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Navigating the Adoption Journey Together
When you partner with LCFS, you help birth parents to receive counseling support, children to find forever families and adults to realize their dreams of becoming moms and dads through adoption. Even, during a pandemic.
In November, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois and others will celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month. Lives are impacted by adoption every single day all around the world.
It’s the responsibility of everyone involved in the adoption process to put the needs of the children involved first. Birth parents who feel they can’t provide the life they desire for their children make the brave, difficult, and often heartbreaking choice to give birth to their children and then entrust their babies with other families. The result of this decision is an absolute honor and a gift to the adoptive family.
That gift came to Kimberly and Erling in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kimberly and her husband Erling had always talked about adoption being a possible avenue for growing their family. So when they struggled to get pregnant after having their son Maxwell, it was a natural decision to explore adoption.
“Most people going in don’t have a full sense of what adoption entails. You think you’ll sign up to adopt, have a child and your family will be complete,” shared Kimberly.
The couple soon learned that the adoption process is a journey with many highs and lows. Thankfully LCFS’ adoption team was there to provide them with support and guidance through every step.
“Our adoption worker Laurie was our angel during the process. We really appreciated her because she was always empathetic in the best way and also brutally honest. When we were about ready to give up, she kept us going.”
Finally, in February 2020 after two unsuccessful attempts to adopt, Kimberly and her husband connected with Myla (not her real name), a pregnant mother in Arkansas. Soon after, COVID-19 hit and everything changed.
“LCFS did a great job telling us what we might expect due to the pandemic, but no one really knew for sure.”
In late June, Kimberly and her family piled into their car for the twelve-hour drive to Arkansas to hopefully bring home their son. When they arrived, the family had a chance to connect in-person with Myla and her family. At that point, the birth father was no longer in the picture. Two days later, Myla gave birth to a baby boy named Miles.
“We weren’t able to be in the delivery room due to COVID restrictions, but the hospital set up a family room for us. We saw the baby for the first time just an hour after he was born, and we’ve been with him every minute since.”
Ten days later, Kimberly and Erling officially adopted their new son Miles via a virtual court hearing in Arkansas. The next day the new family of four headed home to Illinois.
“I still talk to Myla every day via text, and I send her photos. We have a very open and loving relationship. I hope that connection continues, so Miles can grow up knowing his birth family.”
Every adoption journey is different. COVID has made it a little more challenging, but it hasn’t stopped LCFS from helping build forever families for children in need of a loving home.
“The main thing about adoption is to remain open-minded and super flexible. It’s been such an incredible journey, but it’s really only started. Now we have a whole life with Miles to build and enjoy as a family.”
Thank you for being the power behind this important work.
To learn more about LCFS’ adoption program, click here.