I love my blog and I love the mish mosh of reader and commenters. Everyone has something to contribute even though we’re all so distinctly different and on such distinctly different paths. I also love that I get to share my experience and through doing so dispel some of the myths and B.S. out there about adoption. Last week I wrote a posting about Beautiful Birth Mom’s and about the process that most birth mom’s will go through now prior to giving up their babies for adoption.
Of course, there is so much more involved in an adoption that just the BM’s, the AP’s play a vital role in who will select them as well. As part of the very long questionnaire we had to complete (we took over two hours to complete ours) there are a number of questions asked which go a long way in matching AP’s with BM’s. We had to answer some very uncomfortable questions and were forced to think about circumstances and situations I’m sure most expectant parents don’t have to face. We had to think carefully about the answers we gave because they could affect the rest of our lives. Aside from the usual race question, which we had expected. We also had to answer questions like:
- Would you adopt a HIV+ baby
- Would you adopt a baby conceived from rape
- Would you adopt a baby conceived from incest
- Would you adopt a baby with medical conditions – non life threatening
- Would you adopt a baby with medical conditions – life threatening
These are hard questions to answer, for anyone to answer, let alone an infertile couple who have struggled for a child of their own for the better part of a decade. But we had to be sensible about it, we had to think long-term, we had to think about the impact on our physical, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being if we were to adopt a child, for example, that had a serious birth defect or illness. We had to consider the implications of adopting a baby with a life threatening illness, after spending almost 8 years trying to conceive and suffering through recurrent miscarriage, did we have what it takes to struggle through infant illness on top of that?
In the end we agreed that we would accept all of the above except for the HIV+ babies and the babies with life threatening illness. Thankfully God was in charge and we landed up with a healthy baby. But what would we have done if we hadn’t been so lucky? What would we have done if the precious angel we had longed for, cried for, hoped for, prayed for had come out and she was ill? I really don’t know. It’s hard to say what one would do in any situation unless you’ve been there yourself. I do know that the second I saw Ava being born I fell completely and utterly in love with her. I do know that Walter fell in love with her the second he laid eyes on her, so would we have been able to reject her? To walk away from her if she hadn’t been born “perfect”?
I received an email after my Beautiful Birth Mom’s post, from a BM who’d given her baby up for adoption in 1992. It would seem that adoption was still in the dark ages, even in the ’90’s and no where near what it is today. This BM was not even allowed a moment of quiet time to say goodbye to her baby, she had to say goodbye to her out in the busy passage way, as she lay in the bassinet. No SW to comfort her, all alone, she said farewell and left her baby. What was to follow is any mother’s worst nightmare:
I was dumb struck when I read this email. Firstly, I was horrified for this BM’s part. Can you imagine having to make the heart wrenching decision to give your baby up for adoption, only to hear that her AP’s have rejected her and that she is now lying, all alone, in the maternity ward of a hospital. As a mother, I cannot being to imagine the anguish this must have caused this BM. When I put myself in her position and I imagine its my child that has been rejected and left alone in hospital, I feel quite hysterical just at the thought of it, so I cannot imagine what it must have been like to go through. When I think about the AP’s I really do wonder what made them come to that decision, how they came to that decision. As an infertile couple, coming so close to finally having the family we’d longed for, I just don’t think either Walter or I could have walked away, regardless.
I know the day before Ava was born Walter had a mini melt down, it was stressful and it totally freaked me out. In the middle of a massive baby shopping spree, while having brunch at Mugg and Bean with my mother, Walter suddenly announced that he was feeling all rather stressed about the situation and that he wanted me to know that should the baby be born and he didn’t feel right about it, that he was going to walk away and he expected me to do the same. I was besides myself after he’d dropped that mini bomb but in hindsight I realize he’s reaction was much like a nervous groom getting cold feet right before the wedding. Later the same day we met our BM and the meeting was so wonderful that all of our fears were put to rest and Walter’s mini melt down was all forgotten.
I wonder how often that happens? I wonder how AP’s make the choice to walk away? I wonder how BM’s cope with the rejection of their babies that they offer as such beautiful gifts?