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kristal

Selecting the right family for your baby

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Will come back to you ladies later on this, short in time right now, got to get to work … Thank you for your responses, as I read posts my mind is going 100 mph...

Wishing you all a wonderful day!!

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I can't imagine being in a position where I needed to choose a family... put all my faith in this family... to raise my child, never knowing if the things they told me about themselves (their family history, their medical history, their aptitude to be parents, etc) was true. The leap of faith that takes far surpasses any leap of faith I think APs have to make.

Sure, we go through home studies and all of that... but how do they know if the promises we make are true? They have to put their faith in us. We're taking on a lifelong responsibility to raise a child, so of course we hope for a healthy child if it's possible. That BP certainly hopes their child is healthy, too... that's just love. But they put their faith in us that we won't betray them, won't raise their child in secrecy, won't shut them out... there are certain things they can choose on the front end, but the blind faith it takes to hand complete control over to someone else and just believe in them has to be so tough.

That's just personally how I feel as an AP. It's impossible for us to write down what we want on a piece of paper and then cast the bottle out into the sea and wait for that "perfect" situation to float back to us. We all daydream... we fantasize about what our child might be like or look like... we lose our train of thought in the middle of the day thinking about how "ideal" we hope our open adoption situation is. But the truth is... when APs get that phone call... hopefully, when they hear that a child needs them, they forget "perfect." Hopefully the APs talk about the things that are REALLY important to them... what they can handle vs. what they've dreamed about... and then they take a humongous leap of faith.

Our leaps of faith are different, and while we can all pick and choose certain things, the real decision lies with the birthparent who has to ultimately decide if the APs she chose for her child are the people she really wants to raise her child. She puts faith in us that we'll do a good job and that we'll have that door propped open forever so that even if contact is too hard right now, or her life isn't condusive to contact right now, she can watch her child grow up when it's possible.

For PIWs, I think the daydreaming makes us feel more committed and more linked to open adoption promises. We start broadening our minds, thinking, "oh, if my relationship could be like theirs, I could do this." At least that opens up our minds to think and reconsider what once might have sounded scary. Then, hopefully, the more we all realize that EVERY situation is different, the more we begin to trust in ourselves that we can do this... no matter what hardship may arise. If I learned nothing else at all from this experience, it's that when your baby is placed in your arms, the challenges are somehow pushed far into the background. When you're witnessing a woman's pain, there is no "ideal." In open relationships, when times get tough (because undoubtedly, times will get tough somehow, some way along the road) there is this child in your life calling you "mommy" who counts on you... and somehow, it gives you the strength to "do right" by that child in any way you can, if openness truly matters to you.

Elizabeth has written many times that in an "ideal" world, adoption wouldn't exist at all. We'd be fertile and able to have biological children. Birth parents wouldn't be plagued with hardships that make placement plans their best options. Children would grow up with their biological families and wouldn't experience loss. But "it is what it is" and so we all do the best with what God has planned for us... because birth or adoptive parent... it's my opinion because of my faith that we can plan and plan and plan... but when God has something in store for us, if we listen carefully with open hearts, we'll all get exactly what we need. The subject of this thread is "Selecting the Right Family for YOUR BABY" and I think that puts things in the right perspective. Selecting the right adoptive parents is a gift that birth parents get to give their children. It's so easy to forget (I oftentimes do) that adoption isn't about what I get out of this relationship... it's about Ollie's birthmama choosing people she felt would raise her son in a way she could be proud of. It's about me living up to those promises and providing Oliver with the best life possible... one that affords him the ability to stay strongly connected to the family who made his life possible.

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Melissa i (as always) love how you phrase things and how you view things.

Fran i like how you are looking at it,most birthmoms have the same goals and dreams for their Aps.

In group today i was trying to explain to a new BP that its hard to keep in mind that our fears are similar to yalls (APS) fears.I know my phone calls i didnt think of that at all and now its all i think about.And to remember honesty and being up front about all things is just as comforting to the APS as it is to us.

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.And to remember honesty and being up front about all things is just as comforting to the APS as it is to us.

Mandi--good point!

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Grace,

Thanks for your response. I think Trust has such a big part, the flexibility and openness to figure it all out as well. I think of any relationship, nothing really happens by magic, all relationships take work, a give and take attitude as well as respect for each person.

