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Our Story, Part 3: Meet the Birthparents

by Suzanne - April 10th, 2010.
Filed under: adoption. Tagged as: , , , .

Our social worker emailed me the information she had given me just in case I didn’t remember it all, boy was she right, that whole conversation was a blur. Here is an excerpt from that email:

Suzanne and Todd,  

In your excitement yesterday, I would be surprised if you remembered
 anything more than the words 'birthmom' and 'baby' from our
conversation!  I am going to give you the information that I know
in writing so you can refer back to it.

The birthparents have been together for six years.
Stephanie has only had a chance to meet with them twice, but they
 both seem committed to adoption.  They are a healthy, active,
 pleasant Caucasian couple.  The birthmom is 19 and the birthdad
is 23.   

With her current pregnancy, the birthmom has not had any prenatal
care.  She has not had any complications with the pregnancy. The birthparents estimate that the baby
will be born in July or August.  As far as openness in the adoption,
 the birthparents are hoping for pictures and letters.  However,
they were comforted to know that you would be willing to allow even
 more openness than that.  They look forward to meeting you at CSS
 this coming Wednesday at 6pm.  Both birthparents will be here.

Susan

This was the middle of May that we got this call, and had to wait a full week before meeting them face to face.  How.were.we.going.to.get.through.this

Well I did not make the same mistake as I had telling everyone I knew about this birthmom, we kept quiet and only told very few people. Wednesday finally came, I was at home getting ready, it is really hard to pick out an outfit for such an occasion, I kept asking myself, does this make me look like I would be a good mother? I didn’t know whether to try to look younger or just go with a favorite outfit, our social worker jokingly said, just bring a few outfits and I’ll help you pick. I just about did that. I was so nervous.

4pm the phone rang, it was Susan our social worker, she had bad news, my heart sank, Shane couldn’t make it today, I was in a slight panic (what she changed her mind about us already?) Susan said, not to worry though it was only a scheduling conflict and she did still want to meet us, she wanted to apologize but needed to meet the next week. I was relieved that nothing had changed, but ANOTHER week, you’ve got to be kidding me. That felt like forever. but it almost made it better, there was a slight pressure that was off from being disappointed once, I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it worked somehow.

That week came and went, and we were again getting ready for our meeting. My mom was praying and on pins and needles waiting to hear how things went.

We arrived at Catholic Charities, and were ushered back to a conference room where Shane was already seated, she looked so small surrounded by that huge table. Susan sat on one side of her and Stephanie, the birthmom counselor sat on her other side. The birthfather couldn’t make it after all.

We made formal introductions, and I showed her a few more pictures of our trips and such. She didn’t have a whole lot to say and seemed shy. We did ask her questions, and she thought of a few for us. She at one point referred to the baby as ours, it almost felt like a dream, I wasn’t really sure I even heard her correctly, but the meeting went on. She even went so far as to ask me if I wanted to be in the delivery room, I tried not to scream YES YES YES. but I was thrilled, she thought I should be able to experience it.

We asked her why they chose us, her reasons were a little surprising to us, They wanted a couple that wasn’t rich, but able to easily provide. A couple that didn’t have any other children, because she loved being a mom and wanted to give that gift to another woman.

She jokingly said, “I hope height isn’t a big issue for you because no one is tall in my family” We assured her we were fine with that.

We asked her what kind of contact she would like, She wanted a yearly letter.

What?, I tried to gently press her, you don’t want pictures? or phone calls? no she only wanted a letter, well that didn’t seem very open to me, but if that is what she wants then we would respect that. It seemed clear that she was trying to protect herself from getting too attached to the baby, which seems like a reasonable thing to try to do.

The meeting ended and we went back out to our car, Todd looked at me with big eyes and said

“Can we let ourselves get excited about this?”

“I think we can” I replied

“Did you hear her say Our baby?”

“I sure did”

Our hearts were soaring and it felt right, there was a peace and the greatest kind of anticipation. I called my mom right away and told her the exciting news, Todd called his mom and we shared our excitement.

The next day Susan called me and apologized, they had no idea that Shane had already made up her mind, that we were the ones she had chosen. They thought that she would have to think about it.

No apology needed we were thrilled, we felt like we were on cloud 9, now to prepare for a baby, in general, not knowing whether it was a boy or girl proved a bit tricky, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We loved that the gender was a surprise.

I started nesting, washing what clothing I had gathered and all my little cloth diapers I was so excited to put on a baby. Then we even started telling people, a few here and there.

I remember so clearly when a favorite client of mine came in for her families haircuts, I told her a birthmom had picked us, She jumped out of her chair with tears in her eyes and wrapped her arms around me, It was a beautiful thing, because unbeknown to us lots of people wanted us to realize our unspoken and spoken dreams. They were excited for us and it was such a blessing.

During this time of telling people about the situation, a few clucked there tongues and said how could a mother give up her child, some in shame, some in true disbelief. I quickly came to her defense, you can not judge her, you have not walked in her shoes, you have not lived her life, you do not know where she is coming from, honor her because she is choosing a choice that is hard and very selfless. But those people were few and the ones that rejoiced with us were many!

To Be Continued…..

4 Responses to Our Story, Part 3: Meet the Birthparents

  1. Tears with this entry…I love your writing Suzanne!

  2. Love your story, Suzanne. Can’t wait to read more.

  3. Suzanne –

    This story can educate so many – and comfort those of us who have been on the “giving away” side. You and Todd are the model for open adoption parents – I can’t begin to tell you what it means to watch you both with Ariel and Levi…..so full of trust, unconditional love, and confidence in God. Thank you for doing this.

  4. I have tears Suzanne. Thanks for sharing this.

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