Our Adoption Story: The Girtin Family
Devin and Kelly Girtin always knew they wanted kids. While they had always hoped to have biological children, adoption became part of their lives when Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Kelly’s cancer treatment made having biological children difficult, so after a few unsuccessful rounds of IVF, the couple turned to Adoption Choices of Colorado to help them grow their family. Their adoption of their son, Patrick, was finalized in September 2020.
Currently, Patrick spends his days rocking Devin’s old dinosaur themed clothes and being loved by his family immensely.
Kelly describes their adoption story as “a bit of a whirlwind.” The couple finished their documentation for the adoption list in December 2019 – anticipating having to wait anywhere between 16-18 months for a potential match. Surprisingly, they matched with Patrick’s birth mother approximately three weeks later, in January 2020. They were a little uneasy about the match at first due to some legal issues with the birth father, but their agency was able to work with Patrick’s birth mother and figure the problems out. Therefore, they decided to accept the match that February.
At the beginning of their adoption journey, the Girtin’s were very unsure about the idea of having an open adoption because it felt bizarre to them and their families. However, while they originally wanted to limit their adoption’s openness, the second they met Patrick’s birth mother, they instantly loved her. Now, she has become very present in their lives. Patrick’s birth mother has been over to their house several times, eaten dinner with them, accompanied them to a fall pumpkin patch, and is coming over for Thanksgiving.
“We were so hesitant at first,” said Kelly, “but, until you’ve been in that situation, you really don’t know how it’s going to be. She loves it, and we love it — it works for our situation.” The Girtins went on to note that every situation is different, and you need to do what is best for the child.
The Girtins are focused on making sure that Patrick feels integrated into their family while still acknowledging his story. Patrick’s first name comes from Kelly’s dad, while his middle name is his birth mom’s last name, and, of course, he has the Girtin last name.
Kelly and Devin are also planning on making sure that Patrick understands his adoption story, practicing even now what they will tell him when he gets older. Kelly acknowledges that there are certain aspects of Patrick’s story that they will have to tailor to his level of understanding until he gets older. Additionally, they plan on getting feedback from his birth mother on how to talk to him about the more sensitive elements of his story — like his birth father. Currently, they are focusing on telling Patrick about how he grew in his birth mother’s belly and chose them to raise him, but she still loves him.
Their advice to birth mothers looking at prospective adoptive parents? “Families over analyze everything in the adoption books… if you see a book and your like, ‘I really like them,’ go with what your gut tells you…it’s ok for this to feel different. It’s ok for you to feel apprehensive. Just understand that there are a lot of people and resources out there that can support you.”
Adoption Story Note for Birth Mothers
The Girtin’s family story is only one example of what your child’s adoption story might look like. We hope that this story encourages you and provides a sense of peace as you review prospective adoptive parents for your baby. If you have any questions or are ready to start your own adoption journey, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our Adoption Choices of Oklahoma staff members.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email
Meet the Author: Grace Myers is a sophomore digital media major at North Greenville University. She loves writing and hopes to pursue a career in journalism or public relations after graduating.
An adoptee herself, Grace is passionate about writing for adoption. She especially loves hearing adoption stories and getting to know a variety of people.