Gastineau Family Adoption Journey

Our story started about a year before we met our children. My husband and I went through multiple rounds of infertility treatments. Once those did not work, we then decided to see a specialist to figure out our options. That experience ended up being a closed door. My husband and I always wanted to adopt, but we assumed we would birth children first. However, that was never meant to be our journey.

Therefore, after months of trying to conceive, we stopped and switched our focus to adoption. We went to an informational class that DHS put on and left that meeting with a peace knowing that this was our path. We started taking the weekend classes with the intent to be adopt only parents. Once finishing the classes, we just waited and waited. We specifically asked for a sibling group because we wanted a family, not just a child.

We kept getting calls about a child here or there that needed a family. Though, each one was not part of a sibling group which we felt called to. So, we had to say no and kept praying. Finally, we heard about a sibling group of 4 boys. My husband and I really felt that this could be the group. We prayed so hard about it, and in the end, decided that they were not meant for us. It was so hard to come to that conclusion because we waited so long to hear about them, and we did not know if we would get another chance.

Weeks later, we heard about a sibling group of 3. We read through all of their information, we found out as much as we could, and then we made the decision to travel 5 hours to meet them. After that first meeting, we knew this was the group for us. I remember crying as we left that weekend because I knew I was leaving my children behind. It still is a very hard emotion to explain.

We did more weekend meetings that finally led to the children moving in with us. We then spent 6 months really getting to know each other and to let our bond grow. Next came adoption day. For some, this is a Hollywood ending. Everyone is so happy and tears of joy flow. Though we had plenty of tears of joy, we also had tears of grief and loss. Our oldest was 10 at the time and though he had grown to love us, he wanted to ultimately be with his birth mom. Our youngest two were so little and had no clue what was going on other than they were in another court room and going through another change in their life. We became a family that day, but we also destroyed hope for a family that would no longer be. No one said that day would be one of our hardest.

It's been four years now, and I am still so happy that our journey happened the way it did. Let me start though, with saying that raising kids is not easy. I have no idea what all happened in my children’s lives and that is hard. We still have our children in and out of therapy to deal with issues as they come up. We have to deal with issues like social media a lot different than other parents. However, we are just parents to some amazing kids. We look different, and we have to approach situations differently, but I think that makes us better. I still would not trade our journey though. These kids were meant to be ours; they just had to travel a different road to get to us.

Advice: Be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Find a support group and hold on tight. Accept help from anyone who is willing. Realize that you and your partner are a team tackling life together. Raising kids is not easy. And at the end of the day, trust God and his plan for you and give him the control.