Naturally my life is heavily influenced by adoption and infertility. Every day it’s on my mind. Not necessarily my situation and my little three-person family, but those around me. Dear friends and family navigating their journey in the adoption world, working, adopting, parenting adopted children, and those who have or possibly will place. That being said, our little LT is turning two the first part of April and it’s stirred up a lot of emotions with recent events. Emotions that I never expected parenting to “fix,” but definitely feelings I thought I had worked through.
Middle of last week I received a text. A text from a young woman whom I could easily say feels like more of a sister. She was announcing her pregnancy and asking for help. Help to tell her family. Help to navigate her options. Help to manage. Help to figure out insurance. Help. My response? First I cried. I remember when she first became interested in boys. I remember the talks about practicing safe sex. My heart ached for her. Then I pulled myself together and vowed to help her. My moment of sadness wasn’t because I was upset with her but because I didn’t know what to do or what to say. I’m very pro-adoption yet I know it’s not right for everyone. I wanted so badly to jump in and ask her if she’d considered an adoption plan. Instead I held back. The only inkling of a hint about adoption was that I suggested that before she tells her family that she have a plan. Something she could explain to them to prove that she can handle this pregnancy and that she’s considered all her options, be it to parent or place, her financial situation, finishing school, etc.
One thing I must admit is that I’m afraid to talk to her about adoption. Of all people. This is someone with whom I have had countless discussions about real things, and I’m worried to bring it up. I remember adoption being brought up by one family member to another family member as an option when her young (under 17, I believe) son and his girlfriend found out they were expecting. There was backlash. Saying that we were trying to “get the baby.” That wasn’t the case at all. We weren’t even the ones to ask if they’d considered it. Now, I don’t want to say a word. Despite almost every moment of my life having been made better through the awesomeness of adoption, I’m downright terrified to ask her if it’s even crossed her mind. While she’s young, unemployed, unwed, and not yet a high school graduate, I know that if she chooses to parent, she will rock it. I know that if it’s right for her and her baby, she will do everything in and beyond her power to provide that child with all that he/she deserves.
Here I am, about a week away from meeting up with her and I’m trying to navigate how to mention adoption. So I ask you, if you’ve approached an expectant mother and discussed adoption, how did you do it? Birth parents, how would you have preferred someone present options? Moms that chose not to place, how could those close to you have been more supportive of your choice?