nine months. Here we are. At the time that I’m writing this, it’s been nine months to the day since we left the hospital. As I sit here and reflect on this adoption journey that led us to the most beautiful and perfect baby boy I could have ever dreamed into existence, I realize that adopting our son has taught me some things – not the least of which is my fresh perspective of the gospel message.
 
Worth the adoption wait!I first felt the call to adopt as a very young teenager. It started with one of those controversial “Feed the Children” commercials. Then learning about the unwanted baby girls in China. Then hearing a missionary speak about the orphans they help care for in Uganda, and working with poverty-stricken American children on various missions trips throughout high school. And so on. Each experience was like kindling to my little spark, and God continued to breathe on it.
 
I wanted to adopt because there are so many children in the world who need parents. I wanted to adopt because I want women to choose adoption over abortion when faced with a choice between the two. I wanted to adopt because not everyone has the emotional make-up for it, but for some reason, God gave that to me. I wanted to adopt for reasons that can’t be articulated but only felt with the heart. I felt so strongly about adopting that it would have kept me from marrying someone who didn’t share that desire. So, God sent me a man who had been adopted himself and understood my heart for it. And the flame continued to grow. It was like “a fire, shut up in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV)”. I was weary of holding it in, and indeed, I could not.
 
On November 1, 2016, the first day of Adoption Awareness Month, Anthony and I officially announced our plans to begin an adoption process. Exactly two years later, to the day, we finalized Elijah’s adoption. It was a beautiful full circle moment, and the moments in between were wrought with God’s goodness.
 
Anthony and Sara's adoption profileWe had to postpone our home study for a while, due to an upcoming move for my husband’s job. So, once our application with Lifetime was approved, we set aside a handful of months to save some money and work on our digital and print profiles. We officially contracted with Lifetime in July 2017 and were home study-ready that October. Then, the real wait began.
 
It was daunting. Looking through page after page of the digital profiles for so many wonderful waiting families on Lifetime’s website made me feel overwhelmingly…small. How could we possibly stand out to someone in that ocean that was teeming with such life? But I kept reminding myself that God had called us to do this and that He would make the right thing stand out to the right birth mother at the right time.
 
Elijah as Max from Where the Wild Things AreAnd He did. Just four months after completing our home study, we were selected by an amazing young woman who had contacted Lifetime late in her pregnancy. She was initially drawn to the fact that Anthony and the birth father have the same college degree, and once she read the rest of our profile, according to her, “it just felt right.” After speaking with her, it felt right to us too.
 
We’ve been blessed with an incredible birth family for our son that we look forward to remaining connected with throughout the years. The coming together of our families is undoubtedly something to celebrate.
 
There are thousands of babies born in the world each day, and the vast majority of these births are insignificant to most of us. Certainly, we rejoice when pregnant women choose life. Certainly, we acknowledge that each life is special. But, we don’t necessarily take a particular interest in all of those lives.
 
Anthony, Elijah, and Sara todayAn example of such a life is the baby boy born in a tiny town in upstate New York at 8:22 am on March 29, 2018, to a woman none of our family and friends have ever met. But, the moment he took on our name, he became part of the family. Elijah has become such a source of excitement and joy in our family. He was automatically accepted and loved. Because he took on our name. That’s the gospel, and watching it play out in front of me these past months has been too beautiful for words.
 
Some people wonder if having an adopted baby could possibly feel the same as having a child that you helped create, but I can say with absolute certainty that we couldn’t love this precious little soul any more in this moment. He is made of dream dust and miracles and divine love, and he is better than we ever imagined. He is a gift. As he grows, we’ll tell him his story – about the God who created him, his birth parents, and the string of holy moments that brought us all together.
 
There are parts of Elijah’s tale I’ll never share publicly, out of respect for him and his birth mother’s privacy. Those sacred details are tucked away in my heart, convincing me even more that he was meant to walk this earth and meant to do it as part of our family. That the God who paid the ultimate price for him has set the stage for His great and marvelous plans for my son’s life to unfold.
 
I can’t wait to find out the rest of the story!
 

Lifetime would love to help you adopt a baby, too!
 
Start your open adoption journey today by completing Lifetime’s free application to adopt.