Monday, August 24, 2015

Meeting Our Son's Birthmother

September 2009
After a year and half of waiting doing private adoption, I had had enough with scammer after scammer and needed to change gears. These were scammers that weren't pregnant women, not even people out for just money.  I remember a guy from upstate NY that would call every day and ask me hundreds of questions!! This went on for months and in the end he was just a single guy that was lonely and just wanted to talk!  And let's not forget Tamma Taylor from Chicago!  The 39 year old alcoholic that pretended to be a 19 year old basketball player from the University of Chicago.

Anyway ... I was disheartened by this process and my attitude was poor to say the least. Our last hope was to try the agency route.  On September 10, 2009 we were officially "on the list". So for the first time in years I "put my feet up" and waited my turn! 

November 2009
I knew this process would probably take about 2 years and that set my mind at ease.  Not sure why but it did.  I knew the phone wasn't going  ring anymore with scammers keeping me up all night and I guess that's why I felt different.  At 7:45am on November 3rd the phone rang!  I looked at the caller ID and it said catholic something. At first I thought prank call or old scammer and then I thought crap my check bounced at the agency so I'll call them back!! LOL I laid my head back down and then I slowly began to realize what might be happening. I called back immediately and I spoke to my social worker who then told me that they would like to show our profile along with 2 other families.  It seems we met the requirements that the expectant mother, J, was asking for! 
To this day I am so sorry I never asked what requirements we met.  It would have been so nice to know what she connected with! I jumped at the chance and said absolutely!!  And that was it!  Now we wait... As Andrea wrote in her blog about getting over the first profile showing - she had to wait 3 weeks.  I only had to wait 2 days.  What a torturing 48 hours.  Will she like us?  Do we look like we are fun?  Look like we are healthy?  Look like we could parent? Ohhh the thoughts that go through your head.

In the afternoon of November 5th the phone rang!!  I took a deep breath realizing it may not be "the" call; they could be just needing some more info. But I was wrong it was the moment! The social worker said "I have wonderful news, you were chosen!"  The call lasted a couple of minutes but in my excited shaking fog i heard  her say that the expectant mother would like to meet us! WHAT? Meet?  Ahhhhhhhh

The meeting was scheduled for November 18th!!  I can't tell you how absolutely terrified I was. And as I tell my story 6 years later, I realize how selfish I was worrying about my wardrobe choice and not thinking of what she was going through.  But as I always say this process isn't easy and you have to learn as you go. 

I woke the morning of the 18th wondering what we would talk about.  What would she look like?  How tall was she?  What does she like to do?  And I'm sorry to say I really wanted to find out more about the birth father.  But I knew it was her story to tell and if she didn't want to share it then I would be ok with that choice.

We arrived in the city at 1:30pm and we didn't want to go in empty handed so we went across the street and bought the expectant mother flowers.  Not sure if this was good or bad; all we wanted was for her to know we respected what she was considering and that was all.  At 2pm we arrived and were escorted to a conference room - we were first to arrive.  You could hear a pin drop in this room! Strange since we were in the city and you can always hear some kind of car or siren!  I think God wanted me to think more and he knows I need quiet.

At 2:05pm the door opened and I knew this was it!  I couldn't be shy like my husband; I couldn't clam up; I couldn't waste this moment!  Something deep down told me that this was the only chance I would have to know her. She never mentioned an open relationship and never talked about pictures each year.  I wanted to respect her wishes and at the time had no idea what it meant to have an open adoption.  I was still new at all this. 

A young woman about my height came in first and then I saw I could only assume her mom and dad followed.  They looked so like my own family. I could tell by the look of her mom that she was either British or Irish!  I was right!  I was so excited but the nerves were getting to me.  We all sat down with two social workers present. How uncomfortable but understandable. It went quiet immediately and that's when I thought - do it!!  So I started the conversation and it came natural.  They were an amazing family and they started to warm up to us a well.  We had a great time and after about an hour and a half we were told by one social worker that was all the time we had. 

How do I say good bye? This was it? No more?  Can't we do dinner or something? I began to tear up a bit but I tried to hold it in until I looked at her mom.  She was tearing up too.  I went to J and said good bye and reached in hoping for a hug. She reached in too and I didn't want to let go.  I held on like maybe she wouldn't leave. But the family left and that was it.  No more info. No more contact. No more time spent.

I went home and wrote as much as I could down about the hour and a half we had.  I'm sure there is a frightening sense of walking into a room and having to make a decision for a child's future this way.  Wish it could have all been different but this is how it happened and I am so grateful for the time we had.

January 2015
For the last few years I have sent J pictures of my boy and a long letter telling her what he has been up to.  Each year the amount of pictures increased and the letter got so long it's like I'm writing a book.  He is an amazing boy and I want her to know all about him and how much he means to us.  But after 5.5 years I wanted to try and see if we could make a change. I reached out to the agency to see if she wanted to try and make a step towards open adoption.  After waiting two month for a response, the agency informed me she wasn't interested.

I'll be honest I thought it was a long shot but I didn't realize how much it would hurt. I ran to my group immediately and cried. I cried a lot. But as a support group of friends always do - they make u feel better. She may not be ready now but one day she might. It is her journey - it is my sons journey and what ever they need I will support. If my son comes to me one day and says "mom I want to meet J"... Well that's actually my next blog!!

Written By Chemene
Group Co-Leader
Adoptive Mom

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