Arlo's Adoption Story - Studio DIY
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Arlo’s Adoption Story


Arlo Adoption Story

We’re three weeks into parenthood and loving every single moment. Arlo’s sleeping on my chest as I write this and I still can’t believe it. I’m a Mom. Today I wanted to share a bit about his birth and adoption story!

Arlo Adoption Story

We first heard about Arlo’s birth mama, we’ll call her N, at the end of January. Our attorney called me to let me know she had connected with a wonderful woman, N, who was a few hours away from us in California and was 32 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. She told me to talk to Jeff and let her know if we wanted her to present our profile book to N. Before this call, we’d had a few situations presented to us via our attorney and countless situations that came directly to us via our online profile. But with every single one of those, something didn’t feel right. Several even turned out to be scams.

But with this one, nothing felt off. So I thought that was a good sign. I immediately called Jeff and told him. We thought it over that evening and said yes, we wanted to be considered.

A few days later we got the call that N had picked us!

Arlo Adoption Story

She wanted to meet us, and us her, so about a week later we drove the few hour drive to meet the woman who would change our life forever. We met over pancakes, learned a bit more about each other and even got to go to an ultrasound to see his sweet little face for the very first time! That’s also when we learned that N was actually 35 weeks pregnant and due March 14th. We both still felt great about the situation and with all parties in agreement, we drove back to LA to wait for next steps.

Later that night, we called our families and told them both they needed to check their email while we stayed on the phone. There they found his ultrasound picture! We were unofficially officially matched!

After that came the shortest longest month of our lives. We’d heard so many stories of failed adoptions and knew no matter how sure N seemed, there was always a chance she could change her mind. And at the end of the day, we only wanted what was best for her, so we had to prepare ourselves to support her in any decision, while also remaining as cautiously optimistic as possible. Our life could change forever in a few short weeks, or it could remain exactly the same.

Arlo Adoption Story

We spent the next few weeks pre-prepping a couple months of content so we could take time off when he arrived and getting all the baby basics we needed. We also filled out lots of paperwork, made a hospital plan and made weekly trips to see N and take her to her doctors appointments. We feel SO lucky that we got to be so involved in those final weeks of her pregnancy.

Finally, March 14th (a Tuesday) came and went. We drove up for one more doctor’s appointment on Thursday and they told us “it could be any day now” and on Friday we went to bed at 11pm and woke up two hours later to a phone call from N. She was in labor!

Arlo Adoption Story

We started making the calls as planned, but we couldn’t get in touch with any of the people who were supposed to take her to the hospital. AND we were too far away for her to wait for us to take her ourselves. After a slight panic, we told N to hold tight and as we were throwing together all the things we needed so we could start our journey, we did what any 2017 soon-to-be parents would do. We called a Lyft.

Enter Simon. When we put the address into our Lyft account, a driver named Simon accepted the ride. Around 1:30am, as we were jumping into the car to make the trip ourselves, Jeff called Simon and just got right to the point. “Hi. There is a woman in labor and she needs to get to the hospital immediately. Are you up for the ride?” Simon, a dad himself, happily accepted and said if nothing else, it would be a great story for him to tell. Even when Lyft mysteriously canceled the ride on Jeff, he and Simon stayed in touch while he safely picked up N and dropped her off at the hospital. We almost named Arlo, Simon. Ha! Simon, you are our HERO!!

A few hours later we finally arrived at the hospital. Honestly, it felt like five minutes between the time we got the call and the time we bursted through the hospital doors to a bunch of nurses saying “that was fast.” It was really three hours.

N wanted me to be in the room with her, which I am so unbelievably grateful for. And the hospital kindly gave Jeff a private room right next door to wait in. I spent the next 12 hours with her as she labored, updating Jeff every so often, before it was go time.

N made childbirth look easy, something I know it is not, and at 12:39pm we, together, watched a tiny sweet little boy join the world. Jeff got to hear his first cries through the wall from the room next door (he actually has a video of just a blank hospital wall, with his cries in the background!) I got to cut the umbilical cord and watch him get weighed and measured and all of those amazing “firsts.” It was very much an out of body experience. I think I was in a state of shock the whole time. One of the nurses finally had to grab my phone and started taking pictures.

