Thursday, January 13, 2011

How Did You Choose The Parents?

Question: Kelsey, I just came across your site. My husband and I are looking to adopt a child through open adoption. There are so many parents out there that are looking to as well. How did you decide that one couple was better fit, than another? Thank you.

Kelsey says: Great question! There was no reason to my choosing, matter of fact I kind of left that part in the hands of God. I am not trying to sound trivial here, but that is exactly what I did. I asked Him to help me choose who would be right for my children and I am here to tell you that He did indeed help me do just that.

My first adoption was not normal by open adoption standards of the day. I should have chosen an adoption agency (Or that is what the State of Missouri told me later), then should have looked through profiles and made a decision that way. However, it was a situation where a family member of mine came to me with this couple in mind, and it was a very trusted family member so I already had a good line of communication with the future family of my daughter. I met them and that was it, I knew that they were sent for a reason and that first decision was somewhat easy for me to make. Good fortune was on my side.

My second adoption was completely different. I moved to a more open state (as far as adoption was concerned) and even though I did not have an agency to work with, the lawyer and social worker did provide me with profiles of potential parents to consider. Now, this process was completely new to me and I was a little intimidated with the notion that I would be choosing the parents on paper. It was overwhelming to say the least. But again, I asked for guidance to help me choose the right parents for my twins. I received my answer with a file that immediately interested me, a couple whom had been married for a while and seemed to be just the right fit. I cannot pinpoint what it was, but once I met them face to face, had a meaningful conversation with them and got to know a little more about them ... well I knew they were the parents that I was meant to meet.

There was not one thing that helped me decide, but rather a combination of things. I felt comfortable with them. I could see that they really loved each other. They seemed to be interested in my thoughts as to how the adoption would play out. They asked just as many questions about me as I did them. They both had smiles that could light up a room. They had been through so much as a couple and still held hands like they were newly married. Their lifestyle was laid back and both were interested in learning more about life, no matter how much they thought they had known before. They were both educated and it seemed important to them that children be educated to have the best opportunities in life. But most of all, they were both so comfortable with each other that their presence made me comfortable. They appealed to me because of their honesty, their compassion and their love for each other.

I think every mother is different and this is a rather difficult question to answer. If you are asking because you are curious what to do in your own situation, I would say just be yourself. Do not put on a front when meeting women who are considering you and do not take it personally if you are not chosen by someone that you meet. This is a life changing decision that your birth mother will be making and there is nothing that you can do extra that will help. Most important, be honest with her. Find out who she is and what she wants from this adoption because that will be a very important part of not only her life, but your life as well.

Just remember throughout the process that if you will be embarking on a life long relationship with the mother who chooses you. Be patient and kind to her, because her life will never be the same. Just as you will be learning to be a parent, she will be learning to live life without her child. In life this is something that cannot be taught or guided no matter how hard you look or ask for help.

Thank you for taking time to read some of my thoughts and I thank you for asking your question.

To my readers: Is there anything you would like to say on this topic? Anything you would like to share? Feel free......

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Amanda said...

I feel the same way, I don't feel like I picked the family, I feel like God picked them, and that He brought them to me...

Amanda said...

I would also like to highly recommend that you don't change who you are, and don't tell the birth parent what you think they want to hear. And by all means, keep your promises, if you say you're going to have an open adoption, then keep your word, no matter what.

A Life Being Lived said...

Wow...this post could trigger a post of my own. I wholeheartedly agree- I didn't look through books of profiles. Yet I didn't know my daughter's adoptive parents beforehand either. I was referred to them by a mutual friend, AFTER the mutual friend had sort of "quizzed" me about what type of parents I would be interested in, or what attributes I wanted them to have. I thought that my list was exhaustive and extensive, and low and behold, they fit them ALL. To all prospective adoptive parents, I know the wait is long, but there is a pregnant woman out there right now that is making some serious choices and decisions about a child she is carrying. I truly believe that these things are destined...once I met my daughter's parents I felt no need to seek out any others. There is no magic formula or secret password...honestly it is all about the "right fit" between the two parties. It's hard to put into words.

LisaAnne said...

And I agree too. God intervened in my adoption story. But the birthfather and I did have to choose between two couples. And the biggest thing that was important to us was that our child would be raised like we were raising our own (we have 5 boys between the two of us).

We chose a family that was not rich by societal standards, but they love each other, and have a close relationship with their extended family. He is a teacher and she stays home with our daughter. And the final factor for us that set one couple apart from the other was that they only lived 10 minutes away, so we knew our daughter would grow up having similar expereinces as her brothers. So when they meet someday, hopefully they will have some commonality of upbringing.

The other couple lived on a huge ranch in the middle of the country and our child would have had a very different upbringing. (Just as good, just different.)

But I also want to reiterate what Kelsey said. Please, above all else, be willing to include the birthmother (and/or father) in your life. Even if she says she thinks she doesn't want a completely open adoption relationship, once she has the baby, things might change. Don't be threatened. A child cannot be loved by too many people.