This is a guest post in the continuing series of people’s first-hand experiences with adoption. Enjoy.
We are Susan & Tom. Our family was formed via adoption.
We were very fortunate in our journeys. We adopted our children in 2001 and 2003 before the process became digital. We started the discussion about adoption with a private attorney in November of 2000. We worked with a local agency to help us through the homestudy process; wrote a “Dear Birthmother” letter and went to Kinko’s to put together the letter with color photos. Right before Christmas in 2000, we heard about a potential adoption situation through a friend who heard through her adoption lawyer. Our son was born in February of 2001 – it was total serendipity. We sent off one letter and that was it.
When we decided to try for number 2, we followed a similar process – updating our home study and “Dear Birthmother” letter. We knew we weren’t going to get as lucky as with our son where situation literally fell into our laps so in addition to our attorney, we also registered with a couple of agencies across the country. Ultimately, after a couple of months, our attorney matched us with a birthmother out west. Our daughter was born approximately eight months after we started our journey. Again, serendipitous – we know of many families whose adoption plans have heartbreakingly fallen through at the last minute after long journeys. We’re not sure if now having an on-line profile helps or not – only that our methodology worked beautifully for us. The most important piece of advice we received was to let everyone know that we wanted to adopt. You never know who will hear of a situation. Just like with our son’s placement, a chance encounter by a friend can lead to a miracle.
As adoptive parents, a pet peeve is that non-adoptive parents dwell on “adoption status” and don’t realize that our kids are our kids. Or we read an article and someone is referred to as “the adoptive son of”. Why is this relevant? We don’t think about our children’s birth status on a daily basis – they’re just our kids. The fact that they’re not biologically connected to us is a tidbit like the fact that Susan has brown eyes — but in no way does either fact impact our ability to be a family. We guarantee that we love our kids as much as any parent who is genetically related to their kids. We’re happy and fortunate to say that adoption has been a great way to build our family.