1. "I cried the whole way home."
2. "For the longest time she thought that he came from the airport..."
"Four years ago, we met our then 5-week-old son at the airport with his birth mother and instantly fell in love with him. Our then 2½-year-old daughter (also adopted) thought for the longest time that he came from the airport. The kids are now 6 and 4 and their birth families are welcome in our lives; just more people to love, and we are forever grateful for what they gave us."
—Carla Gloux, Facebook
3. "We met our son's birth mom when she was about 4 months pregnant."
4. "We had been waiting five years to adopt..."
"We had been waiting five years to adopt, with many heartaches and challenges along the way. One day I saw a photo on a special-needs adoption photolisting from South Korea and knew this was a match for our family. We petitioned to adopt the child and a few days later received a call from the agency saying we had been chosen for him and that he would be brought to O'Hare in one month. We rushed to furnish his room, bought clothes and supplies, all the while fearing that maybe it would all fall through yet again.
"Finally it was time to go to Chicago. We had brought an escort gift, on the advice of other adoptive parents — but when I tried to hand it to the young man carrying my baby, he smiled, shook his head, and said, 'Just take care of baby. Take care of baby.' My heart seemed to skip a beat and all the craziness around us seemed to pause. It was like being caught out of time. And then I said, 'Yes, I will.' It felt like a marriage vow, this tremendous yet small and solemn little moment: 'Yes, I will.' And then I turned to my husband and daughter so they could hug us, and we became a family."
—Sarah Jane Bagby Herbener
5. "My husband and I spent over a year looking at profiles and meeting kids in the foster care system."
6. "The moment they walked in, we felt a mix of panic, love, happiness, and not knowing exactly what to do..."
"I met my angels a little over a year ago. The moment they walked in, we felt a mix of panic, love, happiness, and not knowing exactly what to do.... I could tell they felt the same. They were shy for a few minutes, but as the social worker left the room, they both jumped into our laps like they had known us forever. It was surreal that we just met them and it felt so right. The second weekend when we went to pick them up they were so happy their expressions are etched in my mind. Since that day we've been a family. Adoption is as beautiful as it is challenging, but most importantly it is a gift for everyone involved. Loving and being loved is the best gift of all."
—Irmarie Cervera, Facebook
7. "We eventually became one of the first gay couples to adopt a child *jointly* in Houston, Texas."
8. "Really? He's really mine?"
"We were in the waiting room at the hospital while our son's birth mom was in labor. After he was born, her friend rushed out to find us so my husband could cut the cord. I just stared at my son's face with tears in my eyes. It was so surreal, finally holding MY son after so many years of waiting. I remember looking at his birth mom, silently asking, 'Really? He's really mine?' and she smiled and I broke down in tears. It felt like a piece of me that I hadn't even noticed was gone had returned. I have never felt such joy and pure, simple, immediate love."
9. "When we got the call about our baby girl, it was phrased as being temporary respite care for another foster family."
10. "We met our beautiful little girl when she was a week old."
"We just adopted our daughter six months ago. Our adoption lawyer and his wife actually brought her to us. We met our beautiful little girl when she was a week old. It was (and still is) the most surreal feeling. We had waited five years for a child and now a perfect little angel had been placed in my arms. It was love at first sight! She is the biggest blessing we have ever received."
11. "The baby I'd prayed for for seven years was finally here!"
12. "We played and laughed, there was so much nervous energy..."
"My husband and I adopted our three kids when they were 3, 6, and 8. We had sent photo albums to their foster homes with pictures of us, our dog, our house, etc. When we showed up to meet them at their foster home, they ran and grabbed their books right away and showed us the pictures, saying things like 'That's you!' and 'That's going to be my room!' We played and laughed, there was so much nervous, excited energy around us, but it was such an exciting day. We took lots of selfies together and you've never seen bigger smiles."
13. "Adoption has blessed me with two of the most wonderful children."
14. "Seven years later, we are still amazed by all of her awesomeness!"
"Our adoption journey began in a small meeting room at the back of a public library and ended two years and four days later on the second floor of our daughter's transition home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she was (finally!) placed in our arms. My husband and I had promised ourselves that we would save our tears for later, and we did. Our 8-month-old daughter didn't cry either. She simply looked at us as if to say, 'What took y'all so long?!?!' Seven years later, we are still amazed by all of her awesomeness!"
15. "She was our little miracle."
16. "It was half a world away, a different culture, and a different language, but it didn't matter."
"One day after we were matched with our daughter, a FedEx driver came to the door holding an envelope containing photos and medical information. I practically grabbed the envelope out of the poor driver's hand and told him he was the stork. Inside our home, our families had gathered to see the first pictures of our little girl. We carried those pictures with us for the next two months until the day we finally met. It was half a world away, a different culture, and a different language, but it didn't matter. We loved her."
17. "1000 words, right?"
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.