About a month ago I found a blog named “Production Not Reproduction” that has various links relating to adoption. I signed up as an “Open Adoption Blogger.” Heather at PRODUCTION NOT REPRODUCTION hosted an interview project (question/answer session) between bloggers that have experience with adoption or are waiting to adopt.
My partner was Tracey who recently adopted a beautiful baby boy. I have enjoyed reading her posts and her perspective about adoption, she is very positive and has some great insight for those who are thinking about adopting or who have recently adopted... and some great ideas for women and moms in general! A few of my favorites are her Prayer List, and Wordless Wednesdays. Check out her blog, I think you will enjoy it!
QUESTION: What process did you go through to adopt? i.e. adoption agency, private, social worker, friend?
After much searching on the internet, we found a local, small agency that is Christian based. They only have 5 women working there and do about 20 adoptions a year. In the 10 years they have been in business they only had 2 birthmom's change their minds at the last minute. We hit it off with our case worker right away and really liked the home style atmosphere.
QUESTION: How long did you have to wait for a child?
My husband and I were married in July of 2003 and had been trying to have a child ever since. We tried artificial insemination twice. (I had also tried to get pregnant with my first husband using AI and drugs and nothing ever happened. We got married when I was 24 and we were married for 6 years. So, I feel I have been trying for a very long time.) We found out agency in January of 2008, finished all the paperwork and were put in the active pool at the end of June and 6 weeks later we got the call that we had been chosen by a birthmom. No, this is not the norm...we were told we could wait around 18 months, so that is the number I had in my head. We met "K," the birthmom of our son in August, the next week we went to the first ultrasound, and found out we were having a boy. Samuel was born on December 8, 2008. We brought him home 2 days later and everything was finalized with the courts on May 6, 2009.
QUESTION: Did your child’s birth mother choose you and your husband for the baby?
Yes. The agency we worked with has all the couples they work with put together a book about themselves with pictures. We also write autobiographies about ourselves. When the birthmom's come in they are asked what kind of adoptive parents they are looking for and based on what they say, a number of books are shown to them and then the birthmother decides who to meet from those books.
QUESTION: What has been the hardest part of adoption?
The wait and the not knowing were hard at the time, but overall we had a very easy process. Taking Samuel home and knowing that "K" had 48 hours to change her mind was full of anxiety. Having to jump through numerous hoops to "prove" we are good people, when others who can't even put food on the table pop out babies one after the other really bothers me. I wish EVERYONE that wanted to have children had to go though the paperwork, background checks and home visits that we did. We'd have children growing up in much more stable environments and the abuse and neglect would be greatly curbed too. Stupid questions are also annoying.
QUESTION: What has been the best part of adoption?
There are a number of things that I love about adoption. It brings people together that would otherwise never know each other. I am closer to my family now (both sides) then I have ever been. It has made me a better person. I am more patient, honest and faithful then I ever thought possible. Seeing God's hand in all of this (Sam looks just like my husband, has the same birthmark on the back of his neck that I do...etc...) and knowing that this is part of the grand plan. Understanding now that DNA really makes no difference at all. Sam is 100% my son and a child of God and God doesn't make mistakes. I now have proof of that! Richard feels more connected to his birthfamily (even though he has never met them), because of this process. And the #1 best thing about adoption....IT GAVE ME MY BEAUTIFUL BOY!
QUESTION: How comfortable are you with open adoption? Would you like to have more/less interaction with your child’s birth parents/family?
To be totally honest, at the beginning, I HATED the idea, but we were told things would go faster if we would at least be open to it. I had very selfish ideas before this process. I remember thinking..."This is MY baby and no one else is going to tell me how to raise it. It will just confuse the child too much." After training classes, talking to other people and finally just meeting "K" and her family, ALL of my fears and anxiety over it DISAPPEARED. I knew as soon as I met "K" and the family that this was meant to be. God wanted things this way and He took the fear away.
We agreed to 3 meetings with "K" after Sam was born and then pictures and letters 4 times a year until he is 2 years old and then twice a year until he is 18. She also has my cell number, but rarely calls. Last Thanksgiving we offered for her to see him again and the meeting went great. As long as her life and family are stable we want to continue with this every year around his birthday. I do wish we had more contact, but from what I understand it is just too painful right now for her and her family. I am hoping that this will change in the future. We have left things in her hands and told her that she can call any time she wants.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about being a mom?
The longer I'm a mommy the better it gets. At first, it was just holding that little bundle and knowing that God made me responsible for this precious gift. As the months went by, it was seeing him grow and change and becoming more aware, hearing his cries and knowing I could calm his fears. Now, it's feeling those little hands around me and seeing that smile and knowing it's for me, seeing him get excited over a new success and looking to me for encouragement. I love seeing life through his eyes. Everything is brand new and exciting.
QUESTION: What advice would you give prospective adoptive parents?
* Be patient.....and stay busy, it helps to pass the waiting time.
* Don't get the babies room ready too early; it makes you think about it too much.
* Be totally honest with yourselves about what kind of child you are willing to love and parent. It isn't fair to them or you to agree to something that is out of your capabilities.
* Be prepared for stupid or ignorant questions.
* Don't be too open at first and then regret it later...you can't unring a bell, but you can always offer more later when things have calmed down.
* If you are given the chance, be in the delivery room. I did and it was the most amazing experience of my life. And when Sam asks about the day he was born, I can tell him every single detail.
QUESTION: How do you plan to tell your son about his birth family?
My husband was adopted (closed) also and we want to tell our son, just like his mom told him. Around the age of 5 or 6 he remembers her sitting down with him and telling him that he didn't come from mommy's belly, but from a different lady that loved him a lot, but wanted him to have a better life and so she gave him to them to raise and love. She said it also means you have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other member of this family.
Because of the way his family didn't focus on the adoption, my husband has no negative feelings about it. He honestly feels like an equal and total part of his family. In fact, when we had to write our autobiographies for the agency, he wrote 4 pages about his life and as I was editing it I realized that he failed to mention it at all. He rarely thinks about it, even.
Since our son's adoption is open, I am hoping that with yearly contact with "K" he will know about this a lot sooner and he can ask her, himself, any questions he may have. He'll also be able to meet his birth grandparents on "K's" side too.
Along with my husband, and a cousin being adopted, "K" herself was adopted, so he will have plenty to people to relate to.
QUESTION: What was something you didn’t expect with adoption?
How my feelings would change about everything: from "openness," and actually wanting someone else to be involved, to not even caring and not thinking about that Sam did not come from my body. It used to make me physically pained that I couldn't conceive and bare a child, now I don't even think about it. I also didn't expect it to touch so many lives, bring past friends back into my life and to bring my family closer together.
QUESTION: Would you recommend adoption to others?
DEFINITELY! 100%!!! It was am amazing experience, from start to finish! Even with all the headaches, I would go through it again in a heartbeat