vent sesh: our family adoption story

July 10, 2014

An adoption story

I never envisioned I’d adopt. In fact, when I was young I never envisioned much when it came to kids of my own. Kind of assumed I’d have a boy and a girl, because, that seemed like what could make a family (and what I came from). I just assumed it would be me delivering them. And, all was on track when I gave birth to our little girl nearly five years ago. But, things have a way of changing in ways you never imagine.

A little over a year ago I shared here how my husband and I tried to adopt, only to have it fall apart right after Mother’s Day 2013… just three weeks before the due date. I won’t get into that again except to say that, like with other things, I’m confident things happen for a reason.

Last Tuesday, our little boy who was born in November officially became ours by law. The “gotcha” day as it’s apparently called. In some ways it was monumental, and in other ways, hardly news at all. He’s been ours since the moment we met. He just fit into our family. Yes, we now had a boy and a girl but it wasn’t for that reason at all. He’s just ours. Our daughter fell instantly in love; she immediately declared him her best friend and the way she sings, plays and hangs with him could make you cry. The fit was perfect. She raised her right hand higher than any of us (as you see above) to swear that Evan is all ours. There was no question, and it became immediately clear that had the other adoption not gone sour, we wouldn’t be here. With Evan. Our son.

We kept the entire process very quiet. We just couldn’t handle another heartbreak. Last August, our adoption attorney, the one we initially intended to use, came to us with an opportunity. A birth mother who was about five months pregnant had another family fall through. Our attorney told her our story, showed her a little photo book we made about our family, that I couldn’t have another baby due to health reasons, and to only pick us if she was 100 percent. Not 99, just 100 percent. She chose us.

We met her one workday morning at a Cracker Barrel, with me crying the minute I saw her. I wasn’t prepared for it but seeing her belly, imagining what could be… it was overwhelming. We hugged, ate breakfast and shared bits about ourselves. She gave us a Florida Gators pacifier, and we embraced several times before leaving.

The next few months were excruciating. We were busy with work but had constant lingering thoughts if she would change her mind. When’s her next doctor appointment? Is she eating properly? Any drug issues? Where is she staying? As someone who’s been pregnant, it’s like having all the anxiousness of the pregnancy, with seven layers more. All this while my husband and I went on about our days. At least tried to. Working, blogging, hanging with family and friends. Keeping our little secret all to ourselves.

On October 7, I vividly remember it, we got a call from our attorney that the birth mother was having contractions. HOLY…! She wasn’t due for another 5 weeks.

She delivered Evan about five weeks later with each of those days in between more anxiety ridden than the next. I was blessed — and honored by her graciousness — to be in the room for a C-Section (she invited me, and I held her hand the whole time), watching his arrival, hearing his first cries. He was pure joy from the moment we met him. We started texting and calling close friends, and fully prepped our daughter, who we had just started talking about being a big sister a week earlier. {she only wanted a baby sister, by the way.}. Seligman_041.jpg

His room at home only had the essentials: a crib, dresser/changing table and rocking chair (from our daughter’s room). As a family who didn’t have this process work out the time before, I fully recommend going this way. It’s better for you, and if you have another child, better for them. Our little man is now nearly eight months old, there’s still no artwork on the walls and promise you he somehow still feels loved! In the clothes department, an amazing friend of ours gave us more adorable baby boy clothes than I could ask for, and little E has been decked out ever since.

Two days after he was born, we drove to the hospital with our daughter. We were so close. Final papers were eventually signed, and I recall vividly the first time his big sister met him. We read a few books to her in advance about how you don’t have to look like family to be one, a good general life lesson (I highly recommend this kid’s book for every mom), and were completely anxious about her response, and usual barrage of questions. We worried for nothing. She was a big sister, with big, outstretched arms eager to hold her little “Ev-ster”.

That was nearly eight months ago. It’s how our family came together. It was a rough few weeks at first. But not because of the adoption. Because he’s a newborn who sleeps, poops and eats around the clock. Telling clients and going nearly immediately back to work sans maternity leave — a by-product of owning your own company and no one seeing your belly grow the previous nine months — was likely the most challenging. Particularly when sleep was hard to come by. There were days I felt like we’d never get through it, but we did. Evan now sleeps (well!), eat and smiles. Ah, this smiles.

