Why we were able to adopt 2 children last year
Sebastian James was born on July 10th, 2019, and Simon Christopher was born exactly 7 weeks later on August 28th. In April of 2019, my wife and I had no idea that either of them existed or the impact that they would let other people have on our lives.
My daughter was born on November 16th, 2017. We had wanted children for almost 4 years by the time she was born and had been in the adoption process for over a year. We knew that it could be a long time before anyone chose us again, so Erin and I put ourselves right back into the pool hoping to land another wonder like her. Seventeen months past quickly as we grew together as a family, all the while hoping that we would get a call about another possible adoption. In early April 2020, we got a call that we were the second choice for a little girl who would be born in June. But the first meeting went well, and a different family was blessed by the birth of that little girl. We were sad, to say the least, but we did not have long to feel bad for ourselves. About a week later we got the call from one of our agencies that we had been chosen by a birth mother. Our hearts soared with excitement again. The baby was to be born in Tennessee in July and the birth mother wanted to meet with us beforehand. Of course, we said we would be more than happy to meet her. As soon as we did, the agent quickly reminded us that we would have to have to pay the agency fee, and the added that since it was an out of state adoption it would be a little bit more expensive; $15,000 more expensive, most of which would have to be paid before the birth. That did not sound like a little bit to Erin and me, but we were so excited at the possibility to adopt another child after waiting so long that we resolved ourselves and proceeded to come up with a plan for how we were going to come up with the extra money. We had been saving up and had enough set aside to cover the maximum charge we were expecting from any of the agencies we had applied for, but we were now beyond that number by a few thousand dollars. Determined we could find a way, we "flew" down to meet the birth mother. The meeting went well; she loved us. Also, we had made a plan for coming up with the money before the flight landed in Kansas again. Erin and I would pick up more hours at work, she was still working part-time at the time. We would cut all of the unnecessary spendings in our budget, no more date nights, or going to get take out when we didn't feel like cooking. We estimated that would allow us to gather the money needed before the deadline, plus or minus a few hundred dollars, and if it was minus we could figure it out as we got closer. So a few weeks went by and the plan was going great, but our life was about to take another unexpected turn. I came home from work one afternoon and my wife met me at the door looking excited.
Well, let me clarify, anyone who knows my wife knows she is very energetic and often looks excited, but that day she looked more excited than usual. She quickly told me, and bear with me as this gets a little convoluted. She had just gotten a call from my sister, Alex. A friend of Alex had called her asking if we were still trying to adopt a baby, it was all over Facebook, because Alex's friend's friend was thinking about placing for adoption and would feel a lot better having some background with the family. So Alex said she would talk to us and that is why she called Erin and I could tell from the way Erin told me this that she was only asking me how I felt about it as a formality. See we had always talked, even before I wanted kids, even before we were married about how much we like the concept of twins. Twin adoptions are incredibly rare and with it appearing that adoption was how our family was going to grow at this point this could very well be as close as we would get to them. And as I said earlier adoption can take years and we wanted our kids to be fairly close in age. It was already getting hard to argue when she pointed out that this would easily be the cheapest of our adoptions. You can't put a price on love but adoption agencies will sure try. Since we would be meeting with this birth mother privately there would be no agency fees which make up the bulk of the cost in adoption nowadays. We would just have to hire a lawyer as a non-bias third party and to make sure the i's were dotted and the t's crossed.
Cheaper still isn't free though. We would have to come up with that money somehow. But I could not deny this was the opportunity that we had been praying for. Life does not throw you a line very often so when it does grab hold. We decided to do a fundraiser and start a go-fund-me to try to help offset a little of the cost and I am still amazed by the results. Growing up in a small town I had always been told that a community was a family. I have always done my best to be neighborly to the people around me but the truth of that statement came to me the date of our fundraiser last summer. Our family, our friends, our church, and our coworkers. People that we talk to when we see them, at the same time, every week, getting groceries, the clerk that checked us out when we were done. People from our high schools and college. And even some people that I had never met before in my life. All these people came out to support us and help us find a way to make this dream to grow our family come true. There are not enough words in all the languages known to man for me to express the gratitude I feel for that. It is because of the kindness of those around us that I got to hold my sons. That our daughter has little brothers that she loves more than anything in the world. That even as I write this I can hear Simon softly crying in the next room as Erin tries to get him back to sleep. There is no way to put a price on happiness, so it is impossible to express the return that we have gotten on the investment those people were willing to make in us. All I can do is hope that we can do well enough raising these kids to have made it worth it to all of them.
But more on that later. In the meantime, I hope this post finds you in good health and of sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...
HOW DID I GET HERE?