For as many things as you anticipate, going through adoption, there are that many and more that you don’t. There’s simply no way to fully prepare for everything you will encounter. In fact, there’s no way to even predict what you will and will not encounter…it’s both the beauty and the curse of the process. So here are some of the unexpected things that happened to us:
- A start at Planned Parenthood:
Considering the bulk of Planned Parenthood’s business, and the percentage of adoption referrals (1 adoption referral per 149 abortions in 2013 per CNS News), it is an undeniable miracle that our birth mom found her way to Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
- Three matches…one baby:
We never anticipated that it would take three matches to get us to our baby. We expected a long wait, and the possibility that we would have to renew our home study, but we (and truly, maybe it was just me) never expected to have three birth moms select us…
- Two disruptions:
Equally as unexpected as having three birth moms select us was to have two fall through. And it wasn’t the fact that the first birth mom changed her mind that was the bigger surprised, but the second whose mental illness (undisclosed) got the best of her and rendered her not competent to make sound decisions for her baby.
- Our first match pregnant again, and requesting (begging for) us:
Yes, this happened. Yes, we were stunned, for several reasons. She was pregnant again within two months of the birth of a daughter with medical complications. She was begging to be matched with us again (and we were matched by this time to our birth mom), after changing her mind and costing us thousands of dollars. We had to decline – our son would not have been six months before her baby was born – and as it turns out she was no more dependable the second time around, and the agency ended up letting her go until she made up her mind what she wanted to do.
- Both birth parents involved:
When we were matched with our birth mom, the birth dad was not in the picture. A few weeks later, he was…until toward the end, when he ended up in jail (again) and missed our baby’s birth. Back in the picture after he got out of jail, and they both requested to see our son at 3 months, but then they fell apart again, and he didn’t show up. So where we didn’t expect him to be involved at all, at least he was…somewhat…was on board with the adoption, and gave his written consent.
- Both birth families involved:
We truly didn’t expect to have the birth families involved, especially as much as they were involved. Both families have a lot of dysfunction, but they pulled together to meet us, and to support the decision of our birth parents. We were surprised and thankful that this was the case…both because our birth parents needed whatever support their families could provide, and because it allowed our birth parents to feel confident in their decision.
- Having more than a little in common with our birth mom:
I was really surprised at what I had in common with our birth mom…height, shoe size, blue eyes, fair complexion. Add to that a penchant for crazy hair colors (pink!), flip flops, tattoos, loaded Subway sandwiches and Law & Order marathons (the original show, early episodes being our favorites). There are a lot of other little details where we found we were similar, and it was a great connection point for us.
- Getting attitude from our agency at the end:
This was so totally unexpected (shocking, actually) that, had I been inclined to recommend our agency to other potential adoptive couples, I am no longer. I did not appreciate the head of the agency getting short with me on the phone when we were trying to push the final paperwork through…and it happen twice. “Big mistake. Huge!” (to quote Pretty Woman) I wanted so much to have a warm relationship with them to the end, and have that be a part of our story, but that was not the case. We are so very grateful for our son, and we know that God directed every step of our journey, but that hiccup at the end soured what was, until that point, a warm working relationship.
Stay tuned for more…the eXtraordinary surprises, because in the end, every detail was worked out perfectly, and God was glorified in everything.