From left: Amy, Gina, Gina’s two sons, and Amy’s brother. Rene is in front.
Earlier this year, we were excited to facilitate the adoption of 14-year-old Rene by loving parents Amy and Gina. We are proud to share the story of their adoption, through their own words, in a multi-part series on our blog.
My son Rene and I were looking at the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) website together this past weekend. He didn’t realize he had been listed on it (“MARE Child no. xxx”), including his photo with the nice smile that we first saw in 2017. He left to get ready for dinner a few minutes later, but I stayed stuck on the site, remembering the three years that had passed since my wife Gina and I started the journey that led us to become his adoptive moms just a few weeks ago.
When we got married in 2013, we already knew we would have a child together. Gina had two grown, happy and well-adjusted sons; in fact, one of the things that drew me to her was her great relationships with them and her sister. However – when I asked about it on our very first date! – she mentioned she had always wanted a third. I had previously learned I was unable to have a biological child, but had always wanted to raise one. So our adoption decision was made.
Still, we wanted to experience our marriage together, without children, for a while. So we went on vacations, hung out with friends, worked on our careers and added a dog (our fourth pet!) to our lives. We even dressed him up as a bat and took him around the neighborhood on Halloween! That same fall in 2015, Gina started perusing the MARE website. Soon, we were both sucked in by pictures, ages and tiny biographies of children in foster care. Your life is never in a perfect place to have or adopt a child. But we had started.
As we attended the state-required adoption classes and allowed our lives to be investigated via background checks and the “home study” used to match our backgrounds to the needs of children, deciding whether to adopt a boy or girl and of what age was at the top of our minds. The idea that a boy over 8 or 9 years old would have the better chance of a brother/friend relationship with our two older sons than a girl or a younger child stood out among others. I also had a huge amount of trust in Gina’s crazy-good judgment of people and situations!
Making these decisions hypothetically was hard, but we hadn’t even started an even tougher part of the process: “Adoption parties” which included us, 30 to 40 other prospective parents or couples, and about 40 or 50 kids, ranging in age from 2 to 17. We will cover our experiences meeting prospective adoptive children, and advice we got along the way, in our next post!