Adopt A Baby

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Unconditional Love

488100_10200625829434146_816392184_n(1) A few years ago, I wrote a story for one of my classes, that I want to share with you, just to give you a little perspective of how I feel about being adopted……enjoy!

“We walk into the small front room of the office where my mother, sister, and I are greeted by the familiar, smiling face of Geri, the Director of the adoption agency. Almost immediately she leads us into another room entirely filled by a closely spaced circle of chairs. We are instructed to sit together on one side of the circle and wait. Two by two, prospective parents enter the room and sit down nervously.

My mom begins by telling the story of why my parents chose to adopt. She explains that she was unable to become pregnant but it was always my parents’ dream to raise a family. After looking into several adoption agency they settled on one they had heard of that specialized in open adoption. They found they liked the program and the mission guiding it. Specifically, they found they liked the idea of an open adoption. Tensions in the room ease as people begin to relate, and I see recognition on their faces as my mom tells our family’s story. Once my mom finishes, there are a few questions, mostly for clarification, and then attention turns to me.

I have no idea where to begin since my mom had already summed up the family story, so I start with what I can remember, the first time I was old enough to understand that I was adopted and what that meant. It is something my parents had told my sister and me since we were young so there would never be a devastating moment later in life. I believe my adoption is something that has made a profound impact on me, and it now defines the person I am. Being in an open adoption means the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents are all given the opportunity to have a close and connecting relationship,  if they so choose. Although I am much closer to my birth father than my birth mother, I still interact with both of them, and that is important to me. For example, I appreciate the valuable time my birth father and I have spent skiing together. I think that I am actually lucky to be adopted because to me it means that I have even more people I know will always love me unconditionally, which is a great feeling. That is the reason my parents chose an open adoption.

Now comes time for questions. Most questions are directed to my sister and me about how friends and peers treat us. I think the prospective parents’ biggest fear is that kids will be looked at differently and even made fun of in a school environment. Once I tell them that I am not treated any differently than my friends, they usually ask about whether or not I actually tell people I am adopted. I explain that it is a part of who I am and there is no sense in hiding my identity. My adoption is not something I announce to the world, but everyone close to me knows about it, and I am always comfortablehttp://coloradoadoptionsbyheart.com/adopt-a-baby/ explaining it or answering questions about its benefits.

Through this I have learned that I have a unique and loving extended family that has taught me to be inclusive of others. Above all, I have learned to be secure with who I am and proud of my birth family for being so selfless and allowing me to experience fully the life they gave me.”

-Buzz
*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
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Kelton
It’s really nice to be adopted. I like being with this family. It’s fun to have [a birth family- Kelton named all his birth relatives]

-Kelton

*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
Brayden

 

 

 

It’s pretty nice to be adopted because you have your mom, your dad, your birth mom, and your birth dad. It makes me feel special.t
-Brayden

*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Matt Rocks My World

Matt's Birth “Get in the car, hurry!” shouted my mom. As my parents and I shot off in our car, I was full of curiosity. The glow on their faces was absorbed in my eyes. I finally understood. After years of waiting, my new sibling was about to arrive.

When we got to the hospital, after a thirty minute ride that seemed to take four hours, I was blasted by fluorescent hospital lights. The elevator seemed to go in slow motion as we made our way to the labor and delivery room. The nurse at the desk asked “Who are you here to see?” My dad’s voice shook as he replied “Shannon and Luke.” The green, uniformed nurse smiled at us and said “The baby has just been born. They’re in the room three doors down.”

We knocked on the door and when it opened a blast of emotions hit me. I was nervous, excited and happy. I looked around the room and saw Shannon, the lady who we were adopting our baby from. She was laying on a bed silently crying tears of pain and joy. I felt tears the size of baseballs form in my eyes. I couldn’t hold them in any longer. I had a brother, but Shannon had just given him to me and my family, so I cried for her. She hadn’t even held him. IMG_4133 Holding him would have been too hard for her.

