A Real-Life Post: Babies and Adoption!

Posted on: 26th Dec 2013  /   Categorized: News

My husband and I have just made the official announcement to our friends and families, and I wanted to share the exciting news here as well.

We are currently in the process of adopting our first child!


Though there are no guarantees with these things, we hope to have a new addition to our family by this time next year, and I look forward to sharing adorable pictures when I can.

We made the decision to adopt back in August, and since then have noticed some continuity in the questions people ask, so here are some…


Domestic or International?
There are certainly valid arguments for adopting both domestically and internationally. Jesse and I have chosen to adopt domestically, right here in Washington state.

Private or Public?
Private adoption typically refers to babies who are relinquished by their birth parents at birth. Public adoption refers to the foster care system. Jesse and I have chosen to work with Amara, an adoption agency that fosters both types of adoptions, and we are open to both. So we’re kind of letting fate decide on that one.

Age? Gender?
For our first child, Jesse and I are hopeful in adopting a baby (0-24 months). We have no preference on gender. Again, we’ll see what fate hands us.

What is the process even like to adpot a child?
The process varies based on a variety of factors (domestic v. international, private v. public, and more), but generally, adoptive parents complete a home study, either through an adoption agency or the foster care system. The home study includes a series of interviews, a home inspection, training and classes, and lots and lots of paperwork. It typically takes three to six months from start to finish.

From there, families undergoing private adoption will usually put together a profile that introduces themselves to birth families – their lifestyle, values, etc. That profile is given to birth families who can choose who they think is the best family for their child.

With public adoption, you work with a social worker who will find a child from the foster system that will fit your family, and that you will be a good home for.

(That is obviously a very, very simplified look at the process.)

Aren’t you worried about all the risks?
This question comes up a lot, but can refer to a multitude of different “risks.”

Risk 1: You have an arrangement with a birth family/pregnant woman, but when the child arrives, they change their mind and decide to keep the baby instead.

Risk 2: You receive a child from the foster care system, but then they’re reunited with their birth family before your adoption can be finalized.

Risk 3: Any number of health issues, both in the child and the birth parents, or psychological issues due to abuse or neglect.

Risk 4: The “you’re not my real parents and I don’t have to listen to you!” rebellion stage, and/or your child wanting to learn more or even meet their birth family at some point.

The fact is, the adoption process can indeed be a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs, but we’re willing to weather the storms as they come. A lot of the training that adoptive parents go through is focused on making them more prepared for these potential heartaches.

(Not to mention that there are plenty of risks with having a biological child, too!)

It’s probably none of my business, but . . . why adoption?
This is my favorite question because everyone wants to know but everyone also recognizes that it’s probably rude to ask. But we are an open book and have no problem talking about our decision. 🙂

Obviously, it’s common for people to choose adoption after experiencing fertility issues, so that tends to be the first assumption. In our case, adoption is and was our first choice for having a child. Jesse and I recognize that there are a lot of children all over the world in need of stable, supportive families, and it was more important to us to offer our home to one of those children rather than have a genetic connection. Without negating the biological bond that forms between a parent and child, we feel strongly that the true value of parenting is about the love and security you give. So adoption felt like the best choice for us from the beginning.

That pretty much covers the big ones.

I am very, very excited to meet my child!!


  1. Stephanie commented on:

    Aw, congratulations! That is so awesome, Marissa! I hope you guys have the best of luck!

  2. Alice in Readerland commented on:

    Aw, that’s so exciting! 🙂 Congratulations!!! <3

  3. Pam commented on:

    Congratulations! That’s really wonderful. I hope the process is relatively easy for you both with very few road bumps.

  4. Morgan commented on:

    So happy for you and your husband, that’s really wonderful! I also think it’s nice that you’re adopting from the state you live in, I feel like that’s more rare to hear about. I hope the process runs smoothly for you 🙂

  5. Sierra commented on:

    Wowowowowow! Soooo happy for you guys! My family (my parents) is adopting a little blind boy from China…we’re in the process right now and it’s incredible. Such a blessing for these children who have no homes <3

  6. Cassidy Leora commented on:

    Congratulations!!! That’s such an amazing thing, and I’m SO happy for you!

