Every year, we get excited for November because it’s National Adoption Month — a month devoted to advocating for children who are waiting for permanent, loving families, and raising awareness about the continuing need for and issues surrounding adoption!
But it’s not just agencies and organizations that raise awareness during this special time of year. Any person impacted by adoption has a story to share, and, no matter their role, every voice and perspective is valuable.
Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to share their stories! Let us take you on a journey through the complexities and joys of building a family through adoption. This week, we had the joyous opportunity to interview Katie Sullivan. Her and her husband, Brenden, have been married for five and a half years and have one adopted child, named Isaac! Here’s a deeper look into their adoption story.
PB: How did you decide to adopt?
KS: Adoption was always something I was open to. But really, I started thinking about it when I experienced fertility issues and miscarriages. Brenden and I were faced with this decision that the only way we could naturally have children is through IVF. But our meeting with the IVF specialist was extremely off-putting, scary, and clinical. Soon after, we reached out to Adoption Choices. Once we met Brenda, our minds were made up!
PB: How long ago did you adopt?
KS: Time has flown by! We adopted Isaac three and a half years ago. He was born in April of 2016. Sometimes, I look back at his baby pictures and ooh and ahh to myself.
PB: What type of adoption did you choose?
KS: We have an open adoption! We see Isaac’s birth mom and her family once a year and keep in touch through text messages and phone calls.
PB: How has that worked out?
KS: Our open adoption is full of only benefits! Isaac’s birth mom is my hero. She’s a lovely young woman. I feel really blessed that I get to be in her life and know her story.
PB: Have you ever wished you’d chosen differently?
KS: No. No! When I tell people about our adoption story, I usually start by saying everything came together perfectly. It’s always felt extremely right and natural.
PB: What was the highlight of your adoption experience?
KS: There’s no feeling that tops the birth experience. It’s every intense feeling that anyone has when a baby is born. It’s dramatic and scary and exciting in all the right ways. But, also, you have this added dynamic of doing this with someone else. Really, any intense human experience is worth living.
Supporting Isaac’s birth mother was beautiful. We actually hadn’t met each other in-person until that moment. When she got close to delivering Isaac, Brenden and I were able to enter the birthing room. We even cut the umbilical cord! It was a moment we’ll treasure forever.
PB: What was the biggest challenge?
KS: We didn’t really have a lot of challenges. Challenges that we know other people have faced on their adoption journey, anyways. Most everything felt natural. All that training and paperwork? That was nothing akin to hardship for us.
If one thing stands out as being difficult, it was creating our adoption profile book. I just remember asking myself, “How are we supposed to represent ourselves and tell our story through a book?” It had to have been over 100 hours that I spent on it. I was overthinking everything to the highest degree, until, one day, Brenda looked me in the eyes and said, “You never know what’s going to attract a birth mother. You just have to be yourself.” She was right! Isaac’s birth mother ended up choosing us because we looked easy-going and fun. I never could have predicted that.
PB: What would you have done differently?
KS: If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to enjoy the journey more. I’d say, “Take a trip! Go have fun! Money may be tight, but it’s important to have those experiences. Life is going to get busy later.”
Another thing I wish I’d done differently, was seek support. I was worried about jinxing Isaac’s adoption. I didn’t talk much about it when we matched, and I didn’t want to buy baby stuff. With my miscarriages, I had this fear that the adoption wouldn’t come to fruition. Looking back, if I had opened up, I think I could have benefited from my friends’ support.
PB: Would you adopt again?
KS: We don’t plan on it! Only because everything feels perfect as is right now. But that’s not to say anything about adoption! If we felt like more kids were in our future, we would wholeheartedly go down that road again.
PB: How has adoption impacted your life?
KS: Adoption is road-changing. I went from being one person to another. It’s about as big of an identity change as you can get! Isaac has connected me to a community that I didn’t have access to before. Being a mom, I know all my little boy’s school friends and their moms. You just stop and connect with other people in an entirely different way because you’re connecting your child to the world.
Another thing is that Isaac’s adoption was transracial, which has given Brenden and me access to his heritage and community in new ways. We feel a kinship that we didn’t have before. Adoption truly opens so many doors.
PB: Do you have any advice for other adoptive parents who are looking to adopt?
KS: A lot of the advice I give is this: stay relaxed! You’ve done what you need to do. Your baby is out there, and it’s going to happen. Also, to all the single mothers out there, know that you’re not alone. You have a community backing you!
PB: Do you have anything else to add?
KS: Adoption is a different way to become a parent. But the rest of it, especially the love, is all the same.
It’s fitting that this year’s National Adoption Month focuses on why family matters. As you can tell, family is the epitome of happiness for Katie and Brenden Sullivan. Without Isaac, their lives wouldn’t be the same. Adoption was a gift for the Sullivan family. It allowed them the opportunity to make their family whole.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This year, she’s officially joining Adoption Choices Inc. as a Content Writer. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.
When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.