Sunday, July 26, 2009

A decision!

Well, thank you to everyone who has been on this rollercoaster with us while we tried to make a decision. We talked to many of our friends who helped us kick around ideas, and give us input. After considering the reviews I've read regarding Bethany Christian, and the questionable behavior I saw following Catelynn's (a pregnant girl who decided to make an adoption plan for her daughter on 16 and Pregnant on MTV) delivery on the part of the social worker, I just don't have a good feeling about ethics with this agency. I know that they are located in 33 states and perhaps ours isn't the same, but so many locations in the reviews listed for this agency were questionable that it left us with a really bad taste, especially after we'd been so excited about this agency.

It was not an easy decision to make, but we truly feel that we want our future child's first family treated with respect and given time to make the right decision for them. I know that this doesn't make sense to a lot of people. Family had even questioned why it's so important to us, and when they read our blog and the quote of the SW working with Catelynn on the show, they too agreed that it was out of line. The first thing I think of is, "How would I want to be treated if I was a pregnant woman in a tough situation, who was debating parenting or making an adoption plan?" I would want to be given all of the information I could about resources available to me, etc., and be given the support I needed to make the right choice for myself and my child. If it ended up being that adoption was the right choice for us, then that's fine. But that mom has to rethink that decision again when the baby is actually born, and she needs time to be with her child and make that decision on her own. She doesn't need a social worker walking in at 5 hours after delivery and saying "Since we're 5 hours out from delivery, I was wondering if you would feel comfortable with us taking a time out from friends and family and you going ahead and dealing with Brandon and Teresa (the prospective adoptive parents), so what do you think?" Catelynn says to her that she wants to get pictures of the baby with Ty first, and the agent says to her that she'll "try to entertain and hold off Brandon and Teresa for..." and Catelynn says, "like 10 minutes." I find it to be inappropriate to give her such a short period of time with the baby, they act like it is already a done deal, and yet she hasn't signed consent to give guardianship to the agency yet or anything. I know that the aparents were sitting in the waiting room dying to see the baby, and I would be really wanting to see the baby too, but I don't want her mom to feel coerced or forced to hand her over to us to see either. I would like to think that if things are done more on the first mom's timeline, when she is as ready as one can be in a situation like that, that she will feel more confident in her decision later on. Not completely regret it as I seem to find many mom's at least on a forum that I frequent seem to. I was told by family that it's really easy to be objective now, we're not in the heat of it, and believe me, I totally know that I'll be excited and ready to see the baby ASAP, but I also stand firm on how I feel I want our possible child's mother and family treated, and that's not how I want them treated, not like the girl on that show. Not like the first parents who posted reviews about how they were treated. It's disgusting.

With Catholic Charities, I don't believe it will even be an option for us to meet a child we're matched with until the 30 days after the first family signs consent. Perhaps it is better this way for all of us. The first family will have time to really decide if they can parent, and if they think they can, we'll have a disrupted adoption and it will hurt, no doubt, we'll be so crushed, but if it happens, then it wasn't meant to be. There is a plan for us, and a child for us. We honestly believe that. Eventually when a child is placed with us, Catholic Charities encourages the first family to meet with us to give the baby to us, and they believe that it is good because we get to see their pain and love that they truly do have for their child, and they get to see that we also truly love the child and are happy to welcome them to our family. It will be painful for all of us involved, no doubt. Nothing about adoption is easy. Especially for the first families. Most of these women aren't just abandoning their children, abusing drugs, they come from stressful situations where they lack support already to begin with, or are at a place in their lives where they feel they can't provide what their child needs or deserves, and that is how they come to seek out an agency and start a plan for their child. It's done out of love. I want everyone who has an opinion about parents who relinquish their child for adoption to think about that. Put yourselves in their position and think about what that gut-wrenching feeling must be like. If you have children, you already know how hard it would be to make that decision.

I wanted to let you know we'd made a decision and what's been weighing on our minds as we've given this so much thought in the last week or so. We've prayed, and thought, and I've cried. It's a stressful decision, but we feel we've made the right one at this point. Thank you to everyone for your support. You have no idea how much it means to all of us.

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