Picture this: Valentine's Day 2015, Adam and Josh Klocke were among 24 other couples ice skating in Bryant Park as part of a Good Morning America segment. Lara Spencer was hosting while Christina Perri sang "A Thousand Years" on top of a piano. Midway through, she stopped and Lara reported technical difficulties. This was the cue that the knowing members of each couple had been waiting for. They each dropped to one knee and asked for their partner's hand in marriage. Adam recalls, "It was such an amazing experience that we will never forget." 18 months later, they were married.
While their engagement was a life-changing experience, another for the husbands was welcoming their Christmas miracle, Baby K, via adoption on December 26, 2018. She was just two days old. Here's their story.
Adam and Josh's journey began over 10 years ago, when they met in San Francisco. Adam was living in Austin, and Josh was in Iowa. They were both cycling 4,000 miles from San Francisco to DC as part of a charity event called Journey of Hope, an organization that was founded by their shared fraternity (although Adam and Josh were in different college chapters) raising money and awareness for people living with disabilities. "We were both in the closet at the time," said Adam. "Along our 4,000 mile trip, we became good friends and kept in touch via social media afterward." Two years later, Josh moved to Dallas and in 2013, on a chance meeting out in Dallas, they ran into each other. "We have been together ever since," summarized Josh.
Kids were always part of the plan for the dads-to-be, and after the televised proposal and a wedding in October, 2016, the dads embarked on their adoption journey. "We always knew that adoption was the path we wanted to take," said Josh. "There are so many amazing children out there who need a loving and supportive home, we just knew adoption was the best option for us."
Adam and Josh spent roughly a little over a year researching different agencies. They encountered one agency who politely declined to work with them due to their "non-traditional" marriage, but they were happy to look elsewhere. "[We wanted] an agency that would believe in us and support us on our path to adoption," said Adam, and they successfully found one in Texas that specialized in infant adoptions. The husbands completed their home study in June 2018.
The biggest hurdle Adam and Josh faced was their own emotions during the adoption process. "As case after case was presented to us and was either not a match or the birth mom chose another family, in the moment plowing through those emotional walls was difficult," explained Adam. It wasn't until their daughter was placed with them that they were able to look back at the emotional times as if they were a distance memory.
On Christmas Eve 2018, Adam and Josh received a call from their adoption agency. One hour earlier a baby girl had entered the world and the birth mother was going to being presented with multiple adoptive family profiles, including Adam and Josh's, the following day. "We were extremely excited about the possibility that this could be our daughter, however, at that time we had to be cautiously optimistic as we did not know if the birth mother would choose us." They called their parents but told them not to get their hopes up just yet.
Christmas Day, Josh was at home with his mind "going in a million directions," while Adam had volunteered to work the statutory holiday (he's a Physical Therapist) in the hope that next Christmas he could be home with their future child. "It was the most distracted day of work ever," recalled Adam.
At 8:04pm on Christmas Day, they received a call from the director of the adoption agency. Baby K's birth mother had chosen them.
"Words cannot describe the excitement and emotions we felt in that moment," said Adam. "Knowing that we were about to be fathers... in a matter of hours!"
For Christmas from their parents, the dads had received a car seat, stroller and crib, along with some of the larger items their future baby would need, so their nursery had just the essentials. Over the next 48 hours, upon hearing the news, friends and family began sending Amazon boxes full of supplies for the dads and gifts for Baby K. On December 26, they drove to Austin to meet Baby K, and picked up some essentials from Target on the way - Josh laughed at Adam because his list of essential items included a Unicorn outfit.
When they arrived at the hospital, Josh and Adam were greeted by the social worker. "We were extremely nervous but overwhelmingly happy the moment we walked into the hospital room," said Josh. "From the moment we laid eyes on Baby K we were filled with an unexplainable feeling of love and joy that we had never felt before." The drive back to Dallas was the longest and most cautious 3 hour drive of this family's life.
Since becoming dads, Josh and Adam have grown so much as individuals as well as strengthening their own bond as a married couple. This has meant less time at the gym or at brunches, and more time at home. "We find ourselves wanting to spend every second possibly together learning our new normal and role as parents and seeing our baby constantly growing, changing, and meaning new things," said Josh. "It's just magical!"
Josh and Adam are currently updating the birth mother every month with pictures and news via a secure portal. Their current plan is to met once a year in-person. "We truly feel that we made a connection with the birth mother that day in the hospital and have so much respect for the decision and sacrifice that she made," said Adam.
As the dads learn more about their new life and their daughter every day, they're in awe of realizing their dream to be parents. "To anyone wishing to pursue adoption, know that it is possible and it is truly a beautiful gift not only for you and your spouse, but also to that child that you are bringing into your home," said Adam. "It can be an emotionally trying process but my husband and I would do it again in a heartbeat!"