Brad & Lisa
Brad and Lisa welcomed Wes home in the winter of 2019!
When we met, and for about five years after we were married, we dreamed of becoming parents. While we were not able to conceive a child on our own, we eventually decided that our path to parenthood was through adoption. After researching several adoption agencies, we sat down one day with one of the social workers at Hopeful Beginnings. To say that the nerves were high that day is an understatement. Deciding to start the adoption journey is pretty intimidating, but when we met Allyson, our minds were put at ease. As she spoke with such passion for her work and great respect for the women the agency supports, that we knew we had come to the right place. We chose to work with Hopeful Beginnings to pursue our adoption because of the relatively small size of the agency. We felt the staff would get to know us, and we would be more than just a file on someone’s desk. We felt comfortable asking a thousand questions, and each one was met with an honest, genuine answer. While there are many unknowns in the process – How long will we wait? Will our baby be healthy? Will we have a good relationship with the birth mother? – every step of the way, the staff at Hopeful Beginnings guided and encouraged us to keep hoping that one day our parenting dream would become a reality.
The application and home study served both for the staff to get to know us, and for us to learn and engage in important discussions as a couple. We were fortunate to attend several very informative classes, hosted by Hopeful Beginnings, as part of the approval process. As we carefully and painstakingly crafted our profile book, the staff were there to give us feedback and suggestions on how to make the book represent who we are, share our values, and explain our dreams for the future that included a child. The wait felt endless, but every time we checked in with Allyson, even though she had no new news to share, she always responded with an encouraging message, some helpful reading, and an overall positive outlook.
We were stunned to receive a phone call late on Sunday night, three days before Christmas, while we were out of state visiting family. Allyson was calling, and she asked if she could conference-in Joanne. Together, they told us that a baby boy had been born a few days prior, and his birth parents had carefully reviewed all of the waiting families before selecting us to be their child’s parents. We were breathless (and teary) hearing them describe the baby’s birth history and health status, as well as the information his birth mother had disclosed about her pregnancy. As had always been true, Allyson kindly answered all of our questions and very patiently waited for us to wrap our minds around what was happening. Throughout the following day, as we traveled back to Illinois, Allyson provided updates and photos of our tiny boy. When we finally met at the Hopeful Beginnings office on Christmas Eve day, Joanne was standing, holding a tiny bundle wrapped in a green crocheted blanket, wearing a red hat. She looked at me and asked “Ready?” before gently placing my son in my arms for the first time. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. We were overcome with love and joy for the incredible gift we had received.
Over the following weeks and months, we had frequent check-ins with Allyson, sharing photos and updates to be sent to our son’s birth parents. While we remained hopeful to establish regular contact with our son’s birth family, the timing was not right, but our door will always be open should they want to be in touch with us in the future. We feel supported and reassured
that the Hopeful Beginnings staff are a life-long resource for us, as they continue to offer guidance and support to our family.
We are still fairly early in our parenting journey, as our son is now a toddler, but we are already finding parenting to be the most challenging, joyful and rewarding experience of our lives. We know it would not have been possible for us to take this step without the selfless generosity of our son’s birth parents, and the caring dedication, support and services of the Hopeful Beginnings staff.