Arlo Adoption Story

The hours that ensued were and are pretty private, special and emotional for us as we waited, and cried and held him for the first time and all gave him his first bath together. We experienced every single emotion there is: happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, love, loss and everything in between.

When we had our first moments alone with him, we knew we had to give him a name. And that’s when we both just said “It’s Arlo.” You can read more about the story behind his name here.

Arlo Adoption Story

We cautiously shared the news with close family and friends. We sent a photo to Simon. =) We learned how to feed and diaper and swaddle. We watched him pass all his tests with flying colors. We spent time with N and with just the three of us, too. We were incredibly lucky to be in an adoption-friendly hospital, that gave us our own room and treated us so well. Two days later, we got to bring home our son. And two days after that, it was unofficially official, and the rest of our lives began.

I still can’t believe all of the above is now a part of our story. We just feel so lucky! And so happy! And so in awe of the strength and grace of his birth mother. She gave us the best gift you can give and we are eternally grateful to her.

Arlo’s adoption is open, which is what we hoped for, and we’re so happy we’ll all get to watch him grow and flourish together. And to answer another common question we get, Arlo is 100% Mexican! It is very important to both his birth mama and us that he learn Spanish and we are very lucky to have close family and friends that are already fluent, while Jeff and I hope to learn as well.

Arlo Adoption Story

Photos by One Eleven Photography

There is still lots of paperwork to be done and we’re in the middle of hunting for a house so this little dude can have his own room but for now, we’re just enjoying taking some time to slow down, learn more about him and bond together as our new little family. Life is so good right now.


  • Erin Maree

    Such a sweet story! So happy that you are settling into motherhood well 🙂 hoping that you will keep us all updated on his progress and how you are both coping with parenthood while also running Studio DIY.
    How is Bella settling into being a big sister?
    Enjoy learning Spanish, maybe this means a trip to Mexico when Arlo’s older?
    Hope you find a house soon and looking forward to the updates 🙂

  • Monique

    What an absolutely beautiful story and the perfect one to end what has been a tough road for you two! Arlo is just gorgeous, and the fact you guys are 100% committed to him honouring his heritage is just beautiful

  • les

    thanks for the early cries at work.
    besides the intro post about Arlo, this has got to be another top favorite.

    im so happy you guys finally have a child to love and raise together. i know how long you’ve wanted this and im so happy its finally happened for you 3.

    can’t wait to see this little dude grow! <3

  • Sarah

    What a beautiful story! Crying into my tea. I’m so happy for you!

  • Macy

    WOW!!! SO many emotions while reading through this post. You three are blessed beyond measure. After such heartache for so long, THIS is the path that was chosen for you and it’s going to be an amazing ride through figuring out parenthood.

  • Jessica

    What a beautiful story. So happy you guys have your much deserved “happy beginning!”

  • Steph P

    So happy for you guys. Can’t wait to see you all grow as a family xx from Boston

  • Kimberly F.

    Currently at the nail salon crying my eyes out! I am so happy for you both! Such a beautiful story. I am a mom of 2 boys, get ready for the fun!! 🙂 🙂

  • Gaby

    My mom and my grandma say that babies pick their moms before they are born. I believe I did, because I did a great job picking my mom and grandma, and also believe that Arlo picked you Kelly. He had to go to some extreme measures to get to you, but he did, he saw you from heaven, or wherever he was haha, and said “I want her!” (And Jeff was part of the amazing package)

    Congratulations on your first two weeks as a family of 4 ❤

  • Robyn

    I completely cried at envisioning Jeff with a video of a blank hospital wall with Arlo’s first cry ;_____;. I am over the moon for you and your new little family and can’t wait to see you all grow together.

  • Kimmie Rodriguez

    Congrats on your little one!! So neat to hear he is Mexican, I myself as Mexican. It’s a beautiful culture, and gives you the excuse to explore the country 🙂 Congrats!