I had to shut my eyes to stop the tears. I walked over and thanked her. Then I looked at the small beds. A baby boy laid there wrapped in a towel, his face red and scratched from his long, baby nails. Then it hit me, that’s your brother. I felt like all my worries were gone. That was the first time Matt rocked my world.

Matt brings me joy, laughter and everything else, even fear because he is my brother and he was born to do that. I can’t wait to see how and where he rocks my world next. I would never trade Matt for anyone or anything in the universe. My hopes for a new sibling were answered by Shannon, who thought of Matt and us before herself. She gave us the best gift you could ever receive, Matt!   Shannon rocks my world too.

-Mitch *Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Life’s Journeys

Life’s journeys are full of variety. At any point in the journey bumps arise, joys surprise. Such is the journey for birth mothers and adoptive families. We met our son’s birth mother during a time when the healing of not having a biological child had passed and when we were ready for a new possibility for parenting. In our first meeting with our son’s birth mother, my husband had stepped away and she looked at me and asked, “How do you feel about having a baby that is brown skinned?” I have a fair complexion.  I looked at her and said, “I just want a child in our lives.” She smiled.

Over the next few months, the life of the birth mother and adoptive family was turbulent filled with the doubts of her family about her choice to place her son for adoption. However, she knew what her choice would be and on a Fall day, Geri, our birth mother, and new son rang the doorbell.

As everyone sat and talked and we held our son, the moment etched into our memories. The birth mother’s commitment to having us parent her son left us feeling secure and confident that he belonged with us. After everyone left, he started to cry. Fumbling with a diaper to no avail, we finally realized he needed to eat. We read the directions on the formula can and finally satisfied him. That night, my husband read him The Very Hungry Caterpillar and we lay awake all night unable to sleep because we had to just watch him.

Our son is 7 now. He is a wonderfully remarkable boy and surprises us daily. We are so proud of our journey with him.

-Rachel*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

WE WAITED…WE DREAMED….WE WERE READY

threeWriting about our adoption experience is one of the hardest things to write about, to summarize, to turn into a story… So in short, this is what happened.

We decided adoption was part of our life journey.

We sent out our intentions.

Geri met with us and put us at ease, made a safe space for us in such an unknown land.

We heard the best of stories, the worst of stories.

We cried and we hoped.

Impatience sat on our doorstep for months, folding its hands, swaying and worrying.

We waited, we dreamed, we let go…

We were ready…

A beautiful woman, a strong woman, a funny woman chose us as parents.

We could hardly contain the explosions of joy.

We waited patiently for the phone call from the hospital.

45 minutes after our baby girl was born, we held her for the first time.

We had never been so grateful, so blessed.

We felt complete…

-Cheri and Jessica
*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Twice The Love

dB14VIf you are just beginning your journey into adoption, it can be frightening at times. Most of you have been through the heartbreak of miscarriages, or not being able to conceive, or maybe you just want to have a child by the route of adoption. Whatever the situation, the experience can be a roller coaster of emotions. My husband and I went through not being able to conceive and finally both agreed to adopt. My husband took longer to come around to the idea.

I had done plenty of research and had found Geri Glazer. . From the very beginning, we were treated with respect and dignity. We were made to feel like family and were assisted and constantly in contact with someone from the agency. Having a high amount of contact as a waiting parent is a relief when you start having all the “what if” thoughts.

An open adoption can be a wonderful experience, and we were reassured a good fit would be made. We did the home study, the interviews etc. We took our time creating our adoptive parent book, stressing over it and wanting everything to be just right. Don’t stress so much! It is amazing what a birth-mom will see in your album that will make her decide you are the right parents they want for their child.

For our birth-mom, Melissa, it was the fact that my husband was in the military, like her dad, just that simple fact. Some other adoptive parents have had their birth-mom like the fact that the dog was allowed on the couch. Just be yourselves and that will be enough for a birth-mom out there. We did receive two calls about a baby before we finally got our Ben.

