Friday, November 1, 2013

The Beauty of Adoption

For several months now, I've felt called to write about adoption here on my blog.

Since November is National Adoption Month, I think it's the perfect time to discuss it.

As many of you know, my husband and I adopted our son, Noah, in 2012.
Some of you may not be familiar with our adoption story, so here’s the Reader’s Digest version. 

In May 2010, after five years of struggling with infertility, my husband and I decided to begin the adoption process.  We hired an attorney, completed our home study, and then started spreading the word, telling everyone--through word of mouth, via our website, on Facebook, and here on my blog--that we were interested in adopting a baby.    

In late July 2011, our son’s birth mother found us through our adoption website and contacted our attorney.  That same day, I talked with Noah’s birth mother by phone, and a few weeks later, we met in person.  At that meeting in early August, Brian and I “matched” with Noah’s birth mother, and we were elated!  (“Matching” is where the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents verbally agree to move forward with the understanding that the adoptive parents will adopt and raise the child.  Legally, though, there is nothing binding at that point—either party can choose to walk away at any point.) 

When we matched, Noah’s birth mother was 18 weeks pregnant.  In the weeks that followed, we stayed in contact, viewed photos from her 4-D ultrasound, and visited her once more in November. We were also busy preparing Noah’s nursery for his arrival.

Then, in early January, we packed our Subaru chock full of baby stuff (bassinet, clothing, diapers, burp cloths—you name it, we had it), and made the 10-hour journey to Las Vegas.

Noah was born January 5, 2012, and just five days later, his birth mother lovingly placed Noah in my arms.

In that moment, she gave me one of the greatest gifts of my life: a son. 

I share our adoption story, not only so you know where I’m coming from, but also to raise awareness that adoption is an option. 

What do I mean by “adoption is an option?” 

Well, I think, for a number of reasons, adoption is still not considered by many women who experience unplanned pregnancies and cannot or do not want to parent a child.  

I think that women often feel as if they have two options: 1) to raise the child on their own (or with support from family) or 2) to have an abortion.

Instead of pondering the why questions, I want to focus on the hows:  

How can we bring this third option, adoption, into the conversation, and into the collective consciousness?  How can we raise awareness that adoption is a positive, courageous, loving and viable option?

Certainly, I don’t have all the answers, but I think a big part of it is telling our stories, and sharing our positive experiences with others.

We need to hear the stories of adoptive families.

We need to hear the stories of birth mothers and birth fathers.

We need to hear the stories of adoptees.

I’m thankful that there are pregnant women here in the United States, who recognize the beauty of adoption, like Noah’s birth mother did. 

It is my hope that, in the future, more and more women will consider, not just two options, but a third as well: adoption.


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