My agency, Adoptions of Wisconsin, had the privilege of helping Laura and Paul with their adoption. They are inspiring in their positive approach, especially considering that the Covid-19 pandemic hit just as their lives were changing in ways they couldn’t imagine.
Like many families pursuing adoption to build their family, Laura and Paul began their adoption journey after struggling with infertility. It was natural for them to consider adoption, given that several of their friends had adopted children, or had been adopted themselves.
The adoption process was neither easy nor swift; Laura and Paul noted that some parts moved quickly while others went more slowly. After beginning to work with Adoptions of Wisconsin, the couple felt that, “Once you finish all the paperwork and other steps it seems like it should be easy, but that’s when it gets tough.” While this can be a common feeling for waiting families, Laura and Paul made the best of their down time.
While waiting, Paul and Laura made a determined effort to stay positive while using their time to learn as much as they could about adoption and parenting. Knowing that their lives would drastically change once they had a child, the couple also used their time together to have fun and stay busy by traveling and going to concerts.
Even while striving for positivity and hopefulness, many couples still experience worrisome “what ifs” in the adoption process. Laura recalls that while facing the possibility of not having a successful match, the couple had some difficult conversations that gave them “some focus, control and helped us put things in perspective.”
After a two-year period of waiting (mostly) patiently for a match, Laura and Paul’s long wait came to an end rather abruptly. Just like that, they were matched with a birth mother… with only four days to go before she was due to give birth! Although it was exactly the news they had been waiting for, it was also the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This brought them a great deal of uncertainty and worry. The couple remarks that, “It seemed like the worst time to get what should be good news, but as it turned out, a newborn was a great curveball and diversion for the two of us and our families!”
Unbeknownst to Laura and Paul, their adoption journey was not over and the hardest part was yet to come. Their son, Liam, encountered some frightening health complications a few weeks after birth. Laura and Paul recognize that this obstacle could not have been controlled or prevented and that it was the scariest point of their journey. After several days in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), Liam thankfully recovered and could return home with Laura and Paul. The family reports that Liam has been healthy and happy ever since and they were able to start writing a new chapter in their story shortly after.
Reflecting fondly on their adoption journey, Paul and Laura feel extremely fortunate and believe that every single hard bit of the adoption process was worth it to bring their amazing son – this child who was destined to be theirs – into their lives. The couple also feels incredibly grateful for his wonderful birth mother, with whom they regularly communicate.
Laura and Paul have spent the past year watching Liam grow, play and learn—especially witnessing his progression in learning Spanish at his daycare. Although the pandemic has limited what families have been able to partake in, the silver lining is that Paul, Laura and Liam have been able to spend a significant amount of time together. As pandemic conditions improve and as Liam gets older, they are looking forward to traveling and sharing more experiences as a family.
In hindsight, Laura and Paul stand strongly behind their decision to adopt. With the help of a great support system of family, friends, and Adoptions of Wisconsin, they were able to stay positive and focused on building a solid foundation for their family while waiting to share their love with a child. Laura reflects, “It’s not an easy path, but it is very worth it,” following up by teasing the next chapter of their journey: seeking to share their love with another child through adoption!
— Lynn Bodi is an Attorney and Shareholder of The Law Center, S.C. in Madison, Wisconsin (www.lawcenterwisconsin.com). She practices both adoption and ART law.