We went to our adoption support group meeting last night. It was great seeing so many familiar faces. I knew everyone there except for one from the infertility support group meetings we go to, so it was like long lost friends going out to dinner!
The meeting did take the wind out of my sails a little bit...which i needed. I needed to hear the truths of adoption and get out of the little fantasy world in my head. Adoption is hard. It is hard for the birth parents, it is hard on the adoptive parents, and I am so grateful that I was able to hear both the good and the bad stories last night.
There are so many fine lines to walk when pursuing adoption. I want to walk very carefully and make certain that whichever birth parents choose us really want to follow through with the adoption. I don't want them to be influenced by their families, by me, or by anyone else. I want to know in the end if/when they relinquish their rights, that they feel that they made the best decision for themselves and for the baby. I do not want there to be an ounce of regret.
I heard a wide variety of stories last night, from birth parents asking for substantial financial assistance (above and beyond needs for the birth mom and baby) to birth moms changing their mind a week before they deliver, to the birth mom and adoptive mom becoming best friends throughout the pregnancy and process. Hearing all of these stories solidified for me how difficult of a decision this is for the birth parents and how easy it would be for the adoptive parents to get caught up in their desire to be parents that they unknowingly influence the birth parent's decision.
It would be so easy for adoptive parents to give into every request/need that the birth parents may have, whether it be financial, emotional or otherwise. It would be so tempting to just say yes, yes, yes but is that really in the best interest of all parties involved? I think we have ALL heard stories of adoptive parents that were taken advantage of by the birth parents who really had no intentions of placing their baby for adoption. Or on the other side, the adoptive parents that manipulated and coerced the birth parents into placing their child for adoption. These stories are scary and I want to walk that line. I don't want to be taken advantage of, and I don't want to influence the birth parent's decision either.
This is such a very fine line. And to be quite frank with you...I SUCK at walking fine lines.