I now have been in the world of adoption for 15 years and I feel like I have all of this experience that could maybe benefit other couples trying to adopt. So thus begins
"Adoption According to Brenda."
I will share thoughts, feelings and experiences based on my own life.
I don't have text book answers. I found the books to be not so helpful in our journey to - and through -adoption. Experience has taught me that no one has all the answers, and every family, every birth mother and every adoption is different. But one thing that seems to be a common thread is the ability to love.
Without love - don't bother.
Before I begin I want to clarify my belief.
I believe adoption is an act of love.
I believe Birth Mothers, Birth Fathers and Birth Families love the children they place.
I believe adoption is guided by the hand of God.
I believe Adoption involves a myriad of miracles.
I have witnessed these miracles myself through each of our 4 placements, and the placement of my Birth Nephew, Gabe.
Adoption isn't a Plan B.
Adoption is another way God creates families.
I was thinking about the beginning of our adoption journey. Brad and I sat in on our first adoption class at our adoption agency. It was kind of an introduction to adoption. I looked around and saw many other hopeful couples. Each of us shared a common thread: We all wanted to be parents. It was easy to like other people in our class because of what we had in common, but as time went on and we attended more classes I became afraid that I wasn't pretty enough for a Birth Mother to choose us. I was overweight and worried that we would be passed over because of our appearance. Every Birth Mother we met and listened to share her story looked like a girl out of a magazine. They were all so pretty. I had a hard time imagining that they would want to chose me as a mother for their baby. I tried to push the thoughts away but they were there. As time went on and we had been waiting a while I worried more and more about my physical appearance. The big question "Would a Birth Mother want us?" lingered as I sat and listened to thin, attractive adoptive moms share their success stories.
I remember feeling that I had to be more like them if I had any chance of ever becoming a mother.
Do you ever worry about this?
What I learned....
There may be some Birth Parents who feel very strongly about weight but that is okay. It is important that they know how they feel and what they want. It is also important to know that there are just as many (probably more) Birth Parents who don't put weight down as a criteria. There will be something that makes you stand out to them. I remember one friend who had a Birth Mother choose them because she wrote that their son's favorite color was "poop green." Another friend stated that their daughter's Birth Mother said she loved that in their pictures they looked happy. The truth is none of us will know when we create our adoption profile what will touch the heart of the right Birth Mom so we need to just be ourselves and be honest so the right Birth Mother can connect to us. I learned for myself that weight isn't an issue. I think our children's Birth Mother's are the most beautiful women on the planet. Sometimes I still marvel at the fact that they chose us and that they love us no matter what we look like.
In 2005 as I was working on a presentation titled "How to make your adoption happen," Brad and I were sitting with an experienced adoption worker. He said he has had Birth Moms refer to the feeling that comes when you find the right Adoptive Couple as a feeling of "home." When they meet the right Adoptive Family it is liking coming home. This worker went on to say he heard a song in the movie titled "How to lose a guy in 10 days" that reminded him of this concept. The song is called "Feels like Home". I want to add to this concept and say that when adoptive couples meet the right Birth Mother (Birth Family) it also has this same feeling. It is as if we have met before but can't quite place where or when. There seems to be something familiar about them and there is a special feeling....a tugging at the heart that says "This is it!"
No matter if you are too skinny, too fat, too short, too tall, have bad acne, losing your hair, whether you are wealthy or have just what you need, there will be a Birth Mother who will think you are just right for her and her baby. Just as you will be nervous to meet her and be afraid she won't like you after meeting you in person she will be worried about all the same things. Just as you want her to fall in love with you, she will want you to fall in love with her. Then when you finally meet you will wonder why you ever worried about those things. I can only speak for myself but for us it truly has felt like "home."
Be yourself and the right one will come around and recognize you.
I hope they will be coming around very soon! :)