A&B: Hi Wendy. Thanks for talking to me. You have probably told your adoption story hundreds of times; will you tell it to us again?
Wendy: I have never really told it all at once!
So here’s the story: My husband and I got married in 1995 and tried to have kids right away. It wasn’t working and then we heard about a woman in my sisters apt complex that was giving her baby up for adoption to her aunt and uncle. They pulled out, so on the spur of the moment, we agreed to adopt the baby. Unfortunately, once the baby was born, the new mother decided not to give her baby up.
We spent another year trying to get pregnant until one morning I realized I just wanted a baby, and as soon as possible.
We found an adoption facilitator, called for information, got it in a couple days, signed up a month later and four months later our son was born. Tallas is amazing and we love him so much. We got to be there for the birth; we got to cut the cord; my husband got to call the time. It was great!
Two years later I had heard that it is easier to conceive right after surgery for endometriosis. I had the surgery and got pregnant. Matthew was born in March of 2000. After he was born, I had hysterectomy. But we wanted more kids.
We actually wanted twins, so we signed up again, this time asking for two little girls. Our attorney said that would never happen! She had been in the business for 15 years and it took her 10 years to find one set of twins. That was in May. In July, she called to tell us a set of twins would be born in August (and did we want them? YES!).
We went to see the birth mom who was living in a homeless shelter with another set of twins and a 3 year old. I sell homes and have a lot of sales training, I kept telling myself I have to close this deal. I have to ask her to let us be the parents to her daughters. I brought video tapes and photo albums. We heard that there were lots of people interested in her babies, but three days after our visit she called to said she had selected us!
After our girls were born, we held our breath for 30 days! When Tallas was born, his birth mom had 90 days to take him back. When the girls were born, the laws had changed and she only had 30 days. We were so nervous because it was too good to be true–we got exactly what we wanted! With Tallas’ adoption we had gone out for the day and on the 90th day. When we called for our messages, his birth mother had called! We were freaking out . . . but she had just called to congratulate us.
Part of our story is that my children are a different races than we are.
Tallas is half black, the girls are black and hispanic. Adopting children of different ethnicities made a lot of our family grow as people. The older generation had a lot of prejudice. For example, when my husband was growing up, his step-dad couldn’t say Sammy Davis Jr. without inserting the n-word.
But now he would give his life for these children. He never had kids of his own, and when Tallas was born, he realized that he was just as much Tallas’ grandfather as his wife was the grandmother because Tallas wasn’t biologically anybody in the family’s. He would sit for hours just holding Tallas. He has really taken on the role of grandpa and has done an amazing job. I’m proud of him.
A&B: I notice that from the time you presented your application until you had your babies in your arms was relatively short.
Wendy: Yes, both adoptions went really quickly. With Tallas, we went to lunch to look over the application. On our way, we walked past a pet store. Since we were feeling very paternal and maternal, we decided to get a dog to make sure we could take care of a human. I guess we thought we’d have more time! We signed up August 5th, met Tallas’ birth Mom in September, then he was born in December.
The second time we signed up in May and it was the July 4th weekend that we got the call that Hannah and Zoe were on the way. I firmly believe that our wait was short because we were open to any ethnicity – they didn’t have to be blonde haired or any particular race, we just wanted a healthy baby. That gave us more of an opportunity to have it happen quicker.
A&B: Did you do open adoptions?
Wendy: When the children were little, we had more contact with the birth mothers, but we haven’t heard from them in years. Once I sent hundred photos in an envelope. The envelope came back with postage due, but the photos were gone. I hope she got the pictures. I know they both move around a lot and we hope they have good lives. We have the same phone number, so they can always contact us if they want to. And I showed the kids pictures of their birth moms and we celebrate adoption day – we make a big deal of it. So much so that our 12-year old decided that he needed a special day too, so we made the day i found out I was pregnant his special day.
It’s been amazing. I thank them all the time. I thank them for being my kids.