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Experiences of an Adoption Placement Coordinator

As we will be asking past clients to share their stories we feel it is only fair that we also share our stories as well. This is mine. 

As a placement coordinator for the agency I was adopted through I have a unique perspective on adoption. My adoption was the best thing that ever happened to me and I am grateful every day for the sacrifice my first family made for me. I know it cannot have been easy, but I cannot imagine myself with a different mom or dad, different sisters or brothers, different nieces and nephews, different family and friends or a different upbringing then what can only be described as idealic. I never needed for anything, never wanted for anything, and had more love in my life than my fair share.

Therefore, it is even more important for me that every child and parent that walks through our doors is given that same promise. We will also promise every single client that we will honor their journey with the goal of a successful placement for the child always being our priority.

Any adoption professional will admit that they question their career and the strains it manifests in their life. From the 2am labor calls, to the weekends away from friends and family, to the call telling a family they will no longer be meeting the child they planned to bring home. I can also admit that I quite often ask myself “is what I am doing “right”. One moment is all it takes. When a past birthmother gets her degree. When a first family and adoptive family enjoy the zoo together. When two people that had given up hope of ever being parents look into the eyes of their child for the first time. One moment can give me the ability to push through a thousand sleepless nights. One moment can give me the strength to continue on and can show me that not only is my career “right”, but is it the most privileged role to be placed in.

These are my experiences as an adoption placement coordinator in a voluntary adoption agency. I can confidently say I have witnessed the good, the hard, and the sad of every side of the adoption journey and hope that through this blog I can shed some light on what the journey can look like for the participants.

Expectant/Birth Parent Experience

I have heard the shear panic over the phone in an expectant parents voice when they received the results of their first pregnancy test. I have watched the nervousness and anxiety appear when they walk through my office doors. I have heard the despair in their voices and offered them Kleenex’s when they were talking about the choices they were trying to make. I have held their hand through hours of labor while having very few words to comfort them. I have seen their children being born and the mix of joy and sorrow that accompanies that amazing moment. I have witnessed the moment they decided they would not be placing this child in the arms of another. I have watched them survive the hardest 48 hours of their lives knowing a decision is looming. I have watched them fight with family and friends over their decision. I have cried with them with while they said “see you later” in that cold hospital room.

However, I have also witnessed the relief they exhibit when they learn about the adoption process and their options. I have seen the absolute peace they find when they look at the profile book of the perfect family to be joined to. I have heard the laughter and tears that accompanies the first meetings and zooms with the family they are going to be connected to for the rest of their lives. I have also been present when they watched the family they chose meet their child for the first time. Countless times I have heard “I am so excited for them and for the life my child will have”. I have watched them go to the zoo or park with their children and watched them laugh at the video of their child’s first dance recital. I have received the conformation texts and calls that they are peace with their decision and look forward to watching their child grow. I have watched them love on their other children and attain the dreams they have wished and worked for.

Adoptive Parent Experience

I have witnessed the absolute confusion and trepidation that accompanies the beginning of the adoption process. I have interviewed families about their struggles with infertility and handed out countless Kleenex’s while they mourn the loss of the biological family they thought they would have. I have seen frustration, anger, and despair in the paperwork, finances, and numerous steps that have to be taken in a home study process. I have assured, re-assured and triple assured families that the wait is there for a reason. I have heard the frustration when they are told it is time for yet another home study update. I have witnessed the grief that accompanies the realization that they will not be meeting the child they have been waiting and preparing for. I have seen the sorrow in their eyes when they see the pain their child’s first family is experiencing.

However, I have also watched families do mountains of paperwork and get fingerprinted with a smile on their faces. I have seen the pure joy when they fully accept that they will be meeting their child at the end of this process. I have heard the squeals of excitement and the tears of joy when they find out they are matched with an expectant parent. I have watched the bond they form with their child’s first family. I have seen the love and intense gratitude they feel towards their child’s first family. I have witnessed the awe on their faces when their child is placed in their arms. I have seen love at first sight more times than I can count. I have watched them bring that child home and love them unconditionally and without reservation. I have seen videos of excitement while changing diapers or the first time their child walked. I have experienced the countless photographs and updates they can’t wait to share with their family, friends, and of course the child’s first family.

It is for these reasons adoption is one of the most complicated journeys there is. There is joy and sorrow in every step of the adoption process and for every participant in the adoption journey. Honor the sorrow and relish in the joy, I know I do!

*The sentiments expressed in this blog represent Cradle of Life Staff and/or Clients and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or policies of all adoption agencies.