The past several weeks, as we’ve been waiting for the finalization of our home study, Josiah and I have been putting together our adoptive parent profile. When a couple is pursuing domestic infant adoption, this profile acts as a means for expectant moms to narrow down the choices of potential parents for their child. While we, as hopeful adoptive parents, had to submit a list of our “preferences” (open vs. closed adoption, gender, race, etc.) expectant moms have their own preferences as well! Perhaps they’re hoping to place their child with a couple that already has children. Or maybe they’re looking for a family with a dog. Whatever they may be looking for, these adoptive parent profiles act as their “first introduction” to a family before they are able to call or meet in person.
For our agency specifically, we will have a website, printed profile, and video profile available for expectant moms to view. Somehow, this online page, 2 minute video, and 10 page booklet will try to share our hearts and lives with the women who will look to learn more about us. Even though Josiah and I have written countless academic and theological papers in our time, I can say with confidence that this was our most difficult writing task we’ve ever faced. How do you put into words a lifetime of dreams of one day becoming a parent? How can we possibly convey the sheer anticipation that sometimes brings us to tears as we imagine singing to our child before bedtime or sharing family devotions with them at the dinner table? While we try our best to relay these dreams and the love we plan to share with a child, there’s only so much words on a page can express.
At first this reality caused me to fret over every word, but now it’s compelled me to pray all the more for our child’s birth mom and the other expectant mamas that will view our profile. Because while I worry over words that correctly convey my dreams and plans, they are having to change and alter their own dreams and plans altogether. No woman spends her days as a little girl dreaming of becoming pregnant with a child she will be unable to parent. An unplanned or crisis pregnancy was never on her list of goals to accomplish in life. Yet here she finds herself, making an incredibly difficult and sacrificial decision to place her child in the care of another family. And what information is available as her first introduction to a potential forever family for her baby? An online page, a 2 minute video, and a 10 page booklet.
At the very beginning of our adoption journey, before we had made any announcements about our plans, Josiah and I sat down with dear friends of ours who also adopted their first child. Their counsel has been indispensable in this process but one piece of wisdom has influenced our mindset throughout every step. “As adoptive parents and as Christians, you’re in the ‘birth mom ministry’ before you’re in the ‘adoption ministry.”‘ Before there’s a baby to love and sing to and play with, there’s a mama to love and support and listen to. Before we enter into prayers for our little one, we must pray for their first mama and the decisions she’s facing. Before we rejoice at the goodness of becoming parents, we must recognize the sadness surrounding the separation of a mother and her baby.
So while we’re reading and rereading every word we’ve put in our profile, we pray. We pray for the woman who will one day forever be tied to our family as our first baby’s first mama. We pray for her heart to be comforted and led to the Lord. We pray for good people in her life to support and love her through this process. And we wait for the day when we will join the ranks of people supporting and loving her, something we intend to do for the rest of our lives.