Pictured from the Adoption Guild December 2019 Gathering (L to R): HFS staff Linda Shirley, parents Susan and Leroy, brother Devon, baby Dane, and HFS Board members Marianne Wright, Deno Kidde and Maura Lemon.
Leroy and Susan have always known that they wanted to adopt a child. Many of their friends have gone through the adoption process whether through the county, through lawyers, or through nonprofits and other organizations. They both tried working with the county and another birth parenting agency but to no avail. Susan soon came across HFS by hearing stories of how the organization nurtures the relationship between adoptive parents and birth parents.
They began working with HFS’ social worker Linda Shirley. “Adoption is a long process, a long road. Working with HFS was intimidating at first, but Linda was a great partner. Her warmth and her light approach made us feel at ease, compared to other places we tried,” says Susan. Leroy and Susan remembered vividly the day they received a call about a Filipino mother who gave birth to a baby boy. Julie took us to the delivery room and introduced us to baby Dane. “It was like an out of body experience,” says Leroy. They couldn’t believe how smoothly everything went. Susan couldn’t believe it as well. “We’ve been through this before, but it didn’t work out. We kept thinking that the phone was going to ring, that it wasn’t going to work. No one asked us to bring him back. But instead, Dane looked into my eyes with the expression ‘you’re finally here… I’ve been waiting for you.’ It was incredible.”
Susan and Leroy advise adoptive parents to get ready for the long process. They were lucky that everything worked perfectly for them. Susan shared that “God makes every family different in many ways.” If there’s something in your heart, you have everything to gain.”