Join us as we hear an adoptive mom and a birth mom describing what they experienced at key points in their adoption journeys. For this week’s adoptive mother’s perspective, click here.
Let’s talk about relationships. You grow up with your family, learning how to function with your parents, siblings, cousins, and so on, which carries forward to friendships and romantic relationships until you begin a family of your own and the circle continues.
When adoption becomes part of your life, you enter a new, uncharted area of relationships–one full of unexpected appreciation, awkwardness, hardships, and love.
I remember the first time I met the couple I eventually chose for my son. Just in the first meeting, it was full of all the same emotions. But it was important for me to realize how special that first meeting was. It “sealed the deal” in my heart when I chose them as the people who would be my son’s parents.
It was right around three months into my pregnancy when I started looking for my couple. I searched, begging the Lord for guidance for weeks. They were the first couple I looked at who I continued to think about, dream about, wonder about. I began to email them. Day by day, we slowly asked questions. I loved their honesty about their situation and their opinion on adoption. I could tell they were reserved–nervous to get their hopes up, but still trying to get excited.
I told them that as soon as they thought of a name, I would like to know what it was–so I could call the baby by his name. They told me his middle name would reflect my family’s heritage so he could always remember how he joined their family. This is something I certainly did not think they would offer to me, and I broke down in tears of gratitude. To this day, they still remind him of his middle name and his connection to me. Complete and unexpected appreciation.
I was nearly five months pregnant when I decided to meet them face to face. We met at the agency closest to my home, nerves making my heart feel as if it wanted to see make me jump at every pulse. Beads of sweat were showing no mercy. Would they like me? Would they trust me to take care of the baby before he was born? Would they trust me to sign those papers when the time came?
As I walked in, still in my size 0 pants (the last time I was ever in size 0 pants), they immediately looked at my stomach then over to my caseworker. She smiled and looked them in the eyes and quietly reassured them, “I promise, she is pregnant.” So our first meeting was off to a great start—awkward.
There are always questions that are better to ask in person. All of us held back a few of our more intimate questions until we met in person. I don’t know why, but I needed to know why they were choosing adoption. It was important to me to know why children hadn’t come into their life by natural conception. It was silly, not necessary, and, quite possibly, a little rude. Whatever fears I had then about the subject have since changed. Back then, it was important, but I didn’t want to ask over email. I needed them to know I was seriously considering them before I asked such invasive questions. Then, it was their turn. We discussed the birth father’s role in the pregnancy and his plans for after the child was born. We had already covered plenty of hardships in our first meeting.
Despite the awkwardness and the roller coaster of emotions we experienced in our first meeting, we left with a deep appreciation and love for each other. It was after that meeting that our emails went from formal to fun. We started telling jokes, planning meetings out of the agency, discussing what our lives would be like after the adoption. They would come to visit and take me to lunch, where I told them the devastating news that I do not like tomatoes. Apparently, this is a sin in their family. It was with great pride that the adoptive dad told me, years after my son was born, that my son liked tomatoes.
I would talk to my son late at night, as I lay in my bed playing with my pregnant belly, and tell him about his parents. It wasn’t until after I found and met his parents that I finally began to feel peace during my pregnancy. After that first meeting, we were excited to continue to grow our relationship, we were filled with ample amounts of love.
The first meeting was wonderful and it was something that we talk about and laugh about to this day. It’s a relationship that I cherish and I know it will only grow with time. That first meeting “sealed the deal” in my heart when I chose them as the people who would be my son’s parents.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.