Tomorrow we have a phone meeting with a young woman who is interested in the possibility of us adopting her baby, who is due in just a couple of weeks.
We have never met with an expectant mom (potential birthmom) like this before, and it is both promising and very nerve-wracking. Or is it racking? I never really did learn the proper spelling, or what it actually means to wrack/rack ones nerves.
Either way, it is currently happening to my nerves. Tom and I are not feeling super prepared for the call because I have been in Portland for the past week visiting friends and welcoming their baby, Ava, into the world.
So, I am cramming for the oddest adoption experience to date. I wrote out some questions I anticipate she may ask, and some questions we will ask her. The idea for us will be to ask the same type of questions I would ask any woman who is expecting a child, some light ones that are easy to answer so she doesn't feel overwhelmed... along with some deeper questions to help us get to know her better, in case she does choose to entrust this child into our care.
I am listing the questions below, and answering some of the heavier ones she may ask us. This is mostly for me to process and prepare, but also a great opportunity to share our heart for adoption and answer some questions people often have, but don't always feel comfortable asking us.
Q's for expectant mom:
-How has your pregnancy been? (Any cravings, difficulty sleeping, complications, etc.)
-What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun/to relax?
-What kind of support do you have, friends/family/church/community?
-How can we support/be praying for you during this time?
-Why are you considering making an adoption plan?
-What personality trait, talent, or characteristic would you like your child to inherit from you?
-What are your hopes for your child's life?
-Is there anything you would like to know about us?
-If you chose to make an adoption plan, how much openness would you like? What would you prefer as far as visits/calls/pictures/letters?
Q's she may ask us:
-How did we meet?
-What is our parenting style?
-Why do we want to adopt?
A: We knew from the beginning that we wanted to adopt more than one child. We feel that it is really important for Harper (and our next child) to have a common experience with someone in his family. While he has plenty of sisters to go through life with, we think it will be very beneficial for them to have a common adoptive experience, as well as similar racial experience, etc. Life for a child who was adopted transracially is unique and challenging at times, the extra support and understanding of a sibling will be a really special and helpful experience.
-How will we answer adoption questions?
A: We are open, honest and straightforward when answering adoption questions from outsiders or from the children. We try to share how special and wonderful adoption is, but also that it can be devastatingly painful at times. We stress two basic things: that his first mom gave him life and and she gave him a family, two remarkable and sacrificial gifts. We talk about adoption frequently and casually so that the kids feel like they can talk about it whenever it pops in their mind, and that there are no "taboo" topics that will hurt our feelings to discuss.
-What is our primary hope for our children?
A: Our primary goal would be that all the kids become the men and women God created them to be. We want to give them a solid foundation in which they can grow to trust and follow Christ and strive to glorify Him always. We feel that (in addition to a solid biblical foundation) this is best achieved by giving the kids a variety of life experiences (traveling, camping, serving others, sports, art, school, dance, play, music, etc) all of which help develop the kids into their unique, individual selves. Often in large families, kids personalities start to blend together a bit... We try to be really mindful that people serve the Lord most effectively when they are free to be the unique person God designed them to be, using their individual gifts, passions and skill set. If they all started to look too much alike, I would be worried!
-What kind of support/community do we have?
-What are our hobbies/interests?
-What are our thoughts about openness?
A: We are very open to being open! We desire to have a relationship with our child's biological family, but will respect and honor the desire for space and privacy if that is preferred. We view our role to be that of facilitators of whatever relationship is best for our child. It is our belief that a relationship with positive and loving family members (both biological and adoptive) are very important and we will work very hard to facilitate these relationships if that is desired.
Okay... That's about all I can think of. Been through this? Then tell me: what am I missing? Haven't been through this? Then just imagine, what would YOU want to know if you were in her position?