I agree with Elizabeth, expectant moms have taken the responsibility in several different forms; medical attention when they could get it, the biggest is making a plan a personal sacrifice that will allow/afford their child a better life then what they are able to provide at that time in their life. In reality no one can dictate what she must do or not do during pregnancy even if she weren’t considering entrusting, people (family, friends, doctors, nosy acquaintances) can certainly gently encourage, suggest, recommend, etc. but what expectant moms choose to do is up to them in the long run, though I would think in a situation of entrusting, it may be a fine line for a PIW to do the above, but as Elizabeth mentioned a PIW certainly has a choice whether to want to match with expectant mom or not if what she has done/not done during her pregnancy is not what the PIW would like or do if they were in her situation if they could be (meaning with child). Thanks for your candid view.

Fran,

Thank you for your response.

I personally and I guess especially being part of the first family side love your “ideal situation” relationship. I also believe that the child is/should be the primary focus for all involved, I whole heartily believe this type of relationship benefits the child to grow in an emotionally secure (as possible) environment. On my selfish side, I feel in many cases it helps ease the loss and pain of the first- mom. The first- mom will always have that void, the special place in her heart that is missing a piece, and as you mentioned the child also having a hole. It may not heal completely, but knowing each other, seeing, talking and interacting is so much better than the not knowing anything about the other and always wondering.

I agree that the strength and commitment must be there. So essential on both sides of the spectrum, though I think it becomes stronger over time if all parties allow it and are committed. What a great tool to use video chat when possible, would keep relationship fresh in-between visits. On the “on paper”, isn’t that something, don’t we as humans, sometimes allow our first impressions no matter how we come by them to dictate likes and dislikes without giving the other person a chance, and when/if we finally do, we think “wow you’re not so bad”.

I think group is a great tool for first-moms; the best folks to identify/understand them are those that have walked in similar shoes. Though if they do not have the opportunity to attend, there are a few groups on-line (too few) (I think nothing compares to an in person group). I also feel the support of family and open communication within the family makes a big difference in their healing process. It seems like there are too many first-moms who do not have this, so a group of other first-moms would be so helpful. Some folks say supportive friends, this sometimes goes the other way, because many will not understand, certainly can’t identify with the loss and may be very uncomfortable with the subject, so it’s easier to distance themselves from the first-mom. Frankly some family or friends may not agree with the decision that was made to entrust, so having the option of group would be a blessing.

Having things in common would be a bonus I think, but if the hobbies/music is lacking in the beginning maybe each will open up some new interest that the other may not have considered before, and of course the main thing in common would be “their child”, what parent doesn’t like bragging of their child and his/her accomplishments, I think this makes for great conversation. I don’t think you sound like a Pollyanna, what you describe is not only a beautiful commitment to the child in the center of all hearts but a blessing to all involved. My family is blessed to feel like this, we see not only my grand-daughter’s parents, but her grandparents and her aunt as part of our family, just like we do our bio and in-law relatives. The bigger the better to surround her with love I say.

There are first-moms/first-parents that may not want this type of relationship or commitment, and there are would be adoptive parents that also do not want this. Though the child would miss out on the bigger scale, these two type of relationships would be a better match with each other. Allowing for those first families and adoptive families who want to become a part of an extended family find each other. The only way though this can happen is by being upfront and honest with yourselves and each other as to what the intentions really are instead of telling the other what one thinks they want to hear or worse yet as some may think, just to get a child. There are some first-moms/families who may want the relationship but it may be hard for them at first, may take some time and if they are blessed with an adoptive family who supports and understands them; this can evolve to a wonderful part of not only each other’s lives but most importantly the child’s life. Wow, so many things to think about, look at, consider, analyze and pray about.

Though adoption is hard for the birth side, it is a blessing for the adoptive side, can’t have one without the other unfortunately. But I believe those that cross our paths are due to God's plans, if we just stop long enough to listen. Some subtle thoughts or feelings may be all he gives, following those gut feelings may be needed.

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But I believe those that cross our paths are due to God's plans, if we just stop long enough to listen. Some subtle thoughts or feelings may be all he gives, following those gut feelings may be needed.

Mari, you always get me thinking! In our first PIW journey we definitely had some "go with your gut" moments and I'm so glad that we took a leap of faith. I kept wanting a solid sign of what decisions to make - but it was more like God had planted the little seed of faith in my head and after a couple of weeks time (we were lucky that we had some time to think about things) it had grown into a big courage to take on whatever our future child might need.

