Adoption Story: Tatum

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For as long as she can remember, Sarah’s life included people she loved who had been adopted. Her Godfather who is now in his 70s was adopted. Two of her cousins were adopted. A friend in high school gave her baby up for adoption. In college, a co-worker placed her child up for adoption and she shared pictures with Chrissy of her child as she was given them by the adoptive family. Her life saw the love and beauty of adoption while also having a quiet fear that someday she may never birth her own children. 

Three and a half years after she and her husband got married, they decided it was time to start a family of their own. After not conceiving on their own, they chose to visit a fertility doctor and were hopeful to know that the doctors couldn’t find anything that would be the reason they weren’t able to conceive. With much optimism and hope, they began fertility treatments. 

A handful of months of treatments went by and still there was no baby growing in her womb. Emotionally worn out, Sarah decided she needed a break from the treatments. During the time she was resting from the treatments, she and Wesley went to a store that wasn’t in their typical shopping circuit to buy him some new work shirts. She remembers the cashier being pregnant and tearfully lamented her husband when they got to the car how hard it was to not have an answer as to why she wasn’t pregnant and yet she saw pregnant women everywhere. 

During the time she was undergoing treatments, she and Wesley talked about adoption and if that would be something they would seriously consider. At that time in their lives, finances were not in abundance and an obvious agency selection in their town was limited. The idea of an open adoption was daunting, but a friend who had adopted her three children in an open adoption helped ease their minds, answer questions and was a real life connection to the beauty of an adoptive family. Despite the challenges they knew and the uncertainty of what they didn’t, they knew they wanted a family and chose to move forward in pursuit of adoption. 

Not long after connecting with an agency, they got a call telling them of a couple who was placing their baby up for adoption, but had yet to find a family that was the right fit. They were able to meet the parents and shortly after, were told that they had been chosen to adopt their baby. They immediately stepped alongside the parents in the pregnancy journey. They shared meals together, talked about what the future could be like and Sarah even attended birthing classes with the birth mom. 

When James came into the world, Sarah was able to be in the room and even cut the cord. As she was telling her story, the appreciation and love she showed for the birth mom inviting her into one of the most powerful moments of both of their lives was evident in her expressions and her word choices. 

They spent the night at the hospital with their son, sharing him with his birth parents and even other family members, knowing how wonderfully loved he is. The time spent before his birth and together at the hospital after his birth was meaningful, especially when in the months ahead Sarah and Wesley set regular updates and pictures of their son to his birth family. 

James was theirs from the start. Because he is adopted, both Wesley and Sarah were able to bond with him during his bottle feedings. He’s never known a day of his life without them and now, 12 years later, they are ever so grateful they chose to adopt and that James is the son who made them parents. 

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