Adopting a Baby Who Was First Parented by His Birth Mother

Everything happened just as it was supposed to, says this baby's grateful mom.

Denalee Chapman January 23, 2016

Choosing to grow a family through adoption is a personal matter. Then, after you decide to adopt, you have more decisions to make: International or domestic? Private or agency? Through foster care or straight from the hospital?

For those who plan to adopt a newborn baby, then are presented with an opportunity to adopt a slightly older baby who has already been parented by his birth mother, there is a dramatic shift in thinking.

Following is the experience of three remarkable adults and one darling child. Tyson was parented by his birth mother, Kristy, for four and a half months before she realized it was best for him to be be raised by an adoptive family. This is the experience of Tyson’s adoption through the eyes of his adoptive mother. (Read Kristy’s experience of parenting Tyson before placing him.)

Infertility and Miscarriage . . . What Now?
1. Infertility and Miscarriage . . . What Now?

After 6 ½ years of infertility and several miscarriages, we started the adoption process. At that time, we filled out our preferences on age - that we were interested in adopting a newborn and up to age 3, but we just assumed we would adopt a newborn because that’s what you always hear about.

Adjustments
2. Adjustments

So when Kristy contacted us when her baby boy was 4 ½ months already, we were surprised and had to make some mental and emotional adjustments to the idea that we wouldn’t be there from day one. But knowing there was a little baby out there in need of loving parents and a safe place to call home was all we really needed to know to move forward and see if this was the right placement for everyone involved.

The Meeting
3. The Meeting

My husband was more hesitant than I was. He has so much love in his heart and had looked forward to adopting a baby, but when it came down to this new situation of taking a child who had already been raised by someone else for the first several months, he was nervous and worried that he wouldn’t be able to love him the same. But within 5 minutes of meeting him, he knew the love was the same. He had him wrapped around his finger and never wanted to let go.

Birth Mom
4. Birth Mom

We were nervous about open adoption at first, especially since Kristy had parented him for over 4 months. You worry about bonding and attachment issues and, frankly, if she would change her mind and want him back the next day, week, or month. But from the moment we met her, we felt confident and calm about keeping an open adoption.

No Regrets
5. No Regrets

As we started our time together with our little guy, I thought that one day it would hit me and I would feel disappointment or loss at not having been there with him from birth. That had always been so important to me—to be at the birth, if possible, and to witness his first cry, his first smile, and first laugh. But I was wrong again. I have had zero regrets about our situation with adopting him after he had already been on this earth for months. Kristy loved him during that time and he loved her. Their time together was what was right for that time and he was supposed to come to us later. I haven’t had a single feeling of loss regarding our situation. For that I am eternally grateful.

Bonding
6. Bonding

Seeing my two boys together (from that very first day) filled my heart so much. I’ve never seen my husband so happy. People talk about the pregnancy glow of to-be mothers – they’ve got nothing on my husband in his role as a father!

Tied Together Forever
7. Tied Together Forever

After bringing our little Tyson home, there were still concerns over attachment and how he would react to changing homes, smells, people, places, and sleeping in his own room for the first time. But we took it one day at a time and I’ve been continually amazed at how quickly and easily he adjusted. We feel like we’ve always had him, and yet we love that he got to start life with Kristy. She needed him and he needed her. She gave him life and then made us parents. We are forever tied to her by that unconditional love of her mother heart.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at DenaleeChapman.com.


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