The Backstory

If it’s any indication of how nuts things have been over here, Teddy is now six months old, and I’ve yet to introduce him on the blog!

If you followed along with our story on social media, we were initially matched with another expectant mother in March. You can read the full story in this blog post– the long and short of it was, things fell through, and we were crushed. We knew it was always a possibility- with any sort of pre-birth match, there’s always the potential expectant parents may change their mind.

And let me be clear- we support that. I would never, ever want a mother or father to place their child for adoption if they’re able and wanting to parent. So while it was hard and sad for us, we also *always* knew that could happen. And we hope and pray for the best for that sweet baby and their mama ❤️.

We got the call about the fall-through in late April, and asked that our agency take our names off the list of “waiting families” so we could take some time to process, and, honestly? We needed to grieve the loss of what could have been.

We closed the door to the nursery we’d prepared, placed the still-packed packing cubes of baby clothes & necessities back in the armoire, and spent a lot of time outside on walks as a family, looking for small moments of joy.

The Call

Twelve days after the fall-through, we told our agency “ok- you can go ahead and put us back on the list” thinking it’d be a few months before we heard anything again.

Not quite 🙂

Three days later, on Mother’s Day, we got another call.

We were in the car- Matt was driving me into DC to catch a train up to Connecticut for my mastermind’s twice-yearly retreat. His phone rang, we saw our social worker’s name on the ID, and we both looked at each other- there was only one reason I could think of that she’d be calling us on a Sunday, on Mother’s Day.

We picked up, and she said something like “hey guys- I know you probably weren’t expecting to hear from me so soon but… we have another placement- it’s a baby boy, he was born yesterday…and you’ve been chosen.”

Matt and I were speechless- three days after we went live on the wait list again? Completely unexpected.

She continued: “The only thing is, you’ll need to be in West Palm Beach tomorrow. Is that possible?” She told us to take a minute to talk, and give her a call back ASAP because of how quickly things would need to move.

We took approximately three seconds to confer, called her back, and gave a resounding YES!

I was in complete shock. Both of us were. I worried about whether things would fall through again, since the last one was only two weeks before this, and this felt like complete whiplash. GOOD whiplash. But still, it takes a second for your head and heart to adjust to such an extreme turn of events.

We drove to the train station and walked to the counter to cancel my ticket, and then got back in the car and headed home. Praise God I hadn’t had the heart to unpack those cubes of baby clothes- I threw those into our suitcases along with all the newborn essentials and clothes for the rest of us, while Matt hurried to book flights for the next morning.

I really, really didn’t want to break our family’s hearts again. So Matt and I decided not to tell any family members other than my Dad (who was driving us to the airport the next day) that we’d been matched again, just in case things didn’t work out.

We’d talked with our dear friend and newborn photographer, Emily Gerald, about coming with us for the last match, and so I texted her at 9 or 10pm that night to let her know we’d been matched and that we were bummed it wouldn’t work out to bring her with us. But then Emily, being the INCREDIBLE HUMAN that she is, managed to find childcare and flights in a matter of an hour, and she ended up meeting us at Dulles bright and early the next day! She documented the journey, Felix meeting Teddy, and our first couple of hours as a family of four!

The Day Itself

Monday morning was a mix of excitement and nerves and frustration- we were pulled off our plane for a mechanical issue, and our flight ended up being delayed by two hours. Which, when you’re up against the clock and NEED to get to the hospital by a certain hour, can be pretty dang stressful. We were in constant communication with our social worker, who was at the hospital with Teddy and his birth mama.

All of these photos (except in the hospital room, more on that below) are from Emily- she is SUCH a gift to our family, and to me as a friend!

Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography

We finally landed in West Palm Beach and booked it straight to the hospital (a 45 min drive), and on the way received a text from our social worker that Teddy’s birth mama wanted to meet us!! That wasn’t something we’d expected, we were anticipating arriving after she’d been discharged, but she was so gracious to wait for us. What a GIFT!

A few minutes later, we got another text- she had officially signed placement paperwork.

In the state of Florida, once consent paperwork is signed (which doesn’t happen until at least 48 hours after birth), it’s binding, which meant… that Teddy was our son.

It was so surreal- we’d gone from still-grieving to second-time parents in the span of just over a day.

