You’ve made your adoption profile and needless to say, it looks pretty great. Now begins the part of the adoption process that every adoptive family fears: the waiting. A couple weeks pass and you might start to wonder, why am I not being selected by a birthmother? You may start to think about what you could have done differently to be more “attractive” to birthparents.
Then. Out of nowhere. You get “the call.” You’re thrilled. You start getting excited about the nursery. You find yourself daydreaming about your life with this child that now seems so close. You can sleep easy knowing that your dream of parenthood is within reach.
But just as quickly as the excitement came, you imagine meeting the birthmother for the first time. This can be a scary thought because, of course, you want to make a great first impression. Don’t sweat it. Meeting a potential birthmother is a rewarding experience. And remember, she is probably just as nervous as you are! Here are few tips to help you prepare for this initial meeting.
Location, Location, Location
If you’re meeting the birthmother in person, choose a spot that is comfortable for everyone. Inviting the birthmother to your home might be a little intimidating for the first meeting. Instead, pick a public place that is both inviting and convenient. Coffee shops, casual restaurants, or a park are all suitable options. Depending on the timeline, an attorney may need to be present, so meeting at their office could also be a good spot.
Show Respect and Understanding
When you meet a potential birthparent, keep in mind that you are encountering someone with a very difficult problem to manage. By choosing adoption, she is facing many tough questions, like “how do I choose the parents for my child?” or “how will I feel about my decision later in life?” or “what will people think of me for choosing adoption?” Treat the birthmother as you would any friend facing a problem. Focus less on your needs and concerns and absorb hers. There will be plenty of time to discuss the “nuts and bolts” of things. Ask her about the pregnancy, if she likes her doctor, or if there is anything you can do to make this easier for her. Establishing a human connection is key.
Show More, Tell Less
Birthmothers are interested in more than just who you are. They also want to dig deeper and get a feel for your life as a whole. Bring pictures of your family, friends, childhood memories, home, pets, vacations, etc. Not only will this show more of who you are, but it will also give the birthmother a glimpse into the life her child could have with you.
Invite Her Questions
She probably has many. It might feel awkward or intrusive to ask strangers about personal things, especially younger people. Send a message that you welcome her interest. Answer her questions simply and honestly. Be open, be vulnerable.
Nothing can fully prepare you for the events of this first meeting. With authenticity and a little bit of love, you can get past the nerves and come together for a great conversation. Let the conversation flow without an agenda. Remember to listen. We know you can do it!
LifeLong Adoptions has guided many adoptive families through the adoption process, including meeting with a potential birthmother. Contact us anytime with questions! That’s what we’re here for.