Tell us about the first letter, conversation, or meeting with your child's birthmother. What advice would you give nervous waiting families?
Our Reader Panel responds.
"The first contact we had with our daughter's birth parents was by phone. An adoption coordinator had matched us and the birth parents had asked to speak with us. Our child's birthmother was very quiet, letting the birthfather do all the talking for the both of them. I barely heard her voice until the end of the conversation.
We were nervous. We were asking these people to give us their child, and the only contact we would have beforehand would be via email and the telephone. As the days passed, the conversations became easier. We were very open with them, and willing to answer any questions they had truthfully. In return, they offered us the same.
My advice to waiting parents: I know nerves can get on-edge in an adoptive situation. No matter how hard it may be, relax, be yourself and be as open and honest as possible. The right situation will arrive. When it does, you will realize the right situation for you (and for the other family or parent) is worth waiting for!"
"I remember how nervous we were! It helps to know that the birthmother wants you to like her as much as you want her to like you. Try to think of her as an old friend, and be sincere. You will have a forever bond with this woman."
"We recieved our first call from our son's birthmother during a 25th anniversary party we were throwing for some friends. There were about 50 people in the house, and it was very noisy. I was very nervous and surprised that she had called. I had to take the phone into a bathroom to be able to hear her! We talked for about 20 minutes and made arrangements to talk again. After the call I had to rejoin and host the party, while acting like nothing had happened—despite the overwhelming emotions I was experiencing!
Waiting families should write down some things you would like to discuss with a birthmother before the first conversation, so when the moment comes and your mind is in a whirl, you will have your wits about you."
Like Old Friends
"We were very nervous to meet our baby's birthmother for the first time. We chose to meet for lunch at her favorite restuarant. We brought her a small gift, and I had purchased a card to let her know how I appreciated what she was doing for us and the sacrifice I knew she was making.
Once we were seated, we just started talking like we were friends. It was wonderful! She had also brought me a gift: a framed picture of our son's first sonogram."
"Our first interaction with our daughter's birthmom was over the phone, about a month before we decided to fly to Texas to meet her in person. We had talked to two other potential birthmoms before our daughter's birthmom, so we knew that expressing how happy we were to be able to visit and how nervous both of us were facilitated the getting-to-know-each-other process. It also set the precedent for each party to feel free to ask each other whatever questions we both needed to ask.
The best advice we received during that very nerve-wracking time was to be yourself and to be very honest. Acknowledging how nervous we were really helped, too. We learned that birthmoms are often just as nervous, and it is best just to understand everyone's feelings from the get-go."
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