Finally, Michelle and I decided to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. I called the Greater Cincinnati Down Syndrome Association and they put me in touch with their adoption coordinator, Robin Steele. When I called her one afternoon, she answered the phone and I told her that my wife and I wanted to adopt a child with Down syndrome. I could hear the excitement in her voice as she replied to my inquiry. She asked some initial questions such as where I was from and how I came to my decision to adopt. After I relayed the answers to her questions, she told me that there happened to be a family in Indiana that wanted to put up their child for adoption once the baby was born. However, as she continued I found out that there were a few caveats. The birth family wanted a family that had no other children in the home and they wanted it to be an open adoption.
An open adoption is one in which the adoptive family and birth family maintain a cordial relationship that includes face-to-face visits and open contact via phone, email, etc. When Robin told me this, I was hesitant. I feared that Michelle and I might be taken advantage of or have our personal privacy violated. As we continued the conversation, I asked about the family, and Robin calmed my fears. She explained that the birth family was a delightful family who just wanted the best for their daughter. As a sense of relief came over me, she asked if I thought my wife and I wanted to pursue the possibility of adoption any further. I replied with an emphatic, “Yes!”
She explained that the birth family had a few inquiries already, but they didn’t think any of the prospective adoptive parents were a right fit. My initial thought was that since Michelle and I were in our forties, they might think we were not a right fit either. But those doubts did not deter us. We knew that God had a plan for our family and we would operate on faith that we should pursue this option.
Robin explained that our next step would be to send the family a birth letter that tells who we are and why we want to adopt. We knew we would probably hear back with an answer soon given the fact that the birth mother was late into her pregnancy and wanted to put her child up for adoption immediately after she was born.