Adoptive Parents

I read something recently about how every now and then “our journey collides with someone who changes it all”.

It made me think about the past fews years that we’ve been blogging/reading blogs and how, for us, that “someone” has so often been a person on the other side of our computer screen. Someone that we may or may not ever even have the chance to meet in person- but man we wish we could, because reading what they wrote definitely changed our journey for the better.

The following post is a tender one, and we’re hoping to hear from lots of “someone’s” in the comments section today.

We started researching adoption a couple of years ago, and right away, we knew that it was definitely something we wanted to be a part of. My dad was adopted as an infant, and his adoptive parents, my Grandma Evelyn and Grandpa Richard, were….


I don’t even know that I can put into words how much I love and miss them.

I keep a picture of them on my nightstand and I find so much comfort in their smiles every day.

Fast forward to the summer of 2011. We were asked to film a pilot episode for HGTV. It wasn’t something we sought out- they just came a’knockin’, and we felt like we should at least try and give it a whirl. Unsure of what our future held, we put our adoption plans on a temporary hold so that we could figure out what the heck was going to happen with that whole ordeal first.

Long story short, our pilot episode didn’t turn into a TV series this year. Short story even shorter: WHEW! (We are so grateful to have had the opportunity, but we learned real quick that it wouldn’t have been the right fit for us in the long run.)

So here we are. Back to adoption square one.

We’re more eager than ever, but we’re also kind of unsure about where to start (again).

All we know is this:

We want to create a family with a little one, that for one reason or another, needs a mom and dad.

Just like my dad did when he was only 3 months old…

Just like “Firecracker’s” little sister did last week…

Just like Joy’s son Eli did…

Just like Shannan’s daughter Ruby did…

Just like the brothers Mike and Kerri adopted did…

Those folks have inspired us so much, and if our purpose for this life is to Love, and to grow in Love, we look forward to growing in it no matter where it finds us- just like they did.

Love has no boundaries, and neither do our adoption plans. So whether our journey collides with a gift right here at home in Alabama…

…or right here at home in the USA…

…or right here at home, on God’s great Earth…

…we look forward to the opportunity to continue our journey with a little someone who changes it all.

We do have a question for any adoptive or soon-to-be adoptive parents out there, though. How did you decide where to adopt from? There are so many children out there that need families, and we keep feeling led in so many different directions. Doors seem to open and close on us at every turn, which makes the whole process hard to even start. We’d love to hear about your experience if you’re up for sharing it.

PS- Speaking of blog-related journeys and collisions, I just had to include this comment a “someone” named Betsy left on a blog post of ours a while back:

Click the play button below to hear Peter tell his story:

Powerful, powerful stuff…thank you, Betsy. So grateful to have collided with you.

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  1. Keslie Down says

    Hi Layla-

    I have so loved following your adoption journey and know what an emotional roller coaster it can be. Less than a year after our wedding, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at the age of 26. After a thousand medical appointments, it was determined that I was going through early menopause. There was nothing that could be done. The doctor sent us home with a packet of pamphlets entitled “Alternative Paths to Parenthood.” I suppose that’s how fertility clinics say goodbye.

    At first, we felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to define our path–International? Private? Open? Closed? We weighed our options, attended meetings, read books, poured over blogs and forums, determined to have an answer for those who hovered, dying to ask the question that most newlyweds have to endure–“When are you going to have a baby?” It was too hard, too new, too raw NOT to have an answer, or to share the whole truth, which seemed impossible to accept.

    Once we decided upon a plan, the emergency of it all lifted and the reality set in: we weren’t ready to be parents–biological or adoptive–and so we tucked our well-informed plan away. It’s been seven years. And sure, we pull it down from the shelf every now and again, look at it, dream about it, talk about it… but we always fold it up and put it back. We don’t really know what comes next.

    I have so many questions for you and the adoptive families out there, sharing in your experience. How do you know when it’s time to move forward with adoption? Or, is it possible that the dream–that window of hope and opportunity–can pass you by? Is there a point where it just becomes too late in your life, your marriage, your healing process?

    There was a time when I could not envision a life without a child, and now… Well, I just don’t know. How did you come to recognize that the time was right?

  2. Barbara says

    I started crying as I read these wonderful stories. We are looking at adoption in eastern Oregon. I have researched extensively & costs are really high. If anybody has some tips, please share.

