Adopting our baby girl, Eliza.

Adoption was a deliberate choice for us. Choosing to adopt Eliza was definitely one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Because of KyAnn’s diabetes, we chose not to have a biological child. Pregnancy and childbirth carry complications that we just weren’t prepared to deal with.

But we always knew we wanted kids and that we wanted to adopt kids. After working in news for so many years, we knew there were many babies and children in need of loving parents. And you don’t have to look overseas to find these children. They’re right here in the United States.

So after months of talking about kids, we decided to adopt a child domestically. JL had the good fortune of working with a man who adopted two children. He told us about a wonderful woman named Carri. She runs Special Link, a non-profit organization that connects prospective parents with adoption agencies in the Southeast.

In early February, we attended the ACES Adoption Expo in Greenville to find out more about adoption. By March, we were approved to adopt. Getting approved means doing lots of paperwork including background checks and reference letters. It culminates in a home study, during which a social worker comes into your home and determines whether you’re fit to adopt a child. We then put together a portfolio telling birth mothers about us and sent it to Special Link. Several weeks later, on April 22nd, we got the call about Eliza.

Eliza was raised by her birthmother for the first four months of her life, and she loved her dearly. But ultimately she decided that adoption was the best choice for her daughter. Eliza’s birthmother said she “wanted her child to grow up with a family who will love and care for her and teach her what she wants to learn in life.”

That’s where we came in. We adopted Eliza through A Angel Adoptions in Alabama. They took excellent care of Eliza - and us - during the involved process. It took several days and lots of extra paperwork!

In the interim, Eliza stayed with a nice couple. Lola and Gary care for babies in transition. The Birmingham News featured them in a recent article. Eliza is the 51st baby mentioned at the end of the story. Here’s a link to some extra photos and a video narrated by Lola.

On May 9th, we drove from Greenville to Birmingham to meet our daughter. The four-hour drive was excruciating. It seemed like we were moving in slow motion. But we finally got there and it was a joyous event.

We held our little girl for the first time and we knew without question we’d made the right decision.

As Eliza grows up, she’ll always know about her birthmommy Jerrica and how much she loved her.