And oddly enough I find myself now asking for a BIG sign again. My husband and I had started talking about a second Abrazo journey at the end of the year. But I just lost my father and the world seemed to stop. I assured him that life would keep us all moving forward anyway and to not worry about us (my brother just had a baby boy today by the way!). So I find myself asking God and my dad above what comes next for me and how soon? There have been those subtle signs but how to interpret??? Someone so accurately said of my dad at his funeral that he was the kind of guy that always had the answer but delighted in making you figure it out for yourself - and he's still doing that to me! Maybe God works in the same way :) My uncle also pointed out how much it meant for me to be surrounded by my 3 siblings this week. That comment alone helps me take the long view of how much I want my child to have a sibling.

Anyway, a little off the topic of selecting a family but that's where I found your comment just when I needed it!

But I can relate to the comments about not rushing to judgement necessarily about what you see on paper versus having that call. When you talk to someone that has similar ideas about openness and just other things in common (values maybe) some of the scary things become a lot less scary. Trust and honesty and faith and letting your gut feelings grow go far in this journey I think.

Amy

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Beautiful post, Amy. Something tells me you'll feel that spark... the tug at your heart strings... and something will just set the gears into motion in your journey to Charlie's sibling. It's pretty awesome thinking that you have an extra angel up there now... one who is especially invested in creating miracles for your family. Congratulations on your new nephew! What an amazing gift of joy during a time of sorrow.

When the time comes, and a birth mother has the opportunity to consider you, Craig and Charlie as a possible family for her baby, she's going to find a wonderful friend in you. Just keep listening and pausing to feel the tug. Big, huge hugs to you.

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Amy,

First and foremost, my most sincere condolences on the loss of your dad. Unfortunate that Charlie will miss out on getting to know him, but I’m sure your dad will always be there with him. Secondly congrats on the arrival of your nephew, praying that mommy and son are doing great and of course can’t forget proud dad.

I think my daughter would say I am a little like your dad in the sense that I may know an answer to a question she has, but I will let her try and figure it out or have her look it up before I give it to her.

You WILL know when it’s time to take the next step in your journey, whatever step that may be. In the meantime enjoy your little one and keep a watchful eye and a tuned in ear for those little signs. Don’t discount the whisper of the wind. Have you ever seen the movies Fools Rush In or Serendipity…they each have some great scenes where Matthew Perry and John Cusack start noticing signs in the least expected way and places.

Ecclesiastes

A Time for Everything

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

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I think Melissa said it better than I can. I can't imagine the difficulty BP's face in essentialy trusting complete strangers with their most precious child. As an AP, not being selected by a BP would feel like rejection, however, we would completely understand. They have to do what they feel is right and not rush into something that are not completely on board with. This is one of the biggest decisions of their life and we would expect nothing less. From the beginning Tim and I wanted it to be the right match and not match with the first BP that was interested in us just because we want to be parents. When you are new to adoption, you dont really understand what that means. Yes, we clicked with our first match, however we never had any difficult or intense conversations. Some things about the situation seemed to point to it being the right match for us, so we moved forward. Things fell through at time of placement and in hind-sight, I can see some things that I may have missed. We should have had those difficult conversations. As difficult as it was and as much as I worry about that baby, I wouldn't change a thing. It was clearly God's plan for us to learn from and grow stronger. We know He had a different plan for us. A plan that was already in the works, we just didn't know it. With our current match, Ellen was a friend of ours before we knew she may be a birthparent. We clicked from the beginning and had so much in common. Since our relationship was rooted in pre-match friendship, I think we both felt a real connection and have a deeper level of trust and friendship already established. We always felt at ease maintaining our friendship, because we had thought that because we lived at a distance, we didn't fit her criteria as a prospective adoptive couple. We often talk about how we both feel God is watching over this friendship. I don't like using the term birthparent when talking to my friends, because thats not what she is to me. She is Ellen, my dessert twin, who loves the Seahawks (unfortunately), works hard for her family and is working toward becoming a teacher. I look forward to texting with her every day and I love our weekend conversations, even if they keep me up past my bedtime. We are open and honest about everything. We talk to each other like we have been friends for years. I am glad that our match is longer, so we can grow our trust with her and show her that we WILL live up to the things we discuss. I imagine at some point we will have a bump in the road, but since we do have open communication, we will get through it. Wether or not she choses to place, she is my friend and I will support her. Even though we only spoke to Ellen pre-match, we have since had the opportunity to speak with Sergio and establish a relationship. We look forward to meeting him and seeing Ellen soon! Leslie

Edited by tropicalsmootie
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Leslie, you made me cry in a beautiful way. I feel so rooted to you and Tim. I know us matching was certainly God's doing and I'm so grateful. I'm writing a post on my blog tonight if anyone wants to see a better response.

