The process of making an adoption plan is very much for a birthmom like the process of infertility treatments for an adoptive couple. They have a lot in common. They have ridden the same rollercoaster of emotion. They know grief. They know disappointment. And the miracle of it is when a couple who has known the grief of infertility comes in contact with and is blessed with a child of a woman who’s known the grief of poverty or lack of ability at the time to parent a child. So, it’s kind of a miraculous meeting of two people from different worlds who need each other.
I had a friend who kept saying if you’re kind of thinking about adoption-- and we were. She said you need to meet a friend of mine who went through this agency, St. Elizabeth. So, I said okay ... let’s meet with our friend’s friend. And we had lunch with her. And her description of St. Elizabeth’s was the fact that their focus is on the birth moms and making sure that they are on a good path after they choose adoption ... that kind of resonated with us.
They asked me, “What do you want in a family? What’s important to you?” I had very specific things that I wanted: religion, background, things they did as a family. The first profile book I opened was the family I chose. I didn’t need to look any further. There was something about their book that completely connected with me. The second I read their profile I didn’t need to see any more. I knew. ... I knew that that was the family.
They were very supportive of all my decisions. They worked with all my requests towards my open adoption. ... They always made sure that my wishes were complied by. I would recommend them to anybody because they were really good.
Well, working with St. Elizabeth's gives you a real sense of everything's going to be taken care of properly. You don't have that queasy feeling of what if something goes wrong or something's not handled correctly. I never felt that. And I'm amazed at how blessed we were working through St. Elizabeth's because you tell your story to people you come in contact with and you hear stories about people that had to go to China or to South America or wherever to adopt and for whatever reason we were blessed just to be able to do it here locally. Our oldest was born here in town and we were actually there for the birth. Our youngest was born in Hammond and we didn't quite make the birth, but we were there 30 minutes later.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
You can expect that we will always be there for you. We are always available, 24/7. Whenever you need to call us, whenever you need to contact us, we are always there for you -- to answer your questions, to give you support, to help you go through this process.
As they go through the process, they go through all the stages of grief, and it is absolutely amazing to see them come out the other side -- stronger, more sure of themselves, relaxed, and at peace with their decision. And it's sometimes just absolutely phenomenal to see what they do with their lives -- which the really couldn't have done, had they kept that child and had to deal with that child on a day-to-day basis.
The defining moment was when they placed Christina [our daughter] in our arms. And you just know that this baby was meant for you. And it’s just divine intervention that this is how your family is going to be made, with this baby that you’ve just held for the first time that was born just hours before.
Lillie Petit Gallagher
It's very difficult sometimes for couples who are unable to conceive a child biologically to come to the decision that adoption is a way to build a family. And a lot of couples will say "Am I going to be able to love this child?" Well, any couple that you talk to that has built a family through adoption, the minute they see that baby they wondered "Why was I so foolish to ask that?"
Sherrard and Kevin
I’ve never once questioned the decision, just because I get to see how happy Emma is and how happy Lori and Andrew are. Sometimes I wish I had that every day with her. But then I think, she wouldn’t have been this happy, joyful baby. She would’ve had plenty of love, but now she has double the love ... because we get to be a part of her life and we don’t inhibit any of the joy.