The first time that I met my son’s adoptive mother, I was blown away by her transparency. I believe she was blown away with mine as well. So here is my tip to potential adoptive parents: be transparent, honest, and open-minded.
I wrote an article on this same topic for birth parents, so the content was different but the message is the same: It is crucial to create a foundation of transparency and respect for all parties when meeting for the first time. This is a relationship with a goal to persevere through changes, and adapt when necessary. The best way to ensure that such challenges can be met, in my opinion, is to commence the relationship appropriately. Everything else will fall into place from there.
In My Experience
The first time that I met with my son’s mother, I was impressed by how genuine and kind she was. I brought up hard topics, and she answered them honestly. The topic that I remember bringing up vividly was the foundation of values on which my son would be raised if she were to become his mother.
My son’s soon-to-be mother explained that she would instill values in him, like respect, manners, and kindness. She expressed how foundational such values were in her marriage already. She communicated that growing up, she was raised by these values and wanted her child to have the same values instilled in him or her. I could tell that she was being genuine. The transparency of her responses and the evidence of her respect for my concern did not go unnoticed. She didn’t know it at the time, but I knew then that she was meant to raise my son and become his mother.
Later that week, I met my son’s father. He was quiet for the most part, but when he did speak, it was with confidence and honesty. He showed me pictures of his family, their dogs, and relayed to me how much he wanted to be a father and how crucial it was for him to raise an upright child. This is exactly what I was looking for. This couple was kind, respectful, didn’t shy away from the tough questions, and was open with me. I knew they would give my son the life I truly believed he deserved to have and that I wanted so badly for him.
On the day that my son’s parents met my son, his mother gave me a necklace with a compass on it. I welled up with tears. I knew she meant what she said and respected me. Although it was beyond pain I have ever felt when I watched them drive away with our son that day, I also felt immense amounts of relief knowing that my son would be safe, secure, and have the best life that any child of mine could have asked for. My son was going home to be with his parents, and I was ever so ecstatic for him.
I think it is important that adoptive parents keep in mind the following:
Just because you are meeting a birth mother and want a child, does not mean that it will be the right fit.
I think it is more important to find the right fit than to rush into a situation. I know that some adoptive parents have waited years to meet their child, but I believe deep within my heart that every adoptive parent and child who is meant to be together will find their way to one another. I also believe that a birth mother needs and deserves a good fit with her child’s parents, and sometimes, finding the right fit can take time. I have heard too many horror stories to believe that rushing into a potentially bad match is worth it. It is crucial that birth mothers and adoptive parents have a mutual respect for one another, and this can be established in the first moments of meeting.
While it may sound like my opinions put a lot of pressure on the first meeting, I don’t believe so. Basically, my suggestion is to just be yourself. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t. Trust that the birth mother you are meeting has some idea of what she is looking for in adoptive parents, and that she has the child’s best interests in mind. If it’s not a good fit, and your values don’t parallel one another, then perhaps this is not the relationship that Divine Intervention has in store for you.
God Bless You in your journey, and just like I tell birth mothers on the path of healing: Don’t give up.
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.