posted in Pregnancy
Adoption is emotional and complicated, selfless and humbling, and all of that and more is captured in the video you are about to see.
The 22-minute documentary was created by The Archibald Project, an orphan care advocacy nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. It follows a birth mother and an adoptive couple as they move through the days immediately following the baby’s birth. Texas, like many states, has a 48-hour waiting period before a child can be legally placed for adoption. Those hours are wrought with tension and anxiety, but also filled with hope and gratitude.
The video opens at the hospital, where Ally and Ryan are spending their first moments with the baby they hope to call their son. Ally holds the boy, who they plan to call Everett, against her chest, his tiny fingers wrapped around hers.
“We just feel honored, and in the same way that we choose this child we feel like she’s chosen us, and that is incredible,” Ally says of Dominique, the birth mother. “He is still hers right now…how can we think of her, how can we care for her and put her needs before ours? If our only time with him is here in the hospital, these 48 hours, we want to know that we loved him as faithfully and as best as we could for the time that we had with him.”
Watch the video:
They bring Everett back to Dominique’s room. She is young and scared, but also confident that she is making the right decision in placing her baby up for adoption. She admits that at first she wasn’t sure. “I can’t give my baby to somebody else, that sounds crazy,” she recalls thinking. She did initially consider terminating the pregnancy, but changed her mind.
“At that time I was thinking, ‘It’s not even a big deal, I’ll never think about this again.’ And I actually did talk to my mom, who’s had an abortion and she said, ‘I think about that baby every day.’ And she’s had five kids.”
Going through this journey hasn’t been easy, and Dominique cries often as she talks about it. Even so, she seems to trust completely that Ally and Ryan will be wonderful parents to little Everett.
“[They] are giving my baby something that I could never ever give him and… it’s so overwhelming. It’s not even sad, it’s so overwhelming to know that they are doing this for me and for them and for him, and just the love that I feel from them is so crazy,” she says.
That sense of gratitude is a common thread that runs through the entire film, the entire 48 hours. It’s incredible to watch, knowing how heightened the emotions are, knowing what is at stake.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s scary,” admits Ally. “But I think anytime you’re vulnerable and put your heart out there you take risk. But if you look at him, he’s totally worth that risk. So we’re all in.”
When the last minutes on the clock have finally counted down, when the papers have been signed and the adoption confirmed, Ally shares a letter she penned to the woman who gave birth to her new son.
“I can’t even wrap my head around how thoughtful and selfless you have been this entire time. I hope I am like you in all those ways,” it reads. “It’s okay to feel joy and sorrow at the same time. It’s okay to feel love and pain. It’s okay to feel fear and trust the lord. We promise to take care of Everett every day of his life. We promise to pray for you and let him know how incredible, beautiful and kind his birth mother is. With love and thanks and a humble heart.”
This video made me cry, too. It was incredibly moving to watch these people open their hearts not just to baby Everett, but to one another. It opened my eyes to what adoption looks like in real life, to the fact that it is an act that requires so much love from so many people.
Everett’s adoption took place one year ago, and The Archibald Project recently posted this photo from his first birthday party:
All images via The Archibald Project