November 21, 2011

National Adoption Month: Real Stories

Posted in Adoption at 9:09 pm by Lund

Story by Cat Cutillo

Jenn and Todd Belter tried to have a child for four years before turning to adoption. After spending a year with one agency that didn’t work out, they went to Lund Family Center.

“They were such a good match for us,” says Jenn Belter. “When you’re having one of those hard days, they know how to make you feel better. They’re really reassuring.”

Lund’s Adoption Director, Wanda Audette, prepares clients that adopting an infant can take 1-5 years and in most cases the birth mother will select adoptive parents.

The Belters say waiting to be selected was the hardest part. Jen soothed her mind by slowly getting the baby room together and painting a mural on the wall, trying to give herself a visual reminder that a baby would be coming. She just had to wait for the right one.

“It’s so hard to wait, especially after a really long time. It just feels like it’s too good to be true. You’re not really sure it’s going to happen,” remembers Jenn.

After a year and a half with Lund, the phone call that would change their lives finally came. They had been picked by a birth mother and were given just two days notice before they would meet their baby.

“I just started crying. I was so happy. I couldn’t believe we actually had a baby after 6.5 years,” says Jenn.

Surprisingly, they learned they had a lot in common with the birth mother from the foods they liked to the name they had picked: John.

“The birth mother was calling him ‘Levi John’ and the foster family that had him for the month decided he looked more like a ‘John’ so they’d been called him John,” said Jen. “Which is the name we had picked out.”

Strangely, Levi had also been a consideration for the Belters. They decided his full name would be ‘John Henry Levi Belter.’

“When the birth mother handed John to my wife, that was just amazing at that moment. You can’t explain it,” says Todd.

Now, 6 months later, Todd and Jenn are savoring every minute with John.

“He’s almost growing up too fast,” says Todd. “When he gets up in the morning, when he first sees you, just the smile and noises he makes—it’s amazing.”

“I think a lot of people worry when they adopt if they’re going to love the baby as if they had given birth (to him), and you just do. You love the baby so much it’s unbelievable,” says Jenn. “He was always meant to be ours.”

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