One key thing I forgot to write in Memory Lane part 1 is that we learned in the phone call from our social worker that our potential match was “open to an open adoption”–meaning, they’d like for us to meet, and then decide how to proceed.
The conversation I had with many people between the day we got the first phone call (July 12, 2005) and the day we met J and G (July 21, 2005) went something like this:
“We’ve been matched!”
“OMG! That’s so great. When’s the baby due? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have any names picked out? Will you get to be there?”
“Well, we know the baby’s due August 8th. We’ll know more after we meet the couple who’ve picked us next week.”
“You’re meeting them?”
“Yes–we’re meeting them, with our social workers, at the adoption agency next week.”
“Won’t that be weird? Can they change their minds?”
“Well, they wanted to meet us before the baby is born. This way we can decide how we want things to go. And yes, they can change their mind. Acutally, they can change their mind until they sign the papers, which can’t be any earlier than 48hrs after the baby’s born.”
People thought it was very strange that we would meet the baby’s parents before she was born, that we could possibly be at the hospital during the whole thing, that we could do all that and NOT end up taking a baby home with us at the end. For us, at that time, it just seemed like that was what we signed up for. Not having had the thrill of newborn being placed in our arms yet, or really knowing what love we would instantly feel for the baby girl, it seemed like a very reasonable thing. I think the 2nd time around, it will be much harder to keep our feelings in check.
The concept of an “open” adoption was completely new to most people we shared our news with, and to this day, we don’t know any other families in our circle of friends who have an open adoption. Having no model to really go on, we just did (and still) what feels right, what we think is in the best interest of the Monkey, and for everyone involved.
One of the reasons J & G liked our profile was because we would consider an open adoption–not that we were demanding one, but that we’d take it one step at a time. They felt the same way–that they wanted the option, but they didn’t want to be locked into something if they decided they didn’t want a lot of involvement.
So we met, using only first names, not disclosing where we lived or worked, exactly, and chatted. And after the first few akward minutes, the conversation started flowing…..and flowing……..and flowing. We learned the J was excpecting a girl, and she was delivering on August 3rd. We learned that she had a little boy from a previous relationship, and that she’d “been there, done that” with a newborn, and didn’t really want to do it all again. Z was almost potty-trained, and she was done with diapers. We learned about how J & G met, what they do for fun, and what they wanted for this baby. L asked the question, “If you had to make a profile, what would it look like?” and that really got the ball rolling. I did my best to remember everything, so that I’d have things to tell the baby in the future.
After that initial meeting, we were invited to the hospital while J delivered. We correpsonded via email through the social worker to pick a name. We were laying the ground work for a very open adoption, the likes of which will be explored in a post soon to come.