There are a lot of adoption stories out there that you may hear in the months leading up to (and in the years after) adoption. Some will be negative, some will be positive, but only one truly matters: Yours.
People love to tell their story, and people love to give advice. Rest assured that once you let others know you have made the loving decision that adoption is right for you and your baby, stories and advice will come flooding in. Some will be good, and some will be bad. Some will make you cry tears of joy, and others will upset you. The important thing to keep in mind when hearing any of these adoption stories—good or bad—is that your story is the only one you should be concerned with. It’s good to hear from others, of course. That’s one way to learn about adoption and make well-informed choices. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking your adoption story will be exactly like someone else’s.
As you move through your pregnancy and search for adoptive families, ask yourself at each step: What chapter am I writing now? Is it the one where I find the perfect parents? Or the one where I feel frustrated that no one seems quite right for my baby?
In an open adoption, it is even easier to write your own story. In an open adoption you can pick the family who adopts your child. You can decide whether you will have contact with the adoptive family and your child in the future. You can decide how things go at the hospital. And you can even be a part of your child’s life as he or she grows up. In years past, women didn’t have the opportunity to make these kinds of choices. That has led to many unhappy adoption stories, but things are different now and you will be given the power of choice over all that happens.
Remember: Other people’s stories are just that: stories. Their experiences have happened to them, not to you, and they have no influence on how your adoption will go. Your story, however, is your reality. You will be living the process and pregnancy day in and day out, and you will be the one who carries your decisions with you into the future.
And keep in mind the very special fact that you are also the one writing the first chapter of your child’s story. Because you will determine the couple who carries the child home from the hospital, you can consider their religion, jobs, finances, and any other thing you want to, all the while keeping in mind the hopes and dreams you have for your child’s future.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.