The Adoption Process can be tough to navigate. There are so many articles and resources and options out there pulling expectant moms in different directions. They have to decide if they will parent, place or abort, and no matter which option they choose, they then need more information on that particular option to find out where to go, what to expect, how it works. They’re put “through the ringer” searching for information. You get the idea. It can be confusing.
That’s why we at Christian Family Services works hard to make things as simple and easy to understand as possible.
That whirlwind of information happened to one of our recent clients. She first sought help for her unplanned pregnancy at a local pregnancy center, where she was given information on local adoption agencies. After a little research, she contacted Christian Family Services. She then asked the question most women who contact us ask – “How do I start?”
After a month of emailing back and forth, Karen and Andy were ready to take that next step and meet with a case worker. Karen was visibly nervous and worried she didn’t have enough time. After being assured there is plenty of time to talk about adoption, parenting, choose AND meet the adoptive family, her mind was put at ease, we did Initial Paperwork, and began meeting weekly.
Another one of Karen’s concerns was how unsure she was about the level of openness she wanted. Her online research made it seem like openness was an “either/or” scenario, not realizing there was an entire spectrum of openness in adoptions, and that it’s HER choice. It’s possible to choose a family, have contact with them, but not be expected to spend the holidays together or babysit on the weekends. Her research made it seem like that was “the norm”, when in fact that level of openness and continued responsibility is very rare, even in the most open adoption cases. She felt much more at ease knowing she could have contact without that sort of commitment, as it would have defeated the purpose and reasons for her choice of adoption.
We spent a few weeks talking about different qualities she wanted in an adoptive family, questions she had for them, and concerns about all the “what-ifs” that come along with adoption and raising a child in general. Andy was present and actively involved in each meeting, but his only concern was this baby be safe and loved. Given our rigorous adoptive family standards, he wasn’t too concerned. He was very supportive of all the “additional” qualities Karen wanted.
When it came time to look at profiles, Karen and Andy both took their time reading through each one presented to them. They looked at them separately, asked a few questions and narrowed it down before looking through the remaining profiles together. They talked about the pros and cons to each family, how closely each family met Karen’s “wish list”, and what their child’s life would look like growing up with each family, before agreeing on one.
Naturally, there was still some concern. In their minds (and most people’s), you can only tell so much about a person through a book. Meeting them in person and talking face to face provides so much insight, which is why we scheduled a meet and greet the very next week, where both parties were able to ask questions and get to know one another. They spent 2 hours talking, laughing and crying together, without any awkward lulls in conversation.
After the meeting, Karen and Andy both felt much more at peace with their decision and choice of adoptive family!
As Andy said, “the situation is still not ideal, but it is definitely more doable now.”
Karen really liked the adoptive parents and felt they were a great match, even more so than she initially thought from looking at their profile.
Names changed fro privacy