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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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The Greatest Gift of All - Our Son

When I was growing up, all I really wanted to do was marry the man of my dreams and start a family. I married the man of my dreams but the family part was not able to be, at least not biologically the way most people plan. After many failed pregnancies, we made the decision to adopt an infant. We knew we both wanted to be parents and we knew we could love a child the same regardless if we gave birth to him or her.

We began the adoption process. We quickly learned adoption is not as predictable as having a child biologically.  When you give birth to a child you know a due date and there is a set timeline. With adoption, it started by completing tons of paperwork.  We then had a social worker come to our home, so she could approve us to be parents. Consider that for a minute.

When you get pregnant no one has to approve you to be a mother or father.

We were scared to death that we would not be approved for something as minor as having a disorganized sock drawer that wasn't clean enough. When the social worker came to our home, she never looked in them. Of course our sock drawers were perfectly organized. 

While I laugh at my fear now, I really had no idea what they wanted to know about us.  Ted and I just sat and talked about ourselves.  In reality, the homestudy is important to the agency because they are approving you to adopt a child who is in their legal custody.  I can tell you though it was much scarier for me being on the adoptive mother side than on the agency side.  I am sure many of you are feeling apprehensive about parts of the process and that is ok.  Whenever you venture down a new path, the beginning can be a little scary.  It will get better.

After the homestudy, we were approved and our wait began. Back when we adopted, the process was very different and you didn’t get any medical or social history information on your child.  Furthermore, you weren’t given average wait times or expectations of when you would receive a child. You didn’t get to meet the birth parents or know much of anything about them. 

For some you might be thinking that a closed adoption would be nice, but it really isn't.  Scott grew up with medical and social history questions, which we weren't able to answer.  With modern adoption however, you are provided medical and social history information and in many cases are able to briefly talk to the birth mother.  This is something that might itimidate you now, but in the future you will find it extremely helpful when your child has questions.

Once we were approved to adopt, we knew at some point we would be called to come to the office to receive our baby. Imagine something that you have longed for your entire life that many people seem to obtain so easily.  With adoption, it is out of your control. We waited for what seemed like forever and even had a baby shower and fixed a nursery. We waited and waited some more.  We finally got the call that our son was born and waiting for us to come and get him.

We named him Scott and it was the most exciting moment of our lives when our social worker brought him into the room. I asked her to let his Daddy hold him first. It was a moment I will never forget. There is no greater gift that can be given to someone. I was in awe of Scott but also thought a lot about the wonderful woman who was brave enough and loved Scott enough to let him go. What a hard decision she had made.

I have always taken my gift of Scott as a great honor. As he grew up, I tried to be the best possible Mommy on earth. I wanted to do all I could to give him the life that his birth mother wanted for him when she placed him for adoption. Scott grew up knowing he was adopted and was allowed to talk and wonder about his biological family.  We wanted him to feel good about adoption and feel good about his birth parents.

We always told him that his birthmother loved him enough to want better than she could do for him at that time in her life. We told him whenever he was of age we would help him find her or him if they wanted to be found. I wanted him to find her so I could show them what a wonderful son we had raised and so he could find out genetic history and have other questions answered.

Scott felt great about being adopted and grew up knowing his birth family placed him for adoption out of love. He decided he wanted to give back to adoption for all that he had been given. He graduated college and wanted to start an adoption agency. We had been a foster home for babies waiting to be placed with their adoptive family and he got to see first hand how excited these couples were about receiving their child. It doesn’t matter if a child is born to you or given to you with love through adoption. They are so loved.

I still marvel at Scott and the fact that I was allowed to be his parent. I love him beyond words. From all of this, we started an adoption agency that has grown with a lot of love to be American Adoptions.

In conclusion…when Scott was 36 he met his birth mother and family. They are the greatest and we are blessed to share our lives with them now and to witness their love for Scott. He is one lucky boy to have so many people who love him. Now, not only does he have his adopted family which consists of grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins, He is blessed to have his biological family with a mom, step dad, grandma, aunts, uncles and loads of cousins! You can never ever have enough people in this world that love you.

Some people ask me if I felt threatened when Scott met his biological mother?  My answer is and always will be an unequivocal no.  In fact, I too wanted him to meet her.  I wanted to thank her for all the wonderful memories she allowed me to have.  Memories that I would never have been granted without her amazing choice.  A choice of incredible sacrifice and love.  A choice that finally allowed me to become a MOM.

You can watch a short adoption video about us and more of why we started American Adoptions

- Susan Mars

Click here to read more about Scott's Adoption Story

Click here to read about my husband's feelings about adoption

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