After months of waiting, you are notified that you have been “picked” as the adoptive family for a baby due next month. Caveat – she would like to talk with you on the phone…. Wow!
Nothing could prepare you for the overwhelming sense of eagerness, excitement, and outright fear you are faced with at the prospect of a telephone call with this earth angel. After all, she has exactly what you have wanted, for as long as you can remember. So, what do you say?
First, keep perspective. Birth mothers, while special, are still “normal.” They have likes and dislikes (which may include some interesting foods at this moment). Don’t be afraid to ask her how she’s feeling, sleeping, eating, etc. Does she have food cravings or aversions? How does this pregnancy compare to her prior pregnancies? How has her prenatal care been thus far?
Second, remember she is a woman and not only a birth mother. Odds are, she will appreciate your genuine interest in who she is, what she has experienced, and the plans she is making for her future. Does she have hobbies or talents which might be shared with the child she is carrying? What about the child’s extended family? Does she have photos, letters, or any items she would like you to give to the child when they are ready?
Finally, keep in mind that as nervous as you may be about this initial contact, your birth mother is probably equally apprehensive. She may be concerned she will not meet your expectations, or not able to answer all of your questions. Like you, this is probably uncharted water for her too. Although your birth mother may already know of your fertility struggles, she may be unfamiliar with the terms which were included in your vocabulary for the past few years. IVF, IUI, etc., are not part of today’s everyday language. If she wants more information about what lead you to adoption, share your story sensitively. Does she have questions for you?
Most importantly, remind your birth mother that you realize every adoption is different, and you want her to feel comfortable with you… Discuss your willingness to be available to speak with (or meet) her during her pregnancy, and your commitment to providing pictures, letters, etc. post-birth. A birth parent’s biggest fear is her child feeling they have been abandoned by their family. Your promise to share your adoption story with the child will resonate.
Above all, be yourself. This phone call is the first step toward motherhood and building a mutually (beneficial) relationship for two special women.