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Adopting our son Soren through ABL Adoptions was the best thing we have ever done. Adopting a first child is a scary experience, and we have to say that every one we worked with at ABL made it as comfortable for us as possible. We were worried about every detail in the beginning, particularly the medical stuff, and Laronda and the staff really talked us through all of our concerns and helped us with our decisions. Judy, the birthmother liaison, really did a great job of communicating our concerns in a positive way. Looking back, our experience was a great one and we are looking forward to adopting our second child soon. I felt comfortable calling Laronda and the other staff to talk and it always made me feel better. I think that’s a women thing. And one of the reasons we chose ABL, because it’s usually the women handling the details and I wanted to feel comfortable that I was able to pick up the phone or email without feeling like I was bothering someone. Soren is perfect and like Laronda said, we end up with the children that were meant to raise. I believe that now after going through it, and cannot wait to do it again.
-Amy and Donny

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My journey with ABL Adoptions began in January 2008. I had just finished my home study and was either going to retain a lawyer for adoption or go through an agency. I needed an agency that was open to all families and after a week or so my Canadian agency let me know that they were working with ABL. As a single, gay woman, I considered my situation difficult. However, I was open to a child of any race and gender hoping that it would improve my chances of being selected by a birth mom.

As soon as I talked to Tina, she put me at ease and I knew that ABL was the right agency for me. Co-incidentally, some friends were also adopting internationally so we signed all the papers at the same time, and began the official waiting period. My friends got the call after three weeks but I went on to wait for five months before my first match. I spoke to birth mom on the phone and began to let myself feel excitement as the due date approached. However, after the baby’s due date had passed Tina called with the crushing information that the birth mom had the baby in another county and did not place. I cried, Tina talked me through it, and I went on. It was Canadian Thanksgiving and instead of going on a trip, I stayed home and re-did my profile.

A few weeks later I was matched again. This led me on a different path and I ended up in New Orleans. Unfortunately the birth mom did not place either and I left discouraged but kept a positive attitude that there was a baby out there for me. It was hard to come home because my colleagues and entire community knew I was going to get a baby. I knew there would be the inevitable question and I didn’t want to go out. I avoided the grocery store for a month and went back to work. However, I was overwhelmed with how supportive everyone was, so again I waited and kept hope in my heart that there was a baby out there for me.

A few weeks later I was matched again. This time, I kept it a secret. I was matched for over 6 weeks and did not tell anyone at work or my family. I told two close friends and then went about my everyday life. I was matched with a baby boy due just before spring break. On February 26, two weeks before the baby’s due date, I flew to Vancouver for a conference. The next day, my cell phone rang and it was Jennifer from ABL to tell me that my birth mom was in labour and the baby would be born that day. I could hardly contain myself.

I made a few phone calls to my friends and then received the best phone call of all: just after 3 p.m. my baby boy was born. It would be 24 hours before his mom would sign consent so I attended my conference and waited anxiously for the next day. Everything went like clockwork. The baby was doing well, his mom was doing well, and I was doing well. I had to fly home to get my passport and turn around the next day to fly to Indianapolis. On Tuesday morning I held my 4 day old son.

ABL went out of their way to support me and Parker. I spent 10 days in Indiana and they were the best days of my life. The staff helped me do everything from signing legal documents, to finding an attorney and a pediatrician plus give me advice on where to go to eat. They felt like family and now are a part of my family. They took care or Parker’s biological mother and took care of me.

Although my first two matches did not work, I was prepared for some bumps and the staff at ABL helped me through it. I decided to be positive about every experience during the adoption journey. I could spend time being angry at the first two birth mom’s but there was no point - they had to make a difficult decision. I can’t judge them or pretend to know what is right for them. But when I held Parker for the first time – so perfect and beautiful - I knew he was meant for me.

Parker’s mom chose me to be his parent. I could not be more honored or have more respect for her. I know I will do the best job I can with Parker, but she will also have a special place in our life and so will Indiana. We will go back to Indiana to see his birthplace and touch base with our new ABL family. Tina, Jennifer, and Laronda went out of their way for me, and I feel deep gratitude to them. ABL Adoptions is now part of our family because without them I would not have my family☺
--Christine Danroth.

Some day when I tell my son his story, I will include how we first heard about him in an email. He’ll probably say, “What’s an email?” because by then there will be some other form of communication. One email, on one Thursday night, changed EVERYTHING. 

We always said that our child would find us, but I will admit it had become increasingly difficult to walk the talk. We took the stance that if an adoption fell through or things with our many agency connections didn’t work out, then THAT child was not supposed to be ours.  Patience was never one of my virtues and our second adoption process was riddled with heartache and frustration (a whole lot of frustration - from other agencies) until that email from Cara arrived.

The truth is, I almost didn’t respond to that email. I was weary and tired of the process and didn’t want to be disappointed again and this particular birth family wanted things we didn’t want…or so we thought.

They wanted a fully open adoption, we thought we wanted semi-open.

They wanted visits. We thought we didn’t.

But we took a chance, crossed our fingers (and said our prayers) and had to let go of how we THOUGHT it would go and be open to what MIGHT be.

Fast forward seven short weeks and a beautiful little boy was placed in my arms.

We now find ourselves in a fully open adoption, with occasional visits and weekly contact - and we can’t imagine it any other way. We do not feel threatened by his birth family’s relationship with our son and as we navigate this complicated birth parent/adoptive parent relationship - we know we are all in this together. Not to mention that we have this incredible little boy that we all get to love, cherish and marvel as he grows. What a lucky little boy to have so many who adore him!

What a life changing experience this adoption journey has been and we are so grateful to ABL for the support and going above and beyond to help our son find us.

--Nikki & Matt