Families looking to adopt a baby can come from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, political leanings, religions, and socioeconomic statuses. They will have different hobbies, interests, and personalities. They are a very diverse group of people, but the common thing is that they are looking to adopt a baby. The reason they want to adopt may even be different for each family. One family may be facing infertility and wanting to add to their family through adoption. Another family might have biological children and feel a pull towards adopting a baby. And yet another family could decide to adopt even without having other children and did not experience infertility. I want to share a look on the inside of a few families that have adopted or are hoping to adopt. 

Families looking to adopt a baby have the same goal. These families want to love and care for a child because they are ready to open their hearts and their homes to a baby. This is not the easiest decision, but they have researched their options, thought and considered what might be the best method, and prayed for what they thought was right for their family. Adoption is a life-altering decision, but it brings joy to countless families each year. Here are a couple of stories from families whose lives have been impacted by adoption. 

My family

My husband and I met on a blind date. He took me to a football game and was impressed that I knew a lot about football. I had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree and he was still in school. After our first few dates, my husband asked me how I felt about adoption. He had gone through cancer and the treatments left his body unable to have children. He had banked some sperm, but the outlook of having biological children was grim. That did not scare me away and we were married months later. 

After we were married, we decided to try in-vitro fertilization. We wanted children and needed to see if getting pregnant was a possibility. The doctor was not very optimistic that the sperm would be viable, but we felt the need to find out. It did not work, but that started us on the path of pursuing adoption. Our desire to adopt and have a family was very important and became something we looked forward to for years. Our first step was to begin the licensing process with the state. After filling out paperwork and attending the trainings, we did not feel right about continuing. We proceeded to work with an agency and through word of mouth we were able to connect with our son’s birth mother. 

At the time we were both working and my husband was going to school. We had to make sacrifices to make a family work, so we decided that I would stay at home with our son. It was the right thing for our family. After our son turned a year old, we started on the path again towards adopting another baby. Luckily, we were approved for adoption through the agency we had previously used. We had contact with a few expectant parents but nothing panned so our hearts turned back to foster-to-adopt and we were eventually licensed through the state. Shortly after we said yes to a one-year-old baby boy and three weeks later his younger brother was born and he also came into our home. We hoped for adoption and eventually, after three years we were able to adopt our foster children.  As a family we enjoy watching and playing sports, playing games, and being outside. We like making homemade pizza and having movie nights on Friday. We feel blessed that we were able to add three sons to our family through adoption. 

The “W” family

The W couple was living on a farm in Washington State where they enjoyed working together. They had wanted children and were excited about raising children on their farm but after some miscarriages and a child who did not make it past infancy, they were devastated. Grief was a hard thing to go through, but their desire to have more children was not lost. 

They considered that adoption might be the path for them so they jumped in. Eventually, they were placed with a baby girl. They were thrilled. Shortly after, the wife realized that she was pregnant. She had a healthy pregnancy and a baby sister for their child was born. A couple of years later she gave birth again, this time to a son. After the birth of their son, they felt another pull towards adoption and they were soon placed with a son. So within five years, they had two daughters and two sons. They were a happy young family and still did not feel like their family was complete. They had another biological daughter and son and also pursued adoption and adopted another son and daughter. They now have a beautiful family. It was not the family that they initially thought that they would have, but it was the family that prayed for and embraced with their whole hearts. 

The “I” Family

This family lives in a small town in Wisconsin and includes a physician dad who enjoys traveling and cycling, a mom active in the PTA and community endeavors who enjoys crafting and reading, and their four daughters. After researching their different options, they decided to pursue an adoption from Kenya. 

They filled out the necessary paperwork, submitted background checks, and traveled to Kenya once before they were matched with their son. He was a seven-month-old and in an orphanage. The entire family was able to travel to Kenya to pick him up from the orphanage. They had seen pictures of him and were anxious to meet him for the first time. A guide helped them travel through the country and learn a few things about the culture. 

The “I” family had a very special experience meeting their son for the first time. It was full of tears and hugs. They were excited to bring him home to Wisconsin. Their family embraced this new member and they became a family of seven. In many instances, a family’s faith plays a big role when they decide to adopt. This family chose adoption because they felt that there was a child that they needed and that he needed them. 

The “S” Family

I have a friend from high school who now lives in California. He married his long-time boyfriend a few years ago. He is an accountant for a small firm and his husband is an engineer. When they married, they knew that they wanted children. They debated over the decision of finding a surrogate to carry a baby for them or to try to adopt through a private agency. In the end, they decided that they wanted to adopt. They had recently bought a house and were excited to turn one room into a nursery. They live in a neighborhood full of children and could not wait to have a child to push down the street in a stroller. 

After being approved for adoption, they waited for an expectant mother to choose them to be her baby’s parents. It took several months and they second-guessed their decision, but when they were finally matched, they knew their baby was worth the wait. They can be found on Saturdays playing at the park with their son and dogs. They enjoy an open relationship with their son’s birth mother and see her a couple of times a year.

The “R” family

The R family lives in Texas. The husband had recently finished his master’s degree and landed a job as a social worker. The wife is a receptionist at a pediatrician’s office. They enjoy being outdoors, hiking, watching movies together, and being active in their church. After trying for over two years to have children, they found themselves in a doctor’s office. The doctor told them that they were sterile so they would not be able to have biological children.

They went through the stages of grief, constantly feeling anger, sadness, denial, and heartbreak. Other people suggested that they turn towards adoption, but they were not ready. It took some time for their hearts to be ready, but after some time they decided to explore the path of adoption. 

Several states away there lived a teenager who had just found out she was pregnant. She felt scared and alone. She was not sure what she should do. It took a few months for her to settle on the decision to place her baby for adoption. The R family had just been approved for adoption and she stumbled upon their profile. She felt an overwhelming peace fall over her. About a month later, the R family was at the hospital when she gave birth. She placed the baby boy with them. This family was overjoyed. They have a special relationship with their son’s birth mother. Their child makes and sends her valentines and draws pictures for her. FaceTiming has been a great way for them to keep in touch and for her to see the child grow up.

The “D” Family

The D family lives in Georgia. He works as a general contractor and she works as a nurse at a local hospital. They met through mutual friends and were married in 2016. He likes to debate about politics and cooking. She likes singing and gardening. They love playing with their nieces and nephews. After taking time as a couple, they made the decision that they wanted to adopt. This decision came as they saw family members and friends adopt. It seemed like they were guided to adoption. They recently finished all of the necessary paperwork and completed their home study. Their profile was updated on their agency’s website. The D family worries that they are not pretty enough or make enough money, but they put their best foot forward on their profile. They are hoping and praying that the right situation finds them and they are able to adopt a baby.

Sharing Love With A Child 

Families looking to adopt are vulnerable as they share their life stories. These families have opened their homes for caseworkers to inspect and they have been interviewed and asked about some of the most intimate details of their lives. They choose to do this because they understand that it is possibly the way that they will be connected with an expectant parent and a child. Most families looking to adopt a baby want to have an open adoption. They don’t just want to open their hearts and homes to a baby, they want to open them to the child’s birth parents. The families that I know have done the research and wanted open adoption because it is the best thing for all three members of the adoption triad. 

None of the families looking to adopt are perfect. Their homes are not perfect. These families have big hearts. As I have met and talked with other adoptive families and those hoping to adopt, I have seen how they act and how they serve the children around them. There is something special about these families. They understand the sacrifices that must be made to parent and are prepared to take this step in their lives. Families looking to adopt a baby are a diverse group, but all want to share their love with a child.

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.