After everything that it took to get to this moment, the arrival of your adopted newborn is a time filled with emotion. You may feel excitement and joy, but also fear and uncertainty. All these feelings are very normal as it is impossible to prepare for this. It can be helpful to have an idea of what to expect, which is what we’ll cover here.
Talk it Over
There is so much that goes into infant adoption that many adoptive parents overlook delivery day. It’s important to keep this day a part of the ongoing conversation with the birthparents so that everyone has an idea of each other’s expectations.
It is up to the birthmother to create a birth plan as it is her delivery. If you want to be there, this should be discussed at an early stage. Details like how much time she wants to spend with the baby, who will hold the baby first, and naming should all be communicated during the adoption process. Remember that childbirth is a rather unpredictable thing, so pending any unplanned events or even complications, it may not go as you had hoped. Stay flexible and manage your expectations to help ensure a positive experience.
If you are planning to be there for the delivery as discussed with the birthmother, try to prepare far in advance for your hospital visit. Unless the birthmother is scheduled for a Cesarean delivery, the actual birth date could vary quite a bit.
Pack bags with what you may need for an overnight stay or longer if you will be traveling far. If you are covering a lot of distance, you will have to make your travel plans in advance of the estimated delivery date in case the baby comes a few days early. Again, this is hard to plan for, so if it is a major priority for you to be there, you will have to be prepared to either wait or rush.
Expect the Unexpected
Anything can happen during the delivery, from medical complications to emotional turmoil. Be respectful as this is hardest on the birthmother physically and mentally. She is giving birth, after all.
Understand that both the birthparents and you may go through millions of emotional ups and downs. This is perfectly normal. Allow everyone, including yourself, to be open and honest about their feelings.
You should also prepare in case you miss it. The entire adoption process can be extremely stressful and stirs up so many emotions, you should really try not to add even more stress right before you meet your baby. The important thing is that when he or she arrives, you will be there as soon as you can to start the rest of your life. It is not the end of the world if you are not there for delivery and may even alleviate some of the stress and pressure of the whole experience.
Above all, it is critical that you remain flexible in every way. Newborn adoption is a wonderful experience, but it can be a rollercoaster all the way to the time you bring your baby home. Whether you make it to the actual delivery or don’t, both you and the birthparents will be going through a myriad of thoughts and feelings. Let yourself feel, be open and honest, and if needed, have a counselor on standby if anyone needs professional support.