Nicole + Noelle

I've wanted to adopt for as long as I can remember. Luckily, I married a man who shared the same vision. My brother also has two adopted children. In 2012 I traveled to Ethiopia with him to bring my niece, Ayda, home. My time at the orphanage solidified my decision to move forward with an adoption of my own.

The process of adopting was much shorter than we planned for. The paperwork, logistics and background checks took about five months before we went live on the waiting list. We expected to wait around eighteen months, but in less than three we got the call. A baby girl was born at a hospital in Queens that morning and her birth parents had chosen us!

 

We were instant parents.  We had absolutely not one thing, no room, no nothing. Noelle was born on a Friday, we met her on Saturday and she came home with us on Monday. We bought a car seat and a bassinet off Craigslist the day before. The Target near the hospital was our savior for diapers, wipes, formula, bottles and onesies. That was literally all we had. We changed her diapers on our desk in our Bushwick loft.


The first time I met Noelle, I was with her birth mother Simone in the hospital nursery. Simone had asked the nurses to take her baby directly to the nursery, for fear that holding her would be too painful. So instead, we met her together. She asked me why we said yes. I explained that when a gift was given to you, you accepted it graciously. She helped me change her diaper. I remember her crib in the NICU said ‘Girl Grey.’ That was her first name.

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After Noelle came home, our friends stopped by one by one or in small groups to meet her. It was almost like tons of tiny baby showers and celebrations strung together — they all brought such generous gifts. I went back to work after two months and my coworkers threw a surprise shower. It was great because it was all designers there were tons of custom onesies made for Noelle with her name on them "NoNo"

 

So many things had to align for Noelle to join our family. When we gained Noelle, we also gained her birth family who we remain very close to. As a transracial family, I think it will be an asset for Noelle to have her African-American family very familiar and accessible to her. We will work hard to teach her that her birth mother’s decision was driven by the selfless desire to give the best life possible to her daughter. I enjoy every single minute with this little gift I was given. There seriously could not be a better fit in the world than this child for me — we are best friends.  We will do every last thing in our power to give her the most loving life. I will advocate for her her until the day I die.