In our last adoption update, we shared that we matched with an expectant mother and were flying out to meet her and go to her next ultrasound appointment. Many of you have been anxious to hear how it went and we’ll start by assuring you that it went AMAZINGLY well.
We ARE in love already…with both the baby and this baby’s mama!
We honestly needed a few days to let it all soak in and enjoy our time on cloud nine.
It’s hard to even put into words the amount of love we have towards this sweet expectant mother. She immediately felt like family and we got to spend two days with her while we were out visiting…and that still wasn’t enough. There’s no doubt in our minds that we were destined to connect and she will forever be a big part of our lives.
But before you jump to say “congratulations”, please remember…
This is not our baby. This is HER baby.
We’re just lucky enough to be coming along for the journey and it’s going to be beautiful no matter how it ends. We’re choosing to support her and have full confidence that she will make the very best decision.
The love we have is not dependent on whether or not she chooses to place this baby with us. The fact is, we have four months to go and life can change in a matter of days, let alone months.
To be honest, this update wasn’t exactly easy…
It felt a little weird taking a photo with the ultrasound. This may seem like the most exciting update we’ve given, but it’s also not at all easy. There’s just SO MANY emotions.
She was so gracious to let us be at the ultrasound appointment. She begged her doctors office to make the exception, as they had strict regulations due to Covid-19. She even tracked down our own strip of photos to take home with us.
She’s been way more thoughtful of us than she even needs to be, especially considering how difficult this time is for her. So we want to be just as thoughtful of her. We made sure she read this update first and felt comfortable with it and even double checked :).
We never ever ever want her to feel pressured or uncomfortable in any way. We’ve been pretty public with this process, and she’s obviously aware of that. But we’ve chosen to do so because we know there are so many misconceptions about adoption, we had a lot of them ourselves before embarking on this journey.
We want everyone to be reminded that there is a whole different side of all this. We think all too often people praise the adoptive family for “saving a life” and love to celebrate their dream of becoming parents or growing their family. They get the “spotlight” all too often.
We’ve heard so many people say “how could you give up your baby?” and we strongly believe the birth mother side of an adoption is unfairly judged and not portrayed the way it should be.
Now that we’re in the thick of this relationship, it’s all become very eye opening for us. She deserves all the respect in the world. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances a birth mother is facing and the reasons why she is considering adoption. All that matters is that she is making the most selfless decision imaginable.
Adoption isn’t the “easy way out” (we’ve seriously heard some really hurtful language). Adoption can be beautiful, but it comes at a high emotional cost for her and while it can be what’s best for her and for the baby, it’s still a painful experience she will carry with her for the rest of her life.
That being said, we’re SUPER protective of her and always will be. We’ll always speak highly of her, regardless of any challenges we face in this process. We’re also committed to supporting her far beyond this baby’s due date, especially if she chooses to place this baby with us.
“What if she changes her mind?”
We hear this question a lot and this was our greatest fear coming into the adoption process. We know it’s also the greatest fear of all of our loved ones supporting us because they’re worried we’d be crushed. But, the funny thing is, we feel strangely at peace with whatever she chooses.
In case you aren’t aware of the process, she does not legally have to make any decisions until 24 hours after the baby is born (this law is specific to the state that she is delivering in and the amount of hours vary for each state). It doesn’t matter what “plans” we have in place, what promises she has made us, etc. It would never be fair to make her sign away her rights to her baby before it was even born and in fact, we personally feel 24 hours is pushing it. Could you imagine making such a huge decision just a day after giving birth – on pain meds and extremely hormonal?!
Fortunately for her though, she also has a period of time after she signs to terminate her rights to revoke her decision and not move forward with the adoption plan. During this time frame, there are no questions asked and she will immediately receive her parental rights back.
So, if she “changes her mind”, that is her right. And we remind her of that often. She is NOT in any way obligated to us and we’d never want her to feel that way.
We don’t even like using the phrase “change her mind” because that sounds like she’s deciding between what to order at a restaurant for lunch. We know her well enough now to know that she has put her entire heart, soul and energy into this decision. While she’s assured us she is confident in moving forward with adoption, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
If you’re a parent, you know how difficult every single decision you make for your child is. This is that feeling times infinity. We trust her completely and we (and many of you) pray for her often, so we feel confident she will know what’s best when the time comes.
Either way, we feel honored to be a part of her life during this time. It will be rewarding just knowing that we supported her throughout one of the most challenging seasons of her life and by doing so, we helped her make the best decision.
So yes, we could show up to the hospital and leave empty handed. We could hold this baby and fall in love instantly just like she will and have to hand him back over. We may decide to make a nursery and choose to name this baby and then come back home to an empty crib and have to grieve the loss of what could have been our baby.
Does that break our hearts to think about? Absolutely!
But guess who has to experience that if this baby does become ours…she does! She has to grieve the loss of this baby who is a part of her, who she has cared for 9 months. She has to leave the hospital empty handed.
It’s not just about us. We can’t emphasize that enough.
It’s not just about her, either. It’s about this baby! And one thing is for certain, we can all agree we want what’s best for baby.
So here’s what we know everyone has been waiting for…
As we mentioned, the doctor’s office made an exception and allowed Lindsay to go back to see the ultrasound. She even got to take a video of the monitor and captured baby’s heartbeat so Dan could see a part of it, too!
We never imagined we’d ever get an ultrasound photo, let alone be in person to see it! It was one of the greatest blessings of our life and we are beyond grateful. We know that most adoptive couples never get this and we aren’t taking it for granted one bit.
This healthy little BOY is coming in October!!
He is SO loved by us, his mom, and many others…and THAT is what’s most important right now.
Regardless of who will parent him, he deserves to be celebrated! We all know God has incredible plans for him and his life. We hope he will always know how much love and planning went into ensuring he was given the life he deserves.
It’s not going to get easier, though.
The more this baby grows, the further this pregnancy and our relationship progresses, the more “real” this is going to feel and the more intense things are going to get.
The good news is that we have plenty of time to process it all. The three of us (I guess FOUR of us!) are happy to have time on our side so we can continue to bond and feel all the necessary emotions. Our prayer is that by the time baby arrives, she feels extremely comfortable with us in order to make the right decision. There’s really no way of fully preparing for any birth, but it will be nice to feel somewhat ready!
That being said, this may be the last update for awhile. We have a lot to learn and prepare before we could potentially become parents! She also has some big and exciting changes coming for her and we’re eager to support and encourage her through them.
Thanks everyone for your sensitivity and constant prayers for all of us. This is new territory for us and we’re trying our hardest to honor the adoption process, and most importantly this mom and baby. We hope that by sharing all this, we’ve shed some light on the adoption process that maybe you weren’t aware of.
We also want you to know that she has seen all the sweet comments and feels honored to be included in all your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes! Thank you for being such an amazing support to us and her.
Love to you all,
Dan + Lindsay