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Tips for Meeting the Adoptive Parents – Thoughts from a Birth Mother

The first time I met with my son’s mother was very eye opening. I realized that a future for my son was possible. I became aware that dreams can come true. I had a vision for who I wanted my son to be with, and on that day, my wish came true.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I met my son’s mother on a Monday. The adoption agent had called her early that morning and told her that she had a baby that needed a family. I was intrigued when I heard that she was going to meet with me. My son’s father was working that first meeting and was unable to make it. So, my son’s mother drove four hours by herself through a snowstorm to meet with me. This woman was coming without her husband to meet with me – a woman she had never met nor spoken to – to discuss the possibility of becoming a mother.
The fact that this woman, whom I had picked via a paper profile, decided she was willing to go as far as she had to in whatever conditions she had to become a mother spoke volumes to me. I was impressed before I had even met her. This kind of boldness, courage, and dedication was exactly what I was searching for. She was willing to go this far to become a mother, and I knew that she had the type of character that would do anything for her child. Before I even met my son’s mother, she had proven to me that she was willing to do anything as a mother.

Be Prepared

I knew what type of parents and character I desired for my son to be with, and I wasn’t willing to make compromises. I had spent countless hours imagining what type of life my son could have, and I needed that to be a reality. It has always been more important to me to meet my son’s needs over meeting my own comfort. I knew adoption was the best choice, but I also knew that coming upon the right parents was the only way that he would get everything I wanted him to have and that I believed that he deserved. I was prepared to do whatever it took to make sure that my son had the best life he could possibly have.
I believe this type of commitment is crucial for a mother who is considering adoption. Adoption is not about being comfortable and choosing the easy way out. Adoption is about making the hard choices, the right choices, and not being willing to compromise when it comes to the future of a child. It takes massive amounts of courage and immense measures of strength and resolve. Keeping this resolve through finalization is crucial in creating a successful adoption story. No matter how great the pain can be, a birth mother who is choosing adoption has to be dedicated to her mission.
This brings me to, in my opinion, the most important tip in meeting with potential adoptive parents: be prepared. Once you meet with parents for the firsts time, you can be honest with them about what you want for your child, but the first step is knowing what that is.

How to Get Prepared

Considering adoption as an option, for me, meant knowing that if the right parents didn’t come along, I would wait until I met them. If I had my son for months after choosing adoption, I would have done it. I believe that Divine Intervention is the reason that the first couple I met turned out to be the parents my son was always meant to have. I can only speak from my own experience, but I speculate that this is not always the case with everyone. Rely on your faith to guide you, but be prepared to ask the tough questions and speak the truth of what you need for your child.

Considering the Hard Topics – Some Examples

  1. Appearances are important.
    • This may sound shallow to some, but it isn’t. You know what attracted me to my son’s parents? Their smiles. I was in awe of how genuine their smiles were in the pictures on their paper profile. If there is something in a profile picture that intrigues you in a positive way, and you just have to meet them, then do it. Make sure you tell them what drew you to their pictures. Not only will it make them feel good, but it is a great way to open up a conversation and break the ice. Appearance may or may not be important you as a birth mother. If it is important to you don’t pick someone to meet and get their hopes up when the truth is that you won’t choose them based on how they look.
    • Appearances are important.
  2. Character was crucial.
    • I was looking for a couple with a specific character. Character is something that is very difficult to change. Character was everything to me. I wasn’t concerned about being charmed; I wanted a couple that was going to be brutally honest with me, even if it meant they had different values than I did. I wanted a couple that had convictions; I needed to know that they would stand by their values regardless of what other people thought. I wanted my son to be raised with healthy convictions that he could stand for and fight for. Whatever personality characteristics are crucial to you, make sure that you voice them. Don’t compromise on character; it is just too important to compromise on.
  3. Discipline has value.
    • Discipline is important to me. I believe strongly in building character and maintaining security and stability through discipline. There are certain concepts I wanted my son to learn, like respecting authority regardless of how he felt about it, holding manners in appropriate circumstances, and honoring his own values. In my belief, this is achieved through parenting with discipline. If a parent is consistent with techniques such as talking to their child about their feelings, sticking to a daily schedule, and utilizing time-out techniques, then a child will have stability that will ultimately create patterns of learning for that child as to what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not.

Respect from the Start

Yes, it is important to be polite to people, but if honesty with someone trumps that, then go with honesty. Don’t hold anything back. Meeting adoptive parents isn’t about making a good impression, it’s about making an honest impression. Be transparent. Be honest. Think of meeting potential adoptive parents as being respectful. Mutual respect is a relationship value that begins with the first meeting. Respecting someone means being honest with them. If you are interested in the parents on the first meeting, but want to know something personal, like what their faith is, then don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask the tough questions and mention the difficult topics, then you are not giving them a chance to be honest about what they need as well.
This meeting is too important to be passive. This meeting is about potentially finding a life for your child. While you should always be respectful, you should make sure to be honest as well. Once this relationship of respect and honesty is established, it will be much easier to maintain throughout the course of the child’s life and throughout the openness agreement. It will be much easier to respect boundaries if respect is the foundation of the relationship.

meeting-af-quoteBe Resolved

Lindsay Rambo Vertical

For a birth mother meeting with adoptive parents, my tip is this: make sure you are resolved in your desires on the hard topics before having the first meeting. Perhaps you have more time to get to know potential adoptive parents than I did and the hard topics don’t have to all be discussed in the first few meetings. Yet, they shouldn’t be put off too long. Be honest from the start about the type of life you envision your child having and see if it parallels the life that the potential adoptive parents have in place and desire as well.
Considering adoption is not easy, and in my opinion, respect and transparency is the best policy. Make sure you are being honest and everything else will fall into place as the process moves forward. If respect and transparency are established from the start, then as the years go by, you will find a fulfilling relationship with your child’s parents, and your child.
~Lindsay Arielle
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.