The Gotham FC teammates bring Sloane onto the field after a game this season. (Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)

After a whirlwind process, Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger adopted daughter Sloane in February 2021. The soccer star couple long had plans for bringing a child into their lives after they wed in December 2019.

“A part of who we are and our relationship, we always spoke about wanting to adopt first because we thought that was important in terms of the timeline,” Harris told Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams on the Snacks podcast. “We thought before we either had a baby or anything like that, we wanted to have our adopted child feel that unconditional love by themselves first.”

Harris and Krieger had a rough plan for how they might start the adoption process. The couple had wanted to try to make the Olympic roster and stage a proper send-off after their decade-long USWNT careers, but then the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the Summer Games.

Worried about further delaying their adoption journey, Harris and Krieger decided to get the ball rolling. “We thought we’d start the process because we were scared if we kept pushing it and pushing and pushing it, it might take a really long time, which most people in the adoption process know it’s a really, really tough thing to go through,” Harris said.

Harris and Krieger put their names in, and within three weeks they heard from a potential birth mother looking for a same-sex female couple.

“We actually met before Sloane was born a few times. We had a great relationship with her,” Harris said.  “She was like, ‘I just never understood why it was so hard for same-sex couples to adopt children,’ and she was like, ‘I feel that you guys deserve love and happiness and a family, too.’”

A process the couple thought would take years was suddenly underway in a matter of months. After keeping the news to themselves during the USWNT’s Fall Series, Harris and Krieger told their teammates during January camp, with baby Sloane due any day.

“January camp came — that was the last time we were in — and we had told the team, and we told Vlatko [Andonovski],” Krieger recalled.

Sloane was born in February, and the couple was able to make it there in time for her birth.

“We were in the room next to the birth mom. She allowed us to share the process with her and Sloane at the time,” Krieger said. “Not everyone gets that opportunity.”

Amid their excitement, they tried to keep cool heads as Florida law allows birth parents 48 hours to decide if they want to keep the child. “We have to stay on the ground because we could just drive home with an empty car,” Krieger remembered thinking.

Sloane did go home with them that day, and the couple couldn’t imagine their family any other way.

“We’re loving being moms so much,” Krieger gushed.

Listen to the full episode of Snacks with Krieger and Harris for more on the couple’s path to parenthood.