With the open adoptions of today, birth parents have many choices. When asked about preferences, there is much to consider. What type of family do I want for my child? Should I choose someone who mirrors my likes and interests? Should I consider religion – is that even extremely important to me? Would I prefer my child to live rurally or in a cultural center? Do I want my child to have siblings or should I seek out a family with no children?
All of these things are important to consider and most birth parents do have preferences. When considering a family, we often hear the request, “I’d like my baby to be the first child” or “I feel like first babies are more special”. Of course, we respect any decision a birth parent makes and do our best to find exactly the right match. But, it’s good to think about all of your options.
As the mom of three, I have to laugh. We used to call our firstborn “the practice child”. When I brought my son home, I asked my husband “What do we do now?”
I literally asked that.
I was 27 and had never changed a diaper in my life (including in the hospital, where I was prone for 72 hours after an emergency C-section and prolonged effects of anesthesia). So, there we were, learning how to parent. We certainly practiced our parenting skills on him. I don’t think my child suffered any long-term issues as a result, but we learned a great deal from him. I won’t even go into how I learned that no matter how hot it gets, you don’t put your child down for a nap in just a diaper. It’s at that moment that they learn how to take it off and, well, the results can be profound. Let’s just say the whole nursery had to be cleaned and repainted. Who knew we had a pitcher on our hands?