At least we'll never have to deal with the Packers playing the Seahawks in the Superbowl. We need to learn the conferences ;).

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It is helpful to read this thread, as we are waiting for a match. We've had a few calls with a potential match, that didn't turn out to be our match, but we trust in God's plan. I cannot imagine the difficulty of decisions being made by first mom's when they are deciding whether to make an adoption plan, and trying to find the right couple to entrust their precious baby with. I am thankful that they do what they feel is best for themsevles and their baby when deciding on the right match.

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I read the below submission in a blog called Bumbler's Bumblings today, which is written by an adoptive mom, but her son's birth mother is a guest writer sometimes. The writing below is from her son's birthmom Amber about the day she first met her son's parents, her expectations for them, why she chose them, and her feelings on selecting the right family for her baby. Such a moving story about all of the thought that went into her decision.

Here's the link, but the text is pasted below in case the link goes bad.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable: Guest post from B's Birthmom

Open Adoption Roundtable #27: Write about a first meeting.

I'm so pleased to be able to share the following story, written by our son's birth mother. She refers to him as Bundle in her story:

It seems almost impossible to accurately describe the feelings and emotions that surround the meeting of the parents of your child. That statement alone holds thoughts that can never be understood unless this exact experience has been a reality in your life. But, here I am over two years later and I clearly remember every detail and I will try my best to express and explain the most important meeting of my life.

The night before the meeting I sat at my window, watching the snow quietly fall, and told Bundle all about the events of the next day. I read and re-read their profile, analyzing every word and picture. I was so nervous I could not fall asleep and I just stared and talked. I wasn’t nervous because I was unsure of my choice to pick a family for adoption I was nervous because I wanted to pick the perfect family. My idea of perfect is not the family who has everything together, never fights, and looks beautiful every Sunday at church. My perfect family is one that loves each other unconditionally, loves God, and loves life. How exactly do you decipher these qualities from a couple you meet for two hours? I had no idea how I was going to be sure that these were the people I wanted influencing and raising my son. This seemed like an impossible task and I was terrified of making the wrong choice.

The snow began to pile outside my window and I decided that the first test for the couple would be whether or not they canceled our meeting. It was an early morning meeting and we had chosen a neutral location at a conference room in a hotel. But, of course the blizzard was predicted to blow through the night and well into the following day. I told my social worker that I did not want to cancel the meeting and I waited to hear what the couple was thinking. I wanted to see if they thought this meeting and, essentially meeting their potential son, was worth driving through record breaking snow. If they canceled I would have never rescheduled and started back at the beginning.

The next morning my social worker confirmed that the couple was not only willing but thrilled to hold to our meeting time. So, my family packed into my Dad’s truck and proceeded to drive in a raging blizzard to get to the meeting. I went over thoughts and questions in my head as I stared out the window and whispered to Bundle. I had read their profile so many times, I felt like I knew them already. I tried to put myself in their shoes so that I could understand what they were thinking and feeling. My plan was to be myself and see how well we meshed because Bundle’s personality would probably reflect mine. We pulled into the hotel parking lot and I instantly checked all the cars plates and tried figuring out which one was theirs. A car can say a lot about a person and I was desperate for any clues or hints.

We trudged through the snow into the conference room with my social worker. She said that the couple was in the hotel waiting and that they were very nervous. We joked about how we should just not smile and shoot questions at them and make them really nervous, just to break the ice. It was obvious that everyone involved was going to be nervous but I wanted to see the couple in a comfortable setting so that I could understand who they were, how they acted, and their thoughts without the pressure to perform for me. So I rearranged the room. The hotel had set up long tables with chairs sitting far apart and it was very impersonal. So I suggested taking the chairs away from the tables and setting them up in a cozy circle to ease everyone’s nerves.

Watching them walk through the door brought a flood of emotions. My mind immediately went to work. First thought, Nate held the door open for Amber, good. Second thought, she is beautiful. And this was the beginning of exhaustingly documenting every thought and storing it deep into my memory. Every second that happened in that meeting I relived and worked over in my mind every hour of every day until I went into labor.

