This guest post is by “P and R,” waiting adoptive parents in Alberta.
With the recent news about the regulations regarding online adoption profiles changing in Alberta, I thought I’d give you a perspective on what a typical wait is like for prospective parents in that province.
I’m writing this for couples, singles, and parents-to-be in general—those who are beginning their adoption journey, those who are en route, and hopefully those who will soon become a family.
Alberta’s adoption laws are outdated. In Alberta and a few other provinces, hopeful parent cannot advertise their desire to adopt a baby online or anywhere.
You must go through an accredited agency, often with long waiting lists.
From what I understand this had lead to some birthparents choosing families from other provinces, because the profiles are readily viewable online.
“We got the call!” one of the couples on our profiles page announced the other day. They didn’t have to say anything more. We knew exactly what they meant.
It’s been nearly 20 years since we got our “call.” It came late one night when we were least expecting it.
On the other end of the line was a sweet woman from another part of the country asking us if we were interested in adopting her baby.
Even though it happened nearly two decades ago, just describing the moment gives us goosebumps. It was one of the best moments of our life—the moment when we realized our dream of parenthood might actually become a reality.
And yet even though phones and everything you can do with them have evolved over the years—remember the days when all you could do was make a call?—this recent piece by Emily Westbrooks shows that the anxiety and hysteria surrounding “the Call” is still as strong as ever.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle,” the saying goes.
And it’s also worth defending, regardless of whether the title comes to you through adoption or another means.
Just ask Vietnamazinggg, an adoptive mother.
When a woman on Facebook told her she wasn’t a “real mom” because she didn’t give birth to her son, she didn’t turn away in shame or embarrassment.
This guest post is by Barb, a waiting adoptive parent.
Next month marks two years since my husband and I have been officially waiting for an adoption match.
We did a lot of research about open adoption and finding a match before we started the process but I don’t think anything could have fully prepared us for what was to come.
We have experienced highs and lows and through it all, we have learned some valuable lessons about what it means to connect with expectant parents who are considering adoption for their baby.
Here are some of the most important ones.
Aside from writing the best adoption profile, putting ourselves out there, and being proactive in this process, there isn’t much we can do to get picked by expectant parents.
We really have to be patient. Sure, that’s easier said than done but once we learned to accept the fact that we can’t control everything, the better it became for both of us.
Seeing other waiting families connect and find adoption matches with an expectant mother before us has been difficult, especially when some of those families started the process later than we did.
We often asked ourselves, “Why aren’t we good enough?” It took us a long, long time to realize that actually, we are.
An expectant mom is only going to pick one family in the end and she’s going to pick one with whom she feels a genuine connection.
That can’t be faked or forced. We just have to be our authentic selves and hope that one day, it will happen.
The journey to adopt a baby can be a difficult one at times and I have learned that it’s OK to be honest about that.
By opening up about my struggles and feelings, I have received a great deal of support from loved ones.
There’s no need to hide how you really feel and by reaching out to others, you may even make a few new friends (in support groups, for example).
We changed practitioners. We have edited our parent profile countless times and mailed them out to our agencies and licensees each time.
There are certain things in this process that we have control over and since we have given it our best shot, we will have no regrets.
Adoption experts are always saying that hopeful adoptive families shouldn’t put their lives on hold while they wait to connect with a prospective birth mother and this couldn’t be more true.
Sure, we could put making plans on hold while we wait for the call but no good would come of it. What if we don’t adopt? We will have lost that time.
So, in March, we went on a trip. It crossed our minds: What if we are matched with an expectant mother and the baby is due before our vacation?
That’s what travel insurance is for. It’s easy to cancel a trip.
Self-care is so important. You have to be the best version of yourself before you can raise another human being. Do whatever makes you happy and if you’ve always liked traveling, don’t stop now.
I have grown so much from this adopting experience and I have no doubt that I will continue to learn more about myself as time goes on.
And you know what? I like myself more and more each day. Often, situations that challenge us make us stronger and better people in the end and that’s something I will always appreciate.
Barb is a waiting adoptive mother who lives in Toronto with her husband Tony. They are excited to become parents and are hoping for that right match to come along. Learn more about them at their adoption profile.
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