** if you have adopted more than once and would like to contribute to this series, you can email your thoughts and pics to deshawood at gmail
The Friend and Sister I Didn’t Know
As a hopeful adoptive mom to be, I just really hoped that when I was contacted by an expectant mom that she would like me. It is nerve wracking to fill out adoption profiles and put down your favorite things and worry about what someone will think reading it. What if she doesn’t like me because I like to watch “Survivor” and she doesn’t!!?? Now, as a veteran of two adoptions, I have a much better perspective on it and I understand that if someone doesn’t want to get to know me because of a tv show, it probably wouldn’t have been a great match. As a newbie though, you agonize over every single word. What I didn’t give much thought to was “would I like her”? Why? Of course I would like her. Duh. She is considering me to raise and love and be a mom to her precious baby. But the idea is very abstract until you actually are contacted by a real, live person.
J contacted me in the summer, but she wasn’t due until the following spring, so we began an email and instant messaging relationship. I just really wanted her to like me, so every time we found a commonality, I was so excited. Yes, we like many of the same tv shows, including Survivor! Yes, we both like to read! Yes, we both love to travel- we had been to many of the same places and we each had been places the other wanted to go to. It was fun getting to know her. We met in person that fall. I had lots of anxiety before that meeting, but when we met it was almost instantly comfortable and friendly. We had a lot of fun hanging out, going to the beach and we found we had even more in common. It was easy to talk with her. I liked her! For the rest of the fall and winter we continued emailing and IM’ing. It was a strange dance of a relationship- getting to know each other and enjoying time chatting, but always wondering in the back of my mind- is this adoption going to work out, does she think I only like her because of the possible adoption, does she like me? I feel like I love her, but is that because she could make my dream come true?
When the birth of Hannah happened, my questions were answered. I knew that she was struggling with her choice and in a conversation with C, the birthfather and then again when we dropped off a congratulations gift, the words that left my mouth and rang true in my heart were “If you guys decide to parent, we will support you because we have gotten to know you and we love you, no matter what”. I knew them. I knew J. I loved her, not because she was a potential birthmom, but because she was J, a woman who loves Survivor and the Amazing Race, who loves the beach, whose favorite holiday is Halloween, who loves haunted houses. A woman who works hard and loves her family. I loved her because she had become my friend.
In the five years since that day, I have grown to love her even more. Of course I love and admire her for the sacrifice that she made in choosing adoption and allowing me to become a mom. What she did was amazingly difficult, but it is not the only reason I love her. Our relationship has deepened as we have spent time together and I feel that she is a sister to me. I forget that we are not “family”, except that we are! I have been privileged to be a part of her life as she has married, gone to school and is now raising two adorable girls. I love that she is a great mom! I love that we can still talk about books and go to movies together and share popcorn. While choosing adoption brought and bound us together, the friendship that we have keeps those bonds strong. If I only loved her as a “birthmom” and not as a real woman and friend, I would be missing out and so would my daughter.