As much as I hate to admit it in public (oops, too late), I love The Bachelor and it is one of the only shows my husband and I watch together (who will also hate that I admitted this publicly haha). Recently after Sean’s season (one of my favourite Bachelors), I started discovering the similarities between it, and dating in general, to meeting birth parents, which I’ll talk about below.
To recap previous posts, we’ve been trying to have kids for 4 years now, the last year being through adoption. In the last year we’ve had the privilege to meet 4 birth parents – 2 in person, 2 via phone. With these 4 birth parents, we were either contacted via email or received a phone from birth parent(s) who saw our online profile and want to know if we’re still looking to adopt. Here’s how it plays out (from my side of view although Chris shares in the sentiment).
Getting contacted – Oh wow, yay, an email – someone likes us, yippeeee!!!! Ok, now how to respond. Let me draft an email, show it to Chris, review it probably 10 times and then hit reply. Ok, now let me check my email every 10 seconds to make sure I didn’t miss their reply coming in. Oh wow, a reply, yay!!!!! Repeat above cycle.
Preparing for the meeting – what do I wear, what are we going to talk about, what don’t we want to ask the birth parents to make them feel uncomfortable. Should I try and look like a parent or something cool to be more relatable? Ok, maybe something in the middle – but not all black, I need to have some colour.
The meeting – think of it as a blind date. You’re not sure what the other person looks like and you know very little about each other. The beginning is a bit awkward but if you click, conversation will come naturally. This is where Chris is good at breaking the ice and admitting it’s awkward for everyone so everyone can relax a bit. It also helps us to remember we’re all in the same boat and the birth parents are usually going through the same emotions as us as they want to impress the prospective parents as much as we want to impress them and if it’s just the birth mother you’re meeting, she’s outnumbered and doesn’t have someone there for support. Once the dead silence starts setting in, you know it’s time to bring the meeting to a close.
After the meeting – I always like sending an email afterwards to thank the birth parent(s) for meeting us. Then the hard part begins, waiting for the reply and seeing if the feeling was mutual (sound familiar?). No reply? Ouch!
The wait – this is the hardest part by far. Even if you had a connection and did get a reply from the parents, anything can happen. Birth parents can meet other couples and pick them or decide to parent their child. We had a really great conversation with one birth mom and then never heard from her again. Not only do you have to have some type of connection but they also have to see you as the parents of their child. Whatever it is is completely out of our control, we can’t force anyone to pick or like us!
The philosophy – this is where The Bachelor comes into play. Meeting all of the birth parents has been incredible and I truly admire each of them for this extremely difficult decision so I only wish them the best if we don’t end up being the match for them. I also believe that you have to show them how much you’d love to be chosen and that you’re there to support them no matter what. I also feel it’s important to get to know them and find out what traditions, values they have so they can be carried forward. The girls that didn’t show Sean how much they liked him even when they did were sent packing! So for me, I will jump in with both feet and get excited when a birth parent contacts me even though my heart could get broken in the end. It’s a small price to pay in our journey to find our child!