The Journey for our “Little One”
By Jerrilynne Jankowski

Our journey began over 10 years ago. In December of 1989, we miscarried our first child at 6 weeks. We were shocked and numb. At that time we felt we were young and a new baby would be on its way soon. A dear friend of mine explained that when you decide to get on that train to start a family, you’ll never know where that train ride will lead you. I would have never realized that our train ride would last 5 years for the first stop and another 5+ for the second stop.

During the summer of 1990, I again miscarried but very early on - now, we were beginning to become worried. Now the testing began. We found that my husband needed surgery (which was supposed to correct a lot of the infertility) and on our 3rd wedding anniversary we got the results of my husband's test and were told, “to adopt.” What a shock! How could this happen to us? We were only 27 years old and everybody thought we were just nervous and putting to much stress on ourselves. Ironically, when we were dating we always wondered what would we do if we couldn't have children. Adopt, adopt and adopt was always the answer. Well, now the “answer” to adopt became our journey.

There were many ups and downs with our relationship. There were so many disappointments and leads that lead to nowhere. We added our names to lists that were kept by doctors, a psychiatrist who specialized in networking for adoption, and attorneys. Then we found an organization called Three Rivers Adoption, and we attended 2 evening classes on adoption. When we walked out of those classes, we then knew nobody could find our child for us but US! Three Rivers Adoption provided us with a listing of agencies, and we selected one in our County.


Our First Stop
We finalized all the paperwork in April of 1994, talked to the agency the week before Thanksgiving, and found out we were selected for a child. When we met with the caseworker she told us our child would be home within the next 3 months. Now the true test of our love and friendship would begin.

We had so much work to do on our home because we were remodeling and it was the holidays. I remember being so worried about “our little one” that I had a hard time concentrating on the daily things. My mind was so fixed on where our little one was and was he/she happy. Then the phone rang to come to the county courthouse to find out about our child. We were so nervous and excited all at the same time. We asked our friends and family to please pray for us and to give us the space needed to make our decision.

When we met with our caseworker, I remember the lights in the room flickering. Then our caseworker presented us with HIS pictures. If I close my eyes, I can still go back to that day and feel every emotion when I first saw our son. I remember looking at my husband and seeing the excitement in his eyes. We were presented with his history and told we were to take 5 days to decide if we were going to adopt him. We walked out of the courthouse and looked at each other and said, “We have a son”! I remember that the two of us were so nervous that we didn’t even have cash to get out of the parking lot. We must have walked around the courthouse 3 times looking for a bank machine. We told our family and close friends that night instead of going away for the weekend.

We met our son on a Monday, and he came home the following Monday forever. I remember his first words to us were, “That’s my daddy.” I’ll always cherish the first time he called me Mommy and this first time I got to put my arms around him. To this day, our son is very loving and cuddles a lot! Our son was 3 ½ years old when we brought him home and we have all been a family for 5 years. There have been some rough times but we are a family! At times I wonder what it will be like when he is older…will he leave us and never return? But I remind others and myself that I do not own my child! I have a place in his life to nurture, guide and love him with all my heart. One day there will be some difficult questions and sad answers, but he is reminded that he was given the greatest gift, one I could not give him, and that is his life.


This is the poem I wrote for our son –

Our Little One

You may not have been born of the two of us
   But you are of our heart, soul, and
      The love that we have for each other
         Because together our love brought all of us together
            As a family…
                 A family that will love each other
                     Always and Forever,

                     Mommy and Daddy


The Second Stop
While our son was growing up, we kept on waiting for the second call. We felt we were registered and there are so many children – we’d surely have another child soon. WRONG… Now the second journey has become our longest.

Thank goodness we had the experience and knew what questions to ask. A lot of the agencies wanted us to foster care, but I could not bear to love a child with all my heart only to return them into a difficult situation. I remember waiting for our son’s court date – I would go into his room as he slept each night asking God not to take him from me because my husband and I loved him so much. We only had him for 4 months and I could not bear the thought of life without him.

Well, we finally found an agency to work with and they are wonderful! We took 8 weeks of classes on adoption and they were great! We really did learn a lot about our first son along with some things we needed to do differently with our second child. I will be honest, adoption is a Process! But if, in your heart, you really want to adopt, believe me, the love for that child(ren) is already in your heart and soul, and the bond is there.

In closing, I hope I’ve given hope to even one family. When you lose a pregnancy or child or when you can’t conceive, you feel so lost in this world! You often wonder if anyone knows how you really feel. It has been over 10 years since we lost our first child, and I’m still sad at times for that child. But, God had a reason and that reason was for us to find our “son” and to continue looking for our second child. I truly believe that when one door closes, the other will open. I found a lot of strength in prayer…friends…co-workers…. and of course, our families. We are all so thankful for the people that have touched our lives, especially our son! Our son is our whole world…and he has been a wonderful support as we continue looking for HIS brother/sister. He told us – "You can’t give up looking because you didn’t give up searching for me!"

If you would like to write to Jerrilynne about your story or with questions about adoption, please send email to and we'll gladly get your letter to her.

Also, be sure to read Coyote Bill and A Special Party
by Russell Mead in this issue--
it's a beautiful kids' story about adoption!


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