Consider Your Preferences and Follow Your Heart!
Choosing to place your baby for adoption is one of the most selfless things a person can do. You are very brave and bold to make this choice for your baby. As you move forward with this decision, you quickly realize that you have another important decision to make.
Who will raise my baby?
This question ran through my mind constantly while I navigated through the first several months of my pregnancy. I was confident that placing my baby for adoption was the best thing to do in my situation. Although, the task of finding a family seemed entirely too overwhelming. I was making the decision to carry a baby, give birth to a baby, and give that baby to another family. I had to choose the right family in order to completely follow through with my decision.
The first step in choosing an adoptive family for your baby is to speak with a social worker who can help you. Specifically, a social worker who specializes in adoption and can provide you with helpful resources on your journey. In doing this, you will be provided with lots of information to consider which will help you make the right decisions. My social worker provided me with important questions to consider while choosing. Below are some of the questions I asked myself.
1. Do you want an open or closed adoption?
At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted, and I wasn’t exactly sure what was best. Having a social worker provide me with information on closed and open adoptions moved me in the right direction almost immediately. I decided that an open adoption was best for my child. Answering this question in your own circumstances will help you find the adoptive family because you want a family who has the same preference as yours. If you are considering a closed adoption, finding a family who prefers a closed adoption will be the best match for you.
2. If you’re considering open adoption, how open do you want your adoption plans to be?
Do you want the family involved in the pregnancy? Do you want the family involved in the birth? Do you want pictures every year from the adoptive family? Do you want annual visits or monthly visits? Do you want any visits at all? Do you want to be heavily involved in your child’s life? Would you rather admire his or her life from a distance? Do you want to be readily available to the adoptive family and child throughout his or her life? You will not know the answers to all of these questions right away, but the openness you desire in the adoption is something to consider. Thinking about what you want is important, and finding a family whose desires match yours will be the best for the child.
3. What are the specific details you’re looking for in the adoptive family?
Do you prefer the adoptive family to live close or farther away? Do you have an age, race, or religion preference? Are there any details about an adoptive family that you can’t accept? For example, I wanted the adoptive parents to be married and stable. I wanted the adoptive parents to share my same faith in Jesus Christ. I did not want to choose an adoptive family who had a racial preference for a child, because to me, that seemed absurd. I also preferred for the adoptive family to live closer to me. This allowed them to join in doctor’s appointments, to join for the baby’s birth, and to occasionally get together before and after placement.
Write down your preferences and the answers to the questions that you have before you begin your search in choosing an adoptive family. Be honest with yourself. This decision is life-changing for your child, for yourself, and for the adoptive family. Honesty will provide a stable starting point, especially with all the emotions that come with making this decision. Once you begin choosing an adoptive family, you must follow your heart. It’s very hard to explain what this means, but when you choose the right adoptive family for your child, you will just feel that it’s right. Your heart will be filled with a sense of comfort and joy.
On my journey to find my birth son’s adoptive family, I did not rest until I found the best. I considered my preferences, and I followed my heart. When I found the perfect adoptive family, I just knew they were the ones. Their picture spoke to me in a way I can barely put into words. I couldn’t stop staring at them, and my heart seemed to fill up with so much love just from the sight of them. They looked so happy. They looked like they were madly in love. They looked like the only thing that was missing in their picture was a baby. When I read about them, I found myself in awe as I realized that they perfectly matched what I was looking for. I actually tried to find something that gave me an indication that they weren’t the ones, and I found nothing. My heart screamed out over and over again, “Those are your baby’s parents!” I didn’t settle, I followed my heart and I have not regretted it since. Nowadays, the pictures of the family that I chose include a little boy, and I continue to feel like it was always meant to be.
Heather Mitchell courageously became a birth mother in 2014. She is inspired to personally share how open adoption has incredibly impacted her life. She shatters the common misconceptions about birth mothers, and desires to provide a beautiful and unique point of view. Heather enjoys her grind as an administrative specialist for a millwork company in Wisconsin. While dedicated to her profession, Heather believes her most important job in life is motherhood. Her three children keep her busy, yet extremely overjoyed and purposeful. Her free time is spent reading, writing, or admiring the view of Lake Michigan, which can be seen from her front porch.