With two adoption experiences under her belt, Alysia is personally connected to the roller coaster of emotions, the highs, and the lows that any adoption journey can take. But the love she has found by growing her family through adoption is truly unmatched.
With their first adoption Alysia felt the heartbreak of an unexpected turn in plans. “I remember getting the call that he was born and he was healthy, but he wouldn’t be ours. My husband took the packed suitcase and put it under the stairs and closed the baby room door,” Alysia remembered. But this heartache didn’t last forever, a month later they got a call from Shepherd Care that here was a baby boy who was 3 days old and all the papers had been signed—and he became their first child, Levi.
“There was a baby waiting for us, and when we held him, it was definitely one of the best days of our lives. We knew he was the one that was meant for us and that he was our son,” Alysia shared.
After adopting Levi, Alysia and her husband thought their family was complete. Until a few years later when Levi began asking when he would have a baby sister, he even started praying for a baby sister at just 3 years old. Alysia and her husband, after a lot of financial uncertainty, got approval to proceed with their second adoption.
They were matched with a birth mom who later learned she was having a boy. It took some adjustment for Levi to embrace the idea of a little brother instead of a little sister but eventually he got on board and got more and more excited with each ultrasound photo.
Once that mom gave birth, however, she had changed her mind and the baby would no longer be a part of Alysia’s family. “Levi was pretty devastated. We weren’t as sad because we knew that it was a possibility, we still had hope and that we would have to wait longer,” Alysia shared.
Just nine days later Alysia got a call from Shepherd Care, “They told me they had a very special birth mom and that they knew we would get along with her really well but it was a special situation.”
“The one thing was that the birth mom actually wanted us to be there for the birth. We had so many fears and we could see our hearts breaking. We didn’t want to get there for the birth and then the mother decide she didn’t want to give up the baby. I had never considered this as a possibility, I didn’t even think we were allowed to do that. It was a time of soul-searching, but in the end, how could I risk the opportunity to be there for the birth of my child?” said Alysia.
To top it all they soon learned that the baby was a girl and Levi could have the little sister he prayed for. They quickly went to work on transforming the baby boy nursery to a baby girl nursery. Then came the waiting for the baby girl their whole family longed for.
Baby Myla ended up being delivered by an unexpected c-section and it took Alysia and her family rushing to Florida to get to meet her the next day.
“I remember the day we met our daughter, Myla, and her birth mom took us into the NICU one at a time to meet our daughter. She took me in first and introduced me. It was pretty awesome having her birth mom present her to me and she said, ‘I don’t need to hold her, you are her mom and I want you to hold her and bond with her because this baby was meant for you. I love her dearly, but you are her mom,’” Alysia shared.
Today, the family still has contact with Myla’s biological mom, Alysia said, “I feel like we are better friends than ever, it’s just incredible.” She went on, “We feel like we didn’t just adopt Myla, we call her biological family our Florida family and they call us their Canadian family. Myla’s grandparents prayed over us before we left Florida.”
Looking back on her experience with Shepherd Care Alysia stands amazed by her beautiful family and said, “Shepherd Care has a special way of making each family feel like they are the most important family in the world. They are such compassionate people.”