How we became adoptive parents

Words of love in "LOVE"Some people call it a “journey” but I call it a “process” because when you’re adopting you never feel like you’re going anywhere.

November is National Adoption Month. In recognition, I’ll share with you our adoption story in a series of blogs from the humble beginnings to the triumphant ending and beyond.

Yes, there is a “beyond.”

The whole adoption idea hatched about four years into our marriage. My husband and I were sitting on the couch with tears in our eyes, enraged at what we were watching on TV. I don’t remember all the details, but it was a 60 Minutes-style story on boy soldiers in Africa. I remember how we talked about it after. How horrible we felt for those kids and if they only had parents to protect them. Then and there the seed was planted.

After that, whenever the subject of starting a family came up — rarely — it was pretty much in the context of adoption. But life happened, we got the travel bug and spent the next several years working for our vacations to Europe and my husband focused on completing his Ph.D.

In 2010, we started getting serious about adoption and began researching agencies — after all, we weren’t getting any younger and if we decided to go international, age plays a role.

Many adoption agencies have open houses so families looking to adopt can hear about the programs offered and talk firsthand to adoptive parents. It was always an emotional experience for me. We’d walk in to a room full of mostly empty chairs. Inevitably, there would be a video with dramatic/uplifting music playing on a loop with photos of kids who need a home. The kids always had huge, sad eyes and runny noses. I wanted to help them all.

We sat through several “big production” open houses like this, but the agencies didn’t feel right for us. One was so big, we felt like we’d just be a case number. Another told us that since we don’t belong to a church, they wouldn’t take us as clients. Eventually, we found our agency. It was small, homey and understaffed. They got to know their birthmoms and adoptive families closely. In fact, our case worker is an adoptee and the case worker for our birthmom is an adoptive mother.

And that’s when the paperwork began.

– Rebecca Calappi is a Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health and adoptive parent of multiples.

1 Response to “How we became adoptive parents”

  1. 1 Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Inspired by your “humble beginnings.” Looking forward to part two of the series.

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