When Sam and Greg got married, they began their life together as a military family, understanding that their lives would often be impacted by Greg’s deployment.
“As a pilot in the Air Force most of the time our lifestyle is pretty busy,” said Greg, who flies C-17 aircraft for the Air Force. Fortunately, his most recent assignment at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois meant the couple’s life would settle down for a while. Greg and Sam saw that window of calm as the right time to try and grow their family through adoption.
“We both knew that we wanted a family,” Sam shared. “Timing was always a huge issue for us.”
While the couple began doing their research on the adoption process, they shared their plans with their supportive family, friends and co-workers. “We told a bunch of our close friends and family that we’re looking to adopt while we’re here,” Sam said. A friend of the couple shared Greg and Sam’s desire to adopt with expectant parents they knew in another state who were considering making an adoption plan. Eventually, the expectant mother reached out to Greg and Sam in late November, just two months before her due date.
A local attorney recommended Greg and Sam contact LCFS to guide them through their adoption home study, which now needed to be completed in a short timeframe. “We noticed that LCFS is a Human Rights Campaign approved agency, so that made us feel better about approaching them,” Greg said.
“Susan was awesome, she told us step-by-step what you need to do,” Sam said, referring to LCFS’ Adoption Supervisor Susan Radcliff. “I had called so many different places who just referred us to other people, but once we got in touch with Susan, it was clear-cut and exactly what we needed.”
“Every piece of paperwork she sent to us we sent it right back the next day,” Greg added.
Greg and Sam kept in close contact with the expectant parents in the time leading up to the due date via video calls and texts. The expectant parents even allowed Greg and Sam to choose the name for their soon to be born son. They chose Cannon.
Sam was at the hospital when the expectant mother went into labor in January of 2022. He texted Greg, who got the next flight out and was able to make it to baby Cannon’s arrival. Just two hours old, Cannon was brought into the hospital room where Sam and Greg were anxiously waiting to see him for the first time.
“The nurses brought him in and we were just in awe, staring at him,” Sam shared. “After a while, the nurse said ‘you can pick him up.’”
Once the couple were able to bring Cannon back home to Illinois, they began settling into their new roles as parents. They were also thankful to have support from their family and friends throughout their adoption journey.
Today, Greg and Sam continue to have an open adoption with Cannon’s birth parents. They periodically share milestone updates and photos via text and email. “We’re going to be open with Cannon about his adoption story when he’s older,” Sam shared. As Cannon grows, the couple plans to show him pictures of his birth family, and if Cannon and his birth parents request a meeting they would facilitate that.
The open adoption process has been positive for all parties involved. Greg and Sam are encouraged to keep growing their family. “We’ve already bugged Susan about adopting again,” Greg said. “I’ll go back to flying soon, so we’d like to adopt while we have a stable place for a little while.”