Patience and Persistence Were Central to This Infant Adoption


Carly Sitner shared her adoption story with us. With her husband Justin, they adopted their children Miles and Coltrane through Boys & Girls Aid’s infant adoption program. While adopted at different times, the two are siblings who share a single birth mother. Carly shared her experiences with the challenges, the joys and why the adoption process is worth it.

When we found out we were selected by a birth parent as an infant adoption family, we were white water rafting for the first time. We were always tied to our phones, but this day they were set aside all day and our clinician at Boys & Girls Aid couldn't get a hold of us. When we finally got back to our cars we had loads of missed calls with good news. It was ironic that the one day we didn't have our phones on us was the one day the news we were waiting for, for so long, had finally come.

...we held her and in that second, every single thing was worth it. I would have done it again, and in fact, two years later we did.
— Carly Sitner

This first selection did not result in a match since the birth parent decided to not go through with the adoption. The second time we learned about matching, we were at Olive Garden with the birthmother and two clinicians. This was our second time meeting her and we had been told that she had narrowed her choices down to two couples and wanted to meet a second time. We were extremely nervous and had no idea what she could possibly ask us that we didn't go over the first time. As it turns out, she had already chosen us and just wanted to tell us in person. It was an amazing surprise. We had been waiting 14 months at that point and we were overwhelmed.  On the ride home, we called our parents and talked about names for boys. Our baby ended up being a girl.

Lack of sleep and being a first-time parent has made earliest memories with Miles foggy. Becoming a parent was a big change. She was so calm and happy. She slept through the night at 7 weeks old. She loved being held and being in jumpers. Before I went back to work, when she was 11 weeks old, we drove 11 hours to San Francisco for the weekend. She slept the entire way there and back. We took her to the Full House and the Golden Gate Bridge and ate tons of good food.

When our son Coltrane came to us it was an entirely different experience. He was never happy and always crying. He never wanted to be put down and didn't start sleeping through the night until 11 months. My children are biologically related but could not be more opposite.


For them, we hope that they will find their own way in this world and not let the pressure of society and peers guide them to a path that doesn't make them feel like themselves. We hope they know there are no borders or restrictions to life and when they come across one, they should push it down.

We want them to question everything over and over again, to always be learning and to think critically.

We want them to continue to learn about their own individual stories and to know exactly where they came from and why they are so important. We hope to provide them with strength and courage, fearlessness and empathy.

Being a parent is one of the most enriching parts of my life so far. Both give us humor, love, teach us to be more patient and make us think on our feet. They have taught us to fight harder to break down gender norms and have created a platform where we have a stronger voice to speak for political issues that will affect their lives in the future.

The process of adoption could potentially be one of the hardest experiences you will ever go through in your life. It is long and invasive. It is an emotional roller coaster. It is tears. It is heartbreak. But it is worth it.

The whole time we were in the process, everyone kept saying "it will be worth it in the end" and as I cried every time we didn't get picked or as the months went on and on and, couples left the waiting pool. When we had to get tons of personal references, go to couples counseling, expose all of our personal taxes and finances, talk about our sex life, be relentlessly interviewed at offices and in our homes, go to weekend classes, go to parenting classes that are required for adoptive parents but not biological parents. None of it seemed worth it at the time. We waited, knowing our baby had been born for eight hours already but weren't allowed to see her, it was hard and painful and scary. But then they brought us in our own hospital room and wheeled her in and we held her and in that second, every single thing was worth it. I would have done it again, and in fact, two years later we did.


Carly also shared a little bit about her donut shop, which is the very first and only vegan donut shop in Portland!

Doe Donuts is a woman owned small business. We are the first and only vegan donut shop in Portland! While our donuts happen to be vegan, they can compete with the best Portland has to offer and are simply just excellent treats. We invite everyone to come try them.

Most donut shops in the area, and in general, use premade mixes. The dough is a mix, the glazes are mixed, and nothing is done by hand. Our dough is made from scratch at 2 AM every day and is made all throughout the day to ensure a fresh product. Our toppings and glazes are all made in-house using fresh, local and seasonal products. We choose non-GMO and organic when possible and work with local farmers and businesses to support the community as a whole.

We chose this location (located on 82nd and Powell) because we live here. We live in this neighborhood and we love it here. There aren't many options in this neighborhood for donuts, or even vegan food, yet we knew people who live around here wanted it. It might not be in a trendy part of town but you don't need all the glitz and glamour of a high density popular street to serve a great product. People will go where delicious food is served.


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One family's infant adoption story full of openness and love