Pulling into the parking lot at the hospital, it was another moment to praise God- this time, for Emily being there. Only two visitors at a time were allowed in, so Emily graciously agreed to wait with Felix so Matt and I could go in together to meet Teddy and his birth mama, and to sign paperwork.

We walked into the hospital 28 hours after the call came in.

Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald PhotographyTeddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography

We only had a few minutes together with Teddy, his birth mama, and her mother, but we’re so grateful we were able to meet her and hug her, to tell her we love her face to face, before she went home. Those few minutes with her meant the world to us, and I love telling Teddy about how kind his birth mama is. She didn’t have to wait for us, she didn’t have to let us have a few photos of her, she didn’t have to be there when we met her sweet boy. But she did and she was, and we’re so thankful.

And there that sweet boy was- laying in a hospital bassinet, a dark cap of hair, squishy cheeks, and the most beautiful chocolate-brown eyes I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe this precious son was ours, that his birth mother placed him with us, trusted us with his life.

Teddy's adoption story | Abby Grace Photography

We were then taken to the room where Teddy had been being cared for by his nurses to sign placement paperwork with our agency rep… and Matt and I were both shocked to see the name “Theo” on the board. I asked why that was up there, thinking maybe the previous occupant’s name was Theo?

But they said no- this was the name one of the nurses had chosen to call our Teddy while they waited for us to arrive, because it means “gift from God.” They had no idea we were planning to name him Theodore. Another glimpse of God’s sweet provision and grace!

Teddy's adoption story | Abby Grace PhotographyTeddy's adoption story | Abby Grace Photography Teddy's adoption story | Abby Grace Photography Teddy's adoption story | Abby Grace Photography

We spent about an hour signing paperwork, got the standard rundown from the head nurse, changed and fed Teddy… and then it was time to be discharged. (Fun fact, they have adoptive mamas ride out in wheelchairs, too!)

Teddy's adoption story | Abby Grace Photography

I texted Emily to let her know we were on our way down so she come in with Felix, and we got to introduce him to his new baby brother in the not-so-photogenic lobby of the hospital, where all Felix wanted to do was play with cars :). And then we loaded back into our rental car and drove to our Airbnb for the night.

Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography

And then we proceeded to call our family members on FaceTime and surprise them with news of the newest Springmann. That was the sweetest set of calls I’ve ever made- seeing my brother tear up as soon as he saw Teddy in my arms was a core memory, for sure.

Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography Teddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald PhotographyTeddy's adoption story | Emily Gerald Photography

We were anticipating being in Florida for up to two weeks while we waited for ICPC paperwork to clear, so we only spent one night in West Palm beach- we drove up to Orlando the next day where we’d have more options for activities for Felix while we were away from home and our usual resources. (Side note- road tripping with a three-day-old and a toddler is not for the faint of heart)

But then our packet of paperwork cleared two days after it’d been submitted to the state, and we were able to travel home on Saturday! I’ve never been so glad to pay last-minute pricing for flights, and everyone at United was so kind and accommodating. We arrived home that evening, and we were finally able to start settling in after a week in Airbnbs.

 


 

Every adoption is different- we’re often asked whether we have an open adoption with Teddy’s birth mother like we do with Felix’s. Both adoptions are open- we have more direct contact with Felix’s birth mama, and we’re hoping to have more with Teddy’s birth family as time wears on. We’re open to whatever the Lord calls us to, and our hope is that Teddy knows he’s always free to ask questions, and that if we have answers, we’ll never withhold them.

The adoption process changes you. It did with Felix’s story, and again with Teddy’s. The tough valleys we’ve walked through have made me softer, more aware of others’ point of views, slower to make assumptions, slower to form opinions, especially when I don’t have all the information.

As we tell our boys the story of how they came to be part of our family, as they grow up with photos of the mamas who gave them birth in each of their rooms, I know that I can’t control how they feel. But I hope they always know this is a safe space, and that their birth families and their stories are cherished and honored here.

To Teddy’s first mama, we love you. More than you could ever know.

Teddy’s birth | an adoption story

November 15, 2022

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ohhhh I am crying. And the nurse called him Theo!?!! GOD IS SO GOOD.

  2. […] *Updated- Teddy’s adoption story here!* […]

  3. Dad says:

    I cried as I read this. I had to hide it (cuz I was at work) but the sorrow of the loss was overcome by the joy and here I am blubbering again. Bless you for sharing this.

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