Our Adoption Journey

November is Adoption Awareness Month. Adoption is an enormously important part of my family’s life. As I thought about writing on the topic this month, I asked many friends and family what they wanted to know about adoption. Most of the questions were about the mechanics: how you go about adopting, and all the choices you have to make.

For our family, adoption isn’t about the mechanics. It is not about what agency we used or whether we chose a domestic or foreign adoption. Instead, it is about the precious boy whose life was entrusted to us as a gift of sacrificial love.

At the heart of adoption is a series of intimate relationships. These relationships change families (multiple families) for generations. Hopefully, I can give you a glimpse into the beautiful and complex relationships that launched and sustain our adoption journey…

Our Adoption Journey

I had known since I was a teenager that my ovaries were pretty screwed up. So when it came time to have children, Rob and I didn’t even consider trying to get pregnant, opting for adoption from the start.

We did a ton of research and chose a local domestic adoption agency as our partner. We did all the preliminaries—attended parenting classes, had a social worker conduct a home study, submitted to a criminal background check, created a portfolio for birth parents (think a combination of a personal ad, sales pitch, and heartfelt letter to the parents of your future child), and signed the financial commitment forms. This took about nine months, and after doing all of this we were ready.

Turns out we were ready to wait. For the next year-and-a-half, we waited. We waited for the agency to call and tell us that a birth family had decided we were the right parents to adopt their child. The waiting was hard. The waiting was dotted by well-meaning attempts from friends to connect us with expectant moms considering adoption for their child. Each one of those introductions ended with a family member stepping in to adopt the child. Each of those experiences was heart-wrenching. Each loss felt like we were starting over again, waiting for a child who was not coming.

When the agency finally called, everything changed. The waiting ended quickly—really quickly!


I was home sick with a stomach bug and received a phone call. The phone call. There was a family who thought we would make good parents for their son. I didn’t have many details. The birth mother was scheduled to have a C-section on Friday—just two days away. Two days.

We scheduled a call with the birth parents that night. Rob and I were both a ball of nerves. Turns out that Davis’ birth parents were just as nervous as we were. We laughed about that on the phone, but quickly realized that we had a lot in common. We were both tight-knit families with a central and grounding religious faith. We both had strong friendships that provided for extended families. And we both had a low-key, no-nonsense approach to life.

We were hopeful after that phone call. Sleep was hard that night.

Instead, we planned and dreamed and hoped and prayed.


First thing in the morning, I received a call from the agency saying the birth parents wanted us to adopt their son. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, I had to go into the office to wrap up a few things. I also had to arrange parental leave that needed to start the next day!

During lunch, two sweet colleagues (both moms) took me to Babies”R”Us for a quick shopping trip. We grabbed the essentials: a car seat, a few onesies, a package of diapers, some wipes, and a couple of bottles. Before the shopping trip was over, I received a second call: Davis’ mom was in labor and on the way to the hospital. What?! Yesterday was the first I’d heard about our baby boy, and now he was being born! It was hard to wrap our heads around what was happening.

Adoption Collage


Rob and I finished up a few last-minute things at work and then hit the road. I don’t remember much about that day, other than my thoughtful friend calling to ask if she could go buy a crib for us.

We were bringing our baby home, and we didn’t even have a crib!

We didn’t have anything ready—no changing table, blankets, clothes, formula, etc. We had nothing for a baby. We were so unprepared.


We woke up early, knowing this was the day—the day we would meet our son and his birth parents. It was such an important day, but we had no idea what we were doing.

We met our agency contact in the hospital lobby, and she held everyone’s hand through the entire process. She introduced us to Davis’ birth mother, and we sat on the couch of her hospital room and talked for 30–45 minutes—just getting-to-know-you kind of talk. Eventually she asked if we wanted to meet Davis. (Of course we did!) The nurse brought him to the room, and we met our son.

The emotions of that moment are almost impossible to describe:

  • The joy of holding a child I thought would never come
  • The nervousness of wondering if it would actually happen this time
  • The solemnity of holding another woman’s child and knowing that now he was my responsibility
  • The pain of watching another woman come to terms with placing her child in my arms and entrusting me with him for forever
  • The terror of knowing I was not equipped to handle all that will be required of me

We didn’t stay in the hospital room long. The emotions were overwhelming for everyone.

