Families who are looking to adopt come in all different shapes and sizes. If you look through these adoption profiles, you will see families looking to adopt. Some are couples with no children, some have biological children, some have children who were adopted, and some are single hopeful parents. I have been in the adoption community for 12 years, and in that time, I have met and talked to many other adoptive families and hoping-to-adopt families. Families looking to adopt have different reasons for turning to adoption, but the common thing is they all want to open their hearts, arms, and homes for a child. These families show their vulnerability by opening themselves up to caseworkers, adoption agencies, and expectant parents considering adoption.
On social media, I asked my friends if they knew families looking to adopt. As an adoptive parent myself, I am a support for other families as well as an advocate for these families. Adoption has blessed my life and made me a mother three times. Adoption can be a long journey, especially when these families want a child, but their arms stay empty longer than anticipated. I learned about the Nygard and Chapman families and wanted to share about these families looking to adopt.
Brian and Eden knew of each other in high school and would see each other, but they didn’t start dating until after she returned from a church mission, and Brian had been living across the street from her family. They have been married for almost eight years and live in Washington with their three sons, ages six, five, and two. They enjoy dancing in the kitchen, running, fly fishing, hiking, gardening, camping, cooking together, going on bike rides, and anything that gets them outdoors.
Before the Nygards even moved towards growing their family through biological means, they both agreed that someday they wanted to adopt. Adoption has a special place in their hearts because they’ve seen the beauty of it in their families; they have a birth mother, adoptees, and adoptive parents in their family.
Adoption became a decision they reached sooner than they’d originally planned. Eden had high-risk pregnancies that put her and her babies in physical danger. While pregnant, Eden has a rare condition that affects less than 1% of all pregnant women called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). This condition is characterized by vomiting and nausea to the point of starvation, dehydration, and severe weight loss. Eden had HG in all three pregnancies, but it became more severe with each subsequent pregnancy. The high-risk doctors had never seen a case so severe and strongly discouraged future pregnancies. They are so beyond excited for the adventure that adoption holds for them. They feel very strongly that God has directed them on this path. They are grateful for the events that have led them to this point of finding the baby meant to be theirs to love.
Brian and Eden anticipate adoption being a vulnerable, humbling experience. Although they have support members to rally around them and encourage them through the process, they readily admit that they don’t know what they’re doing, but they will learn through experience. Everything they have learned has taught them that no two adoption stories are the same. They recognize that they need to go into each situation with an open mind and heart, ready to love, learn and grow together. They hope to have an open adoption in which the birth parents are involved in the child’s life. Again, they know how much-desired involvement will change from birth parent to birth parent, so they intentionally have no specific expectation of what that would look like but rather choose to learn as they go along what that would look like.
Vulnerability in Adoption
If there was one word that summed up their experience with adoption, it would be “vulnerability.” Vulnerability to open a chapter where you put yourself out there, waiting for someone to pick you. They have been passed over many times because they have three biological children. And while they are happy for the other parties and honor the choices of birth parents, their hearts ache.
Vulnerability to learn that adoption is a hard process and that their potential jubilation cannot be met without someone’s heartache. Vulnerability to open and extend their family not just to an adopted child but also to a birth family. They are open to transracial adoption, which means they need to be intentionally vulnerable and open to meeting their child’s cultural needs. All this being said, they have learned enough about life that the deepest joys cannot be attained until great effort, heartache, and meekness have been executed.
As first-time adoptive parents, the Nygards know they are sailing into uncharted territory! They have relied on their friends and family who have adopted children of their own and are excited to aid them during this adventure. Eden and Brian are grateful for the diversity their friends and family present with birth mother experience, transracial adoptees, as well as families with both biological and adopted children so that they can get help as needed where applicable. Other family members and friends with no ties to adoption are also very supportive in their adoption journey.
In 2019, Eden organized a 5k fundraising race for their adoption. It was amazing to have a tangible representation of support. People participated in this race, purchased T-shirts, sponsored the race, donated funds, donated goods to be used as part of the race, and donated time and skills. Since then, they have appreciated their family sharing their profile and story, and even something as small as checking in for updates when they talk to them.
Adoption Will Add to Their Joy.
Eden and Brian anticipate forming a bond with their child as they have with their other children. In their house, you will find them building forts, cooking with their kids, playing hide and seek, having pillow and tickle fights, and going for bike rides. They intentionally seek opportunities to create memories and strengthen bonds with their kids. Part of the bedtime routine is that either Eden or Brian will snuggle each of their kids before they go to sleep. This is one of their favorite times of the day as that’s when they ask questions like “Did dinosaurs snore?” or “What is the biggest bat on Earth?”
