MILWAUKEE — November is 'National Adoption Awareness Month,' a month to celebrate families that are growing through adoption and also to highlight the need for future adoptive families.
Adoption Choice, a non-profit in Glendale, said every year about this time they start to receive dozens of holiday cards.
Angie Flannery, the executive director at Adoption Choice explained, "We love to hear how they're doing because they will always be family to us."
Adoption Choice is a statewide, non-profit, private adoption agency.
"We work hard to educate the community that this is a selfless, difficult decision that some women make," added Flannery.
Today, she says, about 95% of adoptions are open. It means there is the option of continued contact between the birth mother and the adoptive family.
"It's up to the mom if she'd like a picture once a month, or whatever that looks like," said Jeremiah Arnold, explaining the relationship with his daughter's birth mother.
Jeremiah and his partner, Jason Vallee, started their adoption journey in the spring of 2022. But it was paused when the initial birth mother they'd matched with chose to raise her child.
Then, while on vacation in Florida this summer a phone call came in the middle of the night. Another birth mother had selected Jeremiah and Jason — and she was in labor.
"And of all places, she was in Miami! She was a half an hour flight away," added Vallee.
They got to the hospital at 2:35 a.m., four minutes before their daughter, Anna, was born.
"Of course, we were downstairs, but we got the text saying she was born!" said Vallee.
All the while, Adoption Choice, was in action.
"Adoption Choice walked through the entire process and they were there answering emails and texts and working with the hospital," recalled Arnold.
And that continued, as Anna's adoption was finalized. Now at home and gazing at their beautiful daughter, Jason and Jeremiah want to tell other adoptive families to have faith, this is a chapter you can't write ahead of time.
"You have to let the chapter play out," said Arnold.
"Yes," added Vallee. "We've been together almost 20 years, and it's been amazing, but this (parenthood) is everything."
The need for adoptive families especially comes into play when we talk about foster care. According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, 771 kids were adopted from foster care in 2022. And more loving families are needed. At any given time as many as 6,000 children in Wisconsin require foster care.