The first call did not work out for us for reasons on both sides. The next call was between us and another family, and the birth-mom chose the other family because they were not military. Three weeks after that call, we got THE call. I will never forget! It was June 3rd, 2005, a stormy Friday afternoon. We had been chosen and she was due June 20th. It was a whirlwind of getting ready and telling family! Benjamin was born on June 22nd, 2005. A beautiful dark haired, brown eyed baby boy! We were so excited and could not wait to get him home to meet his extended family, who also adore him.

It can be nerve wracking because of the time it takes until the birth-mom goes to court to relinquish her rights. But Geri does her best when matching to make sure the birth-mom’s mind is made up. There is a lot of counseling for both sides of the adoption process. Most all have had a positive experience! From the beginning of the process, to getting our little man, we waited about a year. Part of the wait took longer because I took a couple of months getting my book ready, but our story does not end there.

When Ben was getting ready to turn two, we got a call directly from our birth mom Melissa. We thought maybe she was wanting to see Ben, so we invited her to his birthday party. She was calling to tell us she was pregnant again and wanted to know if we wanted to adopt this baby too as she wanted them to be together….., they are full siblings! She had Samuel one month early on December 2nd, 2007. He spent 3 weeks in the NICU learning to eat, and breathe at the same time. He was fine and healthy and got to come home on Christmas Eve that year. This situation does not always happen, but it is a wonderful possibility. An unexpected, wonderful surprise!!

Now we have two beautiful boys, now aged 7 and 5. They make our lives special and we will never forget how Geri brought us all together and kept us reassured throughout. We don’t see Melissa often, but do keep in contact with her parents. We had an overall wonderful experience, even though it can be scary at times. The unknown is always a bit scary, but adopting is a wonderful journey in the end. It is so worth everything!!

-Siobhan, Bill, Benjamin and Samuel*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Lost and Found

3 megan weddingI told the man I was dating, “If you want children, I am not the one for you.” But he married me anyway. Years later, when there was a hole in my husband’s heart the size of a child, I told him I was still that person who did not want kids. He stood by me anyway. When I told him that, yes, we could have kids but I was scared to death, he held my hand and told me I would be a great mother.

I hear stories of women who know without a doubt that they absolutely must become mothers. This is not something I experienced. I had barely gotten myself to the cliff’s edge and convinced myself to jump off, eyes closed and hoping for the best. I could not conceive of the choice between a life I knew as comfortable and free, and a life unknown and uncharted. We don’t know what it is like to be a parent until we have done the one permanent thing in life: become a parent. And even then, we hardly know what we are doing. But there I was, agreeing to jump with my husband into whatever it was that lay ahead.

When we told our friends and family that we wanted to adopt, they looked at us sideways and wondered why. They said things like “Don’t you want to have a child of your own?” or “You could not pay me enough to raise someone else’s kid.” The idea that two supposedly fertile people would make adoption their first choice made no sense to them. But it was what I wanted and, luckily for me, my husband was in agreement.

When we met the woman who was to be our birth mother, she told us that she had never been afraid of anything in life, until she had children. Now, she was choosing us to parent her third child, like a healthy person would choose to give you their heart because you needed a transplant.

When she went into labor, she invited me into the delivery room and for the first time, I saw childbirth. I witnessed this intimate, primal transformation of the female body, as if she were my closest friend. But she was not. She was a woman I barely knew who was willing to give us a part of her.

When the baby was born, I tearfully stumbled into the hallway to tell my husband that we had a baby girl. Back in the delivery room, a nurse handed me a bundle of sweet, red, newborn baby and asked me what we would name her. Already feeling stunned and overwhelmed by my free fall toward motherhood, this question was like being hit with a boulder in midair. But that was the easy part. Moments later, an older nurse told me that there was something seriously wrong with the sweet baby I held as my own. She could not tell me more. We needed to wait for the doctor. It was three in the morning. Between three a.m. and four p.m. that day, we heard many things from many doctors, mostly telling us they knew nothing definitive. Everything could be fine or it could not be fine. And the question we faced with no information was “Is this our baby or is this not our baby?” The tragic relief came when a neonatologist gave us his diagnosis. Bone where there should be brain. Strange chromosomal anomaly. Baby will never develop past what she is now, if she lives. We left the hospital empty, but filled up on resolve to help this kind birth mother as much as we could.

