by Jen Gennaro
After several years of infertility following the back-to-back births of their oldest daughters, Lizzie and Dustin Benzer were told by their OB-GYN that they were unlikely to get pregnant again without medical intervention. That was on December 10, 2020. They never dreamed that a few whirlwind years later, they’d be parents to three under three.
The Benzers chose not to pursue fertility treatments and instead began exploring adoption. With the help of Todd Gaudin with Gaudin Law Group, their adoption journey began in January.
From January to May, the couple completed the necessary legalities – life insurance, home study, background checks, and profile books, which prospective birth parents use to learn more about an adoptive family. Lizzie spent countless hours perfecting their books, but she joked nothing she included about herself made a difference.
Six weeks after being approved to adopt, she answered a life-changing call on a Friday afternoon: six-month-old twins in Texas. It was the babies’ grandparents who had seen the Benzers’ profile book and felt an instant connection to Dustin’s red hair and his love for Waffle House.
The next Wednesday, the grandparents arrived in Zachary with redheaded Ben, and his sister Mila. Just a few days into their weeklong visit, the grandparents signed over custody to the Benzers. In May, their adoption was legally finalized.
There were a number of God-winks along the journey. For starters, the Benzers didn’t know that as they sat in the OB-GYN’s office that December day, that the twin babies they would soon call their own were being born. The little boy would be given the same middle name and red hair as his future father. The little girl would be given a name very similar to one of her future big sisters, Mills.
But the surprises and God-winks didn’t end there. Back at the Waffle House in Zachary, just before the twins’ second birthday, Lizzie told Dustin the news – they were going to be a family of seven come July!
With five kids under one roof, the Benzers remain grateful for the support of their village of family, friends and neighbors that have helped them, and the love and presence of the twins’ biological grandparents.
To help others realize that adoption is a viable and rewarding option, Lizzie emphasizes that it is not always financially overwhelming. Louisiana offers tax credits for adoptive parents, and fostering to adopt is also a viable path. The Benzers are an inspiration, proving adoption is doable for ordinary people who have extraordinary love to give.