Gregg and Jana soldiered through infertility treatments for six years. Then Jana helped convince Gregg that adoption was their best hope to have children.
In 2012 the Prior Lake couple signed up for infant adoption with the Lutheran Social Service (LSS) before it merged with the Children’s Home Society. They entered LSS in March, had their home study approved by LSS in July, and in 2013 had their four-page profile shown to expectant mothers in the LSS Family Profile Book. LSS procedure was to counsel pregnant women and then let them select potential adoptive parents from the profile book.
Finally, in mid-2016, an expectant mother selected Gregg and Jana. Around this time, Jana had a panic attack from the stress of the adoption process.
At their meeting with the expectant mother, they knew that the child she was carrying had a heart condition. They were accepting because they viewed the heart condition as “fixable.”
In August 2016, the child was born prematurely and needed heart surgery. The small infant had to gain weight before it could have surgery. The birth mother let Gregg and Jana have plenty of time cuddling the child. Unfortunately, before the child could have surgery, it died in late December. In January 2017, the birth mother and Gregg and Jana held a funeral for the baby.
Two days later, a friend phoned to tell the couple about a baby that was to be born in another state.
In another two days, the baby was born. After talking on the phone with the birth mother and her parents, Gregg and Jana met in late January with the grandmother and the baby. They found a lawyer who specialized in adoption and sent the necessary documents to the Minnesota capital of St. Paul. LSS also provided some support with home study documents. The couple got back home in early February, and the adoption was finalized in June.
The adoption was not “closed.” This “open” adoption has meant that Gregg, Jana, and their adopted son are friendly with the birth mother and do socialize with each other.
The couple estimates their total adoption cost at something over $20,000.
Why does this couple that had such a difficult and prolonged adoption experience so heartily endorse adoption? Jana feels that their tough experience was “rare.” Jana says, “Adoption is a blessing.” Their deep faith supported them. After the death of the first baby, they had a strong conviction that “there was no way that God would put us through another bad situation.”
The couple bonded with each baby very quickly. Now they tell their son that the birth mother is his “first family” and they are his “forever family.”
They advise potential adoptive parents to avoid myths and scams by going to a reputable agency.
Clearly, the best advertisement for adoption is the smiles on their faces in family photographs.
Reporter’s note: My Eden Prairie Local News colleague Amy Nylander introduced me to the adoptive couple so that I could tell their story.
Editor’s note: The adoptive couple mentioned in this article has not been identified by their last name to protect their privacy.
More to read: Learn about the costs and services of adoption agencies like the Children’s Home Society of Minnesota and the legal considerations from two adoption lawyers.
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