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SF Family Completes Adoption Journey

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Parents looking to adopt should be prepared to take on a long process.

One adoption could take several months, where another could take years.

A Sioux Falls family from start to finish completed their adoption in two years.

It was a busy two years for the Andera family during the adoption of their little girl Grace.

There were ups and there were downs, but in the end, it was all worth it once grace joined the family.

Sarah and Jason Andera met in high school, well kind of.

"She says she knows who I was, but I didn't know who she was, that's kind of mean," said Jason.

Sarah eventually caught Jason's attention at their high school graduation party.

They started dating, saw each other through college, got married, and then had two kids, Rose and Nathan.

"We had a very hard time conceiving both of these two and I had very hard pregnancies. I was sick through all nine months with both of them," said Sarah.

It was then when she told Jason she was done with conceiving kids, but still wanted to expand their family.

Adoption has always been in Sarah's plan; her uncle was adopted, so she knew all about it.

Jason on the other hand, was on the fence about adoption.

"It's a huge financial commitment. I didn't think we were in a place where we could afford adoption, plus I just didn't know a lot about it," said Jason.

In October of 2010, the Andera's had their first adoption meeting.

Paperwork was easier than expected for the family, but then the Andera's were put into a book, where birth mothers look through to pick a family for their child.

"It's kind of like a down hill a little bit because you're just waiting. You don't know, you could get a call the next day, it could be two years," said Sarah.

The waiting game came to an end on March 28th in 2012.

It was a chaotic day for Jason at work and Sarah home sick, when they got the ‘call.’

They were chosen to be the adoptive parents to Grace, by a local teen mom.

The Andera's picked up Grace from the hospital, a big day for the family.

Come to find out, they entered into a legal risk period lasting 60 to 90 days, a time period where the birth mother and father have to legally sign their parental rights away, which eventually Grace's birth parents did sign.

"It was just a sigh of relief that she was going to be with us and our forever family and it was definitely a big high that day," said Sarah.

Falling more and more in love with Grace everyday, a cutie pie with a whole lot of energy.

"She loves to move. She doesn't want to just sit. She wants to be a part of the action," said Sarah.

Not only does Grace have an adopted family, she sees her birth mom and biological sister every couple of weeks, through what's called an ‘open adoption.’

"Grace grows up knowing who her biological family is and doesn’t have all those questions growing up throughout the years. It will make her more of a complete person," said Jason.

The adoption process might seem like a lot of hard work, but the Andera family said in the end, it's worth every moment.

"There are definitely tears, there are definitely days where you feel like you just can't do it and then there are other days where you just want to shout from the mountain tops," said Sarah.

"Whatever journey you take, it's going to be unique and it will be worth it too," said Jason.

Another interesting thing the Andera family realized about adoption is there are no two adoptions the same.

The Anderas said through the learning process, they met many people who have gone through adoption, each having their own process and journey.

The Andera family went through Lutheran Social Services for their adoption.

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