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"It would be impossible to pick just one thing we loved about RGAC, but the way the process was broken down into pieces and check-in points was invaluable."

Alyson & Kate, Illinois

 

Alyson & Kate’s Story

On one of our earliest dates we discussed adoption! The idea of having a family was important to us, and Kate had always had the desire to adopt. Fast forward a couple of years, a move-in and an engagement, we started to seriously think about our future and our family.

Originally, we planned to have a long engagement until Kate finished her MBA, but we pushed our wedding up by a year so that we could embark on the journey to adopting! Being open with friends and family about our adoption journey allowed for us to have a full support system behind us every step of the way.

We dove right into researching and happened to stumble upon RG Adoption Consulting. Alyson was immediately drawn to Becca and loved that she had a background as a therapist, like herself! We set up an initial phone call, and the weekend before our appointment Alyson’s brother mentioned that he had a friend who worked in adoption and wanted to connect us with her (spoiler: it was Becca)! With all signs pointing to RG Adoption Consulting, we were eager for our first call! She definitely did not disappoint. 

Our initial research had left us feeling a little overwhelmed, and Becca assured us that this could be the journey for us. The process she laid out made a ton of sense and the fact that she would be there to guide us through the whole complicated and involved process felt like a huge relief.

Initially, we were surprised that the home study was certainly nowhere near the end of the paperwork journey! Some agencies had fairly involved application processes and they weren’t exactly the best with communicating. We often found them slow to respond, but luckily we had RG Adoption Consulting and Becca with us every step of the way. 

It would be impossible to pick just one thing we loved about RGAC, but the way the process was broken down into pieces and check-in points was invaluable. With their weekly Facebook lives, we felt informed and educated on adoption.

One of the difficult parts of our journey was waiting to be matched. We would see situations and some would be immediate “no’s” for us. But the ones where we were on the fence caused us a lot of sleepless nights. There were situations that we were really excited about, but we would be left feeling heartbroken after finding out that someone else had been chosen.

Ultimately, it was incredibly valuable to have Becca help us assess these adoption situations. She gave us the strength to ask potentially uncomfortable questions and was truly our advocate through the whole process. And with the guidance of the RG Adoption community, we tried our hardest to get past “not being chosen” and not allow adoption to take over our lives.

Having the RG Adoption community alongside us through this journey was amazing. We can’t speak highly enough about the Adoption Family Retreat at RGAC hosted, as we met so many amazing people and really built up our adoption community. We made friends with families we continue to see today! It was great to be in a space where people understood the highs, lows, and complexities of adoption.

We were so excited when we finally matched with an expectant mother!

We got a call from our agency and Kate even skipped class that night (which is unheard of for her) so that we could talk to them together. When we officially heard the news that we were matched, Alyson immediately broke into tears and Kate screamed.

It was what we had been working so hard towards! We said from the very beginning it would be a dream come true if we could get twins, and even better if there was one boy and one girl. We knew we were supposed to be cautiously excited, but we immediately texted our family to let them know that we were going to be moms to twins! That night will be seared in our minds forever.

Our match did not come without frustrations. The expectant mother was only 12 weeks along when we were chosen, so as we waited new information was being thrown at us that we did not quite expect. Having Becca as our advocate, validating our feelings and guiding us around what are realistic and reasonable expectations, helped us feel a lot more calm and re-assured.

While on FaceTime for the expectant mom’s 20-week ultrasound, we discovered that one of the twins would likely be born with cleft lip and palate. This was initially scary to hear, but we immediately increased our knowledge and met with medical experts locally in order to feel confident we were meant to be their mothers. We knew we could ensure he had all the best possible care. 

On the flipside, having a longer match time allowed for us to truly foster a beautiful relationship with our twins’ birth mother. We had the chance to fly out and meet her and her daughter when she was around 5 months pregnant. 

We were incredibly nervous, but she was even more nervous than we were! The meeting was so nice. We fell into an easy rhythm and genuinely liked one another. We got to spend time with her daughter and her best friend, see her neighborhood, and learn more about her. It alleviated a ton of concerns on our end and helped solidify that an open adoption was right for us all. 

The best moment of all was meeting our babies! It was kismet that we were able to meet our babies as early as we did. Being mid-March and the middle of a global pandemic, we were nervous about waiting to do interstate travel. We heard rumors that Illinois may enact a statewide shutdown so we decided to just head to Kansas and wait out the remaining part of the expectant mother’s pregnancy there.

Alyson wasn’t feeling too well on the day we were supposed to leave, so we postponed. The following day we woke up to a bunch of missed calls. Our twin’s birth mother had gone into labor! Fortunately, the car was already packed, so all we needed to do was drive. Our babies were born at 3:59 AM and 4:02 AM. 

We arrived at the hospital at 4:02 PM—exactly 12 hours later on the dot (the earliest time we would be allowed to see the babies). We still get goosebumps talking about it! 

They let us see the birth mother who we gave giant hugs to (and shed some tears together) before they led us to the NICU. We got to see our little babies under warming lamps, and then hold them. It was surreal and amazing. Luckily, because they were twins, each baby could have a visitor under COVID-19 rules so we could all be there together as a new family!

Once the babies were born, we texted back and forth daily with their birth mother since she felt comforted by updates on how the babies were doing in the NICU. She also asked for daily pictures of them, which we were happy to provide! We had two video calls with her and her daughter. Due to COVID, we weren’t able to have the in-person visits we initially planned, but we are still in contact at least weekly, send lots of pictures, and check in on their lives. 

Their birth mother even bought us a lamp where if she touches the lamp in her house, it lights up in ours and vice versa. It’s a great way to let the other family know you are thinking of one another. Needless to say, it is lit up a lot! We can’t wait for the babies to understand what it is and use it to send their birthmother a signal that they are thinking of her. We fully intend to keep this an open adoption and we work hard at keeping open the lines of communication.

Looking back on this journey, we would tell ourselves to not force anything and trust the process! There were a few situations that we had to talk ourselves into, and in hindsight they weren’t right for us at all. We would tell our past selves to be patient, you’ll know the right situation when you see it. When Alyson received the call asking if we were interested in presenting for our twins, she told Kate that night that she knew in her gut this was the one…and it was. 

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