Once a pregnant woman starts to think about adoption, one of the first questions that comes up is, “How on earth do I choose a family?” And aside from the decision to place, which family to place with is the most important choice to make. And the most overwhelming. Where do you even begin?
I wish there was a simple answer. I wish it was easy to go through profiles and say, yep, there they are. But it is an agonizing, heartbreaking process, and it is hard.
Tomorrow (or in a few days, I'm not sure yet) I'm going to post more detailed thoughts on this process, including some questions to consider. But I think that before you ask questions of a couple, you have to ask some of yourself first. Because not only do you need to ask questions, but you need to decide what answers you want for them.
What sort of parents are you looking for? I was told by one person that I should try to find a couple that reminded me of myself - people who were a lot like me. But the problem with that was, I drive myself crazy. And I wasn't sure if I wanted my baby to have parents who were like me! At times I felt I should look for the exact opposite.
I feel that, in P and M, I've found a good middle ground. I see in them the things I like best about myself, and the things we don't have in common tend to be areas where I am weak and they are strong.
You might have a lot of questions for a couple, and you have to decide which ones are the most important. Are you willing to consider an answer you don’t like for one question if you get answers you do like to the most important questions? Ultimately, you have to decide these things for yourself. And when in doubt, trust your instincts. If you’ve got a good feeling about a couple, go with it. And if you don't, or if you're not sure, be honest with them. Tell them how you feel. They will appreciate your openness and will likely respond in kind.
Ask yourself: Why am I considering adoption? What is it that I want most for my baby that I am unable to provide? I wanted my baby to have an eternal family. Going through a church agency made that easy - if a couple wants to be approved through LDSFS, they have to be able to take their baby to the temple. Use what's most important to you as a starting point and go from there.
(Pretend I'm Deborah Norville here)
Coming up next: a really wordy sort-of guide to trying to choose a couple, after these messages! Or after a day or two.