By Linda Barnby
Two pregnant women met in my law office, as well as the husband of one. The discussion was adoption. Kind of odd, don’t you think, since they are both pregnant?
You see, one of the women has made a plan to place her unborn child for adoption. The other, equally as pregnant, plans to adopt that child as well as give birth just a few weeks later to her own child. How this crazy scenario came about is a study in love and commitment.
It’s a simple story really. Dawn and Rick came to me desperate after many years of infertility treatments. Their dream was to adopt a child. Ann, a woman unable to parent any of her previous five children, due to her unstable life and intermittent drug use, came to me to find a loving couple to adopt her child. She said she wanted to “do it right” this time so nobody gets hurt, neither she nor this child.
You see, every one of her 5 other children are living with a different family through various circumstances. Each of them had been taken away from her by the state after she attempted to parent them. Ann has known a great deal of heartache and loss. It may be hard for us to understand how much Ann loves all of her children. It’s easy to think that if she really loved her children, she would have moved heaven and earth to parent them well and to keep them. Well, Ann does love her children, she just can’t provide enough stability and income to raise them. Help from family members or the children’s fathers is virtually non-existent.
Each time a child was taken away, she hoped to help the state choose a loving family. Sometimes the state chose one of her family members to parent the child. Other times, the state took the child away and curtailed her visitation rights at the first opportunity, never allowing her to see that child again or even meet the unknown family chosen by the state to parent the child. That’s what happened with her youngest, a boy of two. The state stepped in early and took him away.
Just last month, she lost all hope to ever get him back from the state. Fortunately, she was able, through the help of a lawyer, to have him placed with an adoptive couple whom Ann got to choose. She was there when the couple met their new son for the first time and it was there that she kissed him good bye. She is happy for him. He is finally in a permanent home. And she’ll get to see him from time to time and receive photos and letters from the family. And the door to further communication and contact remains open. That makes Ann happy for her son and for herself. She is at peace because she knows he is now secure in a loving family.
This time, with this pregnancy, Ann decided to short-circuit the hurt and the grief by making an adoption plan early in her pregnancy. She doesn’t want to feel any more pain from bonding and loss than is necessary to place this son into a loving home. And she wants her unborn son to feel safe, loved and secure from the very beginning — and forever.
She selected Dawn and Rick from a number of families. They “interviewed” each other and came to care about each other. An adoption plan was agreed upon. A few weeks later, to the great surprise of all, Dawn discovered she was pregnant.
Dawn and Rick could easily have told Ann that they no longer wanted to adopt her baby. But they didn’t. They had made a commitment to her and they had made a commitment to her unborn child. They were committed. And they already loved Ann’s unborn child. They realized that they were meant to be the parents of two children, near “twins” in age.
Near the end of our meeting today, Ann looked Dawn in the eye and asked, “You aren’t going to change your mind, are you?” Ann’s fear is that after Dawn gives birth, she might not want Ann’s child, preferring to focus only on her new daughter. It was touching to hear Dawn and Rick assure Ann in loving, but no uncertain terms, how fully committed they are to being the parents of Ann’s child.
Then Dawn and Rick turned the tables. They told Ann that their greatest fear is that she might change her mind about the adoption. They wanted to hear Ann say that she was fully committed to placing her son for adoption with them. Ann, clearly moved by Dawn and Rick’s commitment to her child, assured them her mind was made up.
The beauty of adoption is that everyone gets what they need. The adopting parents become the parents of a child. The child’s birth mother has peace of mind that her child will be raised by a loving family she chose for her child. And the child is the biggest winner. The child gets a family where he is loved and wanted.
The power of love and commitment triumphs in adoption.
About the Author
You can find out more information at http://OrlandoAdoptionAttorney.com and BraveHeartChoice.org [http://BraveHeartChoice.org]
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