Ever since Sara was a little girl, she knew she wanted to have a child by adoption. In March 2020, she would realize this dream and hold her baby girl for the very first time. Sara reflects thinking, ‘this is the most beautiful baby girl I have ever laid eyes on!’ She knew she would spend the rest of her life wondering how she was lucky enough to receive such a miracle.

The journey to meeting their daughter wasn’t terribly long, but it was a “rollercoaster of feeling hopeful and heartbroken.” Sara remembers thinking ‘there is just no way this is going to work out.’ Sara and her husband, Justin, began their home study paperwork in January 2019 and they were approved in May 2019. They met their daughter in March 2020 and finalized their adoption 5 months later. Though their love for their new daughter was instant and unconditional, finally the official paperwork matched their hearts.

Of course, this process was full of fear and anxiety. Sara reflects,

“There was always the fear that maybe this wouldn’t work out and we would not be a family chosen by an expectant mother. It almost seemed like too big of an ask to think someone would choose us to be their child’s family. Like most things in life, there was no guarantee. We had to have faith that our family would be the answer that someone was looking for.”

Our director, Sara Baker, was the first person at Courageous Hearts Adoptions to speak with Sara and Justin. She walked with them during their journey from filling out the paperwork to meeting them at the hospital for the birth of their daughter. According to Sara, “She was open and honest when we had questions prior to our finalization, and is someone we keep in touch with to share photos and milestones to be shared with our daughter’s birth mom. We could not have asked for a better experience with an adoption agency, and would highly recommend Courageous Hearts to a family looking to adopt.”

To those hoping to adopt, Sara suggests they remain truthful and transparent about who you are, what is important to you as a family, and what your life is like.

“Somewhere a future birth mother and/or father are making an unfathomably courageous decision and they are basing it on the information you are providing about who you are and what child’s life would look like as part of your family.”

For their daughter, Sara and Justin want her to grow up happy and healthy. “We hope she knows her potential is limitless and she can be anything she sets her mind to be. We hope she knows how deeply she is loved. Most of all, for her I hope she grows up feeling confident in her story and herself. She is such a miracle, and the decision made by her birth mother was such a selfless and loving decision. Her story is hers to tell as she gets older, but we hope she can always find the beauty in it.”

This year is Sara, Justin, and both their children’s first “non-COVID” Christmas together. This year they are looking forward to getting to celebrate with family and friends. Sara reflects:

“For years we had the feeling that someone was missing from our family, not that this has kept us from feeling joy and gratitude during the holiday season, but it just felt less complete. As the Christmas song so beautifully captures… a baby changes everything. Our daughter was born in March 2020, so I always think back on what was in my heart this time of year before she was born.”

“I also can’t think about that time without wondering what her birth mom was thinking and hoping just a few months before her due date. I always pray that she finds peace in her decision and that we are what she hoped for in her daughter’s life.”

“Even though our daughter is only one and a half years old, it has been so fun to see her experience Christmas. Little traditions like matching Christmas pajamas and watching our first Christmas movie the day after Thanksgiving; decorating the house and listening to Christmas music; making Christmas cookies (or in the case of our daughter, mainly licking icing off cookies)… Everything seems a bit more magical watching it through the eyes of your child.”

For the new year, Sara looks forward to hopefully being about to travel more. This is something they have had to put on hold due to COVID-19 but is something they enjoy doing as a family. Over the past year, they were able to make some trips within driving distance, but they miss the sense of adventure traveling brings. For Sara, she looks forward to their daughter’s first flight, and to showing her a little bit more of the big world she lives in.