• Dana L. Butler

Answers to Your Questions, and What’s Happening As We Wait

Well, I’ve been a bit quiet the last few days.  Just a lot of waiting going on around here.  And suitcase packing.  And picking up of Gigi (my mom) from the airport.  And more waiting.

Our birth mom “Amber” and I have talked every day for the last few weeks, either via text or phone.  She is precious, y’all.  I never knew I’d LOVE my baby’s birth mom.  But I’m continually caught off guard by the affection and respect for her that I find growing in my heart.  I’m in awe of her character, her humility, her heart for her son “Luke,” her heart for her precious baby girl.

We had a couple of days earlier this week of thinking that Amber’s doctors might decide to induce, which would have put us picking up my mom from the airport yesterday, bringing her home, and immediately leaving to drive out into KS to be at the hospital.  As excited as we are to meet our girl, I was relieved when the same doctor that delivered Amber’s son several years ago felt that it’d be better to wait.  Going into labor naturally is just the better way to go, if at all possible – both for mom and baby.

So, we wait.

Every night I fall asleep with my phone volume turned all the way up instead of on silent as per usual.  Waiting for THE call.  Now that my mom’s here to be with Isaac while we’re at the hospital with our girl, I’m even more excited.  Knowing that Isaac will be taken care of makes all of this feel more real, and my heart can more readily engage with what’s about to happen.

The hospital where Maia will be born has told our social worker that they’d like us to have a room there so we can be involved in caring for our baby girl.  YES.  Psyched about this.  Amber says she’d like us to take Maia and care for her in our room after she gets a few pictures with her.  In Amber’s words, “Y’ALL can take her and be up with her all night!”  Um, okay!  We are SO on board with that!

Answering Your Adoption Questions

At 12 hours post birth, according to state law, birth mothers can sign over their parental rights.  Our agency generally doesn’t have a birth mom sign until closer to 24 hours.  Birth father can sign at the 12 hour mark and our attorney is planning to have him do that.  By way of answer to one of the questions Aprille and others have asked, within those first 12 – 24 hours, anything can happen.  Birth moms can legally “change their minds” and decide to parent.

Do we think Amber will change her mind?  No.  NOTHING has happened that would indicate, to me, our social worker, or our adoption attorney, that she might change her mind.  At this point she is very, very committed to the idea of Maia growing up in our family.  Nothing is completely outside the realm of possibility however, so your prayers are so very appreciated.

I will try to update my Facebook page as soon as possible after Maia’s born, and again after rights are relinquished so you can pray with current info. 🙂

On to Aprille’s other questions:

My biggest question would be about how involved you plan to stay with Maia’s birth family (and them with her) once she is born? How often will they see her? When will you tell her about her adoption or will she just grow up always knowing?

This will be an “open” adoption, but the term “open” can entail a wide range of levels of connectedness with birth families from situation to situation.  In our case, the plan is to spend time with Maia’s birth mom and her son twice a year.  Relationships between adoptive and birth families can ebb and flow over the years, depending on what’s healthiest for the child at any given time, which often depends on the life choices that are made my birth parents.

But judging by the depth of relationship we are continuing to develop with Amber, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if we end up seeing them more frequently than just two times per year.  We will also be mailing pictures, and continuing to text and call each other as well.

Maia will grow up knowing she’s adopted.  Just like Isaac (at almost 3) is beginning to understand that when he was a tiny baby he grew in Mommy’s belly, we will tell Maia from a very young age that she grew in Amber’s belly, and then God brought her into our family.  She’ll know Amber loved (and still loves) her very much, but wanted her to have more, in many different ways, than she was able to give her.

Maia will become familiar with terminology around adoption long before she really understands what it means.  And then, at an age-appropriate level, she’ll learn more and more as she grows.

In our family, we deeply desire to cultivate an understanding of adoption as beautiful.  As a gift from God to all involved.  To shape our children’s perspectives on adoption as they grow.  To raise them knowing that as often as they want to process it or have questions about it, we are ready and available to talk about it.  Adoption will never be a taboo subject in our home.  It’ll be celebrated.  We’ll process the hard questions and the losses involved in adoption with our children as well.

We trust that God’s big enough, and cares for our children’s hearts enough, that He’ll hold our family as we walk out this journey of open adoption for years to come.

Hopefully all of this makes sense.  If reading this provokes more questions, please feel free to shoot them my way, either by way of comments on this post, or via email: momentsandinvitations[at]gmail[dot]com.  I’ll do my best to answer as I’m able!

Just wanted to let y’all into our lives and our process a bit more as we spend these final waiting-days enjoying time with my mom, and eagerly anticipating this sweet one who’s coming!

P.S.  Amber had a sono recently and was told by the gal who did it that Maia has a head FULL of hair!  Eeee!!  Yay!!  Can’t wait to see this beautiful girl!! 🙂

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