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my birth plan
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my wants/needs in an adoptive family

a    series    of    blessings    II

As I struggled with my new found pregancy and the options I had open to me my father came home with some folded papers. He handed them to me and said to look at them when I was ready and to please know that he was only trying to help.

I looked at a series of printed out web pages from a place called Pact, An Adoption Alliance. The pages spoke of doing what ever was in the child's best interest and birthparents' choices. They struck a chord, some where around my heart, because all I wanted to do was what ever was best for my baby.

My hands shook and I swore I was going to be sick as I dialed the phone. But the warmth and genuine concern in the voice of the woman on the other end soon comforted me.

The deeper into the adoption process I got the more I began to appreciate what my dad had stumbled upon. In helping me decide what was best for the squirt they helped see all my options and define what I wanted. Beyond helping me see what I wanted they listened to what I wanted and helped me find it.

Imagine a business where you help people run the spectrum of emotions from fear, joy, pride, pain, anger, and love. Now imagine a group of women who are there to navigate this road with all their clients. I felt important, not like the baby carrier who was discarded after birth, but a woman who these women actually were concerned for and cared for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I read through family profiles and looked at the faces of people who could parent my child I was filled with more anxiety and fear then I had been in this whole process. Would I choose the right family? How would I know the right family if there was one? Would they like and accept me?

There was one letter that stuck out in my mind and when it came time to start speaking with prospective adoptive parents I asked for this couple. They had been choses before by other birthmothers, but for whatever reasons it had not worked out. That simple fact made me even more nervous. Would I suffer the same fate as those that came before me?

I was so nervous when the phone rang the day they were scheduled to first call that I almost didn't answer the phone. Thank God I did. The voices I heard on the other end sounded just as anxious as I felt, but that faded in all of us soon. Yet again the first phone call was all it took...I knew it was right.

It didn't come in their answers. It didn't come in their questions. It wasn't in their letter or pictures. Something I cannot pin point was in these two loving people...I felt it.

It was strange how things worked. They were scheduled to go to New York to visit relatives that weekend. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could meet the squirt's father. Things worked yet again...they did. And he loved them just as much in person as I did over the phone.

When we met face to face while I was pregnant it felt like being with old friends. I knew it wasn't just me either, my whole family (and dog) loved them.

The proof of their support and love for me came a little less than a month before delivery. I began doubting my decision and wanted to parent myself. Pact informed them that I needed sometime to think things over. I was afraid they would be angry or give up on me. Instead I received a card in the mail that said they supported me in whatever decision I made. WOW!!!!

They supported me for sure. And as labor progessed I called them to come up. They were here for the end of my labor and came in shortly after the squirt's birth to meet our daughter.

Their extended families reached out to me too. They sent flowers and gifts for me around the birth and entrustment ceremony.

...speaking of Entrustment Ceremony they promised all of us during the ceremony that they would make sure that nina knew of all us and the love we had for her. Tears running down my cheeks I thanked them for being a blessing for me and for my baby.

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It was suggested to me that I find a doula, professional birth coach. My agency and my doctor wanted to be sure that I had someone who could be with me...no matter what...just for me.

I checked with the local hospital and found the name of a doula in my town. Yet agian within the first few minutes of our first phone call I knew Liz was the person for me. Her upbeat voice and sense of humor were a welcome change to the pain and concern I had heard from so many around me.

Liz became a weekly part of my life. We spoke on the phone frequently and got together to prepare for birth and build my birth plan. I did not want to take birth classes; seeing happy couples prepare for their coming children was something I just could not handle. So Liz helped me educate myself about what was coming and how we could deal with it.

Being my first pregnancy I was not sure what exactly I was feeling when my contractions first started. I called Liz and she assured me that this was probably pre-labor. The thing that was so wonderful was she was as excited as I was that it was starting.

She came to me as soon as I needed her in early labor and was by my side until I was discharged from the hospital. Her gentle nature put me at ease throughout labor and delivery. The best part though was that she was there for me; just me.

Liz gave me support, frienship, and guidance. But she also gave me something that I treasure. She wrote a birth story for me and one for the adoptive family to keep too. She chronicled the entire labor and delivery process for me to read and remember with.