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Tim and Deidra share about their domestic adoption journey and their daughter, Zoey.

Holt-Sunny Ridge came into our lives in the summer of 2013. We weren’t quite sure what we were looking for with an agency, but we had hoped that something would trigger our intuition and we would know that one agency would set itself apart from all the rest. That agency undoubtedly was Holt-Sunny Ridge. From the moment we arrived for our initial meeting we felt comfort and the more we spoke, the more we felt at ease with what can be a very overwhelming and emotional experience. Through Holt-Sunny Ridge’s comprehensive informational meetings, adoption classes and one-on-one attention, rest assured that you will be armed with all the information and assurance that you’ve made the right choice!

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-07-10-amThe waiting, the endless paperwork, the background checks and home visits all became much more real and meaningful for us in June 2014 when we received a call that would change everything. We had been informed that our adoption profile book was selected by the birth parents of a baby girl. One of the things that we learned throughout our journey with Holt-Sunny Ridge was that every adoption story is unique and that we should never be too sure that ours will follow any “standard” adoption journey. Naturally, we as first-time parents expected to learn of a prospective birth mother/father well in advance of their due date. Well…we found out the day our baby girl was born that we were chosen. Our daughter was born on a Thursday morning and we were told to be at the hospital on Saturday morning to meet with the birth parents and take home our precious daughter. The next 48 hours were filled with overwhelming excitement, nervousness and fear of the unknown. We spent the Friday evening prior to our meeting at the hospital at Babies R Us with two shopping carts running through the aisles trying to somehow think through what we could possibly need for our new baby girl. What kind of diapers, what size, how about formula, what will she sleep in — we don’t have any clothes!!!!!!!!!!

We met the birth mother and father that Saturday morning at the hospital for the very first time. We have never encountered such a selfless, loving and caring couple in all our lives. At that moment, amidst the chaos of the previous 48 hours — and the previous 12 months of waiting patiently for our day to arrive — we had fulfilled a 5-year dream of being parents. We accompanied a nurse and Holt-Sunny Ridge staff members to the nursery where we met our beautiful baby girl, Zoey. The ensuing hours, days and months were absolutely surreal. Our lives had changed literally overnight and we had become parents! From day one with Zoey, we immediately felt a bond. We are firm believers that children are a product of their environment. With Zoey, it is impossible not to be happy when each and every day we get to see her beautiful smile. Life has new meaning for us; what once was filled with movies, restaurants and nights out with friends has transitioned to Elmo, playing with dolls and acting like kids again!

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We acknowledge the importance of an open adoption. As Zoey grows older, she will understand how special she is to have so many people who love her. We have chosen to communicate via email with the birth parents on a monthly basis, and try to have quarterly in-person visits. We are truly blessed to have Zoey’s birthparents in our lives and encourage you to have open lines of communication with your agency and your child’s birthparents about what works for your situation for the betterment of both yourself and your child.

high-chairWe have learned so much throughout our adoption journey. For those just beginning their own journey or contemplating whether adoption is the right path for them, we offer up these words:

– Be true to yourselves, be open and honest with one another and with your chosen agency.

– Remain positive and optimistic; adoption is a marathon not a sprint.

– Leverage the community of those who came before you, as well as the talented professionals at Holt-Sunny Ridge to guide you through, one step at a time.

Tim and Deidra | Chicago, Illinois