This guest post is by Brian Esser, an adoptive father and attorney.
When my husband and I created our first adoption profile in August 2010, we wondered what would catch a birthmother’s eye.
Would she care that we lived near the park or a zoned for a good public school? We included photos from past trips—would she choose us thinking her child could see the world?
Or would we be immediately dismissed because we were gay?Skipped over after all the work we put into the profile?
Summer turned to winter, and we waited, tethered to our phones. We waited, as winter creeped toward spring. After six months, we noticed a change in people when we told them how long we were in the books.
A slight tilt to the head, usually followed by “Have you thought about surrogacy?”
And then, on a day in late March, an eight-year-old boy matched us with our baby.
Daniel is a mature, thoughtful kid, and he wanted to be involved in choosing the family to raise his baby brother.
So she narrowed her choices down to a few couples whose profiles she’d found online. All were straight couples except for us.
Without telling Daniel her #1 pick, she showed him the profiles. Knowing Daniel as we do now, I can only imagine how seriously he took this assignment.
She left him to it, and after awhile he called to her.
“Mom, I think you should give these guys a chance.”
Daniel had confirmed her feeling. They each saw something in us that clicked with them.
But what was it? When we met with her two weeks later, this was one of the things were dying to know. What had given her the feeling we were the one?
My husband finally got the nerve to just ask, “Why us?”
“I could tell you love each other.”
Now, it seems so obvious. As an adoption attorney, I tell my clients that evidence of real, true love is what a birthmother is looking for as she makes this huge decision.
(And you can show that you’re a loving person whether you’re adopting on your own or with a partner.) But back then, when I was waiting, I had no idea.
Of course, it was love. Daniel saw what she saw. It didn’t matter that we were two gay guys. They loved this baby boy so much, and saw we were capable of that same love too.
And we’ve grown to love them. We let Daniel pick our son’s middle name, and we get to see him and his siblings grow up in our twice-a-year visits.
Our son’s birthmother found a wonderful guy who has become a great parent to Daniel. And yes, it sometimes staggering to think that we owe all this joy to an eight-year-old confirming his mother’s hunch.
So I always tell my clients to be their authentic selves as they do their profiles. Be open, and vulnerable and real. Don’t worry about the size of your house, or if you’ve put on weight since college.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you birthmothers are looking for a rich family. All you need is love.
Brian Esser combines his experiences as an adoptive father with a dedication to providing the highest quality and personalized legal services. His law practice is focused on adoption, reproductive law, and estate planning for families of all kinds.
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