A few days ago I got an email from Luke, Outreach Coordinator at Adoption.Net. I have followed adoption.net on Facebook for a bit, but I was unaware of some of the changes they were making until he messaged me and suggested I browse the site to see the online community they are building.
Luke is an adoptee and clearly very passionate about the outreach program. He stated that this is “a new site and have started with blog stories, an adoption agency directory and a Q & A area, but we are working on some innovative ways for people interested in adopting or children who are adopted to build an online community. Right now we are trying to get the word out about our site so that people can take advantage of it. ”
Obviously, I love a good adoption resource, so I was eager to check it out! The website is easy to navigate and has clearly marked sections for adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents. It has links to waiting parent profiles, blogs, news, community and a directory. I could spend all day long looking through the directory. The resources listed are endless!
I went to the heading titled “Pregnant”, because I was curious how they addressed women considering adoption. The first thing you come to after clicking is a list of steps to help a women who thinks she is pregnant, when she may be terrified and not thinking clearly. It tells her to take a test, call a doctor, contact the father, reach out to a counselor and talk to her family. It’s not a glaring “place your baby for adoption” page. It provides all available options a woman has for her pregnancy and IF she chooses adoption, there is a link to waiting families and other resources, but it’s not pushy.
The next section of the site I browsed was “Adopting”. It was well laid out with information for several avenues of adopting. It had a lot of valuable information and sections dedicated to more in depth topics. I liked that it and other sections have a Q&A heading as well as a guide to resources which includes articles.
I am glad Luke messaged me and hopefully you find the site helpful.
It is really easy to get caught up in our own pity party when we face infertility or have set backs in adoption. We see women getting pregnant on accident, we stop watching the news because we can’t handle watching stories about abused children, we lash out at family members who are expecting a baby or complain about their kids being bad, and we cry at the sight of pregnant strangers in the grocery store. Experiencing that grief makes us desperate and sometimes with desperation we lack reasoning skills.
Adoption is an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own, but then factor in the reasons you may have come to adoption; infertility, health, relationship status, sexuality, etc, and you may have extra emotions tied to the adoption journey. While I have seen this many times lately in the adoption forums I go to, I am not going to claim I too wasn’t guilty of all the emotions that this entry is about.
Adoption isn’t easy for the expecting mother who made an adoption plan to place her child. She is doing it for her own reasons. She may struggle every day with her decision. She may feel guilt that she cannot provide her child with the life she wants. She may change her mind every day in the things she wants her child to have. She may waiver on what she wants out of the adoption relationship. But, let’s face it, it is her child. It is her decision. We have to just be willing recipients of the child with open arms. And we need to know when it’s time to walk away from a match that is not going to work.
I know it’s really hard to do, but keep in mind this isn’t about what you are or are not deserving of… but it is about her and HER child. (Of course you deserve a child, it just might not be her child!) This is a super stressful situation for you when she begins questioning things in her adoption plan or her match with you. I experienced a disrupted match because the expecting mom second guessed all her choices when it came to us. We were matched very early on and as our friendship grew, so did her need to know things about me on a personal level and on a parenting level. When an expecting mom chooses and adoptive family, she often romanticizes a life she envisions for her child as well as her future in your and her child’s life. I could not live up to her expectations and the match dissolved. It was devastating. The expecting mother may be freaking out and the emotions she is going through are no less valid than yours. Even if she is second guessing some of the choices. She may have people in her other ear telling her she should have picked a stay at home mom or someone that lives closer or in a bigger house. It my experience, the earlier in the pregnancy that she makes decisions, it seems the closer the time gets those decision start to waiver. (Obviously this isn’t the case for every early match.) I would much rather have a woman come to me with adoption as her choice and feel fully at peace, than trying to make the match happen because she thinks she’ll eventually be OK with it.
It’s really scary for us adoptive parents to go through, but we just have to accept what God gives us and remember that it isn’t another woman’s job to make us mothers. She is giving us to her child… not her child to us.