    I am in tears of joy reading this. Our adoption story was similar in the fact of our daughters arrival from India. We knew it’d be a few days and then suddenly we got a call to be in NYC on THANKSGIVING! What a great day to become a parent! I love your story and I love seeing him as yours. He is such a lucky little guy and I know the whole circle of adoption is thankful for such a wonderful success. Arlo, you’re such a BLESSING!

  • Blythe

    Honestly, such a beautiful story. I am loving every moment you both have shared and continue to share! It fills me with such joy and hope that others in similar situations, can also have a happy ending like yours. It’s so special that you want to make sure he grows up learning his heritage and native language, he will thank you for that one day!

    All the best xo

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing! I’m so excited for you, and I love that you and Jeff are planning on learning Spanish too alongside Arlo! Hugs and kisses to all 3 of you!

  • Lexi

    This is absolutely beautiful and I am SO happy for your little family! Arlo is utterly perfect. Enjoy every sleep-deprived second. <3

  • Justina

    Arlo is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. I wish you so much joy as you all grow and watch Arlo grow together.

  • Chelsey G

    The sweetest story and the sweetest little boy for two of the best people ever!!! James, Ollie and I are overjoyed for you ❤️

  • Brandi

    This is just the sweetest story ever. Congratulations on your new little family 🙂

  • Amanda J.

    I’m in tears. I am so thrilled for your family. Thank you for sharing this story with us!

  • Chhavy

    Arlo looks so precious and congratulations. Not that it matters what I think, but I’m so happy that you’re keeping him close to his heritage in that way. Sending lots of love!


    I have been anxiously awaiting this post. SO HAPPY FOR YOU TWO! (and Bella! and Arlo!)

    What a wonderful story, special gift and extraordinary time in your life. Enjoy.

    PS- Thank you for sharing and being so open about your experiences. As someone going through something similar it is very much appreciated. xoxo

  • Charlotte

    This is the sweetest, most heartwarming story! Reading at work and I was almost in tears at how beautiful it is that this all worked out for you. Thank you for sharing your story! Such a lovely little family 🙂


  • Karlijn

    Amazing to read! N sounds like an amazing woman, strong and beautiful! And Arlo fits perfect in your family. All the love to you <3

  • Angelique

    Awe….I love Arlo❤️ What an amazing story, so meant to be for all of u.❤️

  • Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling

    AH! I had to hold back tears like 22 times reading this post. So thrilled for you guys and your sweet little family! xo

  • Sophie

    So so happy for you both, you guys look completely in your element, loving seeing all the little clips on Instagram. Congratulations again xxx

  • Rocio

    I have a little Mexican Baby Arlo too! Well, half Mexican, half Argentine. Congratulations to you and your gorgeous family!

  • Megan Gilger

    So incredibly happy for all four of you. My gosh such an incredible story. He is perfection and the joy on your faces is so telling of the wait it has taken to arrive here. He is so loved and lucky to have you. Congratulations!

  • Chelsea Evers

    Read this at my desk and am now openly weeping at said desk. So happy for all of you. <3

  • Laura

    Thank you for sharing, this is a such an inspiring story. Enjoy the love!!!!

  • Iva

    Dear Kelly, I stumbled upon your instagram account by accident and, frankly, as I’m not really into the diy stuff, started following you only because a few people whose accounts I really liked followed you. However, you got me really interested and I have to say, your story is amazingly inspirational. You and your husband seem to be incredible strong people. Wish there were more people like you out there. Even though I do not know you and live half way across the world from you, I am truly happy about your son and everything that has happened to you two. Best wishes from Germany!

  • Michelle

    This is so unbelievably beautiful. I’m thrilled for you two. Congratulations. My (very, very soon-to-be) husband and I are also planning to adopt and currently researching how other people have gone about it. Did you go through an agency or use a certain website? How did you first begin with what type of agency to use? Really appreciate all your insights. Congrats again- he’s beautiful. 💖

  • Leah

    Fully crying AGAIN over here! I can’t even IMAGINE the strength of that woman to give up her son knowing that he would have a better home with you. What a selfless act of love. And I honestly can’t think of two better parents for baby Arlo than you and Jeff. I’m just so happy for you guys and love watching this journey. xo

  • Kristina B

    I am over the moon for you guys and this is the sweetest story. Congratulations again and again and again! xo

  • Summer

    I am tearing up reading this. What a wonderful story. I know how emotional it is in the delivery room, so I can just feel the joy and fear and myriad other emotions y’all must have felt. Here’s to s happy life for Arlo!

