Though I write for a living, I struggle to find words that describe the joy of adopting our daughter Hope six years ago.
My husband and I were late bloomers to love, marriage, and attempts to become parents. As we watched my brother and his partner go through the process of adopting their baby girl, Zoe, we became inspired to pursue adoption ourselves. We spent a year in classes, completed countless forms and screenings, and started jumping at every phone call.
One day our social worker called with big news. An “immediate hospital placement” scenario was unfolding. A baby had just been born; the parents were choosing adoption for the child. Our “Dear Birthmother” letter spoke to them. Could we meet?
One minute we were just the two of us. The next, we were at a hospital, meeting the birth family, holding the baby, and making decisions that changed all of our lives.
Two days later, my husband and I were wrestling with a newborn car seat and feeling a bit of panic. Thank goodness for my brother’s family; they had the same immediate placement adoption experience and knew just what to say and do (including providing us with an “instant nursery”).
Today, Hope is six, a little girl “loved to the moon and back” by our families, and her truly wonderful?birth family. We visit them three times a year to catch up and grin like fools at this child we all adore.
Good luck comes in threes. On New Year’s Day two years ago, my brother and his partner received another immediate hospital placement call. Their adopted boy Ben has now joined big sister Zoe and cousin Hope. When you see these three together at our family gatherings, you just can’t stop smiling.
I’ve come to love children’s books that explore the diversity of families in our world. The Association for Library Service to Children offers this list of some of the wonderful children’s books on adoptive families. Our family’s personal favorite is A Mother for Choco?(Puffin Books)?by Keiko Kasza, offering subtle messages about love, multicultural acceptance, and the idea that families are ultimately circles of people who love us.
The most important adoption book in our home is one we made. In “Hope’s Story,” we?used simple language and family photos to help our daughter understand her adoption journey. She reads it a few times each year, sometimes with new questions, sometimes to look at photos with fresh eyes. Every time, she concludes: ?“I feel lucky. I love both of my families, my birth family and my forever family.”
We are so thankful for her, and our story’s happy ending.