The Most Important Element of Adoption Success
Even if you’ve hired the best adoption professional you can find, your home study is complete, you’ve painstakingly created a gorgeous profile, and your suitcase is packed and waiting at the door – you could STILL be overlooking this one powerful component for adoption success:
Show her that you care about her!
Here are six ways to extend yourself to a birthmother and show her that you truly appreciate her:
- Ask her how she is feeling today and if there’s anything you can do to help her feel more comfortable, whether physically, or emotionally. Show her that you are interested in her well being, and it’s not just “all about the baby.” Show her you see her as a unique person, not just the gateway to your soon-to-be child. Even if she doesn’t ask you to do anything for her, at least she knows you offered.
- Take her lead with the hospital plan. Does she want you in the delivery room? Does she seem to be more of a private person? Does she want to take photos together? How does she feel about seeing and holding the baby? Who does she want to hold the baby first? Honor her wishes. These are the final parenting decisions she is able to make. The next 18 years are up to you!
- Care about her and where she wants her life to go. Ask her about her goals and dreams, her interests. Instead of asking all the questions about the health of the baby (which you will likely learn through medical records, anyway). These are stories you can share with your child. Maybe your son or daughter shows an athletic gift – you will be able to say, “Your birthmother was a big soccer star at her high school!”
- Never judge her, and always accept her just as she is. Here is the woman who is going to hand you her baby, trusting you will love this child as your own. The past is the past and can’t be undone. If you really think about it, any one of us could be one event away from being in very similar circumstances.
- Be decisive and clear in your responses to her. Don’t leave her hanging in the balance for more than just a few hours at the most. If you need time to discuss things privately or pray over something, be honest, but don’t keep her waiting. She may start to question your commitment to her baby.
- Follow through with your commitments. It’s very likely that you are the most stable figures in her life at this time. She is going out on a limb to trust you. If you have promised something, follow through with it. This also extends to after the adoption. Be sure you send her the letters and photos you promised. Show her that she is a valued, important person in your life, and that she is not forgotten.