Dave and I have been overwhelmed with all the love and support from our family and friends. Every phone call, email, post, and prayer is such a special blessing to us and none of them go unnoticed. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you! After our first meeting with Hearts of Hope we realize how meaningful the continued support will be as we start this, most likely very long process.
Our church, Old Fort Baptist, actually started an adoption support group some time ago. Last year, after a Sunday sermon, the children's director, Ann made an announcement about the group and what they were doing for families interested and in the process of adoption. It's funny how God purposely led us to attend that Sunday and planted a seed in both of our thoughts. Once we decided to go this route, we immediately set up a meeting with Ann to hear more about Hearts of Hope. Our first meeting with the group was last Tuesday. Even though we had talked to Ann beforehand, we had no idea what to expect. There were a lot of people who attended, and I was surprised to see that non-members from the community as well as old and new members were there. I don't know why that stuck out to me, but i'm glad that different types of couples from all over the Charleston area had somewhere to go for support. Each couple represented a different type of adoption as well as a different stage in the process.
One couple shared their story with everyone and brought along their precious new adopted daughter, Gabby. It took them almost three years to get Gabby. Another couple had their newly adopted son with them after starting the process only nine months ago. Other couples are just starting out like we are, and gathering as much information as possible. There was also a local adoption agency rep, who was able to answer any questions. She actually helped the first couple bring Gabby home, and had a lot to say about the birth mothers of adopted children. We hadn't really thought much about our future birth mother, except that we didn't want to have much, if any, contact with her, less yet a relationship. Reality set in as we learned that almost all domestic adoptions have contact with the birth mother.
When we heard this, Dave and I just kind of looked at each other, reading each other's thoughts. But the more we listened to different couple's experiences with this concept, our hearts began to soften. I always assumed that the birth mother wouldn't want to know what was going on with the child they gave up. I had never thought of them as women who had to make the hardest decision in their life, and a completely selfless one at that. To give your child up for adoption is accepting that, for whatever reason, your child will be better off with another family. That mother could have easily aborted her baby, but by the grace of God, gave her child to a couple just like Dave and I. When you think about it like that, it makes sense she might want to know how the baby is doing and that she made the right decision. Dave and I can accept that but when do you stop updating the birth mom? That is a fine line that we are praying about. We don't want to feel like we are raising someone else's child, but rather our own child that just happened to come from another womb.
We look forward to getting answers about this and all the many other questions and concerns that will come up along the way. March 9, we head to Myrtle Beach for Bethany Adoption Agency's Informational meeting. Dave and I feel like little sponges soaking up all the info we can possibly get... let's just hope we don't get "rung out."(Sorry, I couldn't resist)