I immediately jumped out of my seat and ran, actually waddled over to them. I told myself early on that I would not pay attention to superficial things such as looks or clothes. But, the first thing I noticed was that they were a very good looking couple and well dressed. I introduced myself to Nate first and I told him I would rather hug him than shake his hand. I remember thinking that he was really handsome and had features that Bundle was going to have, dark hair and blue eyes. This was very important to me because I wanted Bundle to look like the family I chose. He smiled and hugged me and was quiet. I instantly decided it was not necessarily the shy kind of quiet but more the thinking kind of quiet. I then turned to Amber. She was beautiful and very nervous. Hugging her was special because Bundle hugged her too. I’ll never forget when she looked at me and then at Bundle. It was a defining moment in that day and in my life. It wasn’t the sparkle of excitement in her eyes or the kindness that I saw, those things I expected. It was the sadness that I saw, not for her or from her past but for me. I had put myself in her shoes so many times and I knew she would be nervous and hesitant and excited. But the fact that she had thought about me, my feelings, what I was about to do, made me realize that she already loved Bundle. She had a kind heart, she understood me.

After introducing my family, minus my twin who couldn’t make it, we all sat down in our circle of chairs. My social worker prayed and we began our meeting. Right away, Amber, was so nervous that she picked her finger nail off. It went sailing through the air and then fell to the floor in the middle of the circle. She quickly jumped out of her chair, picked it up, and stuck it in her pocket. It was a hilarious event because my little sister literally asked her why she decided to put her nail in her pocket. This was the ice breaker because everyone had to laugh. Looking back it’s even funnier because I know Amber so well and I am no longer surprised at her hilarious and wild antics.

The afternoon seemed to float along. We talked about planes, boats, and shopping. We talked about their history as a couple, their goals, and families. I was very specific in my expectations for them and they met every single detail that I had in mind over and above. It surprised me. I set goals that I thought I would have to compromise on. I did not want a history of divorce in either family, must be adventurous, educated, friendly, Christians, outgoing, kind, hard working, easy to relate to, and the list was endless. They fit each idea and description and I was overwhelmed.

Then Amber told me of when she first found out about me choosing them and she was so excited just telling me about it. Her eyes were sparkly, excited, and her words were full of happiness and anticipation. I loved that she was so bubbly and vibrant. She said exactly what she was thinking right when she thought it. It was easy to tell that she was driven and loved life. Nathan was very funny also but in a different way than Amber. He was kind and sensitive and reminded me a lot of my Dad. Towards the end of our meeting I excused myself to call my twin and fill her in. I wanted to be on the outside and secretly spy when they thought I wasn’t looking. So I stood in the back of the room and watched Nate and Amber interact with my family. The thing that struck me the most is that they were so eager and absolutely bursting with life. The room was never silent, but filled with laughter or happy chatter. We had our serious moments but they were met with open hearts and minds. This was not only similar to my family and home life, but it was exactly the atmosphere I wanted my son to be raised in. I wanted an atmosphere of life, living, laughing, and loving. I chose life for my son once and I wanted to choose life for him indefinitely.

Before I knew it two hours had flown by and we decided to head out into the storm. I could’ve sat and talked for hours and hours with them and this was something I had not expected going in. I said good bye to Amber last and I asked if she wanted to rub my giant belly. She looked at me with hesitation and I’m pretty sure slight anxiety. My decision was already made and I knew Amber would be perfect for Bundle. And as corny as it sounds we shared a special moment.

So how do you pick the people to care for your child? How do you make that choice of handing over the life you made? I wanted to be the one to protect him and love him. But I couldn’t. Once you get past the feeling of helplessness you have to decide who can take your place. So how do you pick and trust someone to care for the only thing in this world that you love? You don’t. I really believe that I did not pick them. God did. It was a God ordained plan. A masterpiece of events and incidents. We found each other through God. This plan is my gift to Bundle. I may not give Bundle his dollar from the tooth fairy, I may not give him his first piggy back ride, I may not give him gas money or drop him off for his first day at school. I may not give him a kiss good bye after his first date or give him the keys to his first car. But I gave him my eyes, I gave him my heart, and I gave him life.

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Thanks for posting this Melissa. It's so heartbreaking, but loving to read this mother's journey. Before Drake came into our lives, I really contemplated what would make a mother choose us. But I came to the same conclusion as the author, God brought us together. It's hard to remember at the time, but I hope I carry it with me on this journey.

