November is National Adoption Month, and I wanted to share our adoption story! Today marks 2 months since we finalized our son's adoption. Like all our children, each story is unique. While I don't know Sam's birth story, I do know how he came to us.
July 29th, 2013 we got a call from our case worker at Children's Home Society with the referral of a baby boy. He had some medical issues and the state was looking to place him in an adoptive home. At the time we were still reeling from the court's decision to send home our current foster Baby J, and didn't feel that we could open our hearts to the possibility of another child, so we declined his referral.
July 30th I got three calls from our case worker at CHS, each one more insistent than the last. The state was willing to place him 2 counties away; they were willing to provide transport; the case was guaranteed to be moved to adoption based on bio mom's issues; etc. We still said no.
July 31th I got another call from our case worker. (I need to add that our case worker was amazing and in the past when we had declined, she let it go.) She told us that this child was gift wrapped for us, and that she felt he belonged to us. Ken and I spoke at length, talked with the girls and then prayed. With trembling hearts, I called her back and said yes.
On August 1st, Sam was delivered to our home by DCP&P and our journey towards adoption started. Like all journeys this one was not smooth. He was born with bi-lateral club feet, which meant we plunged head first into castings and surgeries and braces. He had some other medical issues that we had to deal with, and we did. His birth parents did not see him for the first 4 months.
In November his birth father asked for a visit, and I found out at the visit he has asked his sister to petition for custody of Sam. I was so nervous and scared, but the visit went well, and the next day the sister withdrew her petition for custody.
Visits with his birth parents were sporadic at best - I think he saw them a handful of times in the next 2 years. We formed a relationship with the birth father and I started emailing photos and updates every few weeks.
In January 2015 the birth father did an identified surrender to us. It was an emotional moment for us, to hear him give up his parental rights and acknowledge in a a court room that we were the best parents for Sam. On April 1st 2015 the birth mom did an identified surrender to us instead of going through a termination of rights trial.
And finally, on September 4th 2015 Sam was declared our legal son! One of the ways that we were able to chronicle our journey was using props at our portrait sessions at Portrait Innovations! I had signs made that the girls held in the photos using the verse where we chose Samuel's name. A collection of those photos now hang in his room. We also ordered shirts with the name Team Good and had photos taken of the kids wearing the shirts and had cards made up to announce Sam's adoption. If you are considering adoption I would encourage you to take photos of the little moments, because when you look back they become priceless memories!
Aurie Good loves long walks in the sun, sweet tea, chocolate and anything that has to do with crafting. She lives in NJ with her husband, 2 adorable daughters and they are in the process of adopting a little boy from the foster care system. You can find her blogging at: www.ourgoodfamily.org, where she shares their foster to adoption journey or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.