Melba from Dreams Really Do Come True asked, “Was there anything in either of the responses you received that surprised you?
I wasn’t surprised that my parents appreciated reading other people’s stories about open adoption, but I was happy to hear it. One of the best parts of the process for us while waiting was attending Waiting Family meetings at our agency. We got to hear other people’s stories (birthparents and adoptive parents), and it made the process easier. We always left the agency with a lot to talk about and more hope. My book collection of adoption stories grew to about 2 feet high! I love reading anything about adoption – from everyone’s point of view. So I was really happy to hear that my parents learned from that as well.
I got very choked up when my sister, Tracy, explained to me how she was so happy that Zoe would be able to get to know her birth family. It was so nice to hear her say it. (Oh, and she was all choked up as she told me, too!)
I was a little surprised that Janice felt she would have a hard time if the adoption wasn’t open. She mentioned that she would be worried about what was okay to say/not say to Zoe and how to approach certain subjects. I guess because we knew from the beginning that it would be an open adoption, I hadn’t really thought about how it not being open would affect my family members. I’m glad that she feels happy that Zoe will know her birth family and have contact with them.
Janice also wrote, “Watching my sister's heart break after each treatment didn't work was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through…” Isn’t it something how infertility and the desire to have children really affect so many people in one family? Our families knew how much we wanted to raise a child, and to a certain extent they saw what we went through emotionally. I think the fact that they know the process and all that’s involved really makes everyone appreciate every moment with Zoe even more than they already would have.
Christa from Fearlessly Infertile, asked about being afraid of failed adoptions, the long wait, and the thought of not being “good enough” to be chosen by a birthmother.
Yes, we were afraid. We were definitely afraid. However, we had already been through a lot, and I guess at a certain point we just felt it was time to jump in and take another chance. When friends and coworkers found out about us adopting, I heard many (MANY) stories about people knowing someone who knew someone who had been through a failed adoption. It was less than helpful, let me tell you. I felt like we already knew the risks involved – our agency was very thorough as they went through them at our meetings. Plus, we weren’t naive – we knew we could be waiting for what would feel like forever or we could wait for a very long time and still not be linked with birthparents. Thinking about it can really be overwhelming. But what it comes down to (I think) is what are you willing to risk to become a parent? Are you willing to risk going through the process and it possibly ended without a placement? The possibility of the birthparent deciding to parent is real – but hopefully the fact that so many people really do adopt is hope that it can happen for you, too. On top of that, we know quite a few people who have been touched by adoption (children who were adopted and adoptive parents) and we felt really good about starting our family through adoption. That made us less afraid and more willing to try it.
The long wait…well, we were told it could have been up to 2 years or more that we might wait. We were really fortunate to be chosen by a expectant mother early in the wait – we went “active” in mid-December and were chosen in late June. So we expected a long wait, but we didn’t have as long of one as we could have had. While we were waiting, we just tried to keep busy and do things to prepare ourselves – we attended our meetings at our agency, I read everything I could get my hands on about adoption, I joined adoption chat boards,and we sent letters out at Christmas time to our family and friends about adoption. We let everyone know so that if they knew of a situation, they could keep us in mind.
The thought of not being good enough…
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t think we were good enough; I think I was worried that it would take a really long time for someone to feel like we were a good match for them. It’s hard to sometimes express who you are on paper with words and pictures – sometimes it comes across much better in person. But when a birth parent is looking for adoptive parents they are most likely looking at a stack of profiles – full of words and pictures. Our caseworker encouraged us to be specific about ourselves and hopefully that gave a better idea of who we are. We really feel like we’re a good fit with Zoe’s birth mother and her family– we have similar interests, similar values... So I guess you could say it’s a good match for everyone involved.
I wanted to say that I really appreciate everyone’s comments on the last post. A few people mentioned that they were going to talk to their families about how they felt about adoption, too. My mom mentioned today about how it’s neat that writing a blog can help so many other people (and she mentioned how it’s therapeutic, too!) I just think it’s pretty cool that one blog post might generate so many other conversations about adoption. Definitely a good thing. :)