“I can’t believe we are parents to this endless bundle of love and kindness… he is so wonderful,” Lisa beams.
Lisa and her husband Chaz always hoped to have a child. They lived in a neighborhood with houses filled with young families with children who would play together outside and they longed to be a part of that community and have their own child.
“The process took about two years once we really got started,” Lisa says. Once Catholic Charities Joining Hearts program
(formerly, Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption) told Lisa and Chaz about a 3 ½ year old little boy named Richard, Lisa knew right away that he was their child. She had found her family.
Because of the child's age and level of openness the biological family was hoping for, families interested in this potential placement were asked to write a letter to the grandparent's (who were the child's legal guardians) expressing their level of dedication to building an open adoption. Lisa poured her heart out in the letter, emphasizing how much they would love Richard. She also confirmed Richard would have as much love from as many as possible, because she and Chaz would without hesitation, include his grandparents in his life. The letter deeply touched the grandparent's and they felt an overwhelming sense of peace. A match meeting was arranged and soon after Lisa and Chaz were able to meet Richard and his grandparents for the first time at Arrowhead Mall.
“Richard gravitated to Chaz right away. They both bonded inside a car store,” Lisa remembers. “I can’t even talk about that day. Oh my heart, it was an instant connection. I just kept staring at him,” she weeps.
Richard, who is now almost six years old, is an animated, energetic child who has two parents who provide him endless love, and grandparents who remain actively involved in his life.
“I didn’t just receive one family member,” Lisa says. “I received three. They’re coming over for Easter!”
It wasn’t an easy road to travel in order for Lisa and Chaz to find their family. There were mountains of obstacles and a flood of emotions to manage before they knew Richard would be joining their family, as well as after.
“When you are longing for something for so long, you want to savor the moment,” Lisa says.
Lisa and Chaz agree the biggest challenge is being patient with the process. The anticipation of waiting for your child and the uncertainty if it will happen can be consuming, but Lisa advises prospective adoptive parents to “Trust in the process. Man, it can be hard, but the payoff is more than worth it.”
“We just feel so lucky,” Lisa says.