Our adoption story was a 'Facebook Fairytale'

By Seth Edlavitch As a newly married couple, in July 2005 my wife Melissa and I began thinking right away about having a family. After several months of trying on our own, we learned that we needed to pursue our family through fertility treatments. Although the world of fertility treatments was new to us, we both embraced the process. Melissa read everything she could get her hands on, asked lots of questions, and without hesitation, took all the shots, went to her doctor’s appointments, and adjusted quickly to the changes in her daily routine. As the husband, I supported her in every way that I could. Through our positive approach, the first treatment worked and we thought we were on our way to starting our family. WATCH VIDEO However, when Melissa was 20 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys, she began experiencing strange back pains. She called the doctor on a Tuesday and they told her that her pains were normal. Since she was still uncomfortable a few days later, she called the doctor again and decided to go in to the office. She wanted to make sure everything was fine before the weekend. During the doctor’s physical examination, he said, “Oh crap. You’re 2 centimeters dilated and 80 to 90 percent effaced. You have to go the hospital right now!” Because an ambulance would have taken Melissa to a smaller hospital, she had to call her friends to get a ride to the hospital with the best neonatal department. Of course, it was raining that day, traffic was terrible and I happened to be working 40 miles away. Somehow, I managed to make it to the hospital before Melissa, and when she finally arrived, I had a wheelchair waiting for her. Melissa was rushed into a room and was given medication to slow the contractions. The medication was extremely painful for her, but at the time, we were hoping that they would be able to stop the contractions and save the babies. At the very least, we thought she would be on bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, nothing could be done to stop the contractions and Melissa went into labor. We lost the babies. Losing the twins was one of the worst nights of our lives and we hope no one has to go through the same experience. After the delivery, Melissa was wheeled back to her hospital room. We were both in shock. I climbed into bed with her and we cried and cried. We tried to put everything in perspective and made a plan that day to continue to try to have a family. I was convinced that the in-vitro process would be successful again and we would be back at the hospital delivering a healthy baby in one year. Over the next two years, we did everything we could to start our family. Because the twins were so far along, the placenta was cleaved to the inside of Melissa’s uterus. As a result, she had to have three procedures to try to remove all of the scarring. Each time a little more of the scarring was removed, we remained hopeful, although we were unsure of our chances. So we tried three more in-vitro cycles and even one cycle in which Melissa’s sister was a surrogate. Unfortunately, nothing worked. We continued to try to have a baby on our own, and were devastated with each negative pregnancy test. So we began our journey to pursue adoption. Again, we jumped into the process by reading books, asking questions and even attending a conference. We decided that we were interested in domestic, private adoption and that we wanted to try to adopt on our own prior to joining an agency. After completing the home study, we began the slow process of searching for the right situation. We placed ads in some newspapers, created a blog and sent e-mails to everyone we knew. Although we received a lot of positive responses from our friends and family, after a couple of months, we were back where we started. Feeling a little frustrated and trying to think of new ways to let people know we were interested in adoption, I put our adoption flyer as a PDF posting on my Facebook site late one night in early December 2008. It was more of a whim than a well thought out plan. My friend Jon took the flyer and put it on his site. On Dec. 8, 2009, his friend Jenny, to whom he hadn’t spoken in 20 years, saw the flyer and contacted me at work. Jenny was worried about her friend who was 8 or 9 months pregnant and unable to parent another baby. Jenny was concerned because she felt that her friend (and her husband) did not have a plan for their baby and she thought that we would be a perfect fit for them. I called Melissa right away with the news that we may have a possible birth mother to pursue. We contacted the birth mother that night and made a plan to meet her the following day at our local super market. It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but throughout our hour-long meeting, we all relaxed, talked about our favorite shows, showed pictures and asked tough questions. Melissa and I were very excited because we thought the birth mother would be a perfect match for us. We called her later that night, and she agreed that we should pursue the adoption plan. Three weeks after we met her, we adopted our healthy baby boy. Noah Benjamin was born on Dec. 30, 2008, and we brought him home on Jan. 1, 2009. Without Facebook and the support of friends like Jon and Jenny, we never would have found our beautiful son. Now it’s time for us to start the process again. We hope that by sharing our story, we will find a sibling for Noah. Seth and Melissa's story is profiled in the book "Facebook Fairytales." To learn more about his family's adoption story or to reach out to them, click here.