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Liz Stokes

Growing a Family

I may have these meetings out of order as I’m going from memory but here’s my best recollection:

Monday June 19th rolled around. We were prepared that this process could and would take hours and if birthmom signed the forms that it could take quite a few hours before we could go up to see Carter. We had no cell service. We weren’t able to contact friends or family. So we waited in silence praying that all would work out in God’s plan.

We first met with the adoption team and went over paperwork and signed paperwork that had already been started. We signed our open adoption outline and what it would entail. We signed our financial agreement. We discussed what was going on with Carter. Then we would leave and find something to do while they talked with birthmom and she would sign her paperwork. Rob and I went to the cafeteria, scoped out our new home for the coming what we thought would be month, and waited.

We were invited back to the tiny conference room where we met birthmom. I walked in and my heart broke. The tears flowed from both of us. I immediately took her in my arms because I didn’t know what else to do but hold her, squeeze her, and love her. She was doing the most selfless and difficult task I could ever imagine. Her life would never be the same, our lives would never be the same. My heart hurt for her but at the same time I was ecstatic for Rob and myself.  Unless you’ve been through this process, you have NO IDEA what to expect until entering that room. Every adoption is different. Every adoption is special. Many in this world are uneducated about birthmoms and adoption. This woman loves her son. She loves her son so much that she was able to recognize that his medical needs were more than she could ever handle. She recognized his challenges and made a plan for him for his future. She is going to grieve. I’ve been there. Three times I’ve been there. The “loss” of a child specifically of a baby. She met him for the first time Sunday evening- literally the night before we were to take custody. This life she carried for 36 weeks that is her’s- she’s handing over to the care of strangers for the rest of his life. He was born in a different city. She gave birth to him and he was immediately ICU careflighted to the Children’s hospital over and hour away. No kiss, no pictures, no nothing. My heart still hurts.

We continued to talk a bit about our families, answered her questions, specifically reassured her that we would NEVER speak ill of her to Carter, he will know she loves him endlessly, that we love her, and we will pray for her every single day. Once all her questions and our questions were exhausted we were asked to leave the room again so the final paperwork could be signed.

At 11.37a. on June 19th I received a simple one worded text. “Done”.

That’s it.

He’s our’s or as our’s as the state of Ohio laws will allow until finalization.


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