“Are you getting the baby’s room ready? Well, probably not, I guess. Since, you know, the mom can change her mind and keep the baby.” Is something I hear regularly since being matched with an expectant mom.

We have an open adoption with our daughters’ birth mom and are building a relationship with an expectant mom who has made an adoption plan for her baby. We hope to have another open relationship with her, her family, and the expectant father. That’s why we’ve decided to prepare our nursery for a new addition now.

 1. Relationships are based on trust.

When an expectant mom makes an adoption plan and chooses a family to raise her child, she is putting complete trust in this family. She has to trust that you will honor your adoption agreement and respect her adoption wishes as the relationship moves forward.

We, as adoptive families, have to trust that our expectant moms will place with us. Our daughters’ birth mom once told us, “I have to trust that for the rest of my life you will maintain our open relationship. You have to trust me for the next two months (until she is born).” Those were powerful words and really put things into perspective for us.

 2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I want to show expectant parents that I trust the adoption plan they have made with us. I paint walls, buy furniture, and gather baby necessities. I plan on an adoption placement until something changes. My husband and I went shopping with our expectant mom to choose an outfit together for the baby to wear home from the hospital. We get to know an expectant mom by asking questions that help us learn her likes, dislikes, hobbies, and interests. We choose to get to know her for who she is and not because of her adoption plan. By getting to know the expectant parent, you learn to love, admire, and appreciate them more deeply.

Throughout our adoption journey, we have learned that adoption relationships are both like any other relationship and very different from any other relationship. They require love, respect, and support to thrive. They are different in the fact that you are depending entirely on someone else to create your family.

I do not get a nursery ready because I expect that she will place with us. If an expectant mom changes her mind and decides to parent, that is okay. It’s part of the process. I am willing to risk my own pain and heartbreak because when we do meet an expectant mom who follows through with her adoption plan, we will have built a relationship based on trust and love for one another.

So yes, I am getting a nursery ready. The crib is set up, and the dresser drawers are full of freshly washed onesies, burp clothes, and blankets. Empty frames are hung, waiting for photos to fill them. Hospital bags are packed with the blanket that our expectant mom made just for him. We are ready and waiting for the one phone call that can change the rest of our lives.