This week’s Testimonial was submitted to us by Todd and Romney. Though they were blessed with their daughter Kate, they chose to pursue adoption for a second child after facing infertility issues. Their adoption journey brought them to birth mother Sarah, who they keep a very open relationship with. They even named their daughter Sarah (nicknamed Sadie) after her birth mother. Keep reading to learn the couple’s hindsight on their Adoption Planning Questionnaire, contact in adoption and something important to consider when choosing an agency.
Like many couples first researching adoption, Todd and Romney were looking for an agency that had a good reputation and was established.
“American Adoptions does so many adoptions each year that we felt confident they have seen just about everything and would be able to steer us in the right direction should something seemingly unusual occur,” Romney says.
But they soon realized that another aspect was important to them, as well.
“We liked that American Adoptions specializes in matching families with birth mothers. While we didn’t know it before joining the agency, I think it is important to know that our birth mother Sarah told us she really liked working with the agency… When choosing an agency, it is important to choose one that provides a lot of support and guidance to their clients, especially women facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Romney writes.
The couple also changed their stance on several aspects of their Adoption Planning Questionnaire as they delved into the process and learned more about genetics and felt comfortable expanding their preferences.
“My piece of advice is to really consider your Adoption Planning Questionnaire, or APQ. Looking back, I realized that our first attempt at our APQ pretty much matched our own family histories. I think this is fairly typical, but can be extremely limiting, if not a little vain,” Romney says. “Asking an OB/GYN or a pediatrician for guidance is a start, but likely they don’t have the answers you really need. We met with a genetic counselor, and that truly opened our minds and subsequently our APQ. I highly recommend this course of action.”
Contact with Sadie’s birth mother was also an important aspect of the adoption process for Todd and Romney. Although Sarah, Sadie’s birth mother, had initially just desired a semi-open adoption. Todd and Romney wanted more for the relationship.
“When we first spoke with Sarah on the telephone, we were very up-front with her. We told her that we intended to embrace and celebrate the adoption of our baby and that under no circumstances did we plan to take a baby out of a hospital and pretend the baby magically entered into our lives,” Romney writes. “Research clearly shows that it is to everyone’s benefit if the adoption is openly celebrated. And, having experienced the grief of losing so many babies ourselves, we sincerely felt that it would be cruel to close a door to Sarah. We gave Sarah all of our information and encouraged her to contact us anytime – before or after Sadie was born. Open Adoption is a relatively new concept. It requires educating those around you, and it absolutely requires trust. But, remember this. Sarah trusts us with the most precious gift in the entire world. Surely trusting her with our name and address is reasonable?”
Now that they have Sadie, Romney says, “Words fail me as I cannot describe the joy that this has brought to our hearts.”