In absolute perfect timing, our family has grown by two.
The past three weeks have been such a an exciting whirlwind, and the amazing story of how our two boys joined our family is still so unreal to me!
Here's a look at our adoption timeline:
Application for adoption submitted
Home study started
Found out about babies through a Facebook post. We knew some of the medical issues, other concerns and basic information... but little else! We hadn't yet seen photos and our home study wasn't complete, but we knew we had to apply. The boys' birth mom was working with a private attorney, so applying for their case was outside of the adoption agency we had been working with.
We quickly completed and overnighted a 24 page application and just three
photos for the boys' birth mom to consider. We had actually just completed our profile book (20 pages of photos and text for an in-depth look at our lives) a few days before. I was worried that the birth mom might not get a complete look at who we are as a family. But we waited, prayed and tried to not get our hopes up.
Eight couples ended up applying to adopt the boys. We were told the birth mom would be reviewing all applications that night and that we should find out that day. Each hour crawled by. When we had to go to bed without hearing anything from the attorney, were sure it meant we weren't selected.
Mid-morning, we received a follow-up question with some concerns the birth mom had. We did our best to answer... and then waited more. A few (long) hours later, we received the call
. She thought we were the perfect family to raise her boys!!! We could not believe it. Minutes later we arranged for friends to watch Clara and drove two hours to meet the attorney! Then we met our boys!! We also chose their names this night. After just a few hours, we headed home for the night to be with Clara. (Let's be honest, I couldn't sleep!)
Since we didn't have a completed home study yet (totally bent every rule with this), our social worker moved mountains and completed our final visit the morning after we were selected and rushed writing it to be done the very next day (compared to the 6-8 weeks it was supposed to take). We finished the home study, packed all our things and headed to be with the boys in NICU after picking Clara up from school.
We stayed with the boys for nearly two weeks in NICU. We're so thankful for the Ronald McDonald House for not only taking us in, but for being a great support to Clara and our growing family! This charity is wonderful and we hope to help support them in the future.
Baby A (Henry Owen) was released from NICU before his brother. We stayed in our room at RMH a few days after Henry was released so we could continue to visit with Baby B, but it was challenging since the kids aren't allowed in NICU. We switched off: one was with Baby B in NICU while the other held down the fort with an adjusting toddler and little preemie in a new city.
We had to head home to get settled... make places for TWO boys, get Clara in school, catch up on work and adjust to life with Henry. Of course it's breaking our hearts to not be with Baby B every day. Our attorney is wonderful and visiting him for snuggle time, and we are making individual day trips just to hold him and talk with the nurses. It will definitely feel unsettled until Baby B can join us.
We learned that the birth mom narrowed it down to two couples and ultimately chose us because we wanted an open adoption with regular communication and visits. We haven't met our birth mom yet, but we hope that will take place once Baby B is out of the hospital.
Since we weren't planning on twin boys— much less this soon in the process— we had so few things ready for them! Our friends and community were wonderful to get together so many boy clothes, a second carseat and other things for us to bring the boys home to.
I can't begin to express how much we love these boys. We loved them from the moment we heard that we were selected. I thought the bond might take longer to develop than it did with Clara (we had 42 weeks of getting to know her before she was born), but Richard and I haven't felt that at all. I'm amazed at how immediate and strong the love we have for them developed... these are our sons!
Clara was unsettled the first few days of traveling and being without one of us all the time as we were in the NICU. She cried more and threw fits. Once we started taking intentional lunch breaks from the NICU and giving her totally undivided attention, she mellowed out. Now she loves
her little brothers and is nothing but helpful and sweet.
We know adoption will be a lifelong process for our boys. We are praying for the boys' birth mom and can't wait to meet her. We'll be navigating race (the boys are biracial), the loss of their biological family and our relationship with their birth family for a long time. But for right now, we're holding our boys close and making sure they know just how loved they are.
To everyone who has sent messages of support or congratulations, thank you! We feel so loved and are thankful that so many can experience this wonderful time with us!