Photo credit: gradyreese/ iStock/360/ Getty Images
Everyone has a love story to tell — adoptive parents are not exempt. We asked moms to share their thoughts about the moment they fell in love with their chosen loves. Not to pry, but to shed a light on something lovely that needs to be told, and listened to.
Photo credit: Lori Holden
About her adoption love story, Holden says, "The most popular song that spring was U2’s 'Beautiful Day.' The front page headline in the Rocky Mountain News that morning was 'Brilliant Debut' (which may have referred to the Colorado Rockies’ season opener, but for me it will always be about our daughter’s birth). Both pop sentiments reflected my emotions the moment I saw my daughter be born.
Two years later, a young woman placed her beloved son into my arms. I felt a rush of love for this precious, month-old baby boy — my son now, as well. I continue to feel honored and blessed to be called Mom by these two amazing children — now a spectacularly fascinating teen and tween."
Photo credit: Megan Baxter Terry
Megan Baxter Terry lives a life in small-town Kentucky with four crazy kiddos and writes about it at Millions of Miles.
About her adoption love story, Terry says, "People often say that it's instant. And yes, the love part was. But the falling in love with this adorable little stranger? That took some time. Like a marriage. We had to learn about the best parts and the worst parts of one another and then the falling happened. Like going down a rabbit hole. I remember the first time I felt like we were truly grafted in as a family was on a random fall Sunday about eight months after my son came home. We were taking a leisurely drive in the country and stumbled on an alpaca farm giving tours. We visited the alpacas and then my three kids climbed into an old farm hammock together. All three were laughing and having fun and in that instant it all just made sense to me. This was my perfectly messy family. And it was beautiful. I took a photo of those three loves in that hammock and it is now framed in my kitchen. It is the loveliest reminder that choosing love daily is sometimes all our heart needs to feel complete."
Photo credit: Kelsey Kautzi
Kelsey Kautzi is a part-time first grade teacher, wife to an awesome husband and mom to two little girls — 4-year-old Lila and 20-month-old Faith. About her adoption love story, Kautzi says, "My youngest daughter surprised her birth parents by coming six weeks early, sporting an extra chromosome. She surprised us by entering our lives just after we had begun the paperwork to adopt a child with special needs from China. Instead, China came to us in the form of a baby girl born to Chinese immigrants at a local hospital. On December 12, 2012, our adoption agency sent us an email saying, "We are looking for an adoptive family for a little girl with Down syndrome." The next day, our case worker sent me a picture of the baby and told me the name her birth mother had given her: Faith. More than three months passed between the first time I saw Faith's face and the first time I held her in my arms, but I loved her from the words 'little girl with Down syndrome.'"
Photo credit: Amy Ford
Amy Ford is an author, advocate and mother dedicated to supporting adoptive and foster families as they navigate a race-conscious world. The Caucasian mother of three African American daughters, Ford serves families by day as an agent with New York Life. About her (first) adoption love story, Ford says, "Madison came home to us at 13 days old weighing only three pounds. She was the tiniest baby I had ever seen and as a preemie, she didn't yet have eye lashes or brows. In addition, she had digestive problems and screamed with colic most of the night and day. I was afraid of her size and seriously questioning my sanity with all that crying. On day three of being a family, I laid down beside Maddie on our bed. Her hands were folded together as if in prayer. She rolled her head to the side and looked at me. Really looked at me. And then went back to center to sleep. It was like she was making sure I was still there. And I was. I knew in that moment I would never leave her side, would always adore her and my heart would forever beat outside of my body."
Photo credit: Jill Murphy
Jill Murphy blogs at Jillsy's Blog about being a wife, a birth mom, an adoptive mom and dealing with infertility and life.
About her adoption love story, Murphy says, "Becoming a mother sometimes takes you on a journey you never thought — a journey being on both sides of adoption. When you adopt, you fall in love with your child before she is even born. You think of a young pregnant girl a world away that will give birth to a baby someday. That baby will be yours and you fall in love. You fall in love when you fill out all the paperwork. You fall in love when you receive the call. You fall in love when you tear open the envelope and see your baby’s face for the first time. You fall in love at the airport when you hold your baby for the first time surrounded by family… not once, but twice!"
Photo credit: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser
Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her work can be found in The New York Times, on Salon, Brain, Child Magazine, Babble, Full Grown People and in the Seal Press anthology "The Good Mother Myth" among others.
About her adoption love story, Buttenwieser says, "As soon as I knew about her, I loved her. At that point, she was about an hour away — in a different town and household and belly. But love entered in, theoretical and real as it always is during a pregnancy — with a big emphasis on hope and all the existential fears that accompany waiting.
That’s one answer. The other one is the moment I laid eyes on her, which was when she was born. It was surreal not to be the one in labor, not to push and yet to love her in a flash."