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She has a beautiful writing style. I really liked this post. I never put myself in the adoptive couples' shoes with either of my first meetings, but I was nervous and excited all the same. It is so overwhelming to meet the people who are going to raise your child. I like what she said about the personalities meshing well. I believe my children will inherit a lot from me, and I'm glad that I was at ease with both of my meetings. I'm gregarious and silly, I lack a mental filter at times and I can be very sarcastic. Neither couple minded. This birth mom is right: We don't find the couple, God leads then into our lives.

With my current match, I feel so at ease when talking to them. We have had many, many serious conversations and I have asked questions that I consider to be heavy or challenging to answer. I need to know the answer and I have the right to ask them and receive an honest answer. I'm not finding a new home for my dog or something "frivolous" like that. No... I am securing the future for my daughter and I deserve to have as much peace of mind as I can. I feel fortunate that I have such peace of mind, that my questions are never skirted off or taken harshly. It is, of course, a two way street. Tim and Leslie have every right to know about me (and Sergio), to know my past and to be exposed to my heart. It is crucial that we know how the other side reacts when chaos or misunderstandings happen. Without such honesty and openness, how are either of us supposed to feel comfortable working together to stay friends for the sake of the daughter we will soon share?

I can't remember the extent to which I have posted on this thread, and I'm too lazy to check. Pardon me if I'm repeating myself. I have words flowing out of me and I feel they are important to share and be read by all.

Although the most important part of an open adoption relationship happens post placement, the magnitude of the match cannot be denied or minimalized. I have very much enjoyed sharing a long match with my future family, the man and woman who are going to be my daughter's parents. I have really come to love them, to see them as family. Although I don't want to be too overbearing, too emotional, too serious or too scary, I have been myself throughout the whole thing. They seem quite happy that their future child might have my sense of humor. She might have her (future) birth father's shy nature. She might be fair or caramel complected. She might be as determined and stubborn as Naomi. They have seen the people we are, and they still love us. I know they genuinely care about us- they aren't putting up a front just to get a baby. They aren't seeing that part right now. They realize and accept the reality even I have trouble with sometimes: she isn't their baby, even if there is a yet. She won't be their baby in the hospital. No, she will be their (our) baby after Sergio and I relinquish her. How amazing they are... I can't even begin to describe.

I consider myself fortunate that we had months of dialogue before our visit, so I already felt I knew them more deeply than I would have without it. We were matched for 2 months before they visited. We talked so much during that time. Regardless of the intense closeness I felt towards them, I was still nervous for the meeting. I was technically meeting them a second time but under completely different pretenses. What if it blew up in my face? They came to my gate (and almost got eaten my dog), we hugged, and all anxiety disappeared! Our visit was amazing... I knew I had picked the perfect couple for Sergio and me. More importantly, we had chosen the perfect family for our daughter.

We are approximately four weeks away from D-Day. I am confident and secure in our relationship. I know this is only the beginning to a beautiful friendship that will last forever. To answer the author's question, how do you pick the right family for your child? The answer is, you don't. They were made for your baby, and vice versa. What's meant to be, will. God is always watching and listening. Trust Him, and He will never let you down.

(Sorry if this was too drawn out. Also, please pardon any typos. I'm not about to go through and edit this on a smart phone ;)).

Edited by elly_mae
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That was beautiful Ellen.

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Ellen, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's so helpful to read your reflections and the article that Melissa shared to help us all understand what that nerve-wracking looks like from the potential birthparent side of the table. also, i am in AWE that you typed all of that on a phone! :)

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Beautiful! beautiful Ellen!

I spent a lot of time singing to Collin as an infant (colic). I was cracking myself up one night - i should brainwash Collin with songs he should sing to me. So I was singing a song from church "mother I love you mother I do. Father in heaven has sent me to you..." Wow totally started bawling at those words I had forgotten. Today I sing this song to my boys all the time I just change the first word "Collin/parker ilove you Collin/parker I do father in heaven has sent me to you." I so agree god is in adoption.

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I agree, your post was beautiful, heartfelt and honest! Such wonderful quaulities you have Ellen!

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It is helpful to read this thread, as we are waiting for a match. We've had a few calls with a potential match, that didn't turn out to be our match, but we trust in God's plan. I cannot imagine the difficulty of decisions being made by first mom's when they are deciding whether to make an adoption plan, and trying to find the right couple to entrust their precious baby with. I am thankful that they do what they feel is best for themsevles and their baby when deciding on the right match.