  • Holly

    OMG I may or may not be crying as I type this…it’s so sweet to hear this story. I’ve followed you both for so long, and it’s amazing to see you three (well, four, because of Bella!) as a family. I’m SO incredibly happy for you guys and so happy you shared Arlo’s story. He’s a lucky little boy!

  • Jessie

    What a beautiful story! I’m in tears 🙂 congratulations to you all!

  • Desiree

    Every detail of this story brought me so much joy, that I couldn’t keep from laughing. What a beautiful story.

  • Ayla

    He is just the cutest, isn’t he?! So nice of you to share this story with all of us, as you say, it’s a very personal and private experience too. Best of luck to your little family!

  • Erin

    What a beautiful story!! (And of course I cried!) being a parent to such a handsome little boy suits you so well…you both look so happy and natural. Yay for you, Jeff and little Arlo!!

  • Rykauna

    I started reading this post at the library at school and immediately burst into tears. So so beautiful, thank you so very much for sharing <3

  • Kara

    How wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with us! You guys are going to be such great parents.

  • Eden

    This story is BEAUTIFUL! TEARS!! SO happy for you ALL… what a blessing Kelly!!!

  • Cortney Moore

    Such a beautiful story! So happy for all 4 of you (I guess 5 if we’re including Bella) 😉

    So much love to you all!



    A Whimsy Wonderland

  • Terrie

    What a beautiful story! I think it’s awesome that you will all be learning Spanish 🙂 Congratulations, again; Arlo is so precious!

  • Maria

    What a beautiful story. I am so happy for all of you. Arlo is so handsome and I hope I can meet him soon! Enjoy every snuggle! xo

  • steph

    Congratulations! He is such a beautiful baby (and has more hair than my two babies combined!). Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  • emily

    As a birth mom in an open adoption (to a beautiful girl and her wonderful dads) I know just how special and emotional and amazing these moments are! Soak them up! Thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations! <3

  • Alysia

    I am so incredibly moved by Arlo’s story. Joyous tears flowed from my eyes as I read the about Arlo’s journey into your lives. Hugs to his brave birth mother. So much love and respect to all.

  • Vicky

    I can only say… ENHORABUENA!!!

  • carrie

    I just loved reading this! I am beyond elated for y’all. And Arlo is just completely precious.

    Big hugs and much love, mama!


  • Stephani

    Kelly, I am so happy for you! I have not been reading any blogs after becoming a mom 7 months ago, so today during nap time, I thought I would scroll through the instagrams of some of my old favorites. I was so happy to see a little baby in your feed! I cried through this whole post. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable throughout your journey to motherhood. You have been an inspiration to many, including me, who have suffered a miscarriage. Congratulations and enjoy motherhood!

  • Amanda

    Oof. So many tears over here. Congratulations to you and Jeff! This is such a sweet story and way to go, Simon! I LOVE the name Arlo, one of my good friends has a little girl with the same name. Congratulations again, I wish you all the best! 🙂

  • kathy patalsky

    What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it. You guys look so happy, I am so happy for you.

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  • Elizabeth

    Love these photos so much!! Congrats!

  • Lindzi Ellis

    Congratulations! Wow what an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing. He is gorgeous and so lucky to have you two as parents.
    My mum was adopted and I have always had huge respect for adoptive parents, my grandmother was the greatest grandmother a kid could ask for, and although we weren’t related by blood, we definitely shared a heart, I was always thrilled when people told me that I reminded them of her because I think it meant they saw something deeper than our faces.
    Congratulations again and here’s to many more chapters in your family story. Lindzi x

  • Paige

    I love everything about this! Congratulations 😊

  • Gisselle Bacigalupo

    Beautiful story!! I’m balling at my desk! Can’t wait to see more baby! And learning of Spanish! My goal is to teach my kids Spanish but it’s pretty challenging! Working in learning song to teach them. Congratulations on your little family! Many blessings to you!

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