After that, I concluded that adoption was just far too risky. But when I got pregnant and had a miscarriage, I concluded that pregnancy was also just far too risky. And there I sat for a good long time, sandwiched in between fears. I was unable to move forward, and unable to let go of the idea of becoming a mother. Just in free fall with no known bottom.

When we opened up our adoption again a year later, I figured we’d have time to ease ourselves back into things. As it turned out, I had used up all my easing-into-things time. Two weeks later we were in a match with another birth mother. Within two more weeks our son was born a month early and we found ourselves once again sitting in a neonatal ICU staring at screens, listening to beeping and hearing the tragedies and miracles of other people’s lives from the bays around us.

While this healthy, amazing four-and-a-half-pound baby lay sucking on a pacifier as big as his face, soaking up all the manufactured sunshine he could in order to get his liver working, I sat next to him frozen and lost in my fears. Fear that he would not be okay. Fear that he was perfect, and it was I who was faulty. Fear that I may love him too much. Fear that I may get so incredibly, painfully hurt if I let my guard down. While I swirled endlessly in this small-minded thought and worry, the baby I held looked into my eyes, and into my fear with piercing wisdom and calm. In one moment of focused eye contact, he literally took my breath away. His message to me was “It’s alright if you need to freak out for a while, but this is what is going to happen. We belong together. You will see that it’s all going to be okay. This I know.” And then his eyes went back to defocused newborn eyes, but I would never go back to being the same person again.

Our son is six now. How he became our son, or how we found each other, as we say in our family, I don’t know. But I do know that I could not have birthed a child more my own. He is beautiful and amazing. Each day of his life, he teaches me to be stronger and more filled with love, regardless of the risks and uncertainties.

Our son once asked “if we die, how will we find each other again?” Oh, don’t worry little man, we will always find each other. It might be scary and it might be hard, but we will. You taught me that.

-Shenna*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Brynna’s Story

DSC_2503We moved to Colorado in 2006 and had previously looked at options for adoption due to infertility issues after our son was born in 2003. We looked at several options in the Denver area and didn’t really find a connection until we met Geri and her team. After we attended an initial informational session, Tricia and I immediately knew that we wanted add to our family with Geri’s help through the adoption process.

It was nearing the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in 2006 and we planned to start putting together our family album and “getting serious” about moving forward after the beginning of the New Year. We were preparing for a couple years journey as we began to plan for the future, save money, and prepare our son for a new sibling. Tricia, being a little excited had our family album put together and submitted, with all of our family inputs, over the Thanksgiving weekend. Our son told Santa he wanted a new baby for Christmas and we tried to add some reality, without dampening the excitement and enthusiasm of a three year old..….it was going to take longer than Christmas for a baby.

Little did we know we would have our Christmas miracle. As Geri described it, “your daughter fell from the sky” on December 7th, and within one week, because we had to start and finish the process of home visits, background checks, paperwork and everything else, we had our one-week old daughter sleeping at home, in her crib. Eleven days before Christmas and less than a month after we decided this was the path for us to take.

This was truly an exceptional experience compared to a more normal experience, if any adoption can be considered normal. Our daughter turned 6 a couple months ago and is starting to ask more questions and become more interested in her adoption story. To this point although we were fully committed to an open adoption experience we have had no contact with our daughter’s birth mother, based on her wishes. We don’t know what the future has to hold, but I can only believe it will be as exciting as our journey this far.

-Troy, Tricia, Bryce and Brynn*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

To Those Wondering

brynn_jonah-176To those wondering about open adoption:

To be very honest, when we first looked into adoption, and especially open adoption, it intimidated us. It seems like such a crazy concept. But, the more we read, and the more we talked to Geri, we knew it was the only way we wanted to move forward with our adoption journey.

There is hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about our children’s birth parents in some capacity. It can be from anything big or small–how did their big project at work go–or something silly and goofy the kids did, and we want to tell them. Thanks to open adoption, we can share so many things, and more importantly, our kids always know their birth parents are just a phone call or a visit away.

