In part three of part four, Paul and Jenny reveal what it was like placing and what their relationship with their birthmothers are - here’s the last part of our interview!
Did it take you six months to find a birthmother? That is remarkably quick for someone who adopted in the late 90s.
J: Yes, our first birth mother’s information was sent to us in June of 1999, but she led us to a failed adoption. She was seven to eight months pregnant, she suddenly stopped communicating with us, and we learned later that she gave birth in August and decided to parent.
That must have been incredibly difficult.
J: It was, but a silver lining to the news was that our second birth mother contacted us shortly after that. And we had even more contact with our second birth mother before she gave birth as well. We talked to her very frequently, and we even went to several doctors’ appointments in the last few months of her pregnancy where she gave birth to our daughter, Jessica, in early December.
P: Later in the year, we then filed for our second adoption in June of 2000, met our third birthmother in mid-September, and had our second daughter, Sammy, in October 2000.
Was your second adoption any different than the first?
P: In a few aspects, yes, but we still had to jump through some of the original hoops. We had to reconnect with our home study caseworker where we reapplied and submitted names for reference letters. We also had to update our profiles and birthmother letters, re-submit financial information, complete another health profile and have another physical exam. We also had to verify that Jessica was in good health. So, the process was relatively the same except for the advertising component.
J: In the time between our first and second adoption, Kirsh offered us different adoption options some of which included them doing the majority of the marketing.
What was your post-adoption relationship like? Did you have a lot of contact with either birth mother after the pregnancy?
J: We agreed to two years of quarterly picture updates, and we were asked to keep the birthmother phone line open for 90 days, after which we had a lot of conversations with Jessica’s birthmother via email. When Jessica was six-months-old we met with her birth mother in person, but from there, we gradually moved to quarterly updates for two years with updates about crawling, walking, talking, etc. After the two-year period, we agreed to do it annually which we continued until Jessica was five years old.
P: That experience was completely different compared to Sammy’s birthmother. There was next to no contact with Sammy’s birth mother, but we did have a great relationship with Sammy’s paternal grandparents. In fact, Jenny still sends them updates.
That’s incredible. I’m impressed that you still send updates.
J: Thank you.
Well, guys, that is all of the questions that I have. I want to say thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and go through all of this.
J/P: No problem! Thanks for having us!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Paul and Jenny. Our final part of “Then and Now,” will be an assessment of their experience compared to the modern adoption process. Stay tuned!