Coaching & Support Before, During, and After Adoption

Twenty-five years ago, we received the blessing of a lifetime. After fourteen years of marriage, we adopted our son; two years later, we adopted our daughter. Those days are etched in my mind’s eye. The flood of emotions still pulls at my heartstrings. I have come to think of my life as Before and After their arrival.

I remember looking into their eyes as I cradled them in my arms and thinking: there is no joy equal to the simple pleasure of a baby snuggled tight, and with infinite trust, falling asleep in the crook of my neck. I intentionally locked that image in my memory, savoring the bliss of it, stockpiling the emotion against the inevitable ‘rainy days’ I knew would come.

In the quarter century that has elapsed, I have returned to that memory repeatedly, sometimes for the pure pleasure that it could bring, sometimes for the reminder that ‘once upon a time,’ things were calm and ordered.

Parenting brought soul-deep joy and purpose and was a challenge that required all of my resources and abilities. Adoptive parenting added factors that made the process a bit more complicated.

From this quarter century perspective, I recognize that love has been the compass while commitment provided the roadbed we traveled as a family. When worry, frustration and discouragement diverted us, these (love and commitment) sustained us through the parenting journey.

As a family, we experienced many ‘side trips’—some were fun, some were difficult and required Roadside Assistance. Reaching out to others was key but finding adoption savvy resources was challenging. Often we had to settle for what was available. I am thrilled to be a part of GIFT Family Services so I can utilize my school of hard knocks learning along with my coach training to assist families from a first-hand perspective.

I am a wife, a mom and an adoption coach. How lucky can one person be?

Gayle Swift