Lena,

I couldn't agree more. Justin and I were talking about this the other night. We talked to a few expecting mom's/couples before we matched with K and I. As each of these expecting mom's matched with another couple I truly was at peace, becuase I knew it was all in God's hands. I can't imagine how hard it is for each mom to call us and tell her story over and over. Now as these mom's are placing thier babies, that are now born, with Abrazo families I can see why God placed each woman with a certain couple. I see his plan for these children. I love the miracles that are happening in each of our lives. Lena, I pray for your child, as I know he or she is out there.

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I read the below submission in a blog called Bumbler's Bumblings today, which is written by an adoptive mom, but her son's birth mother is a guest writer sometimes. The writing below is from her son's birthmom Amber about the day she first met her son's parents, her expectations for them, why she chose them, and her feelings on selecting the right family for her baby. Such a moving story about all of the thought that went into her decision.

Here's the link, but the text is pasted below in case the link goes bad.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable: Guest post from B's Birthmom

Open Adoption Roundtable #27: Write about a first meeting.

I'm so pleased to be able to share the following story, written by our son's birth mother. She refers to him as Bundle in her story:

It seems almost impossible to accurately describe the feelings and emotions that surround the meeting of the parents of your child. That statement alone holds thoughts that can never be understood unless this exact experience has been a reality in your life. But, here I am over two years later and I clearly remember every detail and I will try my best to express and explain the most important meeting of my life.

The night before the meeting I sat at my window, watching the snow quietly fall, and told Bundle all about the events of the next day. I read and re-read their profile, analyzing every word and picture. I was so nervous I could not fall asleep and I just stared and talked. I wasn’t nervous because I was unsure of my choice to pick a family for adoption I was nervous because I wanted to pick the perfect family. My idea of perfect is not the family who has everything together, never fights, and looks beautiful every Sunday at church. My perfect family is one that loves each other unconditionally, loves God, and loves life. How exactly do you decipher these qualities from a couple you meet for two hours? I had no idea how I was going to be sure that these were the people I wanted influencing and raising my son. This seemed like an impossible task and I was terrified of making the wrong choice.

The snow began to pile outside my window and I decided that the first test for the couple would be whether or not they canceled our meeting. It was an early morning meeting and we had chosen a neutral location at a conference room in a hotel. But, of course the blizzard was predicted to blow through the night and well into the following day. I told my social worker that I did not want to cancel the meeting and I waited to hear what the couple was thinking. I wanted to see if they thought this meeting and, essentially meeting their potential son, was worth driving through record breaking snow. If they canceled I would have never rescheduled and started back at the beginning.

The next morning my social worker confirmed that the couple was not only willing but thrilled to hold to our meeting time. So, my family packed into my Dad’s truck and proceeded to drive in a raging blizzard to get to the meeting. I went over thoughts and questions in my head as I stared out the window and whispered to Bundle. I had read their profile so many times, I felt like I knew them already. I tried to put myself in their shoes so that I could understand what they were thinking and feeling. My plan was to be myself and see how well we meshed because Bundle’s personality would probably reflect mine. We pulled into the hotel parking lot and I instantly checked all the cars plates and tried figuring out which one was theirs. A car can say a lot about a person and I was desperate for any clues or hints.

We trudged through the snow into the conference room with my social worker. She said that the couple was in the hotel waiting and that they were very nervous. We joked about how we should just not smile and shoot questions at them and make them really nervous, just to break the ice. It was obvious that everyone involved was going to be nervous but I wanted to see the couple in a comfortable setting so that I could understand who they were, how they acted, and their thoughts without the pressure to perform for me. So I rearranged the room. The hotel had set up long tables with chairs sitting far apart and it was very impersonal. So I suggested taking the chairs away from the tables and setting them up in a cozy circle to ease everyone’s nerves.

Watching them walk through the door brought a flood of emotions. My mind immediately went to work. First thought, Nate held the door open for Amber, good. Second thought, she is beautiful. And this was the beginning of exhaustingly documenting every thought and storing it deep into my memory. Every second that happened in that meeting I relived and worked over in my mind every hour of every day until I went into labor.