  3. Karen says

    I just wanted to leave a quick note of encouragement to you as you continue this amazing journey to your forever child. I’m an adoptive mama, too … we chose domestic adoption and our son, Asher, was born in 2011. The journey can be long and painful…but with so much joy in the smallest moments of progress. I love to see you celebrating those moments here. We used Bethany Christian Services for our adoption process…and one of the best things about their process was the classes they required we take early on in our homestudy. My biggest take-away was the recommendation of the book “Adoption is a Family Affair”. We read it together as a couple and also gave copies to our extended family. Through this book, our families were able to better understand our journey, better understand adoption (which can sometimes be met with hurtful comments and ignorant assumptions) and helped them grasp the importance of “adoption-friendly” language so that we could feel confident that our son would never hear things like “your birthmom gave you up for adoption” or “your real mom such-and-such.” I strongly urge you to check this out — even though your adoption story will look different than ours being internationally based…I think a lot of the content will still apply.
    I wanted to also pass along a great blog that you should check out – it’s by my friend, Maggie and she’s an incredible mama with beautiful, wise, thought-provoking thoughts on her daughter, adoption, and the openness she has with her daughter’s birthmom. (Actually she posted 2-3 posts about my story earlier this year as we met some legal challenges in the adoption of our son) I hope you’ll check it out – I know you’ll love it.
    Blessings and Joy to you on this amazing journey!

  4. Heather Stoffregen Gosen says

    Layla, reading your blog on adoption brings me back to over 9 years ago when my husband and I decided to become foster parents for the state of Minnesota. Precious children would enter our home and stay for a few days. We cared and loved on these children, as they did not choose to come to a strangers home. We taught our toddler daughter how to embrace others. For over a year we fostered several children. Although we cared deeply for each we never felt that permanent connection- until one day when we received a call to take an infant boy that need a temporary home so his parents could decide if they we’re fit to be parents. This little boy was to stay for one weekend and return “home” . That weekend changed many lives. Ours, this boys parents and extended family and most of all his. That little boy never left our home after that’ weekend. A year later we signed the final piece of paper that officially declared him our son.

    Layla, those parents chose my husband and I to be his parents. We have had the honor to raise the most caring, thoughtful and creative boy . Our son was the perfect addition and we knew the minute we met him. It’s an amazing feeling and you will know- it warms you from the inside and your heart feels like it is going to explode.

    Congratulations on your adoption- your life will be forever blessed and your future sweet P will be ally one ever dreamed and more.


  5. Lil' Darlin' Interiors says

    We decided to adopt through the Foster Care System. We always knew that we wanted to adopt but also knew that financially with 2 biological children of our own that the cost was too much.
    We started the process in August of 2011 and got our first placement, a beautiful 6 day old little girl on 9/22/2011. She was precious. The process was long and very emotional. On March 4,2012 we got the call saying that she was being placed back with her biological mom. My heart was broken. I always knew that it was a possibility but did not want to think that it would ever be a reality for me. You definitely still go through a mourning process and I told my husband that I didn’t think I could ever do this again. He assured me that God had a “GREATER” plan than mine and she was put with us to allow her mom to heal and make a better life for herself.
    Fast forward only 2 months to May 23,2012 and I get the phone call to start this emotional roller coaster again. This time it was for a sweet little boy (initially a boy was what he hoped for since we already have 2 girls) that was born drug addicted and the parents had no desire to keep him. May 24th we picked up our sweet boy from the hospital at just 22 days old. He was perfect in every way.
    We took him for a visit to see his bio mom at 5 weeks and then again at 6 weeks, which was when we got to meet her face to face. She seemed so lost and broken and it made me so sad for her. She looked and me and I will never forget what she said, “When you brought his diaper bag fully packed last week, I knew he was yours and not mine.” A huge rush of emotions came over me. The joy that I felt knowing that with time this little man was mine forever and the sadness knowing that she was going to have to grieve the loss of a child.
    On June 29th of 2012 we got a call asking if we would take the twin 3 year hold 1/2 brothers of our little man. Knowing that we could not split the siblings, we said yes. This was only supposed to be temporary and was not part of my plan. However this must have been another part of God’s “GREATER” plan. We got these adorable twin 3 year old boys on June 30th, dirty and fraile. The hardly spoke at all but called us Mommy and Daddy from the first time they saw us. The journey with “our” twins was much longer. Their bio mom wanted to regain custody but just couldn’t get it together.
    On June 18, 2013 we got to adopt our little man and on November 16, 2013 we will adopt our adorable and crazy twin boys.
    I had the plan for 3 children, my 2 girls that were born in my tummy and my one little man that was born in my heart. I got blessed with 3 little men being born in my heart instead.
    Good luck on your journey and I hope that you are richly blessed by what God has planned for you!

  6. Charlotte says

    I live in NY and do interim care for the Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency in New York City. What that means is sometimes a woman goes into a local hospital and while in labor she will tell the nurses she cannot parent the baby. They then get the social worker and that person contacts the agency. Because Spence doesn’t know the mom, they will call me to pick up the baby at discharge. In NY the birth parent has 30 days to change her mind. During that time the social worker gets the medical history and show the mom people who are waiting to adopt. She then chooses parents, then there is a meeting scheduled. After the 30 days the baby is placed.
    They sometimes have direct placements but that happens when they know the mom and she picks the parents before she delivers.
    I have had 44 newborns so far. I love doing this. You can look them up online at Good luck to you.

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