After you have sorted through adoptive parent profiles, narrowed down your search options and have chosen a potential family, it’s time to take the next important step: the time has come to meet! While many birthmothers worry about their first impression, it should be comforting to know that adoptive parents worry about the same things. Whether the conversation takes place in person or over the phone, this initial meeting can be a bit nerve-wracking for everyone.
Take a deep breath. It’s okay to be nervous.
First things first. The adoptive family is not meeting with you to judge you on how your hair looks or what type of maternity top you are wearing. In fact, they are probably more worried about your impression of them! Think of it this way: the more casual, laid back and real you are, the more casual, laid back and real they will be. The point of this meeting is to get a true feeling for who each other is, not who you’re pretending to be. This could be your son or daughter’s lifelong family – being 100% you is the best way to establish a genuine connection.
Choose a Comfortable Location
Whether you’re meeting at an attorney’s office, coffee shop, restaurant or a quiet park, choosing a comfortable location is key in starting the meeting off right. If you feel that meeting at the adoptive parents’ home might be a bit too much (as far as first meetings go) suggest another place that is suitable for everyone. Choosing a public space can be a great way to take the edge off and provide the right atmosphere for a successful conversation.
You undoubtedly thought of 101 questions while looking through adoptive parent profiles. Now is your chance to verbalize these questions, hear the answers and get a sense for how the family feels about their decision to adopt. While you may know a lot about them from their adoptive parent profile, you can learn a lot more from a one-on-one discussion. Other questions will come to you as the conversation progresses, but here are a few to get you started.
How long have you been married?
How did you meet?
Do you have any other children? How old? Are they adopted?
What are your reasons for choosing adoption?
What are your hobbies or interests?
What does a normal day look like for you?
What do you do for a living?
On average, how many hours do you work per week?
Do you plan to be at home or use daycare, help from friends/relatives or a nanny?
What degree of openness are you looking for? Are visits possible?
What are your values?
Tell me about your extended family.
Do you have any photographs of holidays, events or relatives I can see?
Whew! That wasn’t so bad, right?
Placing a baby for adoption is not an easy decision, and adoptive parents know that. As long as you remain true to yourself and ask all of your questions, meeting with adoptive parents can be a smooth experience, and it may even be fun! Make the most of this time. And remember, just because you met with an adoptive family does not mean you have to place with them.