It all started in a bookstore… Okay, it didn’t really, but that is often what we try to tell people when they ask how we met. In truth, Carla and I met online. Yep. Online. While it might not have been the most romantic way to meet, everything that has happened since that moment has been full of love, romance, excitement, and a whole lot of laughter. And now, three years later, we live in our home that we bought together and we are getting ready for our wedding in October.
If you had asked either of us just three years ago if we wanted to be parents, the answer would have been a loud and clear, “No.” In fact, we both often discussed how annoying we thought it was when people responded to our not wanting to have a child with, “Oh, you’ll change your mind someday.”
Well, it turns out they were right. Over the past three years, Carla and I have built a relationship that we are both so proud of and one that we know has the ability to help a child to find his or her way in this world. For me, once my nephew was born, all of my beliefs about not wanting a child began to change. All of a sudden, I knew what it meant to hold a baby in my arms and so badly want one of my own. And in a fateful car ride to see my nephew, Carla bravely brought up the idea of having a child of our own. Before we knew it, we had made the decision to expand our family beyond just us, beyond our very loved pets, into a family of two moms, two cats, one dog, and one baby.
So because both of us are nerds-at-heart, we instantly began to research what our options were. I am not kidding. In less than a few hours after we reached our decision, we were online researching the choices that we had. We quickly realized that adoption was the choice that felt right for us. There were several things that attracted us to the idea of adoption. First of all, neither one of us was too keen on actually being pregnant. But more importantly, we loved the idea of both being on equal footing in our connection to our child. And lastly, with so many children in the world who do not have loving, stable families, it seemed like a good option to give one of those children just that kind of family. So adoption it was!
It amazing how hard it was to find resources that focused specifically on gay and lesbian adoption. But, we did the best we could to gather information that we could trust. We bought books, we found websites, we went to the library, and we talked to people we knew. At times, the information we found made us nothing but excited. At other times, the information that we found made us nothing but scared. We found out right away that our best hope was going to be domestic adoption. While in the past, gay and lesbian couples were able to adopt internationally by pretending that they were single men or women, many countries now have gotten stricter on their adoption policies and will no longer adopt to single people. So, that leaves us with domestic adoption. We also made the decision that while we are thankful that there are people in this world who want to adopt older children, what felt right for us was adopting a newborn baby. With all of that known, we found our way to start researching adoption agencies. We looked for agencies that featured gay and lesbian couples on their websites and we settled on two agencies that clearly had a lot of experience working with gay and lesbian couples. This past week, we made our first giant step. We set up an appointment to meet with someone from one of the agencies. It is our first real action toward the adoption and with it comes a whole lot of excitement, mixed with a whole lot of nervousness.
The appointment is still a month away, but the emotions have already been intense. There have been nights that I have been reading adoption books in bed and Carla looks over to find me quietly (or not so quietly) crying over the pages. That is when she wraps her arms around me and reminds me that no matter what, the very worst-case scenario is that she and I live together for the rest of our lives as the two of us, very much in love and very much a family. And then I feel better.
So that is where we are. We have learned a bit about the world of adoption, but there is much that remains unknown. We are excited to go on this journey together and we are beyond excited to share the journey with others as well.
Jess and Carla live in the suburbs of Chicago, where they think more and more about babies every day. You can follow Jess’ adoption adventure here or at her blog, Two Mommies Trying to Adopt.