I immediately jumped out of my seat and ran, actually waddled over to them. I told myself early on that I would not pay attention to superficial things such as looks or clothes. But, the first thing I noticed was that they were a very good looking couple and well dressed. I introduced myself to Nate first and I told him I would rather hug him than shake his hand. I remember thinking that he was really handsome and had features that Bundle was going to have, dark hair and blue eyes. This was very important to me because I wanted Bundle to look like the family I chose. He smiled and hugged me and was quiet. I instantly decided it was not necessarily the shy kind of quiet but more the thinking kind of quiet. I then turned to Amber. She was beautiful and very nervous. Hugging her was special because Bundle hugged her too. I’ll never forget when she looked at me and then at Bundle. It was a defining moment in that day and in my life. It wasn’t the sparkle of excitement in her eyes or the kindness that I saw, those things I expected. It was the sadness that I saw, not for her or from her past but for me. I had put myself in her shoes so many times and I knew she would be nervous and hesitant and excited. But the fact that she had thought about me, my feelings, what I was about to do, made me realize that she already loved Bundle. She had a kind heart, she understood me.

After introducing my family, minus my twin who couldn’t make it, we all sat down in our circle of chairs. My social worker prayed and we began our meeting. Right away, Amber, was so nervous that she picked her finger nail off. It went sailing through the air and then fell to the floor in the middle of the circle. She quickly jumped out of her chair, picked it up, and stuck it in her pocket. It was a hilarious event because my little sister literally asked her why she decided to put her nail in her pocket. This was the ice breaker because everyone had to laugh. Looking back it’s even funnier because I know Amber so well and I am no longer surprised at her hilarious and wild antics.

The afternoon seemed to float along. We talked about planes, boats, and shopping. We talked about their history as a couple, their goals, and families. I was very specific in my expectations for them and they met every single detail that I had in mind over and above. It surprised me. I set goals that I thought I would have to compromise on. I did not want a history of divorce in either family, must be adventurous, educated, friendly, Christians, outgoing, kind, hard working, easy to relate to, and the list was endless. They fit each idea and description and I was overwhelmed.

Then Amber told me of when she first found out about me choosing them and she was so excited just telling me about it. Her eyes were sparkly, excited, and her words were full of happiness and anticipation. I loved that she was so bubbly and vibrant. She said exactly what she was thinking right when she thought it. It was easy to tell that she was driven and loved life. Nathan was very funny also but in a different way than Amber. He was kind and sensitive and reminded me a lot of my Dad. Towards the end of our meeting I excused myself to call my twin and fill her in. I wanted to be on the outside and secretly spy when they thought I wasn’t looking. So I stood in the back of the room and watched Nate and Amber interact with my family. The thing that struck me the most is that they were so eager and absolutely bursting with life. The room was never silent, but filled with laughter or happy chatter. We had our serious moments but they were met with open hearts and minds. This was not only similar to my family and home life, but it was exactly the atmosphere I wanted my son to be raised in. I wanted an atmosphere of life, living, laughing, and loving. I chose life for my son once and I wanted to choose life for him indefinitely.

Before I knew it two hours had flown by and we decided to head out into the storm. I could’ve sat and talked for hours and hours with them and this was something I had not expected going in. I said good bye to Amber last and I asked if she wanted to rub my giant belly. She looked at me with hesitation and I’m pretty sure slight anxiety. My decision was already made and I knew Amber would be perfect for Bundle. And as corny as it sounds we shared a special moment.

So how do you pick the people to care for your child? How do you make that choice of handing over the life you made? I wanted to be the one to protect him and love him. But I couldn’t. Once you get past the feeling of helplessness you have to decide who can take your place. So how do you pick and trust someone to care for the only thing in this world that you love? You don’t. I really believe that I did not pick them. God did. It was a God ordained plan. A masterpiece of events and incidents. We found each other through God. This plan is my gift to Bundle. I may not give Bundle his dollar from the tooth fairy, I may not give him his first piggy back ride, I may not give him gas money or drop him off for his first day at school. I may not give him a kiss good bye after his first date or give him the keys to his first car. But I gave him my eyes, I gave him my heart, and I gave him life.

What an absolutely beautiful story and I agree that I also love her writing style. It is so helpful to think about this entire process from a different perspective. It helps me to develop empathy and understanding and really think about what does our birth mom or any mom for that matter want for their child. I especially like her quote about wanting life, living, laughing and loving for her son indefinitely. It is my prayer that we will always provide that to our daughter.

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Our understanding and experience with open adoption so far has grown tremendously. We feel so bad for birth parents and adoptive parents that don't receive the education and support to make relationships work. We appreciate everything that Abarzo has done.

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I really do believe that you will know when it is the right match for you.  God has a plan and we just need to put our trust, faith, and belief that He will show us the way.

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