Real Life Adoption Stories from Adoptive Parents: An Interview with Liz Udall
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 Liz Udall. Her and her husband Ben have been married for 10 years and have three adopted children: Jonathan, Arianna, and Elizabeth. Here’s a deeper look into their adoption story.
An Adoptive Parent’s Story about Adoption
PB: How did you decide to adopt?
LU: Ben and I tried to have kids for 5 years. Adoption was something we were always interested in but thought we couldn’t do. In 2015, though, my mom passed away. On the drive back from her funeral, Ben and I were talking, and we decided that it felt like the right time to try. We were finally ready to start the adoption process. This love of adoption had been growing in our hearts for years, you know? It’s crazy because a month later, I found out I wasn’t able to have children.
PB: How long ago did you adopt?
LU: On October 27, 2016, our son Jonathan was born in Ohio. The twins were born in Nevada on October 6, 2019. Arianna (nickname Ari) was born 1 minute before her sister, Elizabeth (nickname Ellie).
PB: What type of adoption did you choose (open, closed, semi-open)?
LU: With Jonathan, we chose a semi-open adoption. Since then, we’ve transitioned into a fully open adoption! We plan to do the same with the twins! Right now, we’re in a semi-open adoption.
PB: How has that worked out?
LU: With Jonathan’s birth mother, we communicated through letters. We built such a good relationship with her that we decided to open the adoption up more. In June, we visited her and Jonathan’s full sister and half-brother in Ohio. It was a beautiful moment.
PB: Have you ever wished you’d chosen differently?
LU: Ben and I are really happy with the way we did it! It’s been such a natural progression.
PB: What was the highlight of your adoption experience?
LU: What a tough one! I really love the redemption of the situation. We weren’t able to have children, and that realization was painful. But there’s such a beautifulness in that adoption helped mend us – mend our brokenness and pain.
PB: What was the biggest challenge?
LU: The biggest challenge was the waiting and the wondering. There’s so much you can’t control. Once you’re in the matching phase, it’s out of your hands. You get to look at profiles of people, but after that? It’s a lack of control. A waiting game. It’s the unknown that really gets to you.
Particularly, after the twin’s birth, their birth mom had complications. She’s okay now! But during that time, we had to wait for what felt like forever to achieve placement. We were bonding with the twins and just hoping that everything would go as planned. That we would get to love them and raise them. Now, we’re waiting for the adoption to be finalized, which should be in about 6 months.
PB: What would you have done differently?
LU: Nothing really! I feel like it all happened as it was supposed to.
PB: Would you adopt again?
LU: Ben and I have adopted twice now! But I’d be open to it again in the future. Although, I want the twins to be older haha.
PB: How has Adoption impacted your life?
LU: Adoption made me a mother. It’s something I’d been craving and longing for for so long. It felt right. It felt as if this was how it was supposed to happen, how I was supposed to enter motherhood. Our children are our children. Adoption has totally changed our lives, and we feel incredibly blessed by it. I don’t have enough words. It’s been very healing.
PB: Do you have any advice for other adoptive parents who are looking to adopt?
LU: Choose the right agency. It’s key! If a friend asks for my opinion, I tell them to do their research. Choose one that networks out of state. Being open to out of state adoption is important. I’m so thankful we went with Adoption Choices. I’ve seen friends go with other agencies, and they’ve had to wait years and years. I couldn’t be happier with the way things worked out.
Liz Udall’s Adoption Story
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 Liz and Ben Udall. Without their children, the Udall’s lives would be lacking. Adoption allowed them the opportunity to make their family whole again.