Ben and Becky Eby married in 2007. Two years later, the couple was ready to start their family. Ben and Becky conceived . . . and lost six pregnancies. With no clear answers as to why they could not carry to term, they began thinking about other options for building their family. Ben and Becky contacted the Coalition to get some information about getting started. Following, Becky shares more of their story:
“We decided to look more into adoption,” Becky said. “Over the years, we had discussed this route, but it took several years for the both of us to be on the same page and agree that adoption was the right path for us.
“We didn’t know many people who had adopted, especially not in Wisconsin. So our first step was calling an agency and setting up a meeting. From there, we decided to meet with two more agencies to decide which one was the best fit. We decided that we’d work with an agency, but also try to find a match on our own through an independent adoption. Everything I read online said that matches came from such
a variety of places . . . family friends, random acquaintances, or just being in the right place at the right time. (I happen to believe this is the work of a mighty God!)
“So, as we were working on our home study to officially become adoption-ready, we told everyone our plans to adopt. I blogged about it. I shared it on my business page for Facebook. We started a Facebook page and website specifically for our adoption journey, printed little business cards with our website address, and asked
friends and family members to pass them out. Sharing our story, including our losses, was one of the hardest things I have ever done. (And I made it through boot camp and military deployment. I have done hard things!)
“Ultimately, we ended up meeting our son’s birth mom through an acquaintance on a Facebook group. We did have a failed match before that, and the expectant mother there had seen one of our business cards on a community bulletin board. She also had seen our website previously when a friend shared it with her. So I don’t think any one “seed” we planted was responsible for us finding our match. Instead, it was a team of family and friends rooting for us, praying for us, and sharing our story. We did have a profile book at our agency, but it did not result in any matches.
“I did join a few adoption groups on Facebook that were really supportive. It was nice to hear that we weren’t alone in our frustration, sadness to still be waiting, etc. I wasn’t able to find a Wisconsin-specific group though, so I started one! It’s still a small group, under 150 people, but it’s very supportive and a huge resource on discussing state-specific things. Plus, it’s nice to know local families that have similar dynamics to ours!
“One thing I’m really happy we did was meet with three-four agencies, review policies from each, and ask a ton of questions before committing to one. Each agency has such different policies and the social workers are obviously so different! We wanted a social worker who we were comfortable with, so that played a big part in our decision.”
Becky and Ben have kept in touch with their son’s birth mom, Izzy. They all cherish the open relationship, learning together along the way.
“Open adoption is beautiful, but there is no guidebook! Every birth parent, every adoptive parent . . . we’re all so different. So there is a lot of getting to know each other, navigating a difficult, emotional situation, especially at first, while everything is so new. For us and Izzy, communicating frequently is the best thing we’ve done. We try to build a relationship based on our son and on getting to know her, as an important person in our life.
“So, for our son’s first birthday, my husband had to work, so Izzy and I took the baby to the zoo together! [Ben and I] also surprised her at work with a card and gift before Mother’s Day. Most days I try to send her a Snapchat photo or video (or 10 of them!), because I know how much she values contact from us.
“At first, it was scary to share so much and we worried that it would hurt her to see him with us, but she has told me several times that she loves seeing him happy and loved by our entire family. We also were worried that it might be tough to set stronger boundaries later if there were any issues early on, but she has been so respectful of us as his mom and dad. Likewise, we respect her importance as our son’s first mother, and are so thankful for her choosing us to be his parents.
“We’ve known each other for a year and a half now, and it gets a little more comfortable, a little easier, every month. I can’t wait to see what our relationship looks like in 10 years!”