Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Visit with Anne

      Last week we traveled to meet Anne and Ben, and it was a wonderful experience. Since we had previous phone conversations, we knew that we were comfortable talking to each other and had some foundation for what to talk about. There was some nervousness, which is understandable since there isn't any set social protocol for meeting the woman who is planning to entrust you with her child.

      Our original plan was to meet both Anne and Ben at a restaurant for breakfast, but she had asked us to call her when we got into town the night before just to verify that everything was still good to go. When I made this phone call, Anne informed me that her transportation for the next day had fallen through (she doesn't have her own car), and that Ben got called into work that day. She asked if we would be comfortable picking her up, which we were. When we got to her apartment she was waiting for us outside. We greeted and hugged and set off to breakfast... which turned into a short meal followed by about four and a half hours of conversation while sitting outside and enjoying a beautiful day.
    We let her take the lead on anything that would have been a sensitive area of conversation. She is a very open person, so this wasn't a challenge. If there was a lull in the conversation, she would say "I bet you want to know about...." and take off with a long, detailed story. We have talkativeness in common! There ended up being a good combination of casual, getting to know you chit-chat and serious conversations.
     She said that she was starting to get tired, and asked if we could take her back to her apartment so that she could take a nap. She said that she really wanted to do something else with us that day, and asked if we could maybe meet back up in a couple of hours. We took a route back to her apartment that drove us by the hospital where she is hoping to give birth so that we could get an idea of the part of town we will want stay in. When we got back together that evening, Ben was able to join her. That evening felt surprisingly normal. Almost unsettlingly normal. As we were having dinner and telling funny stories about our families, I realized that this really was no different from having dinner with any other couple for the first time. There wasn't awkwardness or discomfort or pressure; it just felt like getting to know new friends.
    As dinner was winding down, Anne said she needed to get some fresh air and asked if I would go sit outside with her for a minute while the guys continued their conversations about football and fishing. We had a pretty serious conversation (started by her) about making sure that we were on the same page with how we wanted the adoption to look and that we were both still comfortable with everything after getting to know each other. We are both at peace with the situation, and I think that we each sensed it but that we wanted to hear the other say so.
    The second day went about the same. We went to lunch, and Anne asked if we could go pick out some baby things together. She wanted the baby to have some things that would be from her, so we went shopping after lunch. After shopping, she invited us inside so that we could see her apartment and look at a few of her family photos. She gave us a head's up about when her next doctor appointments were, and asked if it would be okay if we called and texted each other directly from time to time rather than always needing to make appointments for phone calls through our agency. There was an emotional goodbye, and that was that.
    I'm really glad that we did an in-person visit. I honestly don't know what else to say beyond that. For our situation, I think it did a great deal to help build a relationship between us and Anne (and Ben). We were able to get quite a bit of things out on the table and have some intense conversations that could have been incredibly awkward over the phone without being able to see each others' body language and faces. I may summarize some of those conversations later, but I'm still sorting through everything to create a logical narrative in my head.

For those who have adopted, are in the process of adopting, or have placed a child for adoption, did you meet the other party in person before the hospital? Was it beneficial, or did you regret taking that step?


  1. Hi! I just wanted you know I stumbled on your blog last month and went back to read every post. :) I've been checking back for updates and was wondering how everything was going!

    We are not in the process of adoption, although it's something I've been obsessively researching (my nature lol - hubby is lightyears away from considering it since he's a "take things as they come" kinda guy). We're still in the middle of the TTC/infertility treatments and will know in a month or two whether we've hit the wall where we need to make a decision one way or another. I just wanted to send good vibes your way - I really love reading about your journey, and the way you write it and share research/information. Good luck with everything, hope to see another update soon!

    1. Thanks-- glad you have been enjoying reading! We are in that waiting period where there really aren't any interesting updates to share. During our initial phone calls and visit, we learned the things about each other that we were wanting to know. We are all comfortable with each other and with how we are envisioning our relationships looking in the future. Anne and I exchange a text message here and there occasionally, and I email her case worker about once a week for updates about how she has been feeling and to see if anything significant has been said at her latest doctor appointment. Basically, we are just waiting for the baby to be born! :)

    2. Also, good luck with your journey to parenthood, as well! I never had to go through fertility treatment, but I know how stressful and physically uncomfortable it can be.

  2. Hi Jess. Congrautlations, your story is so inspiring. I am a mom of two boys and have decided (for infertility and other reasons) to start the process of adoption. We are using an adoption agency in North Carolina for a domestic adoption. We are specifically waiting for a baby girl which our agency has informed us will make our wait longer. Do you know of people who had a specific gender in mind when adopting? And I know you had a young child when adopting- mine are old enough to understand adoption (7 and 9) so I wonder when I should talk explicitly to them about starting this process (considering I'm afraid it might be YEARS before we are matched and God willing, successful?) Just wondered what your thoughts were since you seem so on top of everything and had a good adoption experience. Thank you! CJ

    1. Hi CJ! Whether or not your gender preference influences whether your wait will be longer really depends on how your agency handles matching. If your agency invites any interested PAP to submit profiles for specific cases, it is simply a matter of when a bio mom decides you are a good fit-- having a specific gender preference wouldn't necessarily increase your timeline unless your agency tends to match before knowing gender. I did a post on the various methods of matching here: You can also keep an eye on the "available situation" posts (that is how we matched with Anne), which I listed here: I have known families who had a gender preference, and in those specific situations, they did not have a longer wait than average. But again, it just depends on how your agency handles matching.

      I haven't really gone through the research on discussing adoption preparations with older children, but I do know families who have gone through a similar process in becoming foster parents. What they did (and the advice they got from other foster and adopting families) was to wait until they were further into the process and a child coming into their home was more imminent. If it were me (and this is just my personal feeling-- I don't have any research to back this up), I would wait until we were matched. It may be hard for them to understand the long wait (especially if it stretches out into years), and the ups and downs of applying for situations that you may not end up matching with. Think about it similarly to if you were going to become pregnant again. Would you tell them that you were trying to have another baby, knowing that it could be a couple of years before it happened? Or, would you wait until you were pregnant? I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer, you just have to figure out what feels right to you and your family dynamic, and the maturity of your children in terms of how well they would process everything.

      Best of luck!