This guest post is by Kari Wiessner, a birthmother.
Eight years ago, on November 23, 2004, I became a mother. Six months prior I had picked out a family for this little girl to go home to. Two days prior to her arrival into this crazy world, the couple backed out on me saying they did not feel I would be involved in baby girl’s life. My life had shattered at 11:47 pm November 21,2004.
I had NOTHING for this baby and Thanksgiving was in a few days. I guess God had another plan for me. I brought baby girl home November 25, 2004 on Thanksgiving. I brought her home with no car seat and in a cab.
There was no big welcome home sign or balloons, no banners or people anxiously awaiting our arrival. The cab driver was talking on the phone the entire cab ride home and I was just praying we would get home in one piece. Luckily we did.
Two weeks into parenting and borrowing money for formula and diapers and clothes I made a heart-wrenching phone call to the agency to look into their books of profiles. A family had JUST been placed in the profile books.
They had one son who had just turned three on November 21, the day the previous adoptive couple bailed out on me. (Oh, and they had called MY parents to let them know their decision when by law it was illegal. They couldn’t even tell me but they could call my parents. I was 24 at the time too).
Choosing My Daughter’s Adoptive Parents
My social worker called A, the potential adoptive mom, and asked her if she could call C, her husband, and come down to meet for a last minute “interview.” A was and is a teacher so she had to see if she could get a sub. An hour later A and C were in a room with albums of E, their three-year-old. It was the most nerve-racking meeting of my life.
As I held B, my daughter’s emotions were all over the place. I knew within two minutes I was looking at B’s new parents. It was hard, oh so hard. At the end of the meeting it was decided my social worker would call them to let them know. As A left the room I gave her a look that I had decided yes.
A week later we all met down at the agency in a cold sterile room. So not appropriate and the worst decor and smell for such a gut-wrenching situation. Papers were signed and I handed over baby girl.
I could not tell you what was said or what things were done. I just knew that I had handed over baby girl to complete strangers that passed a background check and completed a home study. I had no clue what to expect other than three visits a year and emails.
I was in shock as I sat in my mom’s car and drove away. I felt as if my whole being had been ripped apart. I felt as if I couldn’t even cry. I had NO clue where my life would go or what would happen with this relationship with these strangers. How would we become a part of each other’s lives?
In eight years it’s become a very different situation. Last minute meetups, texts and phone calls constantly, visits seven times or more a year it seems, love beyond words and an adoptive mother and birth mother relationship that is more like sisters.
I count my lucky stars each night as this adoption has turned into the most beautiful relationship. I am lucky to have found my daughter the family she has today. Today I parent my five-year-old son who is included in everything involved with my daughter and her family.
I have learned so much about being a mom from baby girl’s mom on how to be a great mom. I often wonder what life would have been like and what kind of relationship I would have had with the family that backed out on me. I thank God that they did.
Kari Wiessner is a birthmother who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.