It Took Baby Jovie To Bring Two Hopeful Families Together
Rachelle found out that she was pregnant at 31 weeks. In denial, she finally saw a doctor after taking a home pregnancy test. Right away, Rachelle knew she would place her daughter for adoption. “I knew I wasn’t ready to parent a child,” Rachelle recalled. “I was 25 and living with my parents and I did not have the means to give this child everything that she deserves.”
A social worker at the doctor’s office directed Rachelle to Nebraska Children’s Home Society. “After I met with Amy, my caseworker at NCHS, I felt so positive about adoption and excited about finding the right family for my baby.” When she read the letter from Kelli and Ed, Rachelle knew they were the couple she would choose to parent her daughter. “Their family shared lots of similarities with ours and they just seemed to fit everything I was hoping to find,” she said. “Everyone at NCHS told me the right couple would just stand out from the crowd and that’s exactly what Kelli and Ed did. I just knew that this was…meant to be.”
Hundreds of couples from across the state come to Nebraska Children’s Home Society hoping to build a family through adoption. Couples like Kelli and Ed. This is the story of their adoption journey and how the quest brought them so much more than a child.
Kelli and Ed met during their undergraduate years at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln when they both worked at a group home. While they were dating, they had the opportunity to move to China for a year to teach English as a second language. During their time in the East, the two grew extremely close. Just after their return to Lincoln, they were engaged. Kelli and Ed will celebrate eight years of marriage this November. And, from the beginning, they had prepared themselves for adoption.
“We made adoption our first choice,” Kelli explained. “We both learned about our own fertility issues at an earlier age, so we’ve talked about adoption since the beginning of our relationship. We didn’t want to experiment with a lot of medical treatments. We wanted to focus our time and energy toward adoption.”
Originally the couple had thought they would return to China to adopt, but as Kelli finished five years of graduate school to become a counselor, they realized the cost of traveling to adopt wouldn’t be feasible. So, the two contacted Nebraska Children’s Home Society to begin their adoption journey instead.
Kelli and Ed were both prepared to be parents and moved quickly through their home study, workshops and meetings. It was the waiting process they found the most difficult. “Waiting was so hard,” Kelli said. “I remember taking walks with Ed, venting my frustration and telling him that I wanted to quit the process. It wasn’t easy to be patient.”
But soon, their wait would be over…
While on vacation, Kelli and Ed found a note tacked to their cabin to call Betty, their caseworker at Nebraska Children’s Home Society. “The moment I saw that note, I just knew in my heart that it would be news about a baby,” Kelli remembered.
And she was right.
Kelli and Ed went to visit Rachelle for a pre-birth meeting immediately upon their return from vacation. Everyone was so anxious!
“Oh, we were so nervous to meet her,” said Kelli. “I just wanted us all to be comfortable with one another,” Rachelle added. No one needed to worry. They all connected right away and have continued their relationship ever since.
While Rachelle was in the hospital, Kelli and Ed stayed with her sister and were present for the delivery. “Rachelle was committed to adoption and wanted us there throughout the birth. She and her family were amazing – we felt like we were family,” Kelli recalled. “Spending time with Rachelle’s family felt exactly like spending time with ours,” Ed agreed.
Kelli and Ed decided to name their daughter Jovie Rachelle. It meant a lot to Rachelle. “I was honored and touched,” Rachelle said of the Higgins’ decision to use her name. “This little girl will always know I’m her birth mom. Baby Jovie brought our families together.”
“I’m doing fine. I’m happy,” says Rachelle. “I know I made the right decision. Seeing pictures of Jovie and Kelli and Ed shows me that she is safe and loved. What more could I have hoped for? I’m so pleased that my adoption experience turned out the way it did.”