If you haven’t yet read “Why Down Syndrome”, I encourage you to do so. It will answer that burning question that everyone has:
“Why did you choose this path?”
Now that we have explained that, here is our adoption story:
In Novemeber 2013, Alex and I decided to tackle adoption head first. We knew it would take years and years, and we figured that now was a good time to start. After all we aren’t getting any younger.
“So let’s just start the process, not like we are going to be getting a child anytime soon”
And those were our famous last words!
We decided that we would start the process the cheapest (and LONGEST might I add) way possible and go through CFS (Child family services). So we filled out applications, did all the appropriate criminal and medical checks and then proceeded with the ‘oh so fun’ booklet of checkboxes and profiling. Then came the dreaded home study….. The part everyone is most nervous for. The house must look borderline not lived in, dogs must be on their best behaviour (good luck!). Our SW (Social Worker) was an acquaintance/friend which eased our nerves right off the bat. After the first 5 minutes I realized that we are not doing this to try and fool someone into giving us a child, and the SW isn’t there to critique our life. To my surprise we actually enjoyed the home study process and found it quite therapeutic! During our last home visit our SW gave us some discouraging news telling us that the province of Alberta has only adopted out 2 children with DS in the last 7 years!! 2 IN 7 YEARS!?!?! Well that was just fan-fugging-tastic news, great, now what?
So we did some googling and found a couple of private adoption agencies close to home. In February 2014 we met with our chosen agency and INSTANTLY fell in love with them! We walked away from our first meeting with them feeling that we were already taken care of, and had a renewed sense of optimism of finding that perfect child for us.
The next few months that followed we were pretty much sitting at a stand still. Our agency was waiting on the home study to be signed off on from CFS. This part was by far the most frustrating. We felt helpless and irritated that nothing was happening, and there was nothing we could do to speed things up.
Anxiously we signed up for the mandatory ‘pre-adoption’ workshop in May 2014. Alex and I really enjoyed this part. We met a bunch of different couples who were all in the same but very different boat (if that makes any sense) as us. We learned a ton about open adoptions, and had the opportunity to meet and talk with birth moms and adoptive families. We walked away from that workshop super pumped up, excited and even more anxious to get on that waiting list! The waiting list….. that list we wanted to be on by mid summer…… that list we never made it on to……
June 2014….. LET’S GO TO VEGAS! Vegas, the last vacay of 3 that we had booked. The last holiday before we hunker down, work our asses off before we get a baby in a year or 2. Alex and I had a full 8 days planned of sun, relaxation, drinking, and gambling. 3 friends joined us for the first half of our holiday, and let’s just say things got crazy……
……need I say more?
Tuesday, June 3, 2014, we are sitting in Denny’s hungover or maybe still drunk? not too sure….. I check my phone and see that we have an email from our agency alerting us of a ‘possible situation’ with a birth mom and a 6 week old baby boy with DS. Alex instantly hopped up and gave them a call. We got a bit of info about what was happening and told the agency to keep us posted. Our friend made the oh so funny comment of:
“could you imagine if this pans out for you guys, and you found out you were getting a baby while you were hungover/drunk (still undecided about what we were) sitting in a Denny’s in Vegas”
Well as the day went on we honestly forgot all about it. Not to get our hopes up. After all the agency doesn’t even have our home study. Why would we possibly get a baby without being on any sort of list, right? So we proceeded to drink champagne on Fremont and party it up like careless idiots…..
Wednesday, June 4, 2014: first thing in the morning our phones are ringing, or is that a pounding headache? Nope, definitely the phone. It’s the SW from our agency…. Instantly she starts rattling off all this info about a baby, I’m hearing every other word….
“6 weeks, Down Syndrome, AVSD, heart surgery, hospital, feeding issues, birth mom, adoption plan, immediate placement, ARE YOU INTERESTED?”
OH. MY. GOD!!!! Is this for real? YES WE ARE INTERESTED!!! But wait….. we are still in Vegas. Our brains went into full panic mode. Immediately we had our phones and computers our frantically trying to cancel and re-book flights, figure things out. OH MY GOD ARE WE BECOMING PARENTS OVERNIGHT!?!?!
(May I just add here that our agency got a hold of our completed home study from CFS at this point, no rules were broken, and everything was legitimately done and followed. The process was just put into hyper speed!)
Thursday, June 5, 2014: after a very sleepless night, 4 days early we hop on a plane fly back to Great Falls Montana (where our vehicle was). Make the 4 hour journey to Calgary to meet with a birth mom. I swear that was the longest car ride of our entire lives! I remember feeling moments of sheer terror and panic, thinking that we may be becoming parents very soon. Our lives were potentially going to be turned upside down overnight. WE WEREN’T READY FOR THIS! or were we? I justified all of these feelings with the fact that I am sure all first time parents (no matter how that child came about) feel this way.
We finally roll into Calgary and nervously pull up to the house of birth mom. Alex and I were both under the impression that we were meeting with birth mom so she could make an informed decision about who she was giving her baby to. Boy were we wrong….. Birthmom met us at the door with tears in her eyes, she immediately hugged us and thanked us for wanting to take her precious baby….. WOW, this was for real! we all sat down, and with the guidance of our social worker we got to know the birth mom and she got to know us. We showed her pictures of our life, since she did not have our family profile to look at. Then it was time….. she brought out her camera and showed us pictures of Jaxson….. wow, I will NEVER forget that moment….. I just started crying, he was SO beautiful and perfect! After an hour or so it was time to wrap up our meeting, the next day birth mom was taking us to the hospital to meet OUR SON…….
Friday, June 6, 2014 otherwise known as our “GOTCHA DAY”: After yet another sleepless night we got up bright and early…. our minds still not wrapped around what was happening to us. We went to Babies R Us and literally bought everything we thought you may need to bring a baby home. Let me tell you, I think that was the most overwhelming experience of my entire life. Having never been parents before, WHAT THE HELL DOES A BABY NEED!?!?!? Turns out a baby doesn’t really need too much
At 1300hrs we were meeting our son…. We met birth mom and our SW in the lobby of Alberta Children’s Hospital, and they are lucky I didn’t vomit all over them!!! The single most exciting experience of my entire life. We took the journey to his room, in what seemed like an eternity and this is what we walked into…..
WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY JAXSON!!!!! WE WERE IN LOVE WITH YOU BEFORE WE LAID EYES ON YOU