Published May 2015
By Samantha Spengler, Intern
Dave and Maggie Brown applied to The Cradle’s Sayers Center program in September 2010 and went on the waiting list the following February.
“We thought we would be able to provide our child with a very diverse family experience,” Maggie says.
That June, the couple found out that they had been chosen by a birth mother. The following seven weeks allowed them to attend doctor’s appointments with her and meet on a weekly basis. By the time Alex was born, the trio had formed a tight-knit relationship.
“She was very committed to having everything in place for Alex. She really wanted to get to know us and make sure we had all of her information,” says Maggie.
While everyone was dedicated to making the experience the best it could be for Alex, Maggie and Dave understood the difficulties she was going through.
“Dave and I were both really concerned about her and how this was going to impact her. Any opportunity we could, we got together with her,” Maggie says.
Alex was born on August 18, 2011, and it was important to his birth mother to have Maggie and Dave in the delivery room when he entered the world. The three spent the following weekend together caring for Alex. During that time, Maggie and Dave were able to support her and talk about how they would keep her presence in Alex’s life.
As of now, the family sends letters and photos a few times a year per her request, and do not receive any communication in response. The Browns remain hopeful that she will reach out some day, when she’s ready.
“We grew to love and care for her deeply,” Maggie says.
Maggie even has a necklace she wears daily, an identical copy of one she gave to Alex’s birth mother at after he was born. During major milestones, the family thinks of her and she is also frequently the subject of their conversations.
“My hope for Alex is that he will feel very comfortable with his adoption story and he will know his birth mom absolutely loved him more than I could ever describe,” Maggie says.
The Browns are grateful for the support both they and Alex’s birth mother received throughout the adoption process. From the beginning of their journey to the day she placed Alex in their arms, The Cradle was there to support them.
“She truly felt empowered by The Cradle. Her counselor did an amazing job of educating and informing her, and continuously explaining that she had choices, which they would support no matter what,” Maggie explains.
Above all, what shines through to Maggie about the adoption process was the impact it had on her and Dave’s relationship.
“It was a really wonderful transition for us to go from focusing on our own sorrow of infertility and then being able to shift and focus on what’s important in the adoption triad: the birth mother and making sure her needs are met,” she says.
When Alex was six months old, the Browns became pregnant with their daughter, Olivia – much to their surprise. “I always say that the overwhelming joy I felt with Alex healed my heart and made room for Olivia,” Maggie says.
The siblings are the best of friends. “Alex is a wonderful and protective big brother who is always looking out for his little sister,” their mom observes. “Neither of them really has a memory of life without the other, and I think they prefer it that way!”