God has a weird way of doing things in our lives.
I had for a long time wanted to be a surrogate. I had spend some time looking into it prior to my relationship with Mike*. Once we started a relationship I knew I needed to hold off on that at that time in my life but it was always in my mind. When we were together, and with living in separate homes and towns for that matter, we both had said we were good and we’re not wanting to have anymore children. Who knew I would find out in the same week just a few days apart the I was pregnant and 6 months along and finding out it was a boy all at the same time?! Life got crazy fast!
I was already a single mom of 3 and did not want to start over with that adventure in life with my youngest being 6. I couldn’t put anything together in my mind on how we could possibly make it work with out completely uprooting 5 kids between the two of us to be in once city and under one roof. I started searching online for options for adoption and reading about the different agencies and plans how each place went about it.
I started inquiring late one night via text to this agency as I had liked the things I had read. We then had had a few meetings with the agency making sure this was the direction we were going and started looking online at parents and took home a few books. It didn’t take us long to decide who we wanted. When I called to share who we had picked I was told Jason and Alexa were already being looked at by another mom. My heart sank and I then second guessed our decision, as at that point we were not both on the same page about the other prospective parents we liked, but with Jason and Alexa it was not a question! A few days after I had gotten a call that the mom had changed her mind. I felt a lot of relief when I heard that! Our match meeting was then set. We got to ask questions of them and answer questions they had, as well as got to know some likes and dislikes of each other which we found out we have a lot of similar interests!
We are 2 years out now from our match meeting. I was so nervous going into it but leaving that day I was so sure it was all supposed to be this way! I felt as if this was God's weird way of fulfilling my desire to want to be a surrogate. They were able to come up for an appointment before he was born which I wish I had known sooner as I wanted to give Alexa as much of the other side of the experience as I could since she was not able to carry. The doctor did an ultrasound that day so they could actually see him.
We kept in touch by e-mail and text over the next few short months til he was born. The night he was born we shared pictures with them as soon as we were able and they arrived at the hospital on the 2nd day. We spend quite a bit of time that evening together all in one room and that night they were able to keep him in their room with them.
The hardest part of the journey was leaving the hospital with out him, but I knew he was in good hands and it was the right decision. They sent a few pictures over the next few days and I was able to go meet up with them a few days later! We keep in close contact and I would get updates on appointments and how he was growing and some milestones he was reaching. We get pictures, videos and FaceTime each other which has been nice. We have also gotten together a few times. We continue to build that relationship with each other and couldn’t have asked for it to have turned out any other way! 💕
*Names changed for confidentiality
"Things not helpful to ask an adoptee"
1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
I wanted to start out with this verse as a beautiful reminder to be faithful stewards of God’s grace to everyone in any situation. There have been times in my life that things have been asked or said about adoption to me that have caused some pain or hurt feelings. But I constantly remind myself that almost always, people are not intentionally causing hurt with the questions they ask, but genuinely want to know about the life of an adoptee. This is where grace comes in. I find it beautiful when people ask me about being adopted because it shows that they really truly want to know my story and reminds me of how God handcrafted my unique life.
For those of you who are not adopted—keep asking questions about adoption stories. You will see the power of love, courage, strength, hope, and many other qualities in adoption journeys—you may even shed a few tears. Included below I have a few helpful tips on how to ask questions with adoption friendly language and a few examples of questions that have not been the most helpful.
Have you ever met your “real” mom?
This question is completely valid and one that I get asked quite often. To reword this question, I would say, Have you ever met your birth mom? Both my birth mother and my mother play a role in my life in helping me shape the woman that I am today. Using the word “real” takes away this importance role that my mother plays. Both these women play real roles in my life and both deserve the respect of the part that they have played in my life. I always distinguish the woman that gave birth to me as my birth mom, and the woman who adopted me as mom. One word of encouragement is to always ask the adoptee how they would like you to refer to the individuals in their adoption story—this always means the world to me when people ask this simple question!
Is that your “adoptive” family?
This question once again is a valid but adding the word “adoptive” makes it seem as though my family is different than others. I don’t view my family as my “adoptive” family—they are my family despite that our DNA and genetics are different. Love is what creates our family and I have never felt different or out of place in my family. I have the same relationships with my parents and sisters like any other typical family that had their kids biologically. To distinct the two, I call the family that adopted me simply as my family or the family that adopted me and my biological family as my birth family. The simple switch of words from “adoptive” family to family that adopted me really makes a difference.
Why did your birthparents “give” you up?
I believe that my birthparents didn’t “give” me up. I believe my birthparents instead gave me the gift of love and life. They put my needs above their own wants and desires, which gives me the upmost respect for them. After meeting with my birthfather for the first time, he made certain that I knew how hard of a decision it was for them to place me up for adoption. By saying that they simply “gave” me up, makes it seem as if they didn’t want to keep me as their own—which was one of the hardest choices in their life. They wanted me to have the best future possible; which they knew wouldn’t happen at this time in their life. I have nothing but love and respect for the birth family that loved me. Removing the words that my birthparents “gave” me up, validates the tough choice that they had to make. Instead this question could be asked, Why were you placed for adoption?
I know that every adoptee may feel different emotions when questions are asked about their adoption story. In the moments when questions are asked that may cause pain or hurt; I encourage the adoptee to respond first with grace and help explain to the one asking questions what examples of positive adoption language. By implementing adoption friendly language, all people involved in the adoption journey will feel valued, important, and loved for their role in the journey. The adoptee, birth family, and adoptive family equally play an important part in the adoption story—the story simply wouldn’t exist without each of them.
Your story matters,
1 John 3: 1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God…”
Working with expectant parents who want to make a life-affirming decision. Preparing couples to grow their family through domestic infant adoption.