MOORHEAD — When Chris and Lacey Hoppe got married in 2014, they knew they didn’t want kids right away. Those early married years were spent instead buying a lake cabin and traveling, but soon, they had reached the point where they wanted to start a family.
Yet it didn’t take long for the Moorhead couple to learn that having biological children was just not in the cards for them.
Chris and Lacey talked about their options and realized so many kids out in the world need a good home, so they began the adoption process. “There are lots of ways to make a family and lots of ways to love,” Lacey said.
They decided to pursue a local or domestic adoption and selected an agency based in Minnesota. Part of their journey also included making sure everyone was feeling comfortable with their plan. “Right away I wasn’t 100% for adoption,” Chris shared, ”because I didn’t know how it would work.”
Lacey had worked as a nanny in high school and college for a family whose children were adopted, so she and Chris connected with them to talk about their experience. “They talked about the adoption options, and she was very genuine in sharing that bringing her first baby home was one of the hardest days of her life because she was so sad for the birth mom,” Lacey said.
Through the conversations, Chris realized they were pursuing the right option. ”Talking to someone who has adopted is a game changer,” he said. “It’s so much better than what you can read about on the internet.”
As they made their way through the process, Lacey and Chris were asked to create a profile for birth moms. They selected photos then wrote some descriptions about each other and their lives together. They shared that Lacey is the director of the MSUM Early Childhood Education center and about meeting through a blind date arranged by their sisters. They submitted the profile to the agency, and now they wait.
When they realized how much of the adoption journey is “passive”, Lacey and Chris decided to be a bit more proactive. So they announced their intention to adopt on their 2019 Christmas card, set up a Facebook page called Hoppe to Adopt: Chris and Lacey's story, and made business cards with the sites and contact information that they could hand out or leave places when they traveled.
“We just didn’t want to be sitting around idle; we wanted to do something while we waited,” Chris said.
This past summer, they took their creativity to a new level when they made can koozies to pass out to the lake crowd. On one side they included the names of famous people like Nelson Mandela, Faith Hill, and Marilyn Monroe who were adopted and on the other side included contact information. Lacey said family members helped hand out the coozies, and Junkyard Brewing in Moorhead even sent them out on deliveries to help spread the word.
Through it all, Lacey and Chris have remained patient, though that can be hard sometimes. “We’ve had to explain to family and friends that it could be a long time before we get a baby,” Lacey shared. They were surprised to be asked how they were feeling after two other couples in their adoption study group announced they had been chosen by birth mothers. “I mean, it’s not a race,” Lacey said.
“This journey is part of our life,” Chris started…
“...But we’re not planning our life around it,” Lacey finished. “It will happen when it's supposed to happen. It will happen for the right reason.”
November is National Adoption Month. Tools and resources to help raise awareness about adoption are available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/. If you would like to learn more about Lacey and Chris and their dream to adopt, visit https://www.facebook.com/HOPPEADOPTION/ or https://adoptionmn.com/families/chris-lacey/.