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Meant to Be: Adoptive parents never stop learning

When many people imagine preparing to bring a baby home, they envision nine months of room painting, nesting, baby showers, and supply runs that will almost certainly culminate in welcoming a newborn person to the family. This was not the case for Laura and Jerome Roach when they brought their first child home.  

After more than a year of applications, meetings, trainings, and failed prospective matches, they still didn’t know when their time would come, how old their child would be, whether it would be a boy or a girl, or where they would meet it. When Jerome received the phone call informing him that they could adopt a week-old baby boy in Texas just a little before Thanksgiving, they had very little in the way of baby supplies.

Laura remembers their inventory: A pack-and-play, a bassinet, some newborn onesies, receiving blankets, pacifiers. They had one small package of newborn diapers and a package of wipes. They picked up more essentials after landing in Texas, including a car seat, on their way to meet Jack for the first time.

He was a good flyer and a snuggler, and when they returned home, he was a mobile baby, going everywhere with Laura. “I would say we bonded quite easily,” she said. “He’s a pretty special little boy.”

Three and a half years later, if you ask Jack where he was born, he’ll tell you “I was born in mommy’s heart,” before he returns to his toy airplanes, squeaking and babbling like a happy toddler does.

He wears a Seahawks hoodie, but if you ask him who his favorite football team is you can’t be quite sure whether he will claim them or the Packers. Laura and Jerome are excited to see which he settles into as he gets older.  The trio enjoys weekend overnight trips, swimming, and checking out local parks and zoos.

The adoption was finalized six months after the Roaches flew to Texas to get Jack, after five home visits.

Jack’s birth parents had terminated their parental rights before Laura and Jerome flew down to pick him up, so they were fairly certain the process would go smoothly.

Laura and Jerome consider themselves “beyond blessed” to have adopted Jack. “We are forever grateful for Jacks birth parents and their decision to make an adoption plan,” Laura said.

Now, the Roaches are in the process of adopting a second child. They have completed the required home visits, crafted family scrapbooks, and taken adoption training courses, and are waiting for their next baby to join the family and make Jack a big brother. Although Laura and Jerome feel a little more prepared – mentally and in inventory – for their second child than they did with Jack, they know that every adoption story is different, and things might not go as expected.

“It’s hard with the ups and downs, but ultimately the baby you get is the baby that was meant for you,” Laura said.

Laura and Jerome are adopting through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Their profile is viewable online at https://bit.ly/2PYey1U.  More information about adoption is available at www.lsswis.org.


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