Alright. So there's been a ton of stuff going on in my pro-life, pro-open adoption world lately. On Friday afternoon, I met with a 40-year-old woman who is the mother of the cutest little blue-eyed 5-month-old-baby boy. Due to unforeseen circumstances, she can no longer care for him. Without exposing her personal situation, let's just say that finances are the least of her worries right now, and it's not good. I was asked to speak with her about my experience with open adoption, as she has decided that she wants to go the adoption route. When I first sat down with her, I was surprised that she brought her baby with her to our meeting. He was cute as can be, and he sat happily in his stroller during our entire meeting. His bright blue eyes kept shifting back and forth between his mother and me as we talked, and even though he was cooing and smiling, he looked like he understood exactly what we were talking about. I half expected him to start stating his requests, "I'd like a nice family with a big brother, a two-story brick house, and one German Shepherd, please."
I listened as the woman spoke about her difficult situation, and we discussed all of her options. I have to admit, I was trying hard to hold it all together. I wanted to adopt her baby! I asked her if there was anything that Triangle Right to Life or any local church group could do to help her until she got back on her feet. She looked me directly in the eye and she spoke with confidence. She told me that she was not concerned as much about her financial situation but more-so being able to provide the emotional support that her son needed. It was clear to me that she had made up her mind about adoption.
When I speak to women considering open adoption, I don't try to persuade them one way or another. I would never want a woman to go the adoption route if it's not what she feels is absolutely right for her and her baby, and I do not think that adoption is for everyone. But I do think it's crucial to be honest. I told her that open adoption is hard, that it's not easy, and that she will most likely be very depressed and sad if she goes through with it. But at the same time, I also told her that I don't regret my decision and that I still love Deanna more than life itself. And my daughter will always know that. That's comforting to me. I stressed the importance of choosing a family who she not only gets along with now, but who she could see herself having a strong relationship with 20 years down the road. I think the relationship between adoptive parents and birthparents is one of the most important factors in the success of the open adoption and the well-being of the adoptee. I told her about my experience and how we worked out the arrangements for our open adoption. I showed her pictures and I gave her advice on realistic expectations and coping with her decision. We even talked about starting a local birthmother support group afterwards.
Life is funny. I felt like I had been called to speak to this woman for a reason. I felt like I had a true connection with her, knowing that we had been in somewhat similar situations. And I felt like I had helped her tremendously by simply lending a listening ear. Who knows, maybe that's all she needed. I think every time I encounter these types of situations I realize even more just how important it is for me to keep spreading the word about open adoption, to keep sharing my story, and to keep on keeping on.
Please keep this woman and her babe in your thoughts prayers and pray that she makes the right decision for her child. I think the moment a woman is able to realize that her child's well-being is more important than her own, she moves closer to Christ. Adoption is a selfless act of love and a commitment to giving your child more, and I admire this woman for choosing to give her son more than she could provide.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
In other news, I witnessed Deanna's first bee sting (yes, it was absolutely horrific), I had a great time eating fruit kabobs with Don, De, Deanna & friends at their tailgate, and I took my first ride on a motorized cooler scooter with my roommate, Emily, at the NC State football game Saturday. Great times.