When Heather and Ray Kurut took their first class at The Cradle in the fall of 2011, they had no idea where their adoption journey would take them, or that they would eventually end up taking home seven-week-old twin girls.
Heather and Ray had always known they wanted children. After struggling with fertility issues they turned to adoption, which had always been an option in their minds. Some of Heather’s family members are adopted, and the couple has friends and colleagues who had adopted through The Cradle. The choice was clear.
After entering into the home study process and completing their profiles, there was nothing left to do but wait. The Kuruts’ long profile was shown to nine different birth moms and birth families. One due date was on Heather’s birthday and another was on Ray’s. Along the way Heather felt like there were signs, each time thinking that the match was “going to be it.”
“I didn't know if I could emotionally handle the waiting part at the end of a birth mom's pregnancy,” she said. Heather felt that that it might be easier to handle if they were matched with a baby that was already born. And that is exactly what happened. But it was two babies, not one!
The call came on February 17, 2014 – Presidents’ Day – when Heather had a day off from her job as an middle school principal. A birth mother had asked to view the Kuruts’ long profile, the counselor told Heather, and the babies, twin girls, were already born.
The twins’ birth mom had received the profile at 2 p.m., and three hours later, Heather and Ray learned it was a match. That Friday they came to The Cradle to meet their daughters, who had been receiving care in the Nursery since January 11. Looking at photos from that day, Heather doesn’t think she has ever smiled that big in her life.
“It was a whirlwind,” she recalls. “We left that afternoon totally blown away and very excited. We both felt really strongly that this match was going to be the one that was meant to be.”
Despite their excitement, the week that passed between meeting their daughters and taking them home was a difficult one. Ray’s stepfather passed away, and questions arose about whether the twins’ birth father would sign the surrender documents. On the scheduled placement day, February 28, Heather and Ray found themselves anxiously waiting in an Evanston Starbucks.
Eventually, all of the necessary paperwork was signed and they were able to take the girls Ashley and Anastasia home. And then came the period of adjusting to two infants.
“There were times within the first couple months of having them home when my husband and I would turn to each other, and say 'Twins!? What were we thinking?'” Heather says.
Ashley and Anastasia recently celebrated their second birthday. The family has a semi-open relationship with the twins’ birth mother, exchanging monthly emails and pictures. They have not met with her in person since the placement.
The girls, Heather says, couldn’t be more perfect for them. They love singing and dancing, animals and being outside. Anastasia likes stuffed animals; Ashley likes to play with trucks, trains, and blocks. They both have a silly side – just like their mom and dad!
“Our lives changed in an instant in the best possible way,” Heather said. “Things that seemed so important to me before are now completely inconsequential. And they bring us joy every single day.”
Published January 2016