Photo courtesy of the authors
Building our Family
We have been together for 18 years and always knew we wanted a family. Before we started a family, we knew we wanted to achieve the big milestones in our lives first. After we achieved those, then it was time to start the process of building a family.
Adoption was a very real process for us because we knew that was going to be the main way we could build our family as a same-sex couple.
As we began to research adoption, we came across LifeLong Adoptions. We gravitated toward LifeLong because they work so closely with the LGBTQ community. We loved that because we knew we were going to be accepted for who we are.
When it came time to tell our friends and family we were adopting, everyone was ecstatic and overjoyed we were embarking on this journey. We are extremely close to our friends since we have known most of them since high school. They told us we were in this together and that they would be supporting us throughout our entire journey. We were extremely grateful for them.
Our Humbling Experience
As we started our journey, we were very excited. We went into this process a little over our heads because we thought we were going to adopt quickly, within four to six months. It became very humbling for us because that is not where our journey led us.
After we became “live” on LifeLong’s website, we were connected with our first expectant mother. She was still in her first trimester when we began talking with her. She was wonderful. Everything was going really well when one day we got the unfortunate news she had miscarried. This was very hard for us because we thought this process was going to be a breeze, but when life happens, it hits hard.
After grieving that loss, we were then connected with our second expectant mother. She, too, was very early on with her pregnancy. We had been building a relationship with her for about three months when we found out she had decided to parent. The hard part about adoption is you cannot become upset with the expectant mothers because ultimately it is her child, and they are doing what is right for them.
As our adoption journey kept proceeding, our adoptions kept failing. Throughout our journey, we got to know three different expectant mothers. We leaned on each other for support as well as our friends and family.
Our anxiety and stress grew as we started questioning if this process was really for us. It was hard because you hear all of these wonderful stories of people adopting within months and never going through any failed adoptions, so we began to question if we were the problem.
Expect the Unexpected
Just as we were about to pull the plug on our adoption journey, we received a call about a birthmother needing to place her three-month-old child in a loving home. Without hesitation, we agreed to start communicating with her.
Our relationship grew rather quickly because we had so many things in common with her. To name a few, Halloween was both of our favorite holidays, and our wedding date was the same date she met her partner.
Everything was moving quickly because this was not your typical adoption process. We agreed on a place and time to meet each other, which made this become even more real for us. We had never got to this point in our journey before, so our emotions were all over the place.
On the day of our meeting, our hearts were racing. We met at the hotel we were staying at. When she arrived with Finley, we knew our lives were going to change forever. We were standing there with flowers in our hands looking at our new future. Meeting him for the first time was so surreal.
We could not believe this was our son. He was so precious. The minute we held him and he looked up at us with his precious eyes, we knew the wait and the heartache had brought us to this exact moment. He was meant to be ours, and we finally knew our family was complete.
After spending the day with them, Finley’s birth mother signed her rights over the following day. When we were saying our goodbyes, she gave us a folder with all of her sonograms as well as letters. She took us around her town, showing us where Finely was born. She placed Finley because she wanted a better life for him.
Adoption is truly such a selfless act, and we could not be more grateful for Finley’s birthmother. She is truly a remarkable woman.
We currently have an open adoption with Finley’s birthmother. We will always present Finley’s birth mother as a hero because she is. He will know he was not given up, but that his mother searched for three long months to find the perfect family for him.
We agreed to pictures, letters, and visits annually. We set up a private Facebook group with the three of us where we share pictures multiple times a week to keep her updated. She even posted early pictures of Finley so we were able to see him as a newborn.
Our Advice to You
Know this process will be worth it and that you have to trust the process. We went through all of those expectant mothers before Finley, but that led us to this moment. You will have hard times when you need to lean on each other, but know everything happens for a reason and your baby is out there waiting for you. Journal your journey.
We now have a great keepsake we can one day share with Finley. Expect the unexpected, and know every situation is going to be different. We went in thinking it was going to be so fast for us, but months kept passing by. This is your journey, so learn from each experience and push forward. Adoption built our family, and we are extremely grateful for it every day.
Republished with permission from LifeLong Adoptions.
Chris and Will DeGiglio-Wright met in high school show choir in 2000 at 15 and 16 years old and have been together for 18 years. The couple currently resides in Austin, TX. After accomplishing their career, savings and travel goals, they were ready to begin the adventure of growing their family. The adoption of their son, Finley, was finalized last March
Follow Chris & Will DeGiglio-Wright on Instagram @Italipino07 and @Thewrightwill.