Recent Placements Stories

Recent Placements Stories

Guest writer Paul C

Recent Placement–Stork Situation

We came across Heart to Heart thanks to the adoption consultant we were working with in Florida (The Adoption Consultancy is the group’s name).

Ultimately, we decided to choose Heart to Heart as one of our agencies because they offered more financial protections than other agencies. This protection was important to us because my wife and I are public school teachers and wanted to have some protection in the process.

Now, our ultimate matching was definitely a stork situation.

I had emailed Darla at the agency on June 10th, and she let me know there was a situation we might be interested in, which we decided to put in for.

I got a call on June 11th (while I was on the treadmill, lol.) saying the birth Mother wanted to meet, and by 1:30, the birth Mother made the choice that would change our lives.

We quickly loaded the car to get to Utah.

Once we finally got there, the experience could not have gone more smoothly, in my opinion. The agency set us up with a great rate on an extended stay.

More importantly, it was how they treated both the birth mother and us.

They did an excellent job making us all feel very comfortable, which meant a great deal to me because of the pressure of the situation.

After a whirlwind 48 hours, the agency took care of all of the paperwork, which they explained very well, and we were able to take our son on June 13th (which happened to be our anniversary.)

Again, I might be underselling how smooth the process went with the agency, considering it was one of those cases that came out of the blue.

I was definitely impressed at how caring the folks at the agency were towards myself and my wife and, more importantly, the birth Mother who gave us the amazing gift of our son.

This woman didn’t “give my baby away.” He will always be her baby. We will always let him know. 

Twin’s Death Resulted in Emergency C-Section

“You’re here,” Shanice whispered when she woke after surgery. “You’re really here.”

“I opened my eyes, and I saw Jodie,” Shanice* explained several weeks later. “When I woke up after surgery, she was right there. There was so much comfort in knowing she was there. I’m so grateful.”

Jodi shrugs off Shanice’s comment. “Of course, I was going to be there.”

Shanice’s baby was born by an emergency C-section. With two adult children, Shanice was unprepared and unable to raise another child.

Even when Shanice discovered she was pregnant with twins, she didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy. Instead, she contacted us at Heart to Heart and explained the situation. After looking through several profiles, the Atlanta mother felt strongly that Scott and Jessica from Kansas would be the kind of parents she wanted for her baby.

Late in the second trimester, one of the twins died in vitro.

Ideally, the water within the twin’s tissues, the amniotic fluid, and the placental tissue would be reabsorbed. In Shanice’s case, there were complications, and doctors determined she should be induced. After a grueling few hours, more complications required an emergency C-section in the middle of the night.

Scott and Jessica hurried to be with the surviving baby.

For two months, the couple took turns watching over the child, holding him when possible, and making sure he knew their voice. A few weeks ago, the baby was finally released, and the grateful family drove home.

“To have Jodi, just her presence in the middle of the night, was so comfortable,” Shanice insists. “Not everyone would have done that for me.”

“Everyone from our agency would,” Jodi said.

*names changed

14-year-old Chooses Open Adoption, Finds Peace At the Beach

Jada will always be this little girl’s mother.

Jada will always have a connection to this little girl.

This little girl will always know of her birth mother’s love.

Three months after we had first met 14-year-old Jada, she sent us a list of the things she would like to see in an adoptive family. We had limited our communication with Jada by only going through the young girl’s mother. This soon-to-be grandmother had a lot of questions about adoption.

 We only worked with the mother.

We limited our contact to strongly encouraging the young girl to continue visiting the counselor assigned to her by the state. The soon-to-be grandmother was the one who needed to help the teenager.

A few weeks before her due date.  Jada sent us a list of requirements for the type of adoptive family she wanted.  These requests were surprisingly mature. She had thought about her future and the future of her baby and wanted to be sure those two futures could coincide.

Only an attorney who represented Jada and a hospital social worker were allowed into the room for relinquishment signing. The attorney spent a long time making sure the decisions made were in the teenager’s best interest.

After relinquishment was completed, the teenage mother, her mother, the baby, the new adoptive mother, and her mother—four women and a baby–spent three days together.

At the end of the three days, Jada asked Jodi from Heart to Heart if the two of them could go to the beach. The young girl wanted time to think.

She wanted to watch the waves.

Jodi spent three days with 14-year-old Jada. The young birth mother needed this time.

She needed a friend, so rather than see the baby placed with the adoptive family and leave, Jodi took Jada to the ocean. Then they went to the craft store and got material to scrapbook.

“She just needed the time,” Jodi explained. “She is so young, and she has made such a tough decision. Being with her was my privilege.”

The Right Match

The Halls* completed their home study right as COVID started disrupting life in the United States. They placed their family profile with Heart to Heart Adoptions and two other agencies.

“We immediately started to see situations,”

Christa said. “We were open to any race and many other types of situations. We didn’t have a preference for boy or girl or race. We were shocked that you could have a preference.”

One preference the Halls did have was for an open adoption. They wanted any child they adopted to understand their biological heritage and have a relationship with any birth family who put would bring a positive influence and love.

The open couple was willing to have their profile presented to dozens of potential birth mothers.

“There got to be a pattern,” Christa said “we got a call about a situation and asked if we wanted to be presented. We would say, ‘yes,’ wait a week and find out we weren’t chosen. This got pretty discouraging. We lost track of how many times—probably got up to 30.  We were pretty disheartened.”

Within a couple of weeks, however, an expectant mother asked to talk with the Halls.

“At the end of that call, the woman said, ‘Congratulations, this is going to be your son.’ Our hearts at that moment,” Christa said, emotion suddenly made speaking difficult. “You can’t understand what happens to your heart.”

