And, Not all Adoptive Couples or Hopeful Adoptive couples are the same-
MOST are honest, loving and Secure enough to genuinely love their birth families.
With that said, I'm seeing a Rise in Hopeful Adoptive Couples ( HAPs) and Adoptive couples ( AP's) Breaking the hearts of those amazing women and parents who placed a child in their arms.
The Scenarios looks like this- Generally... An expectant parent ( EP) picks a couple to adopt her unborn baby. The HAP's give love and attention to the EC and shower her with praise, kindness and encouragement in fulfilling life goals. The EP trusts that this couple in genuine and when placement day comes she does the most unselfish thing every- she chooses placement and the HAP's turn into parents and she becomes a Birth parent ( BP), while she walks away grieving what might have been in another time or place.
The new AP's send pictures every couple of weeks and arrange to do visits with the BP's and it gives both parties some hope and closure that they chose what was best for the child. A few months pass and pictures and visits become less frequent. The date comes for finalization and after that judge bangs the gavel- things change again- Not hardly a call to chat or catch up, no word for a future visit. The BP is thinking the worst- " they hate me, they used me, what did I do?" Most still agree they chose the Right family and even though the AP's are pushing away- its still right.
Mind you, I'm talking about BP's who are Good people- no drugs/ holds down a job/ is a nice person/ doesn't ask for handouts from the couple etc.
So, let's Get to some supposed WHY's of this Rise of AP's breaking trust/ lying/changing their minds etc. to the BP's...
In random order:
1. Some HAP's will SAY anything if they are desperate to become parents- even lie, with no intentions of keeping promises made. These people may have been deceiving themselves for a long time and honestly think that its no big deal' Fake it till you make it "( or get what you want in this case). They see no harm in saying what you want to hear b/c " I'm doing it for the sake of this baby's future" " They will be better off with us- even if I have to be dishonest- its for the best" Again, they lie to themselves and Hurt others in the Process.
Munro Leaf wrote a children's book that I love It's called "HOW TO BEHAVE AND WHY"
It talks all about being HONEST, FAIR, STRONG and WISE! I recommend you buy it or get it at your local library. My kids can almost quote it now!
2. Some People are still working through The Grief cycle or stages of grieving their own infertility/ a change to their picture perfect life plan and with this grief comes all the side affects! Here's the JIST about what this Grief train looks :
Hopefully Those images helped you get a picture of what adoptive couples ( and birth parents) and pretty much Everyone who experiences any sort of loss/pain/change in their lives, are going through.
You see- its Highly likely that the 1.) from above is NOT the Norm- most couples are not vindictive, manipulative etc. Most are just working through some part of their stages of grief. A baby does not Speed up grieving and its a Huge change. What an enormous precious blessing, this new child is for the adoptive parents! What a heartache is left in this wake for the birth parents! It's difficult on both sides and some AP's look at the sweet baby as a constant reminder that our bodies have failed to do what She has done: Have a child the normal way. Then starts a whole round of new grief and some people like to Stay a while in one stage of grief or another- b/c that is what they are used to. Also, new AP's are losing sleep, sanity, free time, life problems pop up, friends change, family dynamics shift etc. All around- it's just going to be a Wild Ride on Splash Mountain for a while on both sides of the emotional spectrum for All involved! That's just part of it.
3. ) Most of Us have Failure to Communicate! This is one of the Biggest reasons AP's and BP's change openness status or pull away/ cut off etc. We are Humans who often think b/c we have shared this Huge, very life changing event- that you should be Reading My Mind now! You should Know when and what I want now. You know me, like on such a deep level, right? WRONG!
Gosh, If we could just wrap our heads around the idea that we have 2 Ears and 1 mouth b/c we are meant to Listen more than We Talk- we would all be having Better relationships!
(* note to self here)
We cannot assume anything!
I just recently endured a really big life lesson that taught me a couple of things-
A) Don't email or text your emotional responses - TALK first. Text- "I'm confused or having a rough day- can we talk?" not " You are not making sense and I am taking your text as hurtful b/c of Semantics getting in the way"
- the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text:"such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff"
B) Make sure you prioritize what is MOST important in your relationship before you Fire off a Heated response ( ie... Is it more important they know how mad I am or is it more important that I keep our relationship afloat in the long run?) We do not want to Burn bridges or leave a huge pile of rubble in our wake!
C) Take time to Cool down before you respond. Maybe its a day or maybe a month- but, give yourself time to sort through your initial responses/reactions before you Fire Away.
I am not ever going to claim I'm perfect and I have burned some bridges but, I do try to keep the Good ones steady and stable.
D) Be FAST to forgive and move forward. We can't fix what Has happened we can only learn from our mistakes and Begin to go in the Right direction again.
Overall, My Words of Wisdom to HAP's and AP's and Everyone Are:
Treat your child's birth parents the way you want to be treated. Do not Assume anything-Talk more than you text. Listen more than you Talk. Take time to work through your Grief where ever you may be and Be Supportive in every way possible. When you as an AP are having a rough day, don't be afraid to Be REAL with your Kid's birth mom if she is wondering why you had a bummer post on FB! Don't pretend anything- Faking stinks! We are all Human and have different responses/ways of doing things and its Worth every bit of effort to make sure that our Open relationships stay Open for the sake of the child at the very least!
If the Bp's need to have a Hiatus from You- don't take it as a sign that they are going off the Deep end- they may just need some space to grieve properly and Heal, away from you. Do not assume they want nothing to do with you or the child they placed. Be Open to sharing more and Hiding less from each other.
You have Engaged in the most Miraculous and Sacred of Exchanges! Trust for Trust!
What could be more Worthy of Every bit of your effort than keeping this relationship working beautifully?
HAP's Before you Commit to anything- think about it long and Hard. Think about WHY do I feel this way about the request of the EC? What in my past has affected the way I am responding now? Do I feel these things out of Fear or Love? Have I worked through my own troubles and insecurities enough to be ready to Parent and to Truly love others as Christ and God love me? Be QUICK to get counseling or a self help book! You can shoot yourself in the foot if you never work through your Stuff, guys! Men, you are not exempt from this either. Counseling doesn't make you a weak person. But a Weak person will likely not seek counseling. Do not stand in your own way. Couples- be Honest with each other always. If you check the box for special needs or triplets without consulting your spouse- you will create a problem when that time comes. Be Truthful in all things and you won't have to dig yourself out of so many holes you've dug!
Lastly, Everyone, Enjoy Every second- whether you are anxiously waiting to be matched or are already losing sleep, dealing with a rowdy toddler or beyond. Soak in every moment and Make Good strategic choices to become The Very Best Version of Yourself. This will help you Immensely in all facets of your life and all relationships. God Bless you all!