My husband and I were private people–until we met our adoption counselor about a year ago. We told her of the long winding road that had led us to the Cradle, and we haven’t stopped talking about adoption since.

What do you get when a girl named Ryann meets a boy named Stacy in a college marching band? A band-geek marriage full of music, laughter, stories, and, on occasion, confused telemarketers.

In some ways, it is probably good practice for what life will be like after a child is placed with us. We are open to adopting a child from any race or ethnicity, so there is a good chance we will be a “conspicuous family.” Gone will be the days where we can roam just under the world’s radar. People will probably always have questions and comments for us about adoption, so we might as well get used to it now.

Another reason we are open with our adoption story is because we know connections with a birth parent could be made in many different ways. Networking and getting the word out about our desire to adopt is vital. Now I linger over my coffee and chat up baristas. I share a little too much information when picking out paint samples at the paint store. I slip our adoption business cards to the short order cooks at the local greasy spoon. You never know who might know someone who knows someone who might be considering an adoption plan. We also have comfort in knowing that the Cradle counselors will help birth parents make the best choice for the child and for themselves.

We haven’t been waiting long–only a few short months. Some days the wait is easier than others, but we have faith that a child will join our family eventually. For those of you who haven’t had the experience of running into one of us at the paint store here are a few of the more common questions we’ve been asked.

Q: How long is the wait?

The average wait is about two years and we’ve only been waiting a short time so far. However, you never know when birth parents might be looking for specific things that would match our own adoption profile. The birth parents choose which adoptive family to place their child with and each birth parent has different hopes and dreams for their child’s forever family. So length of time on the list is just one factor they may consider. We could get the call next month or next year…

Q: Will the adoption will be open or closed?

We hope to work together with the birth parents to have an open adoption. Everything we have learned reinforces our beliefs that an open adoption is the best option for the child. This way they have a better sense of their heritage, medical history and identity.

Q: How old will the child be? Will the child be from Illinois?

The program we are in at the Cradle is the Infant Domestic program. The child placed with us will be a newborn and could be from this area or from another state. Adoptions that cross state lines involve a little different procedures, but they are completely doable.

Q: Can you pick a boy or a girl?

No, that is not an option. Like many expectant parents we would be equally happy with either a boy or a girl. Or one of each!

Q: What does Clete (our dog) think about all this?

He has been somewhat quiet on the subject, but he is great around kids. Having a baby join our happy family will be a transition, but we are confident Clete and the child will become good friends. Plus, Clete is always happy for someone in his life who is likely to drop food.

Q: Any news?

This one is the hardest of all. We are notified if someone looks seriously at our profile, but that isn’t news were are going to share with the world. It is hard enough going through the ups and downs of adoption without taking the rest of the world on the roller coaster ride. We also know that nothing is guaranteed until we bring a child home with us. So, that is our standard answer: You’ll know we have news when there is another person here with us. But don’t worry, we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops by that point.

Q: What if we know someone who is considering adoption?

Direct them to our adoption profile.

Thank you for helping us to share our story!


4 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Congratulations to you and Stacy for starting The Process. I am an old friend of Mari Hoashi Franklin who, along with my wonderful husband, adopted a boy out of foster care here in Washington State. And just tonight I went back to our agency to talk with new, prospective parents about The Process. It can be long and anxiety-provoking, but the right match will be there for you. And once you have your child, nothing else matters and all the work you went through to get there will be a distant memory. And I’m so glad you’re going for open adoption. It means so much to our son that he knows his birth mother.

    All the best,
    David, Donald, and Michael

    • Hello David! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, the more we learned about open adoption the more we wanted it for our family. We know there are various degrees to openness so we are just hoping for the best! It is great that you are giving back to the adoption community. Hearing from people who have gone through The Process has been very helpful to us. Thank you for the support. πŸ™‚

  2. Ryann, I hope you remember me. I am Joanie, Debbie, John and Matt Ostrander’s mom. Just some words of encouragement for you and your husband. Joanie and her husband have now adopted two children. Michael was brought to them at 1 month. Mikayla was brought to them, or should I say, they took her home from the hospital. This was all done through foster care they were providing through the state of NE. After fostering them for about 2 years, they were able to adopt each of them. It is a long road. I am absolutely certain you will be a wonderful mother. God bless you in your journey. It is well worth the wait. We adore “our” grandkids! The weird thing is they do look a lot like their parents! Feel free to contact me, if you would like more info, or if you need more encouragement. You are doing a wonderful thing. God be with you.
    Dana Ostrander

    • Thank you so much! Of course I remember you. I was happy to have touched base with Matt a couple of years ago. I appreciate your kind words and support. The more we talk to people, the more we find that adoption is a part of many, many families! It is great to hear from you. πŸ™‚

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