Have you wondered how to navigate birth parents during matching/placement?
Take note of a few important things to consider when pursuing an adoption relationship. No matter how good it seems, know that grief is ever-present and will reach a confusing peak at birth/placement time. For the birth parent, this elevated crisis-state remains present for an undetermined amount of time, so it’s imperative to proceed with knowledge and wisdom—as well as the right action: Love
1) She desires all the same things you do for her child. She chose you and decided to partner with you by sacrificing and severing a lifelong part of her heart for entrustment by you.
2) She needs to be in community or a support group with others—virtually or in person. This will be her safe, unifying growth space. Try not to feel offended that she cannot share this part with you.
3) She needs you to speak a blessing in person, text, FaceTime, call or in a card. Saying you are praying for her doesn’t have the same, powerful or life-bonding impact. Who turns away from prayers, blessings and words of encouragement?
4) She needs adoption participants to honor commitments in their open/semi-open adoption without conditions, comparison or fear. Growth is slow, natural and doesn’t happen overnight. Search your heart to ensure its proper alignment—before making dedications.
5) She needs you to believe what happens in the spirit world is greater than what happens in the natural. Are you storming those prayer lines on her behalf, as well as to her—no matter how she may/may not have acted through her grief in the past?
6) She needs adoptive parents to not worry about triggering her grief or sorrow before sending a text, package, pictures or asking to connect. She can handle it and in fact is waiting on these healing, comforting elements—despite their intensely bonded partnership with pain.
7) She doesn’t always feel brave, honored, loved or secure, so don’t wait for her to connect with you. Grief does not act, speak or feel with proper etiquette. Being the adoptive parent on the side of joy means that she is in fact on the side of intense loss, grief and sadness. Assume the role of confident leader, nurturer, family and friend to her as these loving acts are being witnessed by the most important person—the child you both love.
8) She desires to know the things you are documenting/archiving for the child, such as growth, baby teeth, milestones, funny/first words, as well as injuries or dilemmas. Sharing these moments is genuinely loving your child and their birth parent. There is no substitute that can provide her immense comfort and healing this side of heaven. She will want to share with her family, but also other birth parents—and that is okay. Let love flow.