Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by adoptive father, Will Collyer. In this post he writes to his daughter, he expresses the moments leading up to being connected with her and the joy of celebrating his first Father’s Day.
Last Father’s Day we didn’t know you existed, but you did. Your birthmom didn’t know we were out here waiting, but we were.
Last year at this time our profile had been live for roughly six weeks. Friends and family would excitedly check in with us, almost daily: “Have you heard anything? How’s the adoption going?” Acquaintances we had maybe met once at a party and then friended on Facebook would comment on our pictures and “Adoption Letter”, sharing their excitement and congrats. But we still didn’t know you existed.
We were confident we had done everything to share as much as we could of ourselves in those four carefully, painstakingly crafted pages. We had faith that we had “opened the door,” and the universe, angels, and IAC, would connect the dots which were beyond our control. So in the meantime, we were resolved to keep living life as we knew it. Keep planning travel. Keep filling our days, weeks, and future calendars with commitments, activities, and work. But what if we got a call and had to fly across the country? Well, then we’d change our plans and do what we needed to do. But it was better for us, emotionally and spiritually, to double down on what filled our lives already and let go of the “what-ifs” until they happened.
We had a stock answer for all those friends and family who wanted to know what was going on with our adoption. One that had quickly become scripted through repetition: “Well, we’ve opened the door, and we may hear from a birthmom three years from now… or it could be three months… or it could be tomorrow.”
Towards the middle of last July, maybe a month after that non-eventful Father’s Day of 2015, an old high school friend of Colin’s was in town for business. He was at our house for dinner, and of course he was interested in hearing our adoption story. After explaining how IAC and open adoption work, we ended with the same scripted conclusion: “So, we’ve opened the door, and we may hear from a birthmom three years from now… or it could be three months… or it could be tomorrow.”
The next day we were up early to head to the airport for a flight to Chicago, where we were going to spend a few days with Colin’s family. We’d fed the dogs, showered, and dressed. I picked up my phone to call an Uber, and there in my email was a message with the subject “Adoption.” I dropped my bags, shaking, went to the living room where Colin was ready to go, and said, “Hon, we’ve got a contact.”
Unbelievably, the last line of our stock explanation – “could be tomorrow” – had come true!
So much has happened since then. We’ve become so close with your wonderful birthmother. We were with her at the first ultrasound when we found out together that you are a girl. And we met you the very second you took your first breath of air and let out your first beautiful scream.
Less than a year after that first contact, here you are, the most beautiful angel in the world. And we’re your Daddy and Papa, and you’re our baby girl. And yesterday, our first Father’s Day, and your 5-month birthday, we got to cuddle you and watch you roll gleefully from your back to your stomach (and then not-so-gleefully try to push yourself back onto your back, which we helped you with after several unsuccessful tries), and then we got to take you swimming at our friend Jim and Kimi’s house, because oh-my-gosh what a heat wave we’re having right now! And at the end of the day, we soothed you when you woke up at midnight with your gums aching from teething.
We’re so grateful to your incredible birthmother, and to all the angels (both here on earth and up in the sky) that connected us to her and to you.
Last Father’s Day we could never have imagined having this much love in our lives. And it’s honestly still hard to fully believe. But we do.