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ElizabethAnn

If It Happens Again...

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We had a call today from a birthmom who's placed through our agency before, and it was the kind of call that made us feel both happy and sad...

We were happy to hear from her, because she'd been out of touch for a long time and we worry about "our girls" when we don't hear from them for long stretches of time. (As do our adoptive families!)

We were sad because she's facing the same dilemma again, and she didn't get the courage up to call us this time until she was within weeks of delivering-- because she feels so embarassed to be in the same predictament.

Therefore, she's insisting that we not reveal her condition or plans to the adoptive parents of her prior child; both because she's ashamed, and because she says this time she wants someone who will be more open with her after placement. (And that makes us feel bad for her, for them and for the siblings who won't grow up together as a result.)

But we are so thankful that she "came home to Abrazo" because she is such a dear part of our family. And while nobody ever wants to think about having to repeat the loss that comes with placing a child for adoption, if any of our birthparents must ever journey down this road again, we sure hope they will let us walk it with them.

Unplanned pregnancies don't happen because women are careless or stupid or selfish or easy. They happen because a little spermazoid with great swimming skills wins the race to fertilize an egg, whether or not this was ever "intended" to happen. That's not a reflection on you; it's simply a fact of life.

So if this should happen to you and you need to revisit the adoption option, please don't punish yourself. Don't put off calling us, due to humiliation or shame or embarassment.

We care! You know we'll understand, and we'll be there for you, just like last time, whatever you decide. Because when you placed your child with us before, we became related for life, You weren't just "a case" to us! We consider you friends forever. And we hope you'll always know that-- and remember Abrazo, whenever you need help you can trust!

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Praying for the birthmom, baby, agency, and potential new family for birthmom and baby.

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I read this post this morning and thought about us, Dante and his Birthmother. We actually talked immediately after Dante's birth about if she did become pregant again with an unplanned pregnancy. We have even talked about it recently. I would support her 100% in any decision she made wether to raise her child, place for adoption or consider placement with another family. Those are HER choices. Of course, I wouldn't refuse if she placed another darling child with us, but we know those are her decisions and hard ones to make. As she knows too well, we love her no matter what and nothing she ever CHOOSES will ever change that. Aferall, she already sacrificed so much and it ended up being the joy of our live. What a double edged sword?

Praying that ALL Birthmothers find the right family to raise THEIR child. Praying for this specific Birthmother that she feel peace with her choice.

Claudia

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Since I have been in this situation I can say to all Birtmothers PLEASE don't be ashamed to call Abrazo again. When I placed my son, Elizabeth worked for another agency(it's been that long ago) and when he was only 3 motnhs old I was pregnant again. We decided to place with the family who adopted our son and go the "private" adoption route. Well it didn't work out and we immediately called the agency we thought Elizabeth worked for and found out she had moved on to another agency,ABRAZO! They tried to get us to work with them but we refused and asked for Elizabeth's new number at Abrazo. I am so glad we did. My daughter was born with many issues and lots of medical bills. They were so patient with us because it was very important to me to find somebody we liked and not just somebody to "give our baby to". It took us two weeks of searching before we found the right parents and Abrazo was with us all the way. They never questioned why it was taking so long and they just kept giving us more profiles untill we were happy. They truly do care and pass no judgement. They realize things happen and still treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve. That is why Abrazo and all of it's people have become apart of my family and have been for almost 13 years now. And I have known Elizabeth for over 14 years now and if by some act of God( after all he is control of it all so no need to be ashamed or embarrassed if he saw fit for it to happen again) I was ever in this situation for a third time she would be the first person I called!!!

Edited by Jada

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I would NEVER EVER Hesitate to call Elizabeth & Abrazo if I needed their services for any reason. After all, why would you call a stranger when you can call family.

May this child, mother and potential ap's be in God's hands.

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Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts on behalf of this birthmom, her boyfriend, their baby and the adopting family who has no idea of the blessing about to befall them... she delivered unexpectedly this morning, so we are so very thankful that the good Lord led her to phone us when she did!!!! :)

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I am so glad that the Lord guided them back to you guys!! We will be praying for all of the families involved.

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Many prayers for those travelling and those making hard choices tonight! May all of you find peace and love at the end of the journey

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Prayers going up for the birthfamily and adoptive family.

May this be the start of a wonderful relationship.

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Lifting up both families this morning. I know they are all facing difficult decisions right about now.