  7. Liz DeJesus commented on:

    Hurray!!! That’s amazing news!! Whatever path you choose it’s the right one for you and your family. I hope everything goes well and that you are matched up with the child of your dreams. *hugs* Congratulations! Trust me, it’s an amazing roller coaster. Some days will be better than some but all in all being a mom is the best decision I ever made. 😀

  8. Kym commented on:

    Motherhood that’s a big step. It takes up all your time and energy to bring up a baby
    (Or any child) but Marissa if you and your husband find that you guys are ready and willing.
    then Take that step because being a mother is really a great and good thing. (It has made me a stronger and more determined person motherhood)

    (Funny) Just hope that you are still able to write us fans great books in the future after your decision. 😉

    Best of luck with this Marissa and Marissa husband.

  9. Aimee commented on:

    Congratulations to you and your husband!!! Best of wishes to you and your future family! 😀

  10. Nayrah I. commented on:

    Thats amazing!! Congrats 🙂 I really hope this works out for you.
    Ive felt the same about adopting a child instead of having one for the same reason. Hopefully in the future when I get married I will be able to!

  11. Caitlyn McFarland commented on:

    Congrats! Being a mom is such a ride. Like Liz said, some days are really hard, but the awesomeness more than makes up for it! Watching a child grow into themselves is such a powerful experience. I started kind of young, so my oldest is six (I have three girls) and now she doesn’t just have a personality; she’s a *person* who likes reading and theater club and, of all things, fresh tomatoes (I HATED tomatoes as a kid) and I got to be part of that. There’s nothing like it.

    Anyway, congrats again! I love CINDER and SCARLET and can’t wait for CRESS! I don’t buy many books these days, but I buy yours. I’m excited for my girls to read them someday!

  12. Ashleigh commented on:

    Congratulations! My husband and I were in a similar boat but like most we were looking to adopt based on fertility issues. We happened to get lucky and as it stands we are also expecting our first child in July! So exciting and scary at the same time. I wish you the best of luck!!


  13. Keryn @ walking on travels commented on:

    Well you already know that I think you and Jesse are amazing. We were thrilled to hear the news and can not wait to meet you little lad or lady. And you are right. The most important part of being a parent isn’t giving birth to them (trust me, being pregnant for 9 months wasn’t the high point of my life- shhhh don’t tell the boys!) It is the love that you share and can give to your child that truly makes you a mom and dad. Well, that and playing, showing them the world, eating loads of ice cream, and having fun every step of the way! Fingers crossed for a boy so I can pass loads of stuff on to you!

  14. Reisa Reads commented on:

    Congratulations! Adoption is such a wonderful thing! Becoming a parent, in any situation or coming is a beautiful experience! Thank you for giving your heart!

  15. Your Name commented on:

    Congrats!! That’s so exciting! Good luck 🙂

  16. Tez Miller commented on:

    Wishing you and Jesse all the best 🙂

  17. Laura Cataldi commented on:

    Congratulations, Marissa! This is wonderful news! Adoption is such a beautiful thing, so many kids all over the world just looking for a place to call home, and a family to love them unconditionally.

    You guys rock!! <3

  18. Ashton commented on:

    Congratulations! I am sure you guys will be fantastic parents.

  19. Olivia commented on:

    Marissa, I am sooo happy for you both! I wish you the best of luck with the adoption process and I’m sure you’ll make an amazing mom!

  20. Kelly commented on:

    As an adoptee, I say kudos and best wishes! 🙂

  21. Morgan commented on:

    You guys will make great parents, congratulations. I look forward to hearing all about your new addition.

  22. Diana commented on:

    I found your post through a random “adoption” search on Twitter and I just wanted to say good luck with the journey! We were listed almost 10 months before bringing our son home at 2 weeks old in April. He is an amazing little guy and I don’t doubt at all that he was meant to be our baby and we were meant to be his parents all along. All the worries I had about how it would feel disappeared. I still get teary thinking about “the call” we got telling us we would be parents. Probably the most emotional week of my life. The wait can be so hard but it’s so worth it in the end!! Good luck!!

  23. memyselfandbooks commented on:

    Congratulations!!! Good luck, and have a wonderful new year.

