Since 1994, Abrazo has been growing healthy families through adoption, and we’re so very proud of each of them.
One of our adoptive families, though, is about to set an AbrazoNation record, so we’re dedicating this piece to them.
Once upon a time…
They first came to Abrazo as a childless couple from Iowa, way back in 2004.
A farmer and a respiratory therapist, they already knew (even before they married) that adoption would be their only option for growing their family.
They first attended Abrazo’s May 2004 orientation weekend. In their first month, they had four prospective birthmothers interested in them. They matched in the end of June, attended Camp Abrazo with the expectant mother in July, and took placement of a beautiful baby girl in August 2004.
They took to parenting as we all knew they would, and their firstborn daughter was a beloved reminder to them of the courage and strength of her birthmother– with whom they have faithfully kept in touch, of course.
Twice the joy
Fast forward to January 2007, when this dear couple came back to Abrazo to adopt again, as their daughter’s birthmother was again expecting and had expressed interest in placing the sibling with them.
Within two months, though, the sibling placement plan had fallen apart, as the birthmother decided not to place. The couple was understandably disappointed, but began speaking with other expectant mothers interested in placing. They were chosen by another mom, but turned the match down, feeling it didn’t fit for them. They were interested in two other moms who turned them down, feeling drawn elsewhere.
And then, in August 2007, Abrazo called them about a baby girl being born in a hospital out of town. They talked it over, spoke with the newly-delivered mother, and within a few days, found themselves meeting their newest daughter and her parents, eight months after their second adoption journey had begun. This open adoption relationship has also withstood the tests of time.
Three times is a charm
Raising two busy, beautiful daughters kept them understandably busy. Four years later, however, the adoptive parents were feeling the urge to even up the gender balance in their happy home. They returned to Abrazo yet again with the hopes of adopting a baby boy, attending our June 2011 orientation weekend. They spent the next nine months in talks with six different mothers expecting mostly boy babies, and even matching with one mom who decided to parent after birth.
But in March of 2012, Abrazo contacted them about a mother needing to place a girl toddler; would they consider such a child in need? Being the loving people they are, the family said “yes, of course” only to be disappointed when this mother chose another family. That family, however, decided against the match, so when the mother took another look at our Iowa couple, she said “yes” and so did they, and their third daughter went happily home with them at long last. (Their post-adoption contact with this birthmother is dependent upon her, due to her circumstances.)
Four means more
They might have thought their family was complete, yet in 2014, they decided to come back one more time, to find the son and brother they all still felt was missing from their lives. They attended Abrazo’s April 2014 orientation, the first Abrazo family with three children seeking to adopt a fourth. We gently cautioned them about the tendency for prospective birthparents to prefer childless couples, making the adoption wait longer for families with multiple children already.
Their first call with a prospective birthmom happened after a month of waiting, but she chose someone else. They considered four more case opportunities before matching in October with a birthmom who had placed before, but she elected to parent in February. In the next four months, they considered two cases involving older kids, before choosing to match in August with a mother who ultimately chose to parent in December. They were speaking with an expectant couple due in February, when Abrazo called them in January 2016 about a precious baby boy just born in East Texas, and with joy and gratitude, they made him their son.
His is the only birthfamily who chose not to meet them, and who has declined to be in touch with them. They genuinely mourn the lack of his birthfamily’s place in their lives, but they continue to hold out hope that in time, the birthfamily will one day feel ready. They truly look forward to that day.
Five times the blessings
It hasn’t happened just yet. But Abrazo did get another unexpected call from their son’s birthmom. Lightning does strike twice, as they say, and she has found herself needing to place once more.
She doesn’t yet feel ready to have any contact with the family of the baby she placed here before. But she says she knows Abrazo surely did right by her little boy, as has his family, so she knows we will place her new baby in the best possible home for him.
And indeed, we will. We have called the very best family possible for her soon-to-be-born baby boy and they said “yes!” so Lord willing, we will make Abrazo placement history by placing one special family with their fifth Abrazo baby this week.
He will grow up with his big brother and with three proud sisters and two doting parents and big fields of corn, with plenty of room to grow, and with a standing invite to his birthfamily, whenever they do decide they’re ready to enjoy this family connection, as do his sisters’ first families.
After all, adoption is all about growing families and Abrazo is all about children, so here’s to both, for now and for always.