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SF Families Share Their Adoption Journeys

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There are many different reasons for why people adopt, but adoptive parents do share some common goals.

These goals could include providing a home for a child who doesn't have one or to extend their family.

Two families from Sioux Falls currently in the process shared their reasons for why they're adopting.

Alexanda and Michael Fitterer are high school sweethearts.

"Our marching band took a trip to Pasadena, we sat next to each other almost the entire time on the bus," said Alexanda.

They grew older together, got engaged at The Falls Park and married in Sioux Falls.

The next step for them was having a baby.

"We've always wanted to start a family and when we tried to get pregnant for about a year and it wasn't working, we had gone to a fertility specialist," said Alexanda.

After working with the fertility specialist for a year, dealing with two failed pregnancies, facing the difficulty of getting pregnant and staying pregnant, they looked for another option.

"Adoption doesn't fix infertility, but you know, it's a means to an end for us," said Alexanda.

The Fitterer's decision to adopt was a challenging one.

"For me it's having to deal with guilt because I'm the one who is diagnosed with having fertility issues, he's perfectly fine," said Alexanda.

"I wish I could've done more. That was probably the strongest feeling that I had," said Michael.

They both know that during the adoption process, they could face more waiting, ups and downs and unpredictable emotions but, they're ready.

"The thought of not being parents scares me more than not going through this," said Alexanda.

Ready to wait, for the family they've always dreamed of.

"Jumping out of our skins thinking it's a call from a birth mother or birth family who’s picked us," said Alexanda.

The ‘call’ that changed the lives of another Sioux Falls couple, Cara and Eric Dehaan.

"Well we've been married, it will be 15 years this summer," said Eric.

They met at Dordt College, got married, moved to California for a few years then settled back in Sioux Falls.

During that time period, they had three vibrant boys of their own Gerrit, Luke and Ezra.

Cara has always had a passion to adopt, but Eric's view on adoption took time to form over the years.

"Probably two or three years ago, I kind of started feeling a pull at my heart that there's this great need out there," said Eric.

For the past year, they've been working to add another member to their family of five.

"We've said from the beginning we are not perfect parents. We do not have a perfect house, but we have a house, right and we have a family and we love each other like crazy. Even on our bad days we think this is going to be a better spot for them from where they are now," said Cara.

After ups and downs, endless mounds of paperwork and emotional roller coasters, the Dehaan family was matched with a two-year-old from the Congo.

"Getting the referral of a girl was a little bit of an extra treat. It was. It sounds really neat to say my little girl. I've never said that before," said Cara & Eric.

The kids are excited too.

“I think it will be really nice to be having a sister," said Gerrit.

"I really want a sister in our family," said Ezra.

"Being with a kids that's a girl I guess," said Luke.

The Dehaan's hope to travel to Kinshasa within the next nine months to pick up their little girl and take her home, just in time for the Holiday.

"Hope there's another stocking up next Christmas," said Eric.

Both of the families agreed to share their adoption experiences to help educate people in the area about the great need for adoption.

The process may be long and take a lot of work, but in the end, both families said it’s worth it.

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