My wife Kymberly and I found out four years ago that we could not have children. We decided that adoption would be the best way for us to have a family. I found out about the Caterpillar adoption benefit from my supervisor when having a private conversation about my family situation.
Kymberly and I signed up with a local adoption agency in early 2015. In the meantime, we decided to become licensed foster parents as well. We took several classes that helped us prepare to be instant parents for foster children. However, on April 25 2016, we received a call from our adoption agency instead of the foster care agency. Being one week from receiving our permanent foster care license, we received a call that we had been chosen from a birth mother from our adoption agency instead. Here we were, focusing on fostering and putting adoption out of our minds, and we were chosen to be parents. The next morning, we were to be instant parents to a day old baby girl. Life literally changed overnight.
I came home late from work Monday April 25th. There was a message waiting on our answering machine saying to call our social worker at the adoption agency immediately. I had missed her call by about ten minutes. My wife, who is an outpatient surgery registered nurse, was working late as well. At 5:15pm I called the social worker back and she told us the news that we were chosen by a birth mother who had given birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl at 2:25pm earlier in the day. If we accepted, we were to be at the hospital in a town about an hour away the next morning. I was in a state of shock. Before I could say good bye to the social worker, my wife walked in the door. I put the phone on speaker and had the social worker relay the news to my wife. As we cried, laughed and hugged each other, we called our families and told them the good news!
On Tuesday April 26, 2016, we finally met our daughter. The social worker asked what we were going to name her. Now the funny thing is, my wife and I had always had a girl’s name picked out but had never really discussed any boy names. Madisyn Lane Woods, 7lbs 14oz, 21.5 inches was now our daughter and we brought her home on the 27th. Everything became legally finalized on July 12, 2016.
Adoption is not a cheap process by any means. Having the adoption benefit from Caterpillar really helped ease some of the financial burden placed on us. It is such a blessing to have this available. Before Caterpillar, I had never heard of a business having such a benefit available. Saying we are extremely grateful is an understatement.