The Power of Persistence

This month we are highlighting private adoption and our blog story comes from Stacey Pittman who is the Private Adoption Leader for the Regional Alliance. Here is Stacey’s personal story of adopting her daughter Megan, pictured above, and how valuing her life and Megan's birth mother’s journey has blessed their family.

“After years of struggling with infertility, my husband Robert and I decided to pursue adoption. Initially we were overwhelmed with all the different avenues, but after months of careful consideration and prayer, we decided to pursue private adoption. We had volunteered to work with teenagers at our church for more than a decade prior to this. Seeing many unplanned pregnancies, we wanted to help a teen mom in this difficult situation.

For the next 4-6 months, we were always working on something to finish our home study. In addition to our home study, we had to make an adoption profile book (similar to a scrapbook) that helped capture the essence of who we were in hopes that a teen mother would choose us to be the parents of their child. This was by far the most difficult part of the adoption process for me. Knowing that a young mother would choose us to parent their child based on a profile book we created was quite the challenge. Talk about pressure!

After the home study was completed and profile books were sent out, the wait began...and wait we did. After 6 months we had no hits on our profile book. At a year, a phone call to the agency indicated the same thing. By this point, I was certain that our profile books needed to be re-done. Robert began to question if we should remove all the references to church and volunteer work. Perhaps teen moms were repelled by the thought of a sterile environment with potentially judgmental, perfect people. However, the agency assured us that the right person would pick us and that we just needed to “trust the process”.

In February 2010, we were finally picked by a teen mom in Arizona! Her name was Katy and she informed us that she chose us based on our work with teenagers in our church youth group! She was 17 years old, already had a little boy, had to drop out of high school, and was living with her parents. When she got pregnant again her parents requested she make an adoption plan. We were matched very early in her pregnancy and began communicating via emails and texts getting to know each other. We found out through the agency that the only financial support she desired was the co-payments for her doctor appointments and hospital stay once she had the baby.

In April, Katy asked if we would be willing to fly out to attend her ultrasound appointment. We would all find out the sex of the child together. We quickly agreed and had the opportunity to meet her son and the rest of her family. We found out the baby was going to be a girl. We were ecstatic! After the ultrasound appointment, Katy’s demeanor towards us changed. She wasn’t as jovial and was reluctant to make eye contact with us. We left knowing something was wrong but didn’t know what. Within a week we got a call from the agency saying she wanted to parent the child. She had convinced herself it was another boy. When she found out it was a girl, she couldn’t follow through with the adoption plan. She had always wanted a daughter. We were heartbroken. The agency told us emotions would be high on both sides. They encouraged us to not react quickly, and certainly don’t “burn bridges”. They had seen teen moms change their minds back and forth repeatedly during a pregnancy. They said to let some time pass, maybe 3-4 weeks, then send Katy a letter showing our support. We wrote the letter, but didn’t get a chance to send it. Just before the suggested time period ended, we got a call from Katy asking, ‘Do you still want her?’ We quickly said, ‘Yes, we never stopped wanting her!’ She said, ‘Ok, I’m willing to do this.’ All of sudden, we were back communicating on a regular basis through text and email.

While we both were happy that she decided to pursue the adoption again, our hearts were very guarded. She had changed her mind once. Who’s to say she won’t change it again? We agreed to be optimistic, but decided to prepare for the worst. We prayed a lot and left it up to God if this child was meant for us.