Last week a caseworker from our agency called to say that she had a pregnancy client who was looking at our profile and wanted to know more about our views on open adoption. She wanted to know what kind of relationship we desired to have with birth parents. The call caught me off guard. We were out of town, at my sister in-law's house preparing to celebrate her recently acquired Doctoral Degree and our niece's birthday, and Nate was at his interview in Omaha. I locked myself in the nearest, quietest room, and tried to explain to the caseworker what I thought we wanted despite being unsure of this ourselves.
Nate and I have always said that an open adoption relationship with birth parents would probably depend a lot on the birth parents--on their backgrounds, what they wanted, and how well our personalities meshed. I know nothing about the client looking at our profile. How do you begin to describe what kind of a relationship you want to have with someone you don't know anything about? I tried to be honest with the caseworker, saying that ideally, we'd like to have a close relationship with the birth parents because a kid can never have too many people to love him/her. I said we'd like to have contact via letters, emails, and even visits either at neutral locations or at our home. Ideally, we'd like birth parents to be a part of our family. Like another sister or brother to us. But, I added, much of this will depend on the personality and desires of the birth parents as well. I hate to agree to regular home visits if the birth parents engage in criminal activity. And let's be honest, there are some personalities that ours just don't gel with--so dinner once a week with someone like that might not be tolerable. I'm not sure if I answered the caseworker's question clearly or "correctly." My answer could've scared this birth parent off....and this could have been our one chance at a child. For a long time after that phone call, I couldn't concentrate on anything else. And even a little over a week later, it still keeps me up at night. It's comforting to know that someone is/was interested in us as I was beginning to think there was something terribly wrong with our profile letter....or us...for not receiving any phone calls.
So today, on Mothers Day, this client is weighing heavily on my heart and it gives me
a bit of a new perspective about the holiday. For the past four years it's been a day where I usually wallow in my own self-pity about not being a mom, but this year is different. This morning I can't help thinking about how difficult Mothers Day would be for birth parents--especially those still struggling to choose between parenting and adoption. I can't even imagine. If you're the praying type, while you're thanking God for your own mom, offer up a prayer for wisdom for birth mom's struggling to choose between parenting and adoption.