When Conor and Shelby decided to pursue adoption, they imagined it would take years. So you can imagine their shock when four weeks later, they flew to Phoenix to meet an expectant mom who had chosen them to parent her baby. Less than a month after that first meeting, they were in Phoenix again for the birth. It was a whirlwind seven and a half weeks from first completing their profile to holding their son. 

Shelby flew to Phoenix when the birth mom went in to labor earlier than expected. When she arrived, Owen was three hours old and had been born held for observation because of a traumatic delivery where his umbilical cord had been around his neck twice, and he had come close to not surviving. He was doing great, and she would be able to see him in an hour! Her husband, Conor, was driving out to meet them with their car, so they would be able to make the journey home when the timing was right. 

As Shelby shared, “I stayed the rest of the day with Owen and his birthparents in their room, and later that night the hospital gave me my own room so that Conor and I would be able to stay with Owen all four days that he would be in the hospital. Conor arrived at 2am the next morning. The hospital staff bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable and never had to leave his side. Four days after he was born, Owen was discharged to us and we were able to leave the hospital with him. That night my mom flew in, and the three of us spent the next three weeks in a hotel with Owen waiting for the interstate paperwork to be completed which would allow us to bring him home to California. On his three week birthday, we finally pulled into our driveway after a two day road trip back, and were able to spend our first ever night at home as a family of three.”

Congratulations, Shelby, Conor and Owen! Thank you for letting me photograph your beautiful family!