How we began….
Our adoption journey began with asking lots of questions -- of adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, friends who had successfully adopted children and those who were in the process or sadly had their adoptions fall through. We felt it was important to hear from a broad range of individuals since it everyone's adoption journey was so unique and there was no one way to do it.
Lots of support…
We were lucky to receive lots of love and support from our family and friends throughout our journey. Family was constantly checking in (which always made me laugh -- like we were going to match with birthparents and I was just going to FORGET to tell my mother?!). From friends who had been through (or were going through) the process we got lots of useful first-hand advice about tacking the home study, putting together the advertising brochure, which agencies/lawyers to use and which to avoid, etc.
We were contacted through the lawyer we hired (AdoptHelp) -- in addition to handling the legal aspects of the adoption they also have an advertising and outreach arm. They presented our profile (along with many others) to the birth mom and she chose us.
That first phone call felt like a weird blind date. We each knew a little about the other, but were both incredibly nervous to actually talk to each other. "What if the birth mother doesn't like us? What if she changes her mind after we talk to her?" were some of our fears. But the truth is that she picked us for a reason and she we just tried to be honest versions of ourselves in the hope that we'd live up to the people she imagined we were. In truth, once we spoke to her all the fear and anxiety melted away and it was much easier for us to talk and get to know each other a little more.
We are still connected with our son’s birth mother, mainly through text messages and emails. Our son's birth mother does follow us on Facebook and Instagram -- which we're comfortable with since we always knew it would be an open adoption. I think that for the birth mother and her two children, it brings her comfort and happiness to see that we're raising our son in a loving home. It's really what she had hoped for him all along and so I think it just affirms her decision.
Our Adoption Fears….
Our biggest fear was that our son's birth mother would change her mind and decide to keep him. We were lucky because she was a very mature 29 year old woman who had two daughters at home and knew she couldn't give this boy the life she wanted. I think the more she got to know us just affirmed her decision (as did seeing us bond with him after the birth in the hospital) .To someone just starting out, I'd say to be prepared to be patient. Our adoption journey went from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye and then, before we knew it, we had a newborn at home. We were always told with adoption "it's not a question of if, but when" you'll adopt. So put yourself out there in the most honest way possible and then be patient. It WILL happen, so don't lose faith.
A bit of Advice…
When your are in ‘the wait’ and if you are truly just waiting I'd look to do things you enjoy either alone or with your spouse/significant other (if you have one). Not only will that help distract from the "wait" but once you have a child, you'll have much less time to do things just for yourself so enjoy the time while you can... because "it's not a matter of if, but when" it'll happen for you. I'd also seek out other people who are waiting -- it can be easier to have someone who understands first-hand what you're going through.