Our journey to and after adoption
When I awoke after the anesthesia from the D & C from our last miscarriage, I looked at my husband and told him I couldn’t go through any more fertility treatments. I wanted to be a mother. Period. I needed a baby to do that. We did some grieving and then we saw the AAI workshop advertised about adoption. We went and my husband says it was like a crash course in adoption. We came away excited, nervous and a little overwhelmed. After that we went to a conference and talked to a lot of different adoption agencies. I was not impressed by anyone but AAI. I felt a connection with Rory and her staff that I didn’t get from any other agencies. In addition, I felt the others were pushing international adoption and we had decided against that.
We did a lot of research and some counseling and we agreed open adoption was the way to go. We were still terrified about having a birth family in our life forever, but we grudgingly believed it was what would be best for a child. After meeting our birthmother, going through the adoption process and more than two years later, I can honestly say that open adoption is so different that we expected and so much better!! It is a gift to all of us involved in our daughter’s life. I love that I can call the birth family and ask medical questions whenever I need to; we share videos and photos and get together to celebrate special occasions. At the beginning we set boundaries and have been truthful and honest with each other. I am surprised at how deeply I care for them and about them. I also am impressed with the support that AAI provides during and after for the birth moms. They are one of the few agencies that I talked with that I felt really does look out for the birth moms – not just to get a child to place, but as a person. AAI has helped our birth mom get back on her feet and she knows that she can call them for advice even now.
What I wish I knew going into it:
- Don’t let the money overwhelm you. The tax credits REALLY help after you adopt!
- All the infertility loss doesn’t just vanish…but it does diminish greatly. I have my baby now…she is ours, for me, it is just that simple.
- Take each situation case by case and get more information if you don’t understand something. Many drugs are not as bad as we have been led to believe (not that I condone drug use during pregnancy!!)
- Don’t be so nervous about the homestudy!
- Don’t be afraid to answer questions incorrectly on the paperwork. Just be honest. Do not say stuff just to make them like you.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you are uncomfortable about something, there is a reason.
- Don’t feel like you have to say yes if a birth mom picks you. If it doesn’t feel right, decline. You will get matched, you will parent and it will be the right match.
The process was both harder and easier than I expected. We were overwhelmed by the paperwork in the beginning until we broke it up into manageable chunks. I didn’t expect to be so nervous each time we talked to a birth mom. It felt like each time was a first date and we hoped it would be the last. I never thought I would say this, but I am glad we had a failed adoption. I know I said things the birth mom wanted to hear. I wanted to be a mom so badly. I know now she was not the right match for us and I shudder to think of her being in our life forever. It was easier because Rory and her staff were amazing. I called with a million questions, bugged them about specific cases and they were always patient with me. If they felt I needed more info on a situation, they referred me to another appropriate professional. Our birth mom was amazing – she let me go to Dr. appointments and even did a 3-D sonogram. She allowed us to be in the delivery room and I got to cut our daughter’s cord (and didn’t have to go through the pain of delivery!) We are now getting ready to apply for our second child – through AAI of course!