We left with so much excitement and peace. Our questions were well addressed and it put an end to all our fears. There is so much unknown as each adoption story is different; however, they went through so many scenarios it really felt as though we could handle anything. Or at the very least we knew we could trust our agency to do everything possible to make this a smooth and healthy process for us and the birthmother.
We learned three very important things at this seminar:
1) We are so very pleased with our agency and realize the fee of partnering with them is SO very worth it!
All the women on staff are very passionate about adoption and they offer so much counseling to the birthmother, waiting families, and post adoption care. The very complicated aspects of legal paperwork made us realize why the financial aspect is so significant. Their post adoption care also made us realize a semi-open adoption with communication through them would be stable and dependable. They have been around for so long and they have gifts and letters in storage from over 30 years ago they keep for adoptees. Pretty amazing.
2) We realized semi-open adoption is not as scary as it sounds. It is in no way shape or form co-parenting. It is a way to help birthmothers know their child is being cared for well. Semi-open is controlled and agreed upon before birth and is not a binding document. We only need to commit to what we are comfortable with, and it is ultimately our responsibility to decide what's best for our family. It is a way for us to know the answers our child will ask about their birthmother while explaining their magnificent story. We want our sweet baby to be full and to have all the pieces of their story as possible-who they are, where they come from, and want them to know their birthmother made an amazing choice and gave us the best gift we could ever receive!!! We do understand the birthmother may want completely closed and we are already praying for the words to explain everything and anything to our sweet child.
3) We gained so much respect for birthmothers. Choosing an adoption plan for their child is such a selfless act. They are realizing parenting is not the very best option for their baby. Wow, the courage it takes to choose adoption amazes me. Also, the harsh language in the relinquishment paperwork and having to sign the dotted line stating you understand your legal rights are forever terminated. Another reason why Hope Cottage is so amazing. They provide extensive counseling during the pregnancy so when the time comes the birthmother is prepared and supported. We also realize the moment we hold our sweet baby for the first time we will be overwhelmed with joy but in that exact moment the birthmother is experiencing significant loss and sorrow. Knowing Hope Cottage provides post adoption counseling for the birthmother is really neat.
I Wished For You- by Marianne Richmond
All in all the seminar was GREAT! We were given a lot of information and we also shared our personal experience and touched on why we were choosing adoption. It was a very emotional day and we both were fighting the tears so we weren't the blubbering couple in the corner, haha. On the drive home we were both totally fried. I've never been in a seminar or class where I've wanted to absorb EVERYTHING... we enjoyed every minute!
Jake said something on the car ride home that instantly made me tear with joy.. "our child could already be conceived".. it is very possible. Our sweet baby could be growing this very minute.