These are just a few of the bits and pieces of our two adoptions.  I didn't do a very good job  at documenting all the details while they were happening.   Things went by so fast and we were exhausted with all the last minute preparations (you never know when things will happen) and then having a newborn.    I thought some of this information may be helpful to future adoptive parents.   All adoptions are different but every bit of info helps.  I feel truly blessed with our adoptions and so thankful to the birthparents of our children!
We found out fairly quickly that we would never have children the "old fashion way".  I tend to just want to "get things going" so I started investigating IVF, sent for applications to international adoption agencies as well as calling local agencies.  We also checked into fostering.  

We kept in touch with some of the local adoption centers while starting the process of IVF.   Much to my surprise, the first round of the IVF  worked and we had a beautiful baby boy. 

A few years later we decided to go the adoption route and contacted the Independent Adoption Center in Indianapolis.   The have offices all across  the Us and seemed to know what they were doing.   We visited the office and got the process started.  

This adoption was a very "hands on" process.   The agency had us make these double-sided biography's with pics and details of our lives.   We sent in our finished bio and they must have sent it back with corrections at least a dozen times.    I laugh when I think we must have taken at least a thousand pictures, shot by neighbors, relatives and some photography students, to get that perfect shot.   We had attended adoption "help" seminars, where the councellors talked to us about "what birth mothers like".  Ok, that made me a bit nervous.  I remember telling my husband that our picture had to be perfect.  If they don't like the shirt I'm wearing, the won't choose us.

We filled out TONS of paperwork, which is normal, did several home studies and visited the agency often and read all the books they gave us on Open Adoption. 

We were then ready to get our bio's out and I made hundreds of them to be sent to birthmothers all over the country.   The bio's would be kept on file in all the different sites in case they got calls from b-mothers and would be sent out if we met the criteria.  They also put a bio on the internet.   We got calls and emails from birthparents and some birth grandparents, all day long.   Most didn't result in anything.   Making conversation with strangers was a bit odd at first but we got used to it.   We had some matches, here and there that didn't ultimately turn into anything unfortunately.   You get moms that change their minds.   I tried not to get my hopes up.  

We were pretty flexible about the child's  race and we were open to a child that could possible have physical or psychological issues. So we got a lot of calls.   I really wanted to adopt a child of a different race so when the Georgia office called and said they had an African American woman about to give birth and did we want to talk to her, we said "of course". 

We talked to the birthmother one time, not knowing if she was interested in us.  A few days later we got a call from the agency saying a baby boy had been born and could we come get our baby!!

Our birthmother(R) and her sister
 We met our sweet baby boy, spent time with his birthmother and did all the "post" paperwork.    The weird thing was that the hospital didn't acnowledge adoptions so we had to "take" the baby in the parking lot.  Strange. 

We spent the next week in Atlanta, in a hotel room, with a newborn.   We took this newborn baby to the mall and into restaurants, which felt risky but he was a healthy boy and still is to this day.   We took him to visit his birthmother several times and had a visit with some friends of ours nearby.   The kids had a good time meeting this new little guy.

Baby Darian with cousins of John's in Atlanta
 It was a very hectic process but in the end very worth it.  

Our second adoption was very different.   We used an agency in Philadelphia, called "The Adoption Arc", specializing in placing children of "color".   I believe they place all races but at that time that's what the brochure said.

We did all the paperwork through the mail and through phone calls, the lawyer was in-house and everything regarding the birthmother was dealt with by the agency.   We sent them a photo album of our lives.  I made a scrap album with stickers and info and I thought it turned out cute.  We did the home study again and then had no contact with them for a few months.   It was summer time, we were pretty busy. 

We got a call in early August that they had a baby girl for us and to come and get her!   A birthmother had apparently chosen us and then signed off her rights and the baby was taken card of by a foster mom.   We flew down to Philadelphia and our baby was waiting for us at the agency.  
I was so nervous to see what she would look like.  Isn't that goofy?   She was just the cutest little thing ever!   We hung out with the ladies at the agency, filling out paperwork, talking. 
With most adoptions you are required to stay in the childs birth city for a specific number of days, for everything to be completed, depending on where the adoption takes place.   We checked into our hotel and spent over a week in Philly, taking in the sites, learning about our baby's birth place.   It is a very nice place to visit, so much to do and very easy to get around without a car.   We walked around with our new baby, Kya, took her by bus, saw all the landmarks.   We had a wonderful visit!!!  

All this art and these fountians were across the way from our hotel.

Visiting with a woman from one of the tourist sites.
 We would like to go back one day, show Kya where she was born.   We know she would love it!

After about a week or more, we flew home with our newborn, picked up Darian at his grandparents and got back to our routine, with a new little one added to the mix.  Our families were so excited to hear all the details.  

Kya's birthmother decided to have no contact with us in the future.  She kept the scrapbook that I made, so she can remember us as adoptive parents.   Kya has never asked about her but she probably will be curious about her later on.   

Our sweet little baby, taken in our hotel room.   No she is not Denzel Washington's child!!!
 I hope this "oh so long" story is helpful to someone.   Thanks for visiting and reading about the stories of our beautiful babies.   We have so much love for the birthmothers that placed these angels with us and know how hard it was for them.   Our heart goes out to all birth families!