The due date was in less than six weeks.

“I’m a planner,” Christa said, and amidst planning for a baby was a scheduled surgery.

“I have an implanted fibulator in my chest. When it is due to get replaced, it beeps. Every morning it would beep. I felt like a robot. It’s an outpatient surgery, but it does inhibit the use of my arm.”

The couple talked about contingency plans so she could travel.

Surgery was successfully accomplished before the couple got a text that Amber* might be going into labor. Christa had just completed a work project. Brennan left in the middle of a virtual meeting to pack. Thirty-five minutes later, they received another text. This was really labor. They started driving.

A couple of hours into their ten-hour drive, they received notification that a healthy girl had been born.

“It was a crazy surprise,” Christa admitted. “We thought we were getting a son. Our first and completely natural reaction was for both of us to start laughing. Our birth parents were concerned that we might change our minds because it was a girl.”

There was no hesitation in adopting a little girl.

Christa fights emotional, joyful tears as she talks about the night they waited to see their new daughter.

“Because of COVID and visiting hours, we couldn’t go in,” Christa explained. “All we wanted was to be supportive and not put pressure. Adoption is not final until it is final. As much as we wanted this to be our match, the last thing we want is for there to be any regrets or any feelings of pressure or manipulations. ”

Both Brennan and Christa agree having this daughter has been amazing.

*Names have been changed.

Two Stories of Love

Even as her heart rejoiced with beautiful, little Emma, Becca was aware of another story.

A story that wasn’t necessarily wonderful and exciting.

A story that led to a baby leaving her birth mother.

“The day my son was born was all happiness, all good things,” Becca said about the child she gave birth to. “When Emma came, I recognized that a birth mother was losing a child. It’s okay for you to be excited about your side of the adoption but it is important to be aware that they have a story that led them to this.”

Becca and her husband were drawn to adoption long before they started the paperwork to get their baby Emma. Neighbors and family members had already gone through the process of adoption.

“We finished our paperwork in April,” Becca explained. “In August, we got our first call that there was a situation to see if we wanted the birth family to see our file. That family didn’t choose us. You are aware that your file is not the only one being presented to the birth family, so you don’t want to get excited, but you do.”

A few weeks later, the couple was presented with another potential birth mother. This time they were the ones who didn’t feel good about the situation. A third family chose Becca and her husband to be parents; however, there appeared to be “red flags from the start.”

 

“She did the minimum amount of calls she needed to get support. She took a long time to choose a family, and then when she did choose, she didn’t want to know much about us,” Becca explained. “However, I was different. My heart just went out to her, and I instantly wanted to make this connection.”

There was no connection, and the mother decided to parent.

“I’m glad for her,” Becca said. “I hope she has the support she needs.”

The fourth situation presented to Becca felt different from the start. The families connected and were grateful for one another even before meeting in person.

“Oh,” Becca groaned.

 

 “COVID made things so frustrating. When we got to the hospital, we weren’t sure they would let anyone in. But our adoption specialist helped, and all the work, all the worry, all the preparation has been worth it.”

Three Children in 18 Months, Trusting God

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Being called a monster by another child was one of the worst nightmares Ben could imagine he’d ever have to endure.

He could have become bitter about being ridiculed in public concerning something he couldn’t change. Marrying his wife was going to end some of his sufferings. Instead, he endured another challenge, a challenge he had even less control over.

After being treated for Crouzon syndrome, Ben was certainly not a stranger to medical intervention, but seeing countless doctors for infertility was different. These medical treatments included his wife and future family.

Click here to listen as Ben describes the emotions of getting three children in 18 months.

Wendi Didn’t Want Jessica to Ever Regret Her Decision

Jessica was encouraged to spend time with her newborn baby.

Jessica lied to her mother and the rest of her family.

She had been hiding her pregnancy; however, this deception was not going to be possible anymore. Instead of revealing her situation, she took her four-year-old and two-year-old sons and left, telling her family she was going to school. She planned to place the baby with Wendi, never telling anyone that she had been pregnant.

Wendi met Jessica through a caseworker.

Wendi didn’t want Jessica to ever feel she had been coerced.

The two women immediately felt a connection.

“We talked for hours that first night,” Wendi explained. “There was definitely a kinship, a relationship.”

However, two competing worries kept haunting Wendi–

Number 1–

Jessica could easily change her mind and just as concerning

Number 2–

Wendi felt Jessica needed to tell her mother and make sure the birth father was agreeable to placement.

Wendi recognized that her two concerns were incompatible. Telling the baby’s biological grandmother might increase the likelihood that Jessica would decide to parent. As Wendi became more familiar with Jessica’s family dynamics, she recognized that Jessica’s grandmother would be the most upset about placement.

The women spent a week bonding with one another and the baby.

“I didn’t want there to be lies and dishonesty,” Wendi said.

To ensure there was no deception, Wendi bought an airline ticket for Jessica’s mother to fly across the country and spend a week with Jessica and Wendi’s extended family.

Wendi and Jessica’s mother went to the hospital when the baby was born.

“I left them together with Janell,” Wendi said of the night after the birth. “That was the worse night. I knew her mother would talk her out of placing the baby. But I knew this was the right way. I didn’t want her ever to feel coerced or manipulated.”

Jessica and her mother flew home and left Janell with Wendi. They speak regularly.

Wendi feels the relationship has remained close because “Everything I told Jessica I would do. I didn’t blow her off.”

As an agency, we encourage our adoptive parents to, “Do everything they said they would do.”

This does not mean we become victims. There are scams out there. We don’t want potential adoptive parents victimized. But, just like in this recent placement, we always try to love the birth family and let them know of our love