The Clark's Open Adoption Story

We began to explore adoption years before we were actually ready to begin the process. I’m a planner by nature, and I really like to gather information and consider my options before I make a decision, but once that decision is made, I want to jump right in and get going. We signed up with IAC in June, and we went to our fist meeting with 75% of our paperwork complete and ready to hand in. We had waited so long to be parents that we didn’t want to wait any longer than necessary—we wanted to get our home study done as fast as possible. We completed our home study in six weeks, and were in the book by the end of August. We had a few e-mail nibbles, some of which seemed promising, but none panned out. A month later our daughter’s birthmother, Carrie, contacted us. We corresponded for a month, then flew out to meet her in person, and matched. Twelve weeks later, our daughter Taylor Marlys was born. It had been just six months since we walked into IAC to start the process, to when we brought our daughter home.

When Taylor was 18 months old, we signed back up with IAC. We did our home study in just four weeks this time, and prepared for a long wait. We’d been told that the average wait for families with children is 12-18 months. Again we had a few nibbles, but nothing really promising, and nothing solid. We had been in the book for three months when a friend of ours who was also planning on adopting told us that she’d recently found out she was pregnant and had unmatched with their birthmother. She played matchmaker, and we flew down to Las Vegas two days later to meet Lindsey, who was due any day now. We agreed to match, and came home. Four days later we got the call that the baby had been born, and a week after that, we were home with our new daughter, Addison Grace, also known as Baby Addie. Although we waited longer to be matched, our adoption of Addie was only four months from start to finish!

We know both of our adoptions were very fast, and are pretty unusual in that respect. We personally know of plenty of couples that have waited more than a year before they finally got the contact that led to their son or daughter being born. Some of our friends are still waiting. Some of our good fortune was luck—being in the right place at the right time, and some of it was personality—the ability to be comfortable talking to strangers, and find common ground with people, that helped us make connections with the women who birthed our children. We believe that if it’s meant to be, there isn’t much you can do to derail it, and if it isn’t mean to be, then there isn’t much you can do to change the situation and make it happen. After all our years of infertility and losses, it’s hard to believe that we finally have the family we’d been dreaming about for so long! We truly believe that we got the children we were meant to have—they just had to come through another woman’s uterus to get here.

Robert and Jamie Clark

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