They know that desired involvement will vary from birth parent to birth parent. But what they hope is that they can involve birth parents and extended family in raising another baby. Gathering everyone for birthday parties, graduations, sporting events would be ideal. But if desire or location makes this impossible, they would love to send pictures and periodic letters of updates. Their experience with adoption has been miraculous. And they want to share that story with their child as they grow. They have already purchased child storybooks that have been recommended to use by the adoption community. They plan to find ways to surround themselves with other adoptees and adoptive families so that everyone can support each other and create a network for their child to relate to. They want adoption to be something they talk about often, that it isn’t a secret, but a beautiful part of their story. To learn more about and connect with the Nygards, you can view their website.
Jacob and Amy have been married for six years this September. They currently live in Oklahoma. Jacob is the geek, loving all things computers and technology; Amy is the nerd, loving books and learning. In all their differences, they are two individuals who work seamlessly together. They have similar goals and aspirations for life, and they work together – supporting each other as needed – in achieving them.
They have both always wanted a family, eventually. Jacob has always dreamed of raising a child, teaching him or her to work hard and determinedly to achieve one’s goals. Amy wanted someone she could impart her wisdom upon and give more of herself to than could ever be imagined. Jacob has always been the baby-hungry one of this marriage. From year one of their marriage, Jacob pestered Amy to find out when she was ready to have a child. Amy took a little longer. However, two years into their marriage, they were both on the same page and wanted a family beyond just us two.
Through the years and countless doctor appointments, the Chapmans found out they could not have a child through natural means. If they wanted a baby, they would have to either do artificial insemination or adoption. Through much prayer and consulting with each other, they decided to move forward with adoption.
They believe that adoption will change them to be more caring and dependable. It will allow them to see the world with new eyes, witnessing the beauty all around them (despite the mid-night crying and temper tantrums that are sure to be in their future). It is something that will bring Jacob and Amy closer than ever.
Though they are open to any kind of adoption if it is right for them, the child, and the biological family, the Chapmans would prefer to adopt a newborn girl. They hope to have a semi-open adoption. Though they are open to the biological family’s privacy if it is wished, they would ideally have an open connection to allow their daughter or son the option of reaching out and getting to know her or his biological connections.
Prayer is the number one thing they have done to prepare themselves for adoption. Jacob and Amy have counseled with each other, coming together in prayer, to determine if adoption is right for us. They have also researched different financial options for adoption. Adoption is not cheap, and this has been something that Jacob and Amy have had to consider. However, they both believe strongly that a child should not be outweighed by a monetary cost.
Something they were not aware of going into the adoption process was how they would need to become their own PR reps. They started a Facebook campaign for their adoption, posting regularly about the topic and what it means to them. This has kept many aware of their trials in this endeavor.
Adoption Education and Support
They have learned so much about adoption since starting this journey. First and foremost, it is not for the faint of heart. Adoption is a long process, and you must be committed to seeing it through if you want to adopt. Secondly, DHS and Private adoption are different and require separate everything – separate people to talk to, separate paperwork, and separate home studies. Thirdly, adoption is not cheap. There are many fees and steps required before you can even start meeting potential children or biological families. Not only is it not cheap financially, but it is also not cheap with respect to time. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure all the documents are filled out correctly and handed off to the correct people.
Jacob and Amy have many people in their support network, all very supportive of their adoption journey. Their parents and siblings have all reached out and explained how much courage it takes to try adoption. They have many friends who have family members who either adopted a child or were adopted themselves, all of whom have reached out to show support. Coworkers pray and wait for the day when they will have a child, as well. In essence, they are supported on every side in this adoption journey.
Adoption Will Be a Great Blessing.
The Chapmans hope to form a bond with their child through constant commitment and love. They will try to make them as comfortable as possible in the transition. They will be caring and be there for them when they need someone to talk to when they come home from school. They will be there if they need someone to complain about a bad day. Or if they need someone to put on a Band-Aid and make him or her feel better.
They personally see adoption as the joining of two families instead of the worldly view of abandoning one family to join the other. They would love to have their daughter or son be able to reach out to their birth family and learn of the roots that brought her or him to them. They would be willing to provide photos or facilitate bio-family chats to reciprocate towards them.
They will teach their child about adoption openly and frankly. They would explain it is such a blessing to have this child as a part of their family. If they were to have an open adoption, the child would be in contact with his or her biological family throughout the years, making this conversation a part of life. They would also teach that family is not defined by where you come from but how you treat each other with unconditional love. If you would like to learn more about or contact the Chapmans, you can view their website.
Other Families Looking to Adopt
These were two families looking to adopt among the other hundreds of other families looking to adopt. These other families come from all over the United States and have a variety of backgrounds, political and religious beliefs, and personalities. These families are all qualified to adopt and ready to welcome a child into their families. It will change their family dynamics, but more importantly, their hearts. Adoption is a wonderful blessing for these families.Are you considering adoption and want to give your child the best life possible? Let us help you find an adoptive family that you love. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.
Alicia Nelson is a wife and a mother to three rambunctious boys. She is an online teacher and teaches English to Chinese children. Adoption has become her passion. She loves connecting with others on infertility, adoption, and foster care. She enjoys woodworking, being outdoors, listening to podcasts, and reading good books. She lives in Washington state with her family.