November 04, 2011

Q&A: Beginnings, the Basics

Monika says:
Since I've missed most of the beginnings of your story, I've been curious about some things. If you'd rather answer in an email to me, that's fine. :-) How did you come to choose adoption? Did you know right away you wanted an open adoption? Did you get matched through an agency or online? If through an agency, which one?
You didn't really miss out on the beginnings of the story, since I didn't start writing here until after Eddie was born. (Six years ago! I'm still wrapping my mind around the idea that I have a six-year-old.) A few other people asked about "the beginnings," so I'll be writing more about that this month. The short version of how Todd and I decided to adopt goes something like this:
  1. Got married knowing we both wanted to be parents eventually
  2. Talked about having both kids by birth and by adoption
  3. Had some great years just being married with no children
  4. Woke up at 29 (me)/28 (him) and decided that now we were ready to be parents. By this time we know that there are some things wrong with me that would make a pregnancy really difficult, if not impossible. Since we already had vague plans to adopt someday and no interest whatsoever in getting into the world of reproductive technology, we started our family via adoption and thought we'd work on having a baby by birth later.
There's a great deal there you could analyze and critique in our choices. But that's where we were then; I might as well be honest about it. We just really wanted to be parents and had this general, not closely examined, notion that adoption (of any sort) was a good thing and adoptive parents were always needed. We were very excited and very chipper about the whole thing. I'm sure the other prospective adoptive parents in our training workshops--all of whom were coming out of years of unsuccessful fertility treatments and all the emotion that goes along with that--probably hated us.

We used two different agencies, one for Eddie's adoption and one for Marian's adoption. We did know we wanted an open adoption from the very beginning and tried hard to find an agency we thought would support one. Unfortunately, Agency #1 talked a good game around openness but not much else. I don't name the agencies we used on the blog because I'm too lazy to get in a fight with Agency #1, but I've always shared names with anyone who's asked by email.

We did absolutely nothing to advertise ourselves or find a match or however you want to phrase it. Agency #1 definitely suggested we try to "network." We said, "No way," and that was the end of it. We had little online profiles on the agency website both times around, but I don't think any of our children's first parents even looked at them when they picked us. Our matching was pretty old school!


salamanda76 said...

I'm pretty sure everyone in our adoption classes hated us, too. We had one biological child already and didn't have fertility issues. I have a brother who is adopted and I've just always wanted to adopt. So we did. Everyone else in the group, with the exception of the male same-sex couple, had dealt with infertility. We're still in touch with everyone from our group and we're all generally friends, but it's clear that we're slightly on the outskirts still.

And I couldn't agree more with you about advertising. We created an online profile of our own, but only with the sole purpose of attaching the link to our paper profiles, giving birth parents the option to learn even more about us than what we could fit in those few pages. Handing out business cards and getting billboards seems a little over the top to me.

Monika said...

Thank you for answering my questions! :) I love the fact that you decided to adopt before you even really explored infertility options. Though it's not the same thing, I've always known that if I had kids of my own someday, I'd want to adopt rather than have them biologically. As far as advertising goes, as a birthmom I'm COMPLETELY and totally turned off by seeing ANY advertising that someone is hoping to adopt. I have a couple that's trying to adopt who follows me on Twitter & my blog, and frankly it creeps me out a bit. I'm fine with them as people, but it almost makes them seem like "ambulance chasers," which I'm sure they're not.

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