My daughter had just turned one and my husband said something along the lines of “how nice it would be if she had a brother or sister to play with”. I took the bait; hook, line and sinker and started the certification process soon after, had photos taken of us together (harder than you think to find a family pic of the three of us) and updated our profile letter. When we were approved by the state to adopt the second time we only told the attorney that matched us with our first daughter’s birthparents and I started to pay attention to the distribution list emails from another attorney I came across our first time around on Facebook. Honestly, I was not ready to add another baby to our family quite yet. I was still overwhelmed with the whole parenting thing, mommy hood is HARD. But, the first adoption process took over a year so it would probably be a good idea to start now as we didn’t want our children to be more than four years apart. Four years was my cutoff because my sister is 5.5 years older than me, my brother is 7.5 years older and we are close but I think that’s rare while my husband’s siblings are about 1.5 years apart so I thought 4 was a good average and the odds where in their favor to be close not only in age but in life. I’m not sure age difference plays into a sibling relationship but I wanted to set my kids up for success any way I could, even if it is just my crazy brain at work.
During the search for our first daughter we had submitted for a potential situation through an attorney’s distribution list but we were not chosen. This time I did the same just one month after we were certified. He sent a questionnaire with general and situational questions and asked for two pictures to be sent to him within 48 hours. Within two days we were matched!!! Holy cow, how can this happen???? It’s only been a month! She was due in just 2.5 to 3 months. I’m not ready to have two kids, how the hell am I going to manage a 2 year old and a newborn? I don’t feel that I spend enough time with my first and now I have to split my time in half. Who was I kidding? A newborn takes up SO MUCH TIME! They may be tiny but my goodness they are a lot of work and take up a ton of space both physically and mentally.
Taking a deep breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth, repeat…ok…as I was saying…
She was in another state so we had to fly to meet her in person. We booked an expensive flight for three the following week which was also, inconveniently, Easter weekend. I had no idea people traveled for Easter. Thankfully, my sister-in-law lived just two hours’ drive away from her so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel or a car. The 3 of us and my sister-in-law made the drive to meet her at the attorney’s office which was also his home.
The house was surrounded by a high metal fence with sharp points at the top of each bar which was concerning. The area wasn’t the greatest but the homes and architecture were beautiful, we didn’t think it was downright dangerous. We locked the car then triple checked to be sure all the doors locked and nothing that someone may want was visible. The gate was open and there were people sitting on the porch that I’m sorry to say caused my heart to race, for us to walk real close to one another, held my purse tightly to my side and my husband picked our daughter up and tried to distract her from the people on the porch. Let’s just say it was a rambunctious group for 10 o’clock in the morning in a residential area. The attorney met us at the door, welcomed us in and asked the people on the porch to leave…uncomfortable. I relaxed a bit and was able to focus on my wracked nerves. What was I going to say? What if she didn’t like us? The potential birthmother wasn’t there yet so we sat in the dining room drinking some water making small talk while my sister-in-law played with our daughter in the living room. About ten minutes later she still hadn’t showed and I started to panic (internally only; I was the picture of cool, calm and collected on the outside) that she wasn’t going to show. First I thought she would reschedule but after another ten minutes I thought she changed her mind. My heart sank and fought back the dread that was building inside with the thought that this baby was not going to be ours.
About 25 minutes (yes, 45 minutes total) later a woman with a baby bump walked into the house looking a bit guilty. She was beautiful, had a strong voice and personality with a hint of fear or something like it. She joined us at the dining room table and told us a story (up late, no alarm, etc.) of why she was so late. The attorney mediated the conversation at the beginning asking her to tell us a bit about herself, her family, the pregnancy, etc. and then we took it from there. We brought a picture album of us, our family and friends which was a nice conversation mover. We found out that she chose us because of my husband’s answer to the question about religion on the questionnaire. It goes to show you never know what will be the connection between a profile or questionnaire and a potential birthparent. She and I connected or had an “ah ha” moment when she told us her birthday as it turns out we have the same birth month and date, not year as I am two years older. We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers to keep in touch from that point forward. Both of which are separate from our personal phone and email address. We specifically setup separate accounts for the birth parents of our children to use to contact us. We setup a Google Voice phone number and a yahoo account without any of our personal information attached. The attorney had suggested we setup accounts that don’t trace back to us. That way if our information gets in the wrong hands we won’t be affected. She reassured us that we had nothing to worry about; she was going to place this baby, rubbing her belly, without a doubt. The attorney suggested we go out to lunch but she declined and we ended our meeting, the attorney walked her out and had a short conversation. He came back to say she was happy with us and wanted us to be the parents of her baby girl. Thank you God!
We texted a few times and had a few conversations in the following month or so. Most of our interactions were through the attorney who was also her advisor. We took care of her bills and car, eventually a new apartment and furniture. For whatever reason it never bothered me that she didn’t ask us directly, she had a process and it was working for her and that was that.
A couple weeks later I was talking to the attorney about the potential birthmom and he told me that when his office created a file for us they found that we had submitted a questionnaire for a baby about two years prior with this same birthmom! Oh my goodness, if there was ever a sign that we are meant not only to be the parents of this baby girl but to have this woman in our lives that was it.