I had a feeling. This wave of comfort came over me. I was full of joy and began laughing so hard my chest was jumping. I couldn’t remember the last time that I laughed that hard. It was then that I knew they were the ones. My friend had told me that I would know when I met them and she was right. They were it.
I had found my son’s parents.
I believe that once the decision to adopt has been made, a birth mother will meet the exact parents that her child was meant to be with. When I was first approached by the adoption agency with families, I was given paper profiles. It was suggested to me that I use the process of elimination to find the best fit for the parents that I wanted my son to have. Yet, as soon as I saw their profile, I had a good feeling. There was no process of elimination; there was a process of divine intervention.
I do not suggest using solely a logically based process of elimination in order to choose the best adoptive parents. I believe that every birth mother can be led to the child’s parents if she allows her heart guide her. After all, mothers have an instinct about these things, and my suggestion to a birth mother is to trust that instinct.
You will know when you meet them. That’s what I was told by a friend of mine who had adopted two children, and she was right.
There were steps I took though to ensure that I would find them, and I believe that birth mothers must do some footwork in order to find the perfect match. Some of the things I considered before even having the agency give me profiles were the following:
• What faith did I want my child to grow up with?
At the time of my adoption process, I was not a Christian yet, so I was hesitant to place my son with Christians. My son’s parents told me that they would lead him with a moral compass. It turns out they are Christians and have a very strong faith in God. I love that.
• How open did I want my relationship with my son to be?
This is a point in which I had to be very clear. I knew that since I had my son for six months prior to placement that I needed to see him more often in the beginning. His parents agreed with this. Remember, the terms of an open adoption relationship are not legally binding, so being clear and up front with the adoptive, or potential adoptive parents, is crucial to the likelihood that you will have the relationship that you are looking for, for you and your child.
• Was there a mutual respect between myself and the adoptive parents?
This was a crucial point. The truth is that people change and relationships evolve over time. The terms of an open adoption will adjust and adapt over time. Faith will grow, people will change, and environments may not always be the same. One very positive thing that you can work towards having and maintaining for your child is to have a mutual respect with his or her parents. Without this respect, in my opinion, the relationship of the open adoption will probably not be sustainable. No matter the bumps in the road with my son and his parents, we still have a mutual respect for one another. Over time, the nature of our relationship has changed, but I believe that the trust between us has only grown stronger.
• Did the potential adoptive parents feel as if my child and I were a perfect match for them as well?
My experience has shown me that openness is important. Just as a birth mother should be open with the adoptive parents, the adoptive parents should be open with the birth mother. If, as a birth mother, you feel any hesitation from the potential adoptive parents in terms of them not being completely open, I would be cautious to move forward with them. I was an open book with my son’s parents, and they were an open book in return. This goes back to mutual respect. If the potential adoptive parents are not being completely open with a birth mother, then it is very unlikely it is going to be a good fit.
My greatest suggestion to a birth mother who is searching for her child’s parents is this: trust your motherly instincts.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.