One of the questions I most often receive after sharing my story is, “So what made you pursue adopting a toddler?” And I usually say something like, “Well, we didn’t.”
In 2016, my husband Charlie and I decided we were ready to begin the adoption process. Like so many of you, we did our research and carefully selected the route we would take. We decided to partner with Quiver Full Adoptions. We were open to adopting a child under age 3, but we assumed it would be an infant because that is most common in domestic, private adoption.
After we were an active family for about 7 months, we heard about an “African American baby girl, age 1”, and we said yes.
There were several situations that we had so much more information about, and even made sense on paper, but we just knew they were not for us and had to say no. Similarly, we said yes to being presented to expectant moms and were not chosen. When I heard about an “African American baby girl, age 1” I felt an immediate yes. I texted my husband Charlie and he said the same. I think he actually said “sure”, which is so perfect if you know him!
We said yes to her. We said yes to adopting a toddler, because we knew we needed to say yes to her. And what a good yes it was!
We later learned that she was so much more than an “African American baby girl, age 1”. She was a 17 month old, beautiful, smart, milk-loving, hilarious, chatterbox of a toddler. She loves animals, she loves pink, she is ridiculously agile, she loves reading books, she has to give me exactly 5 kisses before she can go to sleep, and I have to do the same for her. She is Kaylee, and I am so glad we said yes to her.
Adopting a toddler is hard, fun, exhausting, filling, invigorating, lovely, messy, and every whirlwind of emotion you can think of. And I would 110% do it all over again.
After Lee joined our family, I was itching to find someone who had been in my shoes. It was hard! I didn’t know who to go to with all of my questions, and google was less than helpful. After I felt like my head was above water and I was ready to take on new adventures, I decided to launch @toddleradoption on Instagram in effort to create a community for people just like me. We all know Mommin’ ain’t easy is more than just a phrase. And mommin’ a toddler who has just joined a new family is definitely not easy!
If you are presented a situation to adopt a toddler and are intimidated to say yes, don’t be! It is hard, but hard things aren’t bad things. We can do hard things!
You can follow Amy Bagwell on Instagram at @toddleradoption