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Out of Arizona comes a touching tale of a mama who found herself facing a tough choice twice, and the adoptive family whose commitment to her child make both decisions turn out okay for her children: Angela's Answer.

I hope this goes without saying, but if we have any former birthmoms out there in Forumland who are facing unanticipated parenthood again and trying to figure out what to do, please! Call Abrazo or your prior adoptive family, if adoption is an option, again. Don't be embarassed or ashamed, because you know both of us will be happy to hear from you, no matter what! and besides, that's what Family is for!!

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I can only begin to imagine how difficult it is to have to make the decision to place a child once, let alone twice. But what got me thinking when I read this strand was the difference in how we think about unexpected pregnancies based on life circumstances. It is amazing to me how quick we are to judge women who have unexpected pregnancies if they are not blessed with the financial resources to support their children. However, these same adjectives are rarely applied to women who have financial resources and partners to assist them in keeping their children in their home, even when the pregnancy was not expected.

I am an educated woman who has experienced a great deal of privelege in her life, and I now find myself pregnant (unexpectedly) for the second time. I have experienced a great deal of support and no one has described me as careless or judged my experience in a negative way. It makes me incredibly sad and angry to know that other women are being handled in a much different manner, simply because of the circumstances in which their unexpected news arrives.

I am not sure that this is the type of message that we are discussing on this thread. But I wanted to send the message to all women who are finding themselves in a difficult place due to an unexpected pregnancy- you deserve support and respect and I hope that you know that there are places that you can turn for both of these. I'm sorry that the double standard exists.

Bobbi

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Here's another story, this time out of North Dakota, about a birthmom getting her life together who placed a baby with a couple of her choosing, and then, placed a later-born sibling with the same family, as well: Double Blessings.

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Thanks for sharing this -- it is always good to hear the powerful stories of open adoption and how all involved are better because of this approach

Patti

Here's another story, this time out of North Dakota, about a birthmom getting her life together who placed a baby with a couple of her choosing, and then, placed a later-born sibling with the same family, as well: Double Blessings.

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Sadly, we do have a mom in our program right now who was trying to get up the courage to tell her child's adoptive family she is again expecting and needing to place... but every time she called to tell them, they said they were too busy to talk and they forgot to call her back, so she's decided to choose a new couple who will have more time to celebrate the arrival of a new baby in their lives.

We know this would NOT be how most of our families would have responded, so we're just thankful she's chosen to entrust Abrazo with her adoption planning, once more. While we are disappointed that her first child's adoptive family let her down, we respect her right to do as she sees best for the baby she's carrying now. We encourage birthmoms to consider the importance of keeping siblings together, whenever optimal, but we realize there are sometimes that isn't for the best, and we leave that decision to the discretion of our birthparents.

A word of advice for birthparents; don't ever assume that your child's birthfamily wouldn't welcome another baby, just because they've never brought it up. Because they are probably unsure how to even broach the subject, much as they might want you to know they'd be open to it.

The family of the child you placed (and hopefully all of Abrazo's adoptive families!) know it would be bad manners to ever ask you to help produce a sibling for them and while they would undoubtedly hope you don't have to ever face the pain of relinquishment again, they love you and the family you helped them become. And chances are, if they are the kind of folks who've been truly committed to their open adoption promises, they would surely want to be the first to know and help, if you ever find yourself needing to make adoption plans again!

Even if, for some reason, the family you originally placed with isn't in a position to adopt again, they should certainly want to become friends with the adoptive parents of your new child, so the siblings can grow up with information about and access to each other. Because in essence, staying connected is what "family" is all about! So if you are needing to make this decision again, please call us, and let us help! We care.

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I hope that this young woman finds a peaceful heart on this journey. May all involved be tender with her and show her kindness as this path is not easy or simple.

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I've been thinking a lot about the above mentioned situation and it just breaks my heart. It makes me sad for the birthmother who has perhaps lost her faith in the adoptive parents she chose for her first child. Shame on them for letting her down and being too "busy" to talk and "forgetting" to call her back. There are no excuses great enough. We're all busy, with work, children, household chores, outside responsibilities, but we should never, ever be too busy for those who we love and care about. After what she had given them....a chance to become parents. It makes me sad for the biological siblings that they won't be raised in the same home. Thank goodness she still has faith in Abrazo and is willing to give adoption another chance. I wonder if the entire situation (her wanting to chose another adoptive family) could have been avoided if both parties involved would have been clearer about their expectations and communicated better. Let this be a lesson learned for all of us, BE THERE FOR YOUR BIRTHPARENTS! Many of them have been through so much in their lives and we need to be a source of stability, encouragement, and unconditional love for them- NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

Thanks for letting me vent! :)

Tamra

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Thank you, Tamra! You're right, of course; good communication and clear expectations are an essential component of any good relationship! and keeping siblings together is a value we all hold near and dear, whenever possible.