Davis and Mommy
That day we alternated between cuddling with Davis in the nursery and talking with his birth mother in her room. We tried to soak up everything we could about Davis’ birth family. We talked about books and movies and songs and church.

That night, back at the hotel, I was overjoyed at the realization that we were going to be parents. I couldn’t stop signing The Beatles:

I’ve just seen a face
I can’t forget
The time or place
That we just met
[You’re] just the [guy] for me
And I want all the world
To see we’ve met
Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.


In Texas, birth parents cannot relinquish rights to their child until 48 hours after the birth. We technically could have done all of this on Saturday, but it would have been late, and Saturday was emotionally draining for everyone. Not to mention, Davis’ birth mother was still recovering from a C-section.

So Sunday morning, everyone signed papers: his birth parents, the agency, and us.

As we said our goodbyes and thank yous, we had a sweet ceremony where Davis’ birth parents entrusted him to our love and care. Moments later we walked out the door of the hospital with our son, overjoyed that we were finally parents and heartbroken for the pain his birth parents felt.

When we got home that evening, my parents and our best friends were waiting in our living room. Not only did they want to meet our sweet boy, they had completely filled his nursery. They recruited friends and church members to make sure everything was handled: crib, changing table, diapers (lots of diapers), wipes, formula, bottles, clothes, swaddling blankets, etc. It was overwhelming on top of an already emotional weekend, but we were so grateful for a community who loved our little boy, even before they’d ever met him.


My parents left, and we settled in to life with a newborn. Diapers, bottles, little sleep, lots of cuddles. It was very typical.


Remember how I said that six days earlier I’d been home with a stomach bug when I got The Call from the adoption agency? Guess what? That stomach bug actually turned out to be morning sickness. Rob was in shock. My mom thought I was playing a joke. It was no joke—I was about five weeks pregnant!

Talk about being overwhelmed! Patrick arrived eight months to the day after Davis was born. Life really does change in an instant—or a series of instances. Over the last 10 years of parenthood, life has brought many changes, but none as quick and completely life-altering as those the week Davis was born.

The blessings of parenthood are vast, but only some of them can be experienced through adoption. Here are a few things we’ve learned through the adoption process:

  • Biologic SiblingsAn open adoption has provided Davis with stability and comfort. There is no mystery or need to make up stories about his birth family. He sees them periodically and knows they love him and often think of him.
  • While there have been major strides in society’s willingness to talk about adoption, it can still be shrouded in secrecy and shame.
  • Parents who make an adoption plan for a child they cannot parent have my respect and admiration. I hope they also have yours. The sacrifice they make for their child is unimaginable, and the gift they give adopted parents is beyond measure.
  • Birth parents can feel isolated and unable to discuss their plans as a result of societal judgment about choosing to not parent their child.
  • Even in the best and most loving relationships, adopted children can experience sadness and loss. The ability to address it openly and honestly is a reflection of the intimate bond we have with our child.
  • Questions about identity will be heightened during adolescence. We are working hard to build a firm foundation now. I hope our track record of honest communication and unflagging love will smooth any extra bumps Davis may encounter.
  • More than anything else, I am grateful that Davis’ birth parents chose and entrusted us with his life, that they planned for his life and wanted to include us in that plan.
Maggie is an entrepreneur and mother of two boys (Davis, age 10 & Patrick, age 9). She recently left her job in corporate healthcare strategy to open a family business (you can check out her blog at The Learning Lab). Her motherhood journey has included infertility, transracial adoption (Davis), a fortuitous pregnancy (Patrick), a child with mental health issues, managing serious pediatric asthma and parenting a profoundly gifted son. Maggie was born in Australia, but moved to Texas when she was a toddler. She met her husband, Rob, at Trinity University and after graduate school at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), they returned to San Antonio, which has been home for almost 20 years.


    • Thanks, Candice 🙂 I honestly think about Davis’ birth parents almost daily. Not only am I grateful for their initial decision, I’m also grateful for their continued love for him. What an awesome gift of sacrificial love.

    • Thanks, Patti! I shed a few tears while writing it. I read it to Davis once it is almost done – just to make sure he was comfortable sharing the story. As I was reading, Davis asked if I was emotional about it. I think it is hard for him to realize how incredibly grateful we are for him. Hopefully he comes to understand that more as he grows up.

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