Story of Adoption Part 1: I Am an Adoptive Mother

adoptive mother

Adoption. The word itself brings up feelings for many people and the range of impact is far and wide. It carries many opinions, perspectives, and experiences. November is National Adoption Awareness Month and it is a time to celebrate and also learn more about the adoption process.

The Perspective from an Adoptive Parent

I had a dear friend growing up who was adopted internationally. And I have had many friends and family who have participated in adoption. Even in writing this article I had the chance to hear about another mom’s story of being adopted, too. Every single story is different and special.

I imagined from a young age that I would one day adopt a child. There adoptionare so many children, for so many reasons, in need of families. What I had never considered was the immense amount of planning and preparation involved in creating this new family.

Our biological son was born in 2011. A few years later we were hoping to grow our family with another child. But in 2014 we discovered something called secondary infertility that we didn’t know was a thing until it was our thing. All of a sudden, we were unlikely to have another child.

We really didn’t feel that our family of three was complete, so we met with a local adoption agency and started looking into what that journey might look like. We very much hoped that the child meant for us was somewhere out there. The reality of adopting was a bit overwhelming at first, so we tabled it as some other life events took priority. Over the next couple of years our family story included a surprise pregnancy, a miscarriage, a couple rounds of failed in vitro, and then finally brought us back to the place we had started: considering adoption.

Considering adoption? Here are some basics. 

Begin with reaching out to an adoption professional.  

Talking to someone who can help provide you with guidance and has resources available for your decision making is imperative. A reputable agency has experience with a variety of adoption scenarios and opportunities and they will be the best place to start.  

Research and decide which route might be the best fit for your family.  

There are many different paths to take, which can include fostering, in-state domestic adoption or out-of-state domestic newborn adoption, international adoption, or special needs adoption. With the advancement of fertility treatments, there is even frozen embryo adoption as an available course. Each option has its own time frame, cost, and set of regulations and requirements.  

Begin your home study.  

When working with an agency, the next step is a home study. It includes a professional review of your personal and family background, living situation, neighborhood, physical and mental health, and finances. It will also include information on your approach to parenting, discipline, and a criminal background check. There are many factors in considering approval. And a good adoption counselor will know where to suggest improvements and can steer you in the right direction for completion. 

Our Story

The adoption process was the start of our journey. And we are now proud parents of a sweet, healthy baby girl. The journey of adoption can be extremely adoptionemotional, full of doubt, anxiety, and tough decisions from all sides. However, I have found that it was worth every second in the end.

We were blessed to be present in the delivery room as our daughter was born. We spent time together with her in the hospital and now have an open adoption. What that means can vary greatly, but for us it’s that we have phone numbers and emails to stay in communication and send regular updates about our daughter’s progress and milestones along with pictures to her birth mom.

Eventually there will be a meeting, but we’ll cross that bridge a little bit later in life. I’ll admit I was nervous about this unknown relationship at first. But now I never hesitate to share one of those cute baby pics with my daughter’s birth mom. Our sweet girl will grow up surrounded by love from everyone in her life.  

Most importantly, stories are different and the journey of adoption impacts everyone in a unique way. Thankfully, there are many studies, resources, and professionals out there who can help navigate and provide direction for everyone involved.  

Adoption Resources 

If you’re considering adoption from any side of the story these links may help you learn more:

Resources to Adopt in North Dakota

Agencies in North Dakota

Top 5 Adoption Resources Online

Resources to Adopt in Minnesota

Agencies in Minnesota (by County)

General Information & FAQs

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A native of Minnesota, Shar has been a resident of West Fargo since 2002 where she lives with her husband Mac. They have one son, Augustus, born in 2011 and a new baby girl, Hazel, welcomed home through adoption in December 2019. A self-proclaimed “multipotentialite” (someone with many interests, many jobs over a lifetime, and many interlocking potentials), Shar has worked in retail management, media, sales and marketing, has been a dance and fitness instructor, and owner of a dance studio. Currently, she serves as a coach, speaker and educator, teaching classes at Ecce Yoga in downtown Fargo. Shar has a degree in Communication and Spanish from Concordia College, is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, and a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. In the remaining moments, Shar enjoys reading, cooking, dancing, yoga, friends, family and travel. She is especially proud to have completed her first full marathon in 2019, even though she still does not consider herself a runner. She hopes to offer inspiration, support and understanding in her field of knowledge and fully realizes how important it is to have a sense of connection.

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