Everyone’s story and journey to parenthood is different, ours changed from trying to get pregnant to not needing to be pregnant to become parents and then deciding on the family-building option of domestic open adoption.
From the outside looking in our adoption journey was seamless and painless, but that is not always the case. We made tough decisions along the way and when our second daughter was born there was more than those on the outside looking in were aware of.
Our journey to parenthood was guided by the late great Ellen Roseman of Cooperative Adoption Consulting. Her guidance and wisdom were with us throughout our journey as well as the education she provided on openness in adoption and not leaving anyone out in the family especially expectant/birth fathers.
It was this aspect of the process that reminds me part of our journey to our daughter J and the decisions we were faced with after her birth. We met J’s birthmother 10 days before she was born which truly was not enough time (in our mind) for her to make a permanent placement decision. We had begun talking about her parenting after the baby was born and she turned this discussion into our sharing parenting as she works through her thoughts and feelings for what decisions were ahead for her. The plan became about her taking the baby home from the hospital and then passing her onto us with S’s time becoming less and ours more if she decided that adoption was going to be her plan. Then on top of that when my husband contacted the baby’s expectant father he went from first thinking our adopting his baby was a great idea, and hours later he didn’t. We realized at that moment we might have to walk away from S & J. Heartbreaking to say the least but we knew we had no place to fight him if he really wanted to parent his daughter and this was something he and S were going to have to discuss. Their relationship was long diminished before this and that is why he was not initially part of her decision to consider adoption for their baby.
During this time, S wasn’t still completely sure what she wanted as far as parenting or entrusting her daughter with us. We had to step out of the conversations at that point as it was not for us to be involved it was between them. Ellen was there with us along the way and guided us through.
It was hard, very hard but we knew we weren’t part of this discussion and we couldn’t be, it wasn’t our baby to fight for even though our hearts felt otherwise. We had our two year old daughter to be parenting at this time so we had to still be there for her while all this was going on and she was to stay our focus.
We waited and waited to hear what the final outcome might be. We heard from Ellen and S that the baby’s birth father had in fact consenting on the adoption placement.
To this day we don’t know what brought him/them to this decision. This last December we reconnected with him and his son (J’s brother) in beginning to establish a relationship as a family together. At first he wanted nothing to do with J and us as a family. We always left the door open knowing someday J would want to know him. Then just like that last October he commented on a photo on facebook (we had become friends even though we didn’t communicate). From that initial re-communication we planned on getting to know each other in person. Our first in-person meeting was in December 2012. Today we are planning another get together in honor of J’s birthday.
So yes from the outside looking in no one would suspect what had happened on our second journey to parenthood … I can still remember it like it was yesterday and reading and following the story of Baby Veronica it brings back these feelings and memories. I don’t fault the prospective adoptive parents in how they may be feeling, but I really feel when the father of this little girl started fighting for her when she was an infant they should have bowed out. Now there is an almost 4 year old girl whose life is turning upside down yet again. This case and others like it bring to light the non-ethical professionals in adoption as it appears from the outside looking in in my opinion that they are not being correctly guided … very sad for all involved.