Archive for October, 2014

#30 Days of Love: National Adoption Awareness Month

Happy National Adoption Month!

This November, let’s celebrate adoption by highlighting the families created through this selfless and inspirational choice and honor the birth parents.  For the thirty days of November, Adoptions With Love will be embracing the love inherent in each aspect of adoption. We ask you to join us in our #30DaysofLove.

Even after 26 years of working in the adoption field, I am still in awe of each of our expectant parents as they make the brave and courageous choice of adoption for their child. This is a deep, personal sacrifice that only very few can fully understand.  This decision is made with such overwhelming love, allowing their child to have the type of life they feel they cannot provide.  Expectant parents never cease to amaze me as I counsel them through their unplanned pregnancies. With a remarkable strength, they are able to make an informed, selfless decision for their baby.

For our adopting parents, adoption is a beautiful way to complete their families. Our adoptive families desperately want to become parents, and the only way to do so is through the adoption process.  Our adoptive parents’ determination, strength and perseverance are truly admirable as they wait and hope for their own bundle of joy.

At the request of one of our children, now 20 years old, I recently found and contacted a birthmother about the prospect of a reunion.  With the support of his family, I reached out to locate his birthmother who was ready and very excited to reconnect. After exchanging a few emails, they finally all met in person just this past week.  The results were more wonderful than we had hoped for!  Her most touching comment will stay with me:  “I cannot thank you enough for finding me… The meeting went fantastically awesomely great!   We met at our designated spot, I knew it was him from the moment I saw him. “

Let’s celebrate each and every day of November to its fullest while educating others about the profound love inherent in adoption. Join us in our #30DaysofLove!


The Child That Was Never Mine

This letter came to Adoptions With Love from a birthmother who placed her baby for adoption.  She describes her thought process in detail and the loving choice of adoption that she knows is the right decision for her.  With her permission, it is being shared.  Names have been changed.

Looking back on my life, I have been faced with my fair share of difficult decisions. I never knew I could impact so many people with a choice until I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I had a very serious matter on my hands, but after a short internal struggle I was able to look at the big picture, and my decision was easy.  I was uncertain what to do, but I had to come up with a plan for the future of this child.  I choose adoption because the time was not right for me to have and raise a child alone, my Christian beliefs and it seemed the best option for all involved parties.

I did not know my life would change forever when in October 2013 I met a guy online. We hit it off instantly.  When we were together we were all smiles and we were very happy.  We rode those happy times without a care in the world.  Until I found out I was pregnant.

Winter was approaching.  I began experiencing morning sickness and immediately I knew before the two tests I took, that I had conceived.  I saw my doctor and he confirmed I was in fact with child.  A flood of emotions filled my heart but I did not feel a single bit of happiness.  At twenty nine years old I was the mother of a three year old, twice divorced and pregnant by a near stranger.  When I told him, my sadness deepened when he suggested an abortion.  He also had a three year old and was going through a divorce and he did not want any more children.  He researched abortion and initially convinced me to go ahead with the procedure.  I made arrangements for the following week but I called to cancel my appointment on the morning I was scheduled to go in.

I was raised Christian and although I did not always practice good Christian ways I considered myself of strong faith and morals.  I believe that every life is precious and that the Lord never makes mistakes.  Wanting to be at peace with myself I decided against abortion which solved a moral dilemma while leaving me uncertain about a very real situation.

He understood my issues with abortion and he himself was of Christian faith but remained extremely worried about what he considered to be “a problem.” One day he called and told me that a neighbor of his adopted a child.  I was immediately drawn to the idea.  I contacted Adoptions With Love.  I was now 8 weeks along.

Through the agency, I learned the ins and outs of adoption.  When I was told Adoptions With Love worked with people that could not conceive, my decision to create an adoption plan was made.  I had been blessed with the greatest gift, a blessing some could not experience.  My pregnancy was no longer a mistake.  I felt as if I had been chosen, as if this was my purpose.

The agency began to show me profiles of potential families.  For one reason or another I did not feel any of them were right for this child until I came across Robert and Meredith.  I knew in my heart when I read their biographies that they were the ones.  We shared the same interest, hobbies, values and most important our religious beliefs.  I explained to them later that “it was a mixture of faith and fate that led me to them.”

