Awhile back, someone on the Adoptive Families Circle discussion forum was presented with a possible match. The poster said that s/he didn’t get the feeling that this match was “the one,” and asked “How do you know this is your baby?”
I made a mental note to write about that, and was reminded when someone else asked a similar question, “How did you know your baby was ‘the one’?”
There is only one answer to this question: You don’t know that a particular baby is yours until TPR has been signed, and any revocation periods have ended.
If you go into the process thinking that you will know which match to accept based on some spiritual or magical feeling, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
- You may turn down a match that meets all of your criteria just because you don’t get this feeling.
- If a match made because it’s “the one” falls through, you’re going to be crushed, even more so than one is usually hurt when a match fails.
- Thinking that a baby is yours before it is born and placed smacks of entitlement and is disrespectful to the expectant mother.
- You may not be able to support the expectant mother and her right to make the best decision for herself and her child.
- You may not be able or willing to recognize the red flags of a scam. There are people who will go to great lengths to connect with PAPs, sometimes for money, sometimes just to feed their need for attention.
I don’t subscribe to the “meant to be” mentality. I don’t know that Jackson was “meant to be” ours. I’m sure there are other people who could parent him as well as or better than we do. My feelings about Cassie’s adoption are very complicated, due to the circumstances surrounding it. I don’t know that she was “meant to be” ours either. I do feel very lucky to be able to be their mom (even if I would like a brief vacation sometimes).
The idea of destiny, fate, or God making a child for an adoptive parent can be offensive to birthmothers and adoptees. I’ve seen a lot of variations on the thought, “God didn’t put a baby in another woman’s womb for you.”
My advice to prospective adoptive parents is: Don’t spend so much time worrying about “the one” or how you will know the stars are perfectly aligned. Use your head and heart together to make educated, thoughtful decisions.