Louise & Heath’s Adoption Journey
Adoption is a journey. In these features, we give hopeful adoptive families the space to share what they’ve learned, what they’ve struggled with, and what keeps them going. We’re so happy to introduce you to Louise & Heath.
Tell us about yourself and how you made your way to PairTree?
Pair Tree was reccommended to us by our social worker. We adopted our daughter in March of 2020, and we can’t wait for her to be big sister. We chose to expand our family by adoption after losing our biological daughter to a rare genetic condition. We explored several options such as genetic screening of embryos to prevent passing on the same genetic condition our daughter had, but ultimately decided that adoption was the right choice for us. Our daughter will be 2 next month, and now that we have been through this process with her we can’t imagine expanding our family any other way!
What has surprised you about this process – good and/or bad?
Lots of things, but mostly how natural everything feels. When we matched with our daughters birthmom we were so anxious about what to say, and how our conversations would flow. Since she was born at the very beginning of the Covid shutdown we weren’t able to meet her birth mom until the day she was induced at the hospital. It was such a crazy time in the world, and we had no clue what to expect. It wasn’t awkward at all. Our conversations with her birth mom have always just felt right.
What do you think is misunderstood about adoption?
When we were first looking into adoption I spoke with a friend at work who had adopted 4 children. I kept making the mistake of saying something about not having children of her own. I didn’t mean anything bad by it, but she finally stopped me. She said I may not have given birth to my children, but you need need to redefine the definition of “children of your own”. I was so embarrassed. I never meant to offend her, and I never had any question that we would love an adopted child with all our hearts. I thought a lot about that conversation through our first matching process. Now that we have a daughter through the gift of adoption I see that she was so right. We absolutely see our daughter as “our own”, but we also recognize and respect that she has a birth family who loves her just as much as we do. I hope our daughter always feels comforted by the fact that she has two families that love her, and that she sees that as a positive thing.
Who are your biggest supporters? Who can you always turn to?
We are so lucky, there are too many people to name here, and we’d feel terrible if we left someone off the list. Our parents are the first people to come to mind, but we were overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we received from family and friends after the loss of our daughter.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
We are avid football fans. One of our greatest coaches once said “ Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do winning takes care of itself.” This quote can be applied to so many things in life besides football.
Another one we love comes from a priest at the summer camp I attended growing up. “Always remember who you are, and what you represent”
How often do you cry? (Seriously…)
If I’m being honest for me it’s very rarely. Heath, is definitely sentimental and sensitive one of the two of us. His family cries happy tears all the time.
What you are most proud of – so far – in this process?
That’s easy. We are most proud of our daughter! This process is not easy for either the adoptive families or the birth families. Our daughter is thriving though, and no matter how long or hard the wait was for us it was 1000% worth it to see her shine!
What scares you the most about this process — and why?
The potential of a failed match for sure! However, we’d never want a birth family to second guess their decision. We understand that this is an incredibly difficult and emotional decision, and want make sure that a birth family receives the same love and support we did during some of our hardest times!
If you had a magic wand, what would you like to change most about this process?
The waiting and uncertainty is so hard on the adoptive parent side. We wish we could wave a wand and we’d somehow know when we’d find the right match.
There are so many things we know need to be changed in the expectant parent side of things too though. We’ve never been in those shoes so it’s hard to say specifically what to change, but we’d love to wave a wand and help make sure the birth families are getting all the support they need.
Click here to learn more about Louise & Heath. They’d love to hear from you!