Months passed and we all planned for the baby’s arrival.  Twelve days before my due date I woke with labor pains.   Off to the hospital I went and with my mother by my side I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 3:39 in the afternoon.  Naturally I was exhausted so my mother called the social worker at the agency and told her “the eagle has landed!”  He was beautiful.  I held him in my arms and smiled down at him, he was very special.  This tiny baby was truly a blessing, just not intended for his father or me.  I never actually considered myself his mother.  I was his grower. Enlisted with a job, an amazing opportunity, and I was elated to do it. I was responsible for something wonderful and I loved him before I ever met him.

Several hours after he was born his parents arrived.  The four of us sat in my room chatting, sharing stories and getting to know each other.  We formed a remarkable bond that we will share forever.  There was so much love in that room on that hot June afternoon.  I looked at the newly formed family with such pride.  My heart was again filled with so many emotions, but this time I felt no regret or sorrow.  As his birth mother I had the legal right to name him, but I left that honor to his parents.

The day Evan was born he and I drastically changed five lives!  His birth father and I passed our blessing to two truly deserving people.  These two people would raise him with love, kindness and morals.  As a result that little boy was going to do big things.

I signed the adoption papers four days later on my thirtieth birthday.  I shed so many tears that day.  It was and most likely will be the happiest cry I will ever experience.   Although we did not intend to create a child together, Evan is our greatest gift.  When I receive the pictures and updates about him, I know all is as it was meant to be.  My decision to carry a child for nine months for two very special people was the best, easiest choice I have ever made.


Home Studies: Top 10 Considerations

This is part two of our series “How to Successfully Adopt a Newborn” which focuses on the process of home studies and questions that may arise while you are preparing for your home study. For more information on adopting a newborn, read part one of the series, “Steps to Take When Adopting a Newborn.”

Home Study is the process of evaluation and education that is required by each state in order for you to be approved to adopt a child.  A good home study will not only provide the professional/agency with the information they are required to obtain for the study, but it should also give you some tools to use during the adoption process.   It should inform you about what can you expect the wait time to be and the feelings you may have during the adoption process.  It should educate you about adoption, raising adopted children, meetings with expectant/birthparents, talking to your child, etc.

The Home Study is typically performed by a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LICSW) or with an adoption agency.  The process of a home study includes a series of interviews and a visit to your home.  You will also need to complete paper work including submitting documents such as, FBI fingerprint clearances, criminal background checks, medical reports from your doctors, and letters of reference.   These documents will need to be kept up-to-date.  There is a lot of paperwork generated for the home study but do not get overwhelmed with it.  Just go through it step by step.  Understand that you are taking emotional, financial and legal RISKS.  Think about them and make sure you are willing to take the risks involved.  Here are some things for you to think about and questions you can ask your home study provider:

 

  1. How long do you expect to be in this home study process?
  2. Do you need to put a “profile/letter” together so that expectant/birth parents can learn about you? If so, does the program assist you with this profile?
  3. How will you be shown to prospective expectant/birthparents?
  4. Get a pediatrician who will become your baby’s doctor to work along with you in this process. The pediatrician can look at prenatal records and help you understand them.
  5. Will you meet the expectant parent during the process, at birth or at all?
  6. What financial obligations will you have? Will you lose your finances if the birthparent does not choose adoption after the baby is born?
  7. Will you take a baby into your care BEFORE the legal papers allowing the adoption are signed? During a revocation period when a birthparent can change their mind? Before the birthfather is notified or has signed the consent to the adoption?
  8. Discuss how open of a relationship you would like with the birth parents in the years to come.
  9. How do birth parents come to work with the agency/attorney or will you need to work with another agency, attorney or facilitator to find birth parents and an appropriate match?
  10. What kind of services are provided to the birth parents and what will you be responsible for?

 

It is very important to remember that adoption can be an emotional rollercoaster for the prospective adoptive parents as well as for the birthparents. However, you will be successful in this process if you stick with it and take some calculated risks.  Get back up if you get knocked down.  Stretch a little in your requirements regarding the child you hope to adopt.   Get support from those who love you.

Adoption is a positive and wonderful manner in which to build your family.