Sometimes, of course, despite everyone's best intentions, it may not be "meant to be" or possible to accomplish (and not always for lack of trying on the part of the adopting parents, nor the birthfamily.) On some occasions, it does become necessary for one party or another (or both) to consider other options, and we must respect that, hard as it may be.

It's been said that "everything happens for a reason." Perhaps, at times, we may struggle to comprehend that "reason" initially, but the most important thing is that it's up to each of us to make sure, whatever it is that "happens," that "everything" that we've had a part in ultimately turns out to be in the child's best interest, in the long run.

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Sadly, we do have a mom in our program right now who was trying to get up the courage to tell her child's adoptive family she is again expecting and needing to place... but every time she called to tell them, they said they were too busy to talk and they forgot to call her back, so she's decided to choose a new couple who will have more time to celebrate the arrival of a new baby in their lives.

We know this would NOT be how most of our families would have responded, so we're just thankful she's chosen to entrust Abrazo with her adoption planning, once more. While we are disappointed that her first child's adoptive family let her down, we respect her right to do as she sees best for the baby she's carrying now. We encourage birthmoms to consider the importance of keeping siblings together, whenever optimal, but we realize there are sometimes that isn't for the best, and we leave that decision to the discretion of our birthparents.

A word of advice for birthparents; don't ever assume that your child's birthfamily wouldn't welcome another baby, just because they've never brought it up. Because they are probably unsure how to even broach the subject, much as they might want you to know they'd be open to it.

The family of the child you placed (and hopefully all of Abrazo's adoptive families!) know it would be bad manners to ever ask you to help produce a sibling for them and while they would undoubtedly hope you don't have to ever face the pain of relinquishment again, they love you and the family you helped them become. And chances are, if they are the kind of folks who've been truly committed to their open adoption promises, they would surely want to be the first to know and help, if you ever find yourself needing to make adoption plans again!

Even if, for some reason, the family you originally placed with isn't in a position to adopt again, they should certainly want to become friends with the adoptive parents of your new child, so the siblings can grow up with information about and access to each other. Because in essence, staying connected is what "family" is all about! So if you are needing to make this decision again, please call us, and let us help! We care.

As, Maury and I had just started talking seriously about starting the adoption process again this time last year, we received a call out of the blue from Elizabeth in regards to Samantha's birthmom being pregnant again and wanting to place. When Elizabeth told us, we literally did not have to think one minute about it and our immediate response was yes. . About 3months later we were on our way back to Texas to see a precious newborn baby boy which she placed with us. What a journey for us all.

We had hoped that she would not have to experience that pain again, but rejoice in the faith she has in us as we continue in our commitment with open adoption and love her for who she is. As, I see Samantha (now 3) and Nicholas (now 9 months) play together, I know what blessings we have received. This is the life we were meant to have......GOD is Great!!!

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Let me add an "AMEN" to unexpected blessings as we got a call when Katharine was 11 months and one day old -- completely out of the blue -- to tell us that little Addison had been born and to ask if we would take her. We got throught the shock, the whirlwind, the laughter, the tears and the rest, as they say, is history. A wonderful history, at that. Key to all of this, though, was and is the relationship that we have with their birth family. While we wish it was one of more frequent communication -- we would like to talk them more than they are available --we are always there for them when they can talk. And they know that no matter what, we love them and are here for them. We're so blessed! What a journey.

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And sometimes birthparents ask vague questions... then tell you later what they were really asking. So I would ask the abrazo ladies to please speak to the adoptive parents of the siblings to find out what has really been asked/said to them. I am almost certain most adoptive parents would love to be able to parent a sibling of the child they had already adopted!!

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You know?? I know I wouldn't be embarrassed to call Abrazo again. And I find it strange, but however I understand that we all are different when it comes to adoption. Because the first people I called when I found out I was pregnant with Fiona was the Triplets AP's to see if they had friends that would want to adopt so that my birthkids could know each other!! But like I said, we are all different!!

HOpe it all worked out for the best!!

-Loriahn

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