Sorry for the long delay between Part Two & Part Three.
Links to Part One & Part Two are at the bottom of this page.
So, I was 18, pregnant, unmarried, and had battled with Planned Parenthood about my “choice” to parent my child.
Then I heard God speak to me about finding an adoption agency. He patiently waited with me until I made that call and filled me with unfathomable peace.
Next, I was learning all about the adoption process, the legalities, and my responsibilities:
- I would choose the parents for my child from profiles of families registered with the agency.
- The law allowed me 72 hours in which to change my mind about adoption after giving birth. The standard practice, since hospitals were kicking new moms out within 24 hrs of giving birth, was for the agency to place the baby into a foster home until the 72 hrs had expired.
- The biological father of the child also had to agree to the adoption and sign away his rights to the child.
- All of my expenses would be paid for either by the adoption agency and/or through any government aid I might qualify for.
- While I was under no obligation to follow through with the adoption (i.e. I could change my mind), I was liable for any expenses incurred on my behalf by the agency should I change my mind.
- And that the agency required the adopting families to provided quarterly photos for the first year, to be kept in the file at the agency for the birthparents to view at any time.
That was pretty much the long and short of it. And since I had no intention of changing my mind, I signed without hesitation. This was God’s idea, not mine, so I was determined to be obedient. Since I was filled with His peace, I had no doubts.
The next time I saw the counselor, she introduced me to another counselor (I’ll call her DiDi). DiDi would take me to all of my OB appointments and would be with me when I gave birth. She was also my advocate whenever I needed her, such as in dealing with the biological father and later with the hospital where I would give birth. DiDi and I became close, as close as an adoption counselor and a birthmother-in-waiting can be. Looking back, I can see how God’s peace in me made me stand out to DiDi and others at the adoption agency. Not to brag and not through my own doing, I was not their typical birthmother.
In late January 1992, after my OB appointment, DiDi gave me a Family Profile to look at so that I could see what they were like. With 4 months to go, it was still too soon for the agency to allow me to choose a family for my child. But DiDi got permission to show me a profile from a couple she thought wouldn’t mind because they were seeking an open adoption, something the agency had never overseen before.
It was a lot to take in; from ages to income to education to marital history to religion, etc. It was several pages long and included a few pictures. Some of it the family had written themselves and some had been written by interviewer from the adoption agency.
DiDi asked me at one point what I thought about the family and what I thought about open adoption. Honestly, I had never considered open adoption. I was preparing to give my child away, never to be seen by me again. That was really all I knew in my very limited knowledge of adoption anyway. So, the concept of open adoption was too odd for me to even process at that time. I did like the family and they were willing to leave the openness up to the birthmother. DiDi told me their profile would be included in my first batch of profiles.
Two months later, DiDi handed me 3 family profiles. She told me to take my time and look them over. If I wanted, I could request more profiles until I found a family. But I had already decided. I had had two months to think about the first profile she had shown me. I flipped through the profiles to find the family I had chosen, but their profile wasn’t in there. I asked DiDi where their profile was and she told me the bad news; another girl who gave birth in February had chosen them for her son.
It wasn’t that I was heartbroken, but I was disappointed. After having thought hard about that family for two months, I now had to look for another family for my baby. As if giving up one’s child for adoption isn’t hard enough, choosing the “perfect” family for one’s child is beyond words. And I had my work cut out for me…beginning with these 3 family profiles…