We started working through foster services and an adoption and family services organization in our state. As part of that process, we met Autumn on weekends for a while so that she would become comfortable with us and we with her. She was seven years old at the time and she struck our hearts right away. When it came time for her to meet the man who would be her paternal grandfather, we picked a spot close to his home in Greenville, SC. Topgolf seemed like a logical choice. It was a fun spot for three generations to hang out. Autumn’s grandfather is an avid golfer and golf had been a part of our family since we met while working at a golf course on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. From the moment she picked up a club at Topgolf, Autumn loved the game. We couldn’t get her to leave. She wanted to stay at Topgolf and hit balls long after it was time to go.
Golf was not part of our thinking when we decided to adopt. In fact, it was as far away from our thinking as you could get. As soon as she joined our family at age seven, Autumn knew that she would be loved unconditionally for the rest of our lives. What we didn’t expect, and what no adoptive parent can ever adequately explain, is the overwhelming blessing you feel from day one. Every new parent is awash with feelings they’ve never had before. In adoption, that feeling has a special meaning. Blood and biology make relations, but they do not make families. Like millions of other adoptive parents, we got our daughter through love and the legal system, a process that included a lot of prayers and conversations, as well as a mountain of paperwork and patience.