In this post, Kiel talks about discovering more about his parent’s and family’s adoption history.
My parents got married in the early 1990’s with the intention of starting a family.
Unfortunately, when my parents attempted to conceive it did not easily occur and they soon discovered that my mother was experiencing serious troubles with fertility. They began considering and investigating other options such as adoption and In-Vitro fertilization. As part of that search they got in contact with Adoption Center of Illinois (then known as Family Resource Center) where they met Richard Pearlman, the organization’s executive director.
My parents explained that Richard helped them to understand how adoption worked and to create an “adoptive parent profile booklet” to share with birth parents that included photographs and information about their interests and backgrounds. What I understand is that in the 1990’s computers were not very prevalent so in order for birthmothers to be able to find out about and view potential adoptive parents they were given actual detailed portfolios on prospective parents. My parents kept their portfolio with Family Resource Center and simultaneously began the In-Vitro fertilization process.
The In-Vitro fertilization path was not easy. They spent nearly five years trying to conceive through this procedure, spending countless hours and thousands of dollars only to be met with disappointment. Finally on one of their last attempts I was conceived. The pregnancy was successful and I was born at Illinois Masonic Hospital on November 8, 1994.
After I was born my parents knew they wanted a larger family but they didn’t know if they could handle another emotionally painful and stressful In-Vitro process. This is when they again got in touch with Family Resource Center and came to believe that adoption would be the best option for completing our family. For a while my parents pursued adoption and another two In-Vitro cycles simultaneously. My mother decided that she would follow through with these two cycles in an attempt to conceive a second child. These final attempts at In-Vitro fertilization were unsuccessful and adoption became their only and best option.
My parents let Family Resource Center know how very serious they were about adopting. They highlighted to the agency that they hoped that the baby they adopted came from a good household and a caring mother. They also explained that they were open to adopting a child of any race.
My mother told me that once she and my father made it clear to the agency that they were ready to adopt the entire process didn’t take a long time. They understood that there are no guarantees in adoption and that they were fortunate to be able to adopt a child.
My sister’s birth mother Kimberly (I am using a pseudonym to protect her identity) was a pregnant teenager from Springfield, Illinois. She had been working with Family Resource Center on finding the right adoptive parents. After looking over adoptive parent portfolios she came across my parent’s profile and saw them as the right fit to adopt her soon to be born daughter.
My parents were notified by one of FRC’s social workers that Kimberly found them to be the best fit for adopting her daughter. My mother said that once Kimberly chose them the entire process happened quite fast. Kimberly was due in a little over a week and within a few days my parents were packing their bags and heading down to Springfield to await one of the biggest steps in their lives.
On March 26, 1996 Kimberly gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl. Due to Kimberly giving birth in a conservative Catholic hospital my parents were unable to meet Kimberly in the hospital and their involvement with the adoption was restricted due to hospital regulations. They were not permitted to visit Kimberly in the hospital. Instead, they sat eagerly awaiting a knock on the door from Family Resource Center’s social worker who was bringing their child to them from the hospital. My parents had chosen the name “Lily” for the baby and in fact they first laid eyes upon Lily in their hotel room in Springfield, Illinois. Lily was just a few days old. The moment they met Lily my parents fell in love with her and knew that their family was now complete.
Finally, getting to hear my parent’s full story about adopting my sister Lily has been a humbling experience. I never knew the full extent of how much my parents went through when it came to creating the strong and very close family we are today. I now understand that if it weren’t for adoption and Adoption Center of Illinois my family wouldn’t be the “complete” and unique family that we are today.