Can it be tough at times? Yes, but I strongly believe that even when it’s tough, it’s still absolutely worth it. I always like to say that open adoption grows your family by more than just one–and I truly can’t imagine our lives any other way.

-Jenn*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
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Luckiest People in the World

IMG_1943-EditAfter years of struggling with infertility my husband and I were ready to consider adoption.

I decided to talk with a friend who I knew had adopted a beautiful baby girl and asked her about adoption. This friend told me her adoption experience and said that my husband and I should talk to Geri. Little did we know that Geri was going to forever change our lives. When we met Geri we could tell that she genuinely cares for the birth moms and the adoptive families. One of the reasons that we were drawn to Geri is the counseling and mentoring that is offered to birth moms. Geri is understanding and caring; she can relate to birth moms and adoptive families and is an advocate for both.

We were so excited to get things moving, and we worked hard to get everything done quickly so our book could be shown. We turned our book in and the very next day we received a call from Geri asking if she could show our book to a birth mom that is incarcerated. We said yes and met the birth mom a few weeks later. She is a sweet girl who made some bad choices and mistakes; but who is selfless and chose adoption wanting a better life for her baby. Two months later our son Darius was born. It was love at first sight. He is everything that we could ask for and more. He is such a happy baby and everyone that meets him is drawn to his personality and smile. We feel like we are the luckiest people in the world to have been chosen to be his parents.

A year after Darius was born we got a text from Geri asking how old Darius is and if we are ready for number two. We had just started to talk about when we would want to adopt again but had not decided; but of course we had to hear what Geri had in the works. Needless to say, we were once again quickly working through the process so our book could be shown. This time the birth mom is a young girl who has dreams of graduating high school and going to college. In a strange twist of fate, our birth mother is the daughter to a birth mom Geri had worked with 15 years earlier in her career. We said yes and met her a few weeks later. She is a sweet girl who wants her baby to be loved and have endless opportunities. 3 weeks later our beautiful daughter Kennedy was born. She is only one month old as we are writing this but we can already tell that she is our ray of sunshine.

We are so blessed to have two beautiful children; through the gift of adoption we have been given the honor of being parents.

-John and Linda*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
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Heart and Soul

My husband and I had the opportunity to work with Geri, Founding Partner of Adoptions by Heart, through the adoption of our first child. More than anyone I have ever encountered, Geri passionately puts her heart and soul into her work. Geri recognized the strength, emotion, and love women were experiencing as they considered the potential placement of a child. She was so responsive to all people she worked with, and it was clear that it wasn’t just a job to her….we were her families.

In our time working with Geri, we observed how dedicated she was in counseling women with untimely pregnancies. She devoted any length of time necessary to help each woman determine the best course of action, recognizing that many women would choose to parent. Once we submitted our profile book and became a “waiting family”, I found it so reassuring to know potential birth mothers were being counseled by someone as experienced and dedicated as Geri. Geri had an understanding of each of these women and where they were emotionally with the potential placement of a child. Only when Geri was confident a birth mother was ready to proceed with an adoption plan would she allow her to review the profile books of waiting families. By doing so, she protected all parties in the adoption triad.

 Adoptions by Heart will combine both the similar philosophies toward adoption, and the years of experience of its co-founders, Geri and Jeanne. By creating an atmosphere where women with untimely pregnancies are treated with compassion and respect, and viewed as individuals instead of subjects to provide for the next adoption placement, the agency will support all members of the adoption triad. In addition, by encouraging open adoption, the agency will lay the foundation for birth parents and adoptive families to work together in the best interests of the adoptees.*

Sheryl, Adoptive ParentDisclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

Dan’s heart

w_0064“It’s nearly impossible to talk about Rena and the gift she has been to our family without sounding like a Hallmark card. She filled such a void in our family with her snuggles and sass and dance moves and incredible vocabulary. She is exhausting and exhilarating, adventurous and capable. And we talk about her birth all the time with joy. The other day, she asked me if I grew in Tina’s belly too. We love her so deeply and feel so    thankful to be her parents.”

-Dan Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.

*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.