Parenting Hope Through Adoption
Author: Laura Winters, LMSW | Adoption Consultant
About two months ago I received a call from a former client; a couple I had worked with at the private agency where I was employed for 19 years. I had to pass this prospective adoptive couple off to another agency for continued services when I made the decision to part from the agency to pursue adoption consulting. When I first met this couple, they shared their story of loss and heartbreak when their attempts to build a family were not successful. Their particular story involved former marriages, which ended in large part because the spouse in each union did not want, or was not suitable, to be a parent.
When this couple found each other, they felt “at home” in many ways. Learning from the mistakes of their failed relationships, they focused on the things they needed to give and receive from a partner. They wanted to make sure their values were in line, communication was open and honest, and their goals were supported by the other. But what was vitally important to both as they considered remarriage was a mutual desire to be parents.
With all the “yes” boxes checked, this couple was wed and attempts to have children began. Month after month…year after year…test after test was negative. What started as optimism and excitement eventually turned into disappointment and fear that being parents was not going to happen for them. Seeing a pregnant belly was painful. Being invited to a baby shower felt like a stab in the heart. People asking “when are you going to start a family” caused anger and resentment. Failed attempts, miscarriages, failed IVF…nothing worked. They began discussing how to embrace their family of two.
It was at this point I sat across the room from them and we talked about adoption. One of the greatest rewards as an adoption professional is the hope I see returning and reflected on the faces of those who sit across from me. As we talked about the adoption process, and the possibility of being parents, the relief and excitement for the future returned.
I cannot make guarantees about what an outcome will be. And I cannot promise the wait won’t be long and there won’t be heartbreak along the way. But I can assure my clients there is still hope and possibility.
Back to the couple I mentioned earlier. Their wait seemed to them, never ending. But finally, in mid-March, they received a call announcing they were selected as the parents for a beautiful baby girl. This is the beginning of a new journey for this family; one filled with joy, worry, laughter, tears, wonder, questioning, surety and insecurity…all of the emotions, thoughts and feelings that make us human parents. My hope is to always stay connected to this family, and others like them, as we navigate adoption together.