Joe Grizzle’s adoption process went surprisingly smoothly. There were no major hiccups, no extended waiting periods, and no massive disruptions. In less than a year since the start of the process, Grizzle and his husband were bringing home baby Olivia to their humble abode.
That doesn’t mean that Grizzle faced zero challenges. However, he was able to navigate these challenges with Adoption Choices and face whatever obstacle rested in his path. The caring father finalized his daughter’s adoption on Monday the 18th, and could not be more excited.
Grizzle’s love for Olivia is apparent in the way he talks about her, especially when he calls her the “perfect kid.” He hopes that other potential parents find the same joy in their lives, and he wanted to express his advice after emerging victorious from the process. That’s why Grizzle spoke with Adoption Choices of Oklahoma and shared his story. This incredible interview with the adoptive parent is below.
KP: How did You Decide to Adopt?
JG: We decided to adopt about a year and a half, maybe two years ago. Because that’s the only way we were going to have kids, my husband and I. So we started looking at all of our options — we started looking at like surrogacy. [Adoption was] the best way to go about it, and we were pretty excited with adoption.
KP: How did the Adoption Process go for You? How Long did it Take?
JG: The process went actually surprisingly smooth for us, I don’t know how it is for a lot of people, but it went really smoothly for us. When we decided to look into adoption we looked at going through DHS [Department of Human Services] and also going through a private agency like Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. We kind of started the process for both of them at the same time, and from the time we started to the time we actually got our daughter…our daughter was only six months.
So it went really quickly, it went much more quickly than we thought. We were expecting like a year or two, you know, from the start. We started in October of last year, [and] we got her back in April. [We] actually go to court on Monday, this coming Monday [Nov. 18th] to finalize the adoption. So I guess it technically took just over a year, from start to finish, to actually have it finalized.
We went through Adoption Choices, and we also tried DHS, and the process was similar for both. But with DHS, there were so many hang-ups and everything else. We ultimately decided to tell DHS we might put it on hold and we might come back to them later, but we decided for Adoption Choices. It was just so easy to have someone we could talk to — you could text message or email and pretty much you’d get an answer right away.
KP: What is Your Daughter’s Name?
JG: Olivia. She just turned 7 months today [Friday, Nov. 15].
KP: What Type of Adoption did You Choose?
JG: We went with a semi-open adoption. We wanted our daughter to be able to know who her birth mom was. If she ever wanted to reach out to her in the future, we would know who she was, and where she is located, and that’s kind of what the birth mom wanted also. She [the birth mother] wanted a semi-open, and we talked about meeting up sometime after we took her home, but we never heard from her. We told her if she ever wanted to meet up with us, that she could. Cause she said she only wanted to meet [Olivia] to see how she turned out. We never heard anything from her since … in the past 7 months. But we’re still open to do it if she wants to at some point.
KP: Is there Something You Wish You had done Differently?
JG: The only thing that I would have done differently is…when we knew we wanted to start adopting, to start saving money. Because it does get quite expensive, going through a private agency — we had to take out a loan for it. Which wasn’t a big deal for us, but we would’ve started saving money a lot sooner than we did to prepare. Cause we had an idea of how much it was gonna cost, but we weren’t exactly ready for it.
That’s really the only thing that I would say that I wish I would’ve known, for someone to tell me to start saving sooner than what we did. Other than that, the adoption agency, they were really good about telling us exactly what was happening next, and this and that. They were really easy to work with. I would recommend them to anyone. Cause they were right there the whole way, telling us what was happening next, and this, and that, and we had absolutely no issue with them whatsoever.
But [to answer your question] I would say the money thing… but I know not everyone has that issue.
KP: Would You say the Cost was the Biggest Challenge? Or did You Struggle with Something Else?
JG: I guess I would tell people… sometimes it feels like it’s taking forever, the whole process, but it only took us 6 months from when we did our home study to when we brought her home. But that 6 months took forever, it felt like. I mean, the six months that we’ve had her have gone by so fast. The 6 months that was before — waiting and waiting! You’re waiting by your phone or you’re constantly checking your email, waiting for a match.
That would be my advice, to be patient with the whole process. Because it can get kind of stressful not knowing if you’re approved, and you get matched. Just be patient and don’t get in your head about why you’re not being picked. They [the agency] tell you about a birth mom, and then they ask if you want to be committed for… to meet them or whatever, or to be shown. And if they [the birth parents] don’t pick you don’t get in your head about why you didn’t get picked. Because we did that the first couple of times. They [the agency] were like: “Do you want to be shown to this birth mom?” and we were like, “yes.” And she didn’t pick us, and we got really down about it.
But [my advice is] just to be patient, and the right one is out there waiting for you. It just wasn’t meant to be I guess. I know that sounds stupid to say, that it wasn’t meant to be, but I guess it really is true because we ended up with — and I know she’s my daughter — but the perfect kid.
KP: Do You ever Think You’ll Consider Adoption Again?
JG: Yeah. I think in an ideal world we’ll have two kids. But I don’t know, the issue with the money, if we can start saving money and get to that point again, then yeah. But we would like to, I think, have another child. We would use, I think, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma again, if we do decide to go that way.
The Impact of an Interview with the Adoptive Parent
Joe Grizzle only had to wait six months for his daughter. Nevertheless, those short months seemed to stretch on forever. Regardless of the length of time, each prospective parent cannot wait to get the process all over with.
It may sound cheesy, but Grizzle firmly believes that everything was meant to be. The father now lives happily with his husband and his “perfect kid.” Grizzle would not have ended up in the same place without his faith and hope. By staying optimistic, he survived a process that seemed to last forever. Above all else, Grizzle stressed the importance of a key value: patience.
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
Adoption 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 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!