I have been doing a panel for adoptive couples. they email me questions and i send them out to a volunteer panel! Here are some of Dallas' answers!!
Hi there ! I am a birthmother and I placed my baby boy into an open adoption almost 21 months ago
What were you most concerned with when trying to find the right adoptive parents for your baby?
Of course as BMs we look for couples who seem to have it "all together"... I thought I had the idea of a perfect family for my son. I specifically asked my social worker to ONLY show me portfolios of couples under 30, with no previous children. Of course I wanted them to have a nice house, good jobs, etc. But I was looking only at the superficial things to begin with. Once I had looked through all those portfolios and didn't see "them", I reluctantly agreed to look at those couples who did have children. Immediately my heart softened and I got the idea, somehow, that my son needed a sibling, preferably a sister. When I came to "their" portfolio, I just knew they were the ones. In my opinion, there is no "right" things to look for in an adoptive couple. When a birthmother see's them, she'll know. It's not the facts inside the pages, its the feeling she gets. It's as simple as that.
If you used an agency, were you well treated?
I was treated great. My social workers were amazing, and really did everything they could to make sure I was getting all the information I needed to make an educated decision on what path I wanted to take (adoption, parenting, etc) Once I made my decision, they helped make my plan happen. They always, 100%, put me and my feelings above all others. I could really feel their love for me. I am still very close with the workers I had and talk to them often.
What has been your biggest disappointment from the adoptive parents? The greatest positive?
The adoptive parents are amazing. The biggest disappointment I have faced with them is just that we don't have the best communication. There are many questions I would like to talk about, but somehow I just don't bring them up. Perhaps thats my fault as well. I wish we had talked more about things, such as openness with extended family, what's appropriate for holidays, etc. We are excellent with talking about things in our personal lives, but it doesn't get much deeper than that. Everything other than this fact, is positive. I love them so much! They are always considerate of my feelings, and are so good to share their lives with me. We have a very healthy amount of openness, and I am really grateful for that.
While pregnant, how much contact would you have wanted ideally, with potential adoptive parents?
I had a good amount of contact with the adoptive parents.. We met a few times over the course of 4 months before I had the baby. We emailed back and forth in the days leading up to my due date, just to stay in touch. They sent me pictures of his nursery. We had boundaries, and didn't push things too much on each other. We had a very formal relationship before the birth, which I think was very healthy for all of us. I had a friend who got too close to the APs and their family and then she ended up deciding to parent... it was a really difficult situation for everyone, and hurt a lot of relationships.
If you wanted adoptive parents at the hospital, what would you suggest as best "hospital protocol"?
The adoptive parents came to see us when my son was about 10 hours old. I thought it would be extremely uncomfortable for me to have them in the delivery room, so that wasn't even an option for us. They were very understanding that I only had a few days with my son before he became theirs, and were willing to give me space. They came to the hospital once a day, for only about an hour, until placement on the third day. They didn't see me prior to placement, which I was happy with. Seeing them at placement would be hard enough, and I wanted every last minute with him that I could. Everyone has their own ideas about the hospital, but to me, that is the only time a birthmom has to be just that- her baby's mom. Adoptive parents have the rest of their lives to share with the child. I understand that the first few days are so exciting and most would want to be there, but my advice is this- Your child's birthmother is going through the hardest time of her life during these few days. It is such an important piece of the grieving process. Allow her the time to memorize every little thing on the baby.. This are one of the few moments she'll treasure for the rest of her life, while you have eternity to create memories with him.
In your ideal, how would you hope the adoptive parents referred to you when speaking about you with the baby?
I know they speak very highly of me. I would never expect anything less!
In your ideal, if there was open communication, would you want the adoptive mom to communicate regularly, or wait for you to request pics/letters?
I would love for her to communicate with me more than she does. Most of our communication is through the adoptive father. It doesn't bother me much, but sometimes I do wonder what her thoughts are. When we have personal visits, we are very close and have great conversations.. But all of the phone contact, email contact, and plans for visits are done through the AF. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I love her so much, and would like to keep in better contact with her as well. As for pictures and letters, they signed a contract that requires them to send updates at set intervals, and they always do that without fail. I have never had to request any updates, and they often send photos even if its not a required time without my asking.
In your ideal, what would you wish the baby to call you as he grows?
They call me by my first name, which I am more than okay with. After all, thats who I am ! I would feel uncomfortable if he ever called me "mom", because thats not the role I have. Maybe once he is an adult, and we have a close relationship, I would be ok with him calling me that. I don't know what the future will bring. But for now, I like to just keep it simple and straightforward.
Would you have any interest in participating in holidays? Would you feel pressured to accept if invited?
I wouldn't feel pressured, however, I don't expect them to invite me for all holidays. We do a Christmas celebration before Christmas, because we need to be with our own families for Christmas Day. I would love to be invited to his birthday parties, but won't be offended if I am not. They have their own life, and I have mine.. And they like to keep my identity private from those around them, for many reasons. This year, I would like to have a separate birthday party for him, perhaps with my family. I would never turn down an opportunity to spend time with them at anything though, if invited.
Would you feel uncomfortable receiving holiday/birthday cards/gifts?
Of course not ! They regularly send me gifts, and I am really appreciative of it. The AM has great taste and puts a lot of thought into her gifts. There is always a meaning behind something, and they are items that I truly will treasure forever. Sometimes I feel they send me more than enough, but she is happy to do it and so I graciously accept. I know it makes the AM happy to do things she thinks show how much she cares.
Thanks Dallas!! Remember if you would like to Guest Blog email us and we will give you a topic!!
you are all fabulous! hope you had a great Easter!
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