The Adoption Triad

We have received our preliminary acceptance to our adoption agency, and are waiting only for acceptance into the Thailand program (which is the US staff here in Oregon who know that country’s situation, criteria and policies very well). We’ve received a BIG packet of information to prepare us for our home study, or our family study, which is an invasive, yet necessary, process of having a social worker comb through every aspect of our lives–interviews, home inspections, medical and financial reports, references, etc. We have to pay to get fingerprinted and get several original copies of all of our marriage and birth certificates. It’s overwhelming, but kind of nice to have the ball in our court for a little while, because most of the next 2 years it will not be!
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I’ve still been reading quite a bit, and we’ll also be taking a 2 day adoption education class in May. One thing I’ve been reading about lately is called the adoption triad, or the three parties that are forever linked through adoption: the birth mother (or parents), the child, and the adoptive parents. I read a fascinating chapter in “The Family of Adoption” about the birth mother. (In some cases of international adoption, the birth father is involved, but in many cases, he is not, so for ease of writing, I’m just going to refer to the mother.) This particular book talked about how many birth mothers do not process the grief of “losing” their child to adoption. Many times it is not discussed or even kept secret, or the mother might really want to raise the child, but simply cannot due to her circumstances. Each year on the child’s birthday, the birth mother thinks of her baby, and wonders how he or she is doing.
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To be honest, I hadn’t given a ton of thought to the birth mother of our child. And when I think of other families I know who have adopted, I am focused on the child and adoptive parents. But as we learn more about our particular process with Thailand, I started tallying the timeline we’ve been given. The process takes about 2 years, and most of the babies/children are between 14-17 months when the parents can travel to Bangkok to bring them home. That means that the birth mother of Carson & Sydney’s little sibling is pregnant right now.
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We’ve been told that the Holt Sahathai organization operates a kind of crisis pregnancy center, and comes into contact with pregnant woman who need counseling. The main reasons for a birth mother to plan for adoption for her baby is extreme poverty, or the inability to parent as an unwed mother. Whatever her reasoning is, now I can’t stop thinking about her. She probably knows she’s pregnant, and is trying to figure out what in the world to do. Maybe she’s trying to figure out a way to make it work, but eventually will decide to allow her baby to be adopted to give him the best life possible. Those of us who have given birth know how attached you become to your unborn child. It’s almost indescribable. My heart aches for this (young?) woman as I think about how HER heart will ache. How can I even begin to comprehend how agonizing that moment will be? It causes a bit of survivor’s guilt, really. Her loss is my gain. I will forever be grateful that she had the strength to make that choice–even if she hasn’t even made it yet. Our deep desire is to always speak with love and respect for this woman that we’ll probably never meet, but always cherish.