Of course we should be sweet, nice, patient and understanding in all of our daily interactions. And we all are, right? Okay, maybe not so much. We all surely have our moments! Especially in adoption, sometimes families are so stressed, overwhelmed, or just plain eager to adopt, they might forget to extend a charitable attitude to their adoption professional.
Adoption professionals are always evaluating whether or not to accept a family as a client. They are observing how this potential client will behave with their birthmothers. A little patience, understanding, and just plain niceness can indicate whether a birthmother’s interaction with you will be positive or negative.
On the flip side – this is something that you should also be observing when seeking an adoption professional. Do they seem kind, patient and understanding? Is this the type of person who will engage with birthmothers in a positive and welcoming manner? Would you want your child’s birthmother treated in the way the professional is treating you?
Here’s why this is so important: It can be very upsetting and downright scary for a birthmother to finally speak with a family, after going gaga over their profile, only to find that in person the family turns out to be rude, judgmental, abrasive, impatient and terribly offensive. She starts to wonder how this family will treat her child! She starts to question this family’s commitment to keep in touch with her after the adoption! She may decide to call the whole thing off and parent the child herself.
Your niceness, patience, and positive attitude trickles all the way down to whether or not a birthmother will select you – and many professionals who have a heart for birthmothers will not be willing to jeopardize a birthmother situation by taking a chance with an adoptive family who just isn’t nice.
Adoption isn’t easy. Families can be stretched to their limits financially and emotionally – and this is stressful! It’s wise to have self awareness and know when you need to get out and blow off some steam, then take a deep breath and summon all of the sweetness within yourself before you speak with your adoption professional, and certainly, a birthmother.
Whomever said, “It’s the little things that count,” hit the nail on the head. You have only a tiny window of opportunity for making your impression with an adoption professional or birthmother.
Here are some windows of opportunity to show yourself in a positive light in your adoption:
When you answer your cell phone, and you don’t recognize the number, be aware, it may be an adoption call regarding your application or even a potential birthmother herself!
If someone calls to follow up with you regarding your adoption planning and you haven’t had a chance to think about it yet, politely let them know and understand they are just trying to help you move forward into an adoption plan that meets your needs.
When an adoption situation doesn’t work out for you, BE NICE nonetheless. You never know – the sweetest birthmother may be just around the corner. Or, that initial birthmother might reconsider her adoption plans after all, and if you’ve been gracious and charitable in your interactions with her, she will surely request you as the adoptive family.
When you don’t really understand why your adoption professional is doing something a certain way, or asking YOU to do something a certain way – just ask and listen. Remember, a quality adoption professional has your best interests at heart, and is trying to get you to that end result you are looking for, your baby in your arms.
For more information, please see the resources listed below.