Thoughtful Thursday: Taking its sweet time

We got our monthly report from our adoption counselor  a few days ago – she told us our Expectant Parent letter went out four times in the month of January (out of the agency’s reported 42 intakes last month).  There are several reasons for our low count – which is based on how many times an expectant parent’s criteria matched our profile.  Some of these elements we are in control of, as they are based on decisions we made (read more about some of those weighty decisions here and here or find out how our profile is sent to expectant parents contacting our agency here).  Some of these elements are not something we can change – they are based on the expectant parent’s decision to exclude potential adoptive parents living in certain states/regions or to include only certain ones, or to consider profiles of prospective adoptive parents of a particular race only, for example.

Now, at five months into the “official” wait,  we have not yet been contacted by an expectant parent (either working through our agency, or who found us elsewhere – Facebook, Pinterest, this blog,  our Adoptimist page, our little pass-along cards, and so on).  It’s unpredictable – in December it was sent out nine times, but with our profile having been sent out only four times in the month of January, we are #1 disappointed, #2 trying not to be too reactionary, and #3, considering how it might be possible to raise that number based on changing our profile – for those parts of our profile that are up to us.  We are still very sure about what situations we feel comfortable considering, so there’s not a lot of room to expand our profile, as we’re pretty wide open as it is.  There’s really only one area of possibility that would increase our profile’s visibility, and we’re considering the commitment that decision would involve.  It’s not related to the health or identity of an expectant parent(s) or anything like that, but it’s a significant decision all the same.

The weight of the wait sometimes feels very heavy – and while there are other things to be happy about and we’re trying our best not to put life on hold,  while waiting on this particular bit of happiness to appear – we are finding that yes, indeed, it is taking its sweet time.

source: Brook Rose

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5 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday: Taking its sweet time

    • No, the changes – really just one change – is not a compromise, and we’re certainly not degrading or compromising our hopes – it’s just a change in what we initially considered do-able, for us. Vague enough for you? 🙂 And maybe it is one of those “may be a bit soon” things, but any changes we make to our profile are not absolute – and they also don’t tie us to anything in specific. They allow us the opportunity of being contacted to start – that’s the key thing – to start a conversation.

  1. Ethan and Angela, Have you considered the possibility that an expectant mother to whom you two most likely would appeal would not consider an open adoption for a number of reasons? Her reasons for adoption as an option in addition to making a plan for her baby might have been made because of the anonymity adoption affords. In a number of cases with which I worked this was often the case. Her social status, emotional makeup, possible parental pressure, her own educational plans could be threatened by an open adoption. Just think about it. My best, Sherry

    • Such thoughtfulness, Sherry – as always. We appreciate you caring about what we’re experiencing and really helping us think this through.

      The circumstances you mention here were actually major concerns when we first started researching open adoption (which we knew nothing about when we started considering our options). While we know that there are very good reasons why less openness might be preferable for an expectant mother or expectant parents, we were won over by the argument that openness is most often better for the child, and in the long term, we really hope it’s better for everyone. We chose our agency, the Independent Adoption Center, specifically because they only work with prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents who are interested in open adoption. Here’s the big thing that really helps everyone, I think: openness can and does evolve over the weeks, months, and years. Even if circumstances aren’t great in the beginning, once life gets figured out a little better, there’s an opportunity for a birthparent to connect with a child who was adopted. That connection might mean actual in-person visits, or it might mean letters and photos, it might mean something as simple as emails – or some combination of all of the above. It might be painful for a birthparent at first – but from what we’ve read about many birthparents’ experiences, it really helps to at least have that option later on – so many questions for both the birthparents and the child are answered because they know who each other is. And for our part, we really want our child to know who their birthparents are – even if we and their birthparents, for whatever reason, work out a plan that involves less openness than we thought, or that openness changes over time, they can at least have some knowledge about who their birthparents are.

      We’ve yet to experience it firsthand, but we both understand that adoption is tough, however it happens. We’re told time and time again by our adoption coordinator and others at our agency that there’s no one-size-fits-all way to handle it, and sometimes, like you say, a birthparent might be afraid of openness. The decision to place a child for adoption is a scary one for an expectant parent to make – I can’t begin to imagine just how scary. Adding onto that a level of openness – it might be helpful, or it might not. But it can evolve into less or more over time – hopefully that can ease the fear somewhat.

      Thanks again for your good wishes for us, Sherry! And for keeping us on our toes! 🙂

  2. We are in the same stage of our wait – 5 months in. Reading your post makes me feel a little better knowing that we aren’t the only ones rethinking everything because it’s taking so long. Should we redo our profile, be open to more situations, etc.? Some days it’s so hard to wait but I am trying my best to enjoy this phase. That is easier said than done sometimes, though. I really hope we both get “the call” soon!

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