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Kayla McNeill did not emerge unscathed from the adoption process. Months of waiting came with typical annoyances and anxieties, common for most prospective parents. But despite temporary frustrations, McNeill wouldn’t change her experience for anything.

All her useless worries and nagging nerves culminated to one unforgettable moment: the minute she met her little girl. McNeill’s complaints melted away when she reached for her baby for the very first time. As she rocked little Hayzlee in her arms, McNeill realized that every decision had led her to that moment. Now, adoption has permanently altered the course of her life.

Every prospective parent faces some hesitation when considering adoption. It’s a big leap of faith, and any big decision comes with a cautious pause. But McNeill urged parents to resist their fears and embrace the adoption journey. The path ahead may be terrifying, but it’s sometimes scarier to miss a life-altering opportunity. McNeill embraced the change — now, she spends each night with her precious baby daughter.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma spoke with McNeill about her triumphs and tribulations, and received advice for prospective parents to overcome reluctance and transform life for the better.

KP: Can You tell me a little bit about Your Adoption Process? How did you Decide to Adopt? 

KM: I just have this passion for it. If you can help, you should help. And so many people have a stance on, you know, different political issues at this point in life. That’s fine, whatever it is, but I feel like… if you’re going to take that option away from women, you have to step up and help these women who don’t want to parent. These babies deserve the best life. We could help, so we wanted to help.

KP: How long ago did You Adopt? 

KM: We have had Hayzlee since March of 2019…she’s 7 months old.

KP: What Type of Adoption did You choose? 

KM: We did open and we have a great relationship with birth mom.

Why did You Decide to do that Type of Adoption? 

KM: I just feel like if this woman can make the ultimate sacrifice, and she obviously loved her child more than anything to choose to give it a better life, that there’s no way I couldn’t help. By sending pictures, and just giving her updates. If I’m going to post on social media, I feel like it’s no different. She’s just a friend who blessed us with this beautiful baby.

KP: Can You share both Your Challenges and Highlights throughout the Adoption Process? 

KM: I feel like the challenges would definitely be just the waiting period to after you match, to hope that everything goes through according to how you see your perfect little life. And so that was a big challenge. Just the waiting period of, you know, matching and following through with what birth mom said was going to happen. But the highlight was, for sure, just… when she’s placed in our arms. It makes [the stress and everything else] all worth it!

KP: Can You give some Advice for Prospective Parents?  

KM: I feel like everybody’s baby is definitely out there, and even if you have like a failed adoption, or a miscarriage, or whatever brings you to this point is that… that baby wasn’t meant to be your baby. That baby you are meant to have, that God has put on this planet for you, is out there. And it’s worth all of the stress.

KP: How has it been so far, Dealing with a New Baby?

KM: It’s been awesome. She’s our third. We have two biological boys, and so we were parenting pros in our minds! So it’s just been fun to add a girl and we adore every milestone we keep knocking off as she grows.

KP: Would you Consider Adopting again? 

KM: I feel like our family is definitely complete. However, I feel like the adoption process was an incredible process and I would definitely do it again if we wanted to have another baby.

KP: Is there Anything else You’d tell Parents looking to Adopt? 

KM: Just to stay open minded, and know that it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. That your fear shouldn’t outweigh your desire to parent.

KP: Should Prospective Parents choose a certain Type of Adoption? 

KM: I feel like having a good healthy relationship with healthy boundaries with the birth parents is something that is an incredible bond that you can’t describe. I was able to be in the room when birth mom had her C-section, and it was beautiful, just holding her hand. And we brought this baby into this world together. And it was such an amazing experience, and I would never want to deny her… she gave me something that I can never repay her for. So if it’s a few pictures, and a few updates here and there, that’s nothing for what she gave us.

KP: Where do You and Your Family Live now? 

KM: We’re actually from Colorado, but we adopted out of Oklahoma. We flew to every single doctor’s appointment that birth mom had. Every single one. We flew and stood beside her through every step of the way because she needed the support. And we loved being there for her.

Final Advice for Prospective Parents: Rise above Fear

The adoption process can be frightening. For most parents, it’s exactly that. But fear shouldn’t hold you back from changing your life for the better. Perhaps months are wrought with stress, and the paperwork becomes too much to bear. You might be overwhelmed with doubts, questioning whether you are ready to take on such a massive, lifelong responsibility.

But your thoughts will one day go quiet. The only sound will be the thump of your rapidly beating heart as you cradle your newborn baby. Nothing else will matter except for you and your precious little one— especially not minor inconveniences, already fading into distant memory.

Momentary frustrations are nothing compared to the joy of a son or daughter. In the words of Kayla McNeill, it’s all worth the stress.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma

If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Kenneal Patterson

Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.

Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!

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