This post looks at how we were matched with a birth mother and the possible risks associated with being matched. This doesn’t represent all adoption experiences.
On Tuesday, September 17th, I was driving home from an educational training. My trip home was about an hour-long, so I had my current audiobook playing. When I drive, I have my phone on Do Not Disturb so random numbers do not call in. I was surprised when I call broke through. I did a glance down to the screen in the seat next to me and saw something that would change my life.
Last October, after meeting with Sarah and Emily from The Hope Box, Steve and I put in their names and numbers with a special ringtone and the logo. I had it set up to break through Do Not Disturb if needed. However, in the last 11 months, I had forgotten. So when Emily’s name popped up on the screen, I was in shock.
I answered the phone, and Emily’s voice came through my car speakers (YEA, BLUETOOTH!) She told me about a birth mother who was due in the next four weeks or so and had chosen us to adopt her baby. Emily also said that birth mom wanted to meet us the next day. I think Emily could hear the shock and excitement in my voice when I told her that I needed to call Steve to let him know.
When Steve answered his phone, he was on the way to work. He may or may not have yelled “WHAT” over and over into the phone for 30 seconds. I called Emily back to let her know that we would meet the next day. And then the craziness began.
Just a reminder of what The Hope Box does. This amazing group is “is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded to address the issues of infant discarded, abandonment, neglect, and abuse through legislation, education, advocacy, and Safe Haven drop centers. THE HOPE BOX is the Safe Haven chapter for the State of Georgia and was instrumental in amending House Bill 391 in 2017.” (The Hope Box) They’re not an adoption agency. They’re completely funded by private donations and don’t take money from birth families, adoptive families, etc. for their services. (We can only give them donations.) The Hope Box is there to help those who need it. If there are birth parents in a situation where they can’t keep or take care of their baby or toddler, The Hope Box will find whatever resources available to help them parent. However, if it is a situation where they must give up their child, The Hope Box helps connect adoptive families to the birth parents in different types of crisis or rescue situations. This is where Steve and I are.
Now, what does it mean to be matched? Well, it means that someone has chosen us to adopt the child. However, that does not mean it is 100%. Many factors can go into a family not being placed with a child. Some factors are birth mother decides to parent the baby, the birth mother changes her mind and goes another direction, etc. Unfortunately for the birth mother, she has limited options for her child due to past issues, which I will not go into out of respect for her. My heart breaks that she has limited options, but I am glad that she was able to connect with others to advocate for her and the baby.
When the baby is born, we will hopefully be there with the adoption plan stating the birth mother’s wishes. Our lawyer will file the guardianship and adoption paperwork that day. In Georgia, the birth mother will have four (4) business days to change her mind. After those four days, her parental rights are terminated and the process of fully adopting the baby will continue. Both the birth mother and us plan on doing a semi-open adoption so that she can see how the baby is doing and receive updates. Just because Steve and I may become the parents, we don’t want to lose parts of her identity with adoption.
Right now, we wait, hope, and pray. To Steve and I, the baby is Baby Ada. We know that it is possible that this may not work out, but we are hopeful and moving forward. We are also thinking of how we can honor her biological connections as well as being a part of our family. Our families and friends are over the moon excited, and they know the risks. It’s going to be a stressful few weeks, but Steve and I will remain hopeful. We’ll start preparing for our future daughter as well as preparing for any other possible outcome.
Two big things that Steve and I ask for:
1. Please keep the birth mother in your prayers, thoughts, good vibes, etc. She is doing something very difficult, and we are forever grateful for her choice. (She told us one of the reasons she chose us was that we looked fun.)
2. If you can, donate to The Hope Box. They do so much for women and infants around the state.
Hopefully, our next update will be to introduce the world to our daughter.