Tuesday morning, Marc and I will load up Jameson in the car. We'll drop Caroline off at preschool, and we'll drive about an hour or so away where we'll meet Jameson's birthmom for the first time.
I didn't think this day would come so quickly. I mean, it was only one month ago that I, at the very last minute, was going to be presented along with three other families for this birthmother to select her child's adoptive family. And initially at that time, she and the birthfather had planned never to meet the family, thinking a closed adoption would be easier to handle emotionally for them.
But God, in His rich mercy, began working on their hearts even as they flipped through the pages of our family's profile to consider us. As their eyes glanced across the pictures of Caroline smiling in the arms of her birthmommy Megan at age 3, they pondered to one another, "Well, maybe it wouldn't hurt to meet them just one time..."
Little did anyone know that she would go into labor THAT afternoon, just after selecting our family! (and we had yet to hear ANY of this until the next day, you understand...) The caseworker tells us that shortly after the birth, they were already thinking of us. "I'm sure they're wondering how he's doing," "Maybe we should call them," etc. etc. Though that phone call never logistically worked out, what we're getting on Tuesday FAR outweighs a phone call: a face-to-face meeting with Jameson's birthmother!
No birthmother who makes an adoption plan for her child can anticipate how she will feel upon relinquishment of her child. Even with all the adoption counseling in the world, is there anything that can prepare you to say goodbye to your son or daughter?
And so it was in this situation. She didn't anticipate the depth of grief, the pain of her loss, the agony and heartbreak of letting go. Perhaps she thought that she'd be able to sign the papers and be done.
But that just isn't how wounds work, is it?
So when the caseworker talked to the birthmother a few weeks ago, she still hadn't cut off her hospital bracelet. It was perhaps the only thing that still connected her to her son. She looked through the pictures of him from the hospital every night, and she became eager to see him again.
This time with us. Praise God!
Though this adoption is not yet considered "open," where we have shared our identifying information, addresses, phone numbers, etc. like we have with Caroline's birthmother, the fact that we are meeting with her now upgrades this to what is called a "mediated" adoption, where our communication (letters, visits, calls, pictures, etc.) will take place through the mediator of the adoption agency. I don't know where the long-term of this will go... whether we'll ever meet again, etc., but this is where it starts.
And who knows? Maybe some day she will be reading this very post! (and if you are, I'll be overjoyed!) But with each adoption comes unique circumstances, and it would be naive of me to assume that we would have the same exact relationship with Jameson's birthmother as we do with Caroline's birthmother.
Nevertheless, we're so grateful.
Grateful that the birthmom is willing to meet us.
Grateful that I'll be able to tell Jameson about her, what she is like, etc.
Grateful that he will get to see pictures of us all together, to see the plan that the Lord wove together for him, even just HOURS before his birth! He will see how he was loved and cared for on all sides.
I've mentioned this meeting to some folks, and I can see the confusion and fear that sweeps across their face as they ask the inevitable thought that comes to their mind. "So, um... she can't get him back, can she? She can't change her mind, right?"
No. She cannot legally revoke her relinquishment. What is done is done. Though Jameson's last name can't legally be changed until all of our post-placement visits are done (around 6-7 months), you could say that technically he "belongs" to the adoption agency, and they have placed him with us as his guardian. So I don't carry any fear of losing him whatsoever into this meeting.
But I do carry other fears. After all, it's a meeting with his birthmom! It's beyond exciting, but even though I've already "gotten" the baby, there is still much to be nervous about. Will she like us? Will we be in person what she saw in us on paper? Will she feel better about her decision to place Jameson with us after our meeting? What is she like, and will we connect well? What if she asks me questions that I'm not really prepared to answer? Or what if we say the wrong thing or she never wants to meet again?
And then again, I'm sure she's thinking much the same things. Will they like me? What will they think of me placing my baby for adoption? Will they judge me? What if they don't like me? Can they love a black child? Will they be sensitive to my loss or only think of their joy? What if I say the wrong thing? What if they ask me something I'm not comfortable sharing?
Of course, we are prepared to go into this meeting with nothing but open arms, heartfelt "thank yous," crying and hugs, pouring out a heaping of love and grace upon her.
She is our son's mother!
While others might look upon her actions with condemnation and judgment, we see her with great respect and value. We cannot help but love her.
This may be a side note, but I can't resist. You see, no birthmother here in the U.S. that intentionally makes an adoption plan for her child "GIVES UP" her baby. (can we, Crazy for Caroline blog readers, pleeeease just make a pact that we'll never, ever use that phrase again in regards to a birthmom-- "giving up her baby"? Okay, thank you kindly.)
Birthmoms like these don't give up babies. They PLACE their children in loving families. They make our wildest dreams come true. They turn a broken situation into a beautifully redemptive one. And they do it all through sacrifice of their own desires and dreams.
We love our birthmoms!
And we're looking forward to meeting the birthmommy who lovingly PLACED her precious boy in our family.