Our Journey to Adopt - Joel & Samantha Brandt
Where to even start?!? The past few years, as we have been trying to start a family, we have been faced with many twists and turns we never saw coming, not to mention the emotions that came with it. In 2013, we decided we wanted to start a family and be parents. We were blessed to get pregnant the first month we tried. We were excited, and somewhat scared, but were ready to be on this path. A couple months later when we went for our anatomy ultrasound, at 20 weeks, we found out that we would be facing some challenges with our pregnancy. We were told that we needed further testing, and an amniocentesis to know an exact diagnosis, but that our baby’s heart was not forming properly. After the amniocentesis we learned that our baby had Trisomy 18, which is a fatal chromosomal defect. We were heart broken, to say the least. We were told that we would lose our baby, likely before our due date.
We prayerfully continued through the pregnancy trying to find joy, even though we knew we would not end up with the baby we were dreaming of. In February of 2014, just two weeks before our due date, we found out our little girls heart had stopped. We were devastated, but were told that this was a fluke thing that would not happen again, so we should start trying for another baby.
We began trying again, hopeful we would get pregnant easily once again. However, time passed and we were still not getting pregnant. After a year of trying, many tears, and disappointments we sought infertility treatment. We tried a few rounds of infertility treatments, which consumed our every thought, before we decided that was not the path for us. After a lot of praying, trying to decide where to go from here, and a STRONG desire to be parents we felt God placed adoption on our hearts. Our ideas of adoption went from wanting to adopt because we wanted to be parents more than we were afraid to adopt, to being very excited to adopt and knowing it was what we should do. We knew it was the way for us to grow our family. We researched various adoption agencies and jumped right into the process, somewhat oblivious of what it entailed.
We were faced with all sorts of emotions going into this process. We were excited and scared. We had uncertainties about communication with birth parents (and still do sometimes), fears of getting a baby taken away, wondering how a child who was adopted would feel as they grow up, and a wonder of how we would cover all the adoption expenses. We have been so blessed to meet families, who have adopted, and are able to ease some of our fears as well as share their experiences. We also have friends who have been adopted, that we have been able to talk to, hearing their perspectives of adoption. We have also been working with amazing caseworkers who have helped diminish the adoption stereotypes we have heard and feared. In addition to that we have also been blessed by friends supporting us financially as well as emotionally. Although all of our uncertainties have not been addressed, and we are still faced with expenses, we have been blessed to be supported and encouraged throughout the very beginning of our adoption journey. We have been continually reassured we are doing what we should be doing and that God will provide all we need as we continue through this process.
The first thing we were asked to do, when we officially started the adoption process, was to create a family profile (basically an advertisement of us). This was fun, challenging, and bazaar all at once. How do you create an advertisement of yourself with the hopes a birth parent will feel drawn to it, and choose you to raise their child? How do you know what pictures to include, let alone what to say? We started by writing the text and explaining who we are. We gathered pictures that would show our personalities and the fun things we do. Finally, worked with a graphic designer, for about a month, to come up with something we love to use as our family profile.
Another thing we have been working to complete is our home study (background check). This aspect has been really overwhelming. It is full of tons of paperwork and things to prepare. As we have gone through it in a quarter of the average time, it has been very time consuming. There have been many forms to fill out, appointments, essays, and interviews to complete. We have also had to make many preparations to our house to pass the home inspection. Thankfully we are almost finished with this portion, then we will just be waiting for our baby.
Even though we are walking through the process right now we are still filled with many unknowns. We do not know when we will be placed with a baby, but we are beyond ready to accept and love the baby we will soon be calling our own. Our overall emotion is excitement. We are so excited to be parents and welcome a baby. The hard part now is going to be having patience.
We are so excited to be adopting and cannot wait to be matched with a baby!
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