- December 18, 2013
Post submitted by Mignon Moore and Elaine DjOne
Elaine and I have always had children in our lives—nieces, nephews, friends’ kids—but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that we decided we wanted to build a family of our own. Since then, our lives have changed in somany beautiful ways.
We came to the realization that we wanted to raise a child after we moved to California in 2006. I tried IVF and other fertility treatments, but they didn’t work for me. Finally a friend referred us to the organization that helped make our dream a reality: the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency.
We knew right away SCFFAA was a perfect match for us. They’re very LGBT-friendly—in fact, the agency is an HRC recognized Leader in working with LGBT families and about half the adoptive parents they work with are LGBT couples or single parents. The journey they led us on has been eye-opening, challenging, and so fulfilling.
When we started the adoption process a few years ago, we could not have imagined the size and strength of the community of LGBT adoptive parents. We’ve been able to form an amazing support network just by engaging that community. Even some couples and their children who we’d known for years, but who we’d had no idea were adoptive families, came to us with advice and support.
There are so many wonderful people who want to adopt but don’t have the tools or the knowledge. They might be nervous that as LGBT people they’ll never be chosen. They might worry that adoption isn’t right for them—that the children may have significant health or physical challenges. But we haven’t found that to be the case at all. People have in their mind this idea of a perfect birth, the perfect child, and I think they see adoption as something that’s different from this perfect life. But our daughter Joi Amber is perfect to us. We wouldn’t change a thing.
The adoption process made us see how wonderful it is to give a child the change to have a permanent family, but the child is also giving you a chance to give love. It really is a gift.
So to all people, LGBT and otherwise, who want to build a family: be patient. Just as in pregnancy, there are highs and lows, but children really do change your life in amazing ways.
I know it’s all been worth it when I look at our baby Joi and I see her smile, try to do things for herself—she’s so proud of herself when she can do things. Watching her grow, having her in the house, hearing her little noises, seeing her laugh—even the crying! We love it all. The warmth and energy that she’s brought to us has been so wonderful.
Recently we’ve partnered with Raise a Child US to raise awareness for LGBT adopting. We’ve been talking to LGBT people—predominately people of color—who are interested in adoption but don’t know where to turn, and connecting them to resources. The community is out there for everyone—and so is the child that’s perfect for you! Just ask us!
Since 2007, HRC’s All Children –All Families project has helped to build the bridge between the children awaiting forever families, the child welfare agencies serving these children, and the LGBT adults who are eager to open their hearts and homes to them. To access more resources--like frequently asked questions about the adoption process, tips for finding LGBT-friendly agencies, and relevant adoption laws--visit www.hrc.org/issues/adoption. Stay tuned to the HRC blog for more from the National Adoption Month celebration!