“We were just going through the motions, like this is just something we do now. We had lost all hope. This is how our life is, but there will be no baby in the end.”
This was how Jen Beiers and her husband Bob felt about their adoption journey in the spring of 2014. They had every reason to feel this way. Years of disappointment, hurt and feelings of rejection had brought them to this point.
And yet, this is a story with a happy ending.
Jen and Bob always wanted to adopt. They talked about it even before they were married. After they were unable to get pregnant with infertility treatments, they decided against pursuing in vitro fertilization. Since adoption had always been the plan anyway, they felt like they were ready.
They first planned to adopt internationally. About two years into saving money, however, they decided the cost was too high for them and became foster parents instead. They told the Indiana Department of Child Services they were interested in a child under age four, but DCS only contacted them about placement opportunities with older children.
That was when Jen and Bob connected with a friend from college who had adopted a child through Adoption Connections. They met with Executive Director Rebecca Bruce and felt like the agency was the right fit for them.
“We didn’t want to put ourselves into a financial situation where we couldn’t provide the life we wanted to for that child. Adoption Connections was a Godsend,” Jen says.
Jen and Bob were soon chosen by a birth mother. It was thrilling for Jen as she began to connect with this woman. Jen would go to all her doctor appointments, where the birth mom would introduce Jen as the baby’s mother. They planned a baby shower at the birth mom’s encouragement.
“The day we had the baby shower – that night – she sent me a Facebook message saying she had changed her mind,” Jen said. “I just stopped breathing.”
en and Bob grieved the loss of what they had believed would be their child. Though she doesn’t believe it now, Jen wondered at the time whether the birth mother had changed her mind because she thought Jen wasn’t good enough.
A year later, the same birth mother contacted Adoption Connections to indicate that she would like to consider Jen and Bob again to adopt her now one-year-old child. The agency contacted Jen and Bob with cautious optimism.
Jen and Bob tried to go into the situation with eyes open. Jen was apprehensive, but Bob couldn’t help but be hopeful. Three days later, on the day they were to pick up the child, the birth mother did change her mind again. Bob took it hard.
“The first time, my heart was open,” Jen says. “The second time, his heart was open. He was a mess.”
They joined Facebook groups about adoption struggles and found a community there of others who understood their feelings of loss and anger. It helped to be able to talk freely about what they were going through, but the online community had its limits.
“The support groups could only go so far,” Bob says. “The experiences other people had were never quite the same. Some were suggesting that we should accept that it wasn’t going to happen. That was frustrating.”
Jen is thankful for the support they received from Adoption Connections in this difficult time. She recalls receiving waiting family emails just when she was feeling the most depressed.
“It was so uplifting – ‘We’re thinking of you.’ With some larger agencies you’re just a number. No one knows who you are.”
By the following spring, it was time for Jen and Bob to renew their home study – to extend their eligibility to adopt into a third year – and that’s when it really felt like just going through the motions.
On July 4th, 2014, Adoption Connections contacted Jen about a new situation. The message she got acknowledged that it was a holiday, but did she want to talk?
I called first thing in the morning!” Jen says.
Two weeks later, with guarded hearts, Jen and Bob met a new birth mother. It felt right. It felt like it was going to happen. But this was their third summer believing they were about to become parents. Afraid to hope, they told no one but Jen’s parents, her sister and her boss. None of Bob’s family had any idea what was happening.
Jen recalls how odd it felt being at the hospital waiting for the baby to be born. She wanted to be happy but when she looked at the birth mom, she understood the sadness in the decision this young woman was making, a trial shared by the birth mom’s mother and cousin, who were there at her side.
“She gave me a big hug and said, ‘It’s okay to be happy,’” Jen says. “They were so thankful to us. That was something we never saw coming. Her mother just held onto me and said, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’”
Jen and Bob brought Tytus home in August of 2014 and finalized the adoption in November. Their long journey to adopt their son was finally past, and the adventure of parenthood had begun.
The couple wants their story to be a source of hope for those who are waiting for their child.
“Everything is worthwhile,” Bob says. “The pain evaporates, like it never happened. I’m glad we saw it through and didn’t give up.”
“Your story is going to be different from everyone else’s,” Jen says. “Don’t compare notes. Don’t get discouraged.”
Bob urges those still waiting to try to keep the wait in perspective.
“We waited just a few years, but we’ve got Tytus for the rest of our lives. What’s a few years of pain to have that?”
-Written by Matt Bloom