  24. Petra commented on:

    Wishing you and your husband all the best. Hope everything works out 🙂

  25. Lily commented on:

    Many congrats! I hope the process goes as smooth as possible. Any child would be lucky to call you Mom!

  26. Emma commented on:

    Such wonderful news, Marissa! Congratulations and well wishes to you and J in the process. May your beautiful future!baby be a speedy adoption process!

    Plus, I can just imagine the bed time stories xD

    “Once upon a time… there was a cyborg named Cinder…..”

  27. Kam commented on:

    Congratulations Marissa!! I think it is very noble of you and your husband to be doing what you are doing, deciding to provide a home for the children who really need one. I hope everything goes well with your adoption! Once again, congrats!

  28. Mel@thedailyprophecy commented on:

    Congratulations, what is awesome! I really like the reason behind this decision and I hope that everything will go smooth 😀

  29. Christine Monson commented on:

    Congratulations! You’re going to be great parents. 😀

  30. Elizabeth Fama commented on:

    Lucky, lucky child, to have the two of you.

  31. Ta'Necia/Tt commented on:

    This is amazing news! All the best to you and your husband!

  32. Ashling commented on:

    Congratulations! I love your reason for wanting to adopt. I wish you both the best and hope everything goes smoothly with the adoption process. 🙂

  33. Katie G commented on:

    Congratulations! I still haven’t decided if I ever want to have kids, but if I do I will seriously consider adoption for the same reasons you listed. There are so many unwanted kids out there who need good homes. And childbirth sounds really scary, but that’s probably not the best reason to go with adoption, huh? 😀

  34. Kelly commented on:

    Wow! That is big news! Congratulations and I will be sure to pray for y’all as you journey through this family adventure! God bless.

  35. Sarah commented on:

    That is so awesome! Congratulations! I’ll be praying for you that everything goes smoothly and all that.

  36. Carina Olsen commented on:

    Aww, YAY! So happy for both of you. <3 *Fingers crossed* I think you will both make amazing parents for a child in need of ones 🙂

  37. Dianne commented on:

    Wow. Don’t know what else to say … except that I just “met” you in the pages of The Writers magazine (Feb. 2014). I also just downloaded your free chapters from Scarlet and Cress for Kindle. Looking forward to following your writing. Congratulations and God bless you.

  38. adele commented on:

    WOW. Am so surprised. I can’t imagine you with a child. WOW!

  39. Zoe commented on:

    Congratulations! Good luck too 🙂

  40. Sarah G. commented on:

    Hi! I’m not the other Sarah, I’m the Sarah G. YAY! I bet you are so happy.

  41. Sarah commented on:

    Congratulations to you and your husband! Blessings as you start your new journey!

  42. Jessie commented on:

    Beautiful! Thank you for adopting and helping make the world better place. Thank you!

  43. Vyki @ On The Shelf commented on:

    Congratulations! I think it is absolutely wonderful that you will be adopting a baby. That child will have the best bed time stories! Look forward to seeing your new addition 🙂

  44. Lena Marsteller commented on:

    Congrats Congrats Congrats!!!
    I think adoption is great!!! Of course I am biased because I was adopted haha.
    But its a wonderful thing that you are doing.
    My parents were surprised with twins when the agency called them. My mom and my aunt came to Russia to adopt my twin, Lauren, and I.
    We all know that it was fate that brought us all together– I have no doubt that fate will bring you and Jesse a beautiful baby! Congrats again!

  45. Alexa S. commented on:

    Congratulations Marissa! I’m so excited for you both, and I think that you’ve made a wonderful decision. Will be praying for your family — and hope the new addition joins you soon.

  46. Anna Torres commented on:

    I’m soo excited I tried to post this on December but it woudnt let me hope it goes great soo happy for both of you

  47. Kelsey Cirmotich commented on:

    This is incredible. Congratulations and I hope everything works out for you and your (growing) family!

  48. Madyson Hughes commented on:

    THAT SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  49. NIna commented on:

    Congratulations. I was adopted and it is a great thing to do.

  50. Nikhi commented on:

    This honestly made me fall in love with you a little more, you amazing author you. Congratulations on the new addition <3

  51. Brooke commented on:

    I am over luna excited for you and your husband! I hope whoever he or she is grows up to read and love your books as much as I do!



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