March into My Heart

Today’s drip: Be yourself when searching for a birthmother

Being ChildDrenched (drowning in the passionate need for a child) can be very frustrating and beginning the process of one of the solutions, adoption, may be daunting at first.  Over the last few weeks, in my blog, I have addressed many of the concerns about becoming adoptive parents. Today, I want to give a more personal account of my experience.  I have talked to many women who have expressed deep concern over many issues surrounding the search for a birthmother.  Today, I am hoping to make potential adoptive parents more comfortable about the decision to move forward with the search for a child.

As the search begins for the person who is potentially carrying your child (the most precious gift anyone can give to you and your family), questioning your credentials as an adoptive parent is very typical.  Will I match up to the birthmother’s requirements?  Am I too old?  Will she expect us to raise the child in her religion?  Will she choose parents who already have children or a couple who has yet to enjoy that privilege?

Choosing a birthmother, and hoping she chooses you, is a critical lifelong decision that can be frighteningly stressful.  Before our daughter’s birthmother contacted us, I spent sleepless nights worrying that a prospective birth mother would choose a childless couple, before one that has two naturally-born boys.  To me, it seemed only fair that everyone should get a shot at parenthood, so why would a birthmother choose us?  As it turned out, our birthmother chose us because we had two boys in our family.  She had two sons before giving birth to our daughter and she loved the idea of her daughter growing up in that environment, even if it wasn’t in her own home.  That wouldn’t work for everyone, but for our situation, it was a perfect match.  I believe there’s a perfect match for everyone.

I also worried that I was too old to adopt.  The infertile years after the birth of my two boys took their toll on my biological clock and I was forty before starting the search for my daughter.  As I viewed profiles of other couples waiting to adopt through our facilitator, many clearly younger than us, I hoped there was a birthmother out there who would appreciate the wisdom and experience of an older couple with kids, more than the energy of a younger couple.

I stayed fit and healthy through the process, hoping my age wouldn’t be an issue for someone who might consider us ideal parents for their child.  The birthmother who ultimately chose us asked me many questions but my age was not one of them.  In fact, most of the questions she asked involved parenting her two young sons who were keeping her very busy, and exhausted.  She definitely appreciated the advice and felt comfortable that her baby would be well cared-for by knowledgeable, loving parents who knew what they were confronting with an infant, and beyond.

Religion was another factor of concern for us as we waited for a child.  A woman who chose adoption for her child, rather than abortion, would clearly have a strong sense of life and religion which we supported completely.  However, we were concerned that someone who had strong religious convictions would prefer a couple with similar religious beliefs to raise her child. Since we are Jewish, I was worried that a couple that didn’t celebrate Christmas and Easter would be ruled out by many birthmothers.

Our birthmother, who didn’t mention religion to me until we were together just days before the birth, was due right before Easter.  She mentioned how excited she was for the baby to celebrate Easter with her new family.  I held my breath as I told her how much her baby would learn about all religions, but would not be celebrating Easter or Christmas.  Thankfully, she had a surprisingly positive response.  Our letter had promised to support her child spiritually and that was enough for her.

We were tremendously relieved and thoroughly grateful that we found the perfect birthmother.  We were proud that we remained true to ourselves and our family traditions, even though there was a risk of losing our daughter.

Our honesty through the adoption process was rewarded with a wonderful gift of life.  I was worried we would never find someone who would choose us to raise their child and amazingly, we found someone who thought we were the perfect choice. I respectfully advise anyone who is ChildDrenched and wants to adopt to be honest and patient because that perfect birthmother is out there just waiting to be found. I truly believe that there is a baby for everyone who wants to be an adoptive parent, regardless of the situation, lifestyle, or circumstance.

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