The Hallenbecks from Elkins Park were asked to parent a child, and they were ready, reports Anndee Hochman for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lauren Hallenbeck, 35, of Elkins Park, can finally focus. Parenthood has changed her to focus on what’s important, while her husband Chris, 35, is more intentional about family dinner, he says.
The reason for these changes: new baby Alfie, who was adopted by the couple in November of 2021. The birth family had chosen Chris and Lauren, and they all were waiting for this moment.
“I’ve always, always intrinsically known that when I became a mother, it would be through adoption,” Lauren says. “I never felt like I would need to bear a child to relate to a maternal instinct. One of the most overwhelming aspects of our adoption process was figuring out how to get started.”
The couple spoke to everyone they could who had ties to adoption and liked the idea of open adoption. They wanted to do their best for their future child, and the “best way to do that was to be as open to helping them understand their biological identity as we possibly could,” Lauren says.
They worked with Open Arms before the pandemic and continued the process online. And then one day, they went to a Delaware hospital and met their future son.
They feel honored that Alfie’s birth parents chose them and that they entrusted Lauren and Chris with raising their child. “We’re excited that Alfie has people like them in his life.”
Read more about Lauren, Chris, and baby Alfie adoption in The Philadelphia Inquirer.