It’s interesting… as much as I wasn’t shy about talking about our adoption before, perhaps because it was this process, now it has this emotional connection and it feels weird in some ways to talk about such a personal part of us. I don’t need or want to talk about how our son came to be ours. Not that it’s a secret; he simply has been meant for us all along.


Want to be honest that I get how creating a family is not freaking easy. Not for me, not for women who can’t get pregnant. Dealing with miscarriages, a struggle with IVF treatments, and everything else. We all have to find the path that makes the most sense for each of us personally. But leaving you with one of my personal favorite posts from a few years ago, “Vent Sesh: Stop Asking Questions,” after realizing that as soon as our daughter turned three, everyone started asking me when I’m getting pregnant.  Besides them assuming that was our plan, it was really hurtful.

Family isn’t created because of birth. It’s created by love.

{photo credit: LILA Photo}


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  • Kimberly

    Oh my gosh - I could not stop crying as I read this! I will never forget the agony I felt when you told me that first adoption fell through & I called you sobbing. But God obviously knew what He was doing. Evan so clearly belongs in your family and this is such a beautiful testimony to all those women who are going through similar situations to not lose hope. I couldn’t be happier for you guys and that last sentence you wrote says it all. xoxo

  • TheDecorina

    Thank you for sharing this story, I really enjoyed reading it (I need to go find some tissues!). Congratulations to you and your beautiful family.

  • Kellyann

    Congratulations! You have a beautiful family and I am sure your story has helped others in the same situation. God bless!

  • Erin @ Thanks, I Made It

    so beautiful! I’m so happy for your family!

  • Dianna

    You can just see he’s a perfect fit. Intended for your family all along. So wonderful and amazing how that works. Glad I got to meet the handsome little guy and your precious girl briefly last weekend!

  • hithaonthego

    Your family is beautiful, and your children are so blessed to have you as a mother. Thank you for sharing this story, Alyson! I cried happy tears the entire time I read this.

  • nicole mavrides

    absolutely beautiful post! so happy for you. Mazel Tov again! xoxo

  • Franny

    Beautiful story! Congratulations!

  • Susie

    Alyson- thank you for sharing your story. I am so grateful and inspired by your happy ending. xoxo

  • Joanne Almonte Mason

    This is such a sweet story, thank you so much for sharing it with us! Your family is beautiful:)

    P.S. I can totally relate to ppl always asking when we’ll start working on the ‘next one’. Our little girl is about to turn 1 (tomorrow!) and we’ve been fielding these questions for the last 2 months already. Ppl need to mind their own business, lol;)

  • Lyddiegal

    Thank you for sharing this, you are so blessed to have such an amazing family, even though there may have been struggles to get there, when are there not? You are all together and looking so blissful!

    Chic on the Cheap

  • Kim

    What a beautiful story. Congrats!
    I too, adopted a child. People always ask why I didn’t have my own. It’s terribly rude. And I do consider her my own. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t give birth to her. She is my daughter and I love her more than anything in the world. She’s almost 17 but boy do I remember those sleepless nights. Glad to hear things are settling down.

  • The Adored Life

    This is such a great story. I love that you are a family, you are real and you love so much. It’s so amazing to see how you guys love each other.

  • Caryn

    The last line says it all! Blood doesn’t make you a good family member, the best family members I have chosen by love (Aunts, Uncles, ect.)!

  • chicncheapliving

    Thank you for sharing your story! You are so right - all families, large and small - are created by love!

  • Style Me Thrifty

    Thank you for sharing, Alyson. You’re brave, fashionable, and clearly a wonderful mother. All fantastic qualities ;) And Evan is adorable!!! ~Madeline

  • ashleigh

    E is adorable, and he looks loved and you look like you love him, and that is all that counts. Clearly he was meant to be with you! Gorgeous family!


  • Glamamom®

    HUGE congratulations! Thrilled to read the wonderful news and wish you and your family all the best.

  • Shira

    Wow, you have such a beautiful family and you fought so hard for it.

  • Happinessatmidlife

    What a beautiful post. You have a beauty family. Congratulations!



    Congratulations, a beautiful baby for a wonderful family!

  • Pingback: what’s in my bag | The Average Girl's Guide

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    Congratulations - what a beautiful family! (and I am in love with your daughter’s hair!!!) :)

  • Sharona

    Big hugs to you! Such a special story!!

  • Merritt Beck

    Loved reading this story - Congratulations on a beautiful boy and adorable fam!

    The Style Scribe

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