Many people are apprehensive about meeting new people. Prospective adoptive parents are nervous wrecks when it comes to meeting the birth mother of their child, and potential birth mothers are just as nervous to meet the adoptive parents.
What both parties often don’t realize is that often the same fears are in place. What if she doesn’t like us? What if they don’t like me? What should we wear? If I wear jeans will they think I am a slob? What do I say when we first meet her? What if I can’t remember what to I want to tell them?
For those who already experienced such a meeting, you will believe me when I say that after approximately five minutes everyone is okay. Sometimes there is giggling and sometimes tears… sometimes both… but always there is calm and a bond that begins to develop between adoptive family and birth family.
That’s what the agency witnessed and was reminded of again when Carmela met Alice and Victor. Carmela has this amazing smile. It’s bright and large and contagious. She was nervous and excited to meet the couple she selected and was just as surprised as all of us that on the date she planned to meet them while pregnant ended up being the day she placed the baby as she gave birth two days before the scheduled meeting!
We had the adoptive couple and birth mother meet before bringing the baby in. We wanted Carmela, Alice and Victor to first get to know each other, hopefully feel comfortable and then when ready, have Carmela hand the baby to his new parents. Of course meetings like this are extra emotional since the baby is already born, but they are also extra special.
The meeting started off with hugs and kisses and with some tears and lots of laughter. The couple was even better in person than in their profile, Carmela remarked and the fears she had began to disappear as she realized she selected the right family. Alice and Victor were lovely and were impressed by this woman and her strength. When the baby was brought into the room everyone had their turn holding and kissing him.
When it was time to take photographs a most amazing thing happened. Alice and Carmela squished together on the loveseat, both inviting Victor to join them. Victor ignored the request feeling a bit concerned that he wouldn’t fit on the sofa with everyone, and then after prodding finally said, “No.” Carmela got up and brought Victor over and said, “Hey, we are all self conscious about something. I don’t like my teeth and I never smiled because of that, until someone told me to smile. Well, you look great Vic, so come and sit down with us and take this picture!” The staff who was in the room taking photos all glanced at one another, so proud that no intervention was required of them, as these clients of ours were getting to know each other and becoming family.
Because of the incredibly brave and confident young birth mother, all the baby’s parents squished together on the sofa in the birth parent room… and what a beautiful picture it is!