Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How We Were Matched - Part I

April Fools Day will always be a big holiday in our home.

A day for celebration.

Because, it was the day we found out we were going to be parents!

And this is how it happened.

Last year, in February 2009, our original Idaho agency, A New Beginning, teamed up with an agency in Utah, Heart to Heart. We were anxious. We had been on the list since September 2008, and our profile hadn’t even been shown once. I knew things would take awhile, maybe even a very long while, but I also knew that a birth mom would never pick us if our profile were never shown. Exposure was so important.

Time to stop waiting. Time to start finding.

I checked out some books on the subject from the library. One so-called expert said that by 1,000 contacts would usually result in finding a baby within a year. So I started making a list of businesses I would send letters and profiles to. Since my homestudy was only approved in Idaho, I would start there. I compiled the names and addresses of every high school, middle school, hospital, ob-gyn doctor, family doctor, family law attorneys, and family planning clinics in Idaho. I then started compiling addresses of those places in towns close to Idaho—in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada. And seriously, thank goodness for Google and the internet, or who knows how long making a list like this would have taken?

One thousand letters. Nearly $500 in postage alone. Plus paper, pictures, ink, envelopes. Wow. I would definitely have to do this in stages.

I was working on this list when I got a call on my cell phone at work from Heart to Heart at the end of March.

“There’s a baby boy due at the end of May in Alabama. Your profile matches up with the mom’s requests. Can we show her your profile?”

“Yes, absolutely, yes!”

The caseworker gave me a few more details about the situation. I was happy, but cautious. The first time we ever got asked to show our profile, we were so giddy with excitement that it devastated us when we weren’t picked.

A couple of days later, Heart to Heart called back.

“She really likes your profile and she wants to talk to you. Would you be willing to do a conference

We set up a conference call for the next afternoon—Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

I got a list of questions ready. To help keep the awkward conversation moving. The first questions were fairly benign:

  • What do you do with you? Do you work? Are you in school?
  • Do you have plans for school or a career? What would you like to do with your life?
  • What subjects did you like in school?

And progressed to the more sensitive and personal:

  • What are you looking for in an adoptive family?
  • What is your relationship with the baby’s father?
  • What are you looking for in adoptive parents?
  • How would you want things to happen at the hospital?

The next day, I went home a few minutes before the call. Justin and I chattered nervously and positioned ourselves in by phones in different rooms (our portable phone had too much static so we had to be in separate rooms, which totally sucked). I grabbed pen and paper and was ready when the caseworker called. The birth mom was on hold. She conferenced us all together on the call.

Like our first experience with meeting a potential birth mom, things started awkwardly and slowly. Just acknowledging how nervous I felt and how weird the situation was put everyone at ease.

My mind blanked. Good thing I had my questions typed up. The call went really well. We were laughing by the end of it and feeling very comfortable. It was a good feeling.

The call ended and Justin and I reunited in our bedroom to squeal and giggle and jump around. The mom still needed some time to make her decision for sure, but we couldn’t have imagined the call going any better. Plus, she wasn’t planning on talking to anyone else. Our odds were good.

To be continued...

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