1. Pray, pray and pray some more!
Start praying right away for peace, whatever may come. Pray for the birth mother and her discernment and for the baby who could potentially become your child. Get others to pray for you, gather up your prayer warriors so that you know you will be surrounded in prayer. Knowing that we had the support of our friends and family through prayer was such a huge relief. Pray a rosary on the way to the meeting! My DH suggested we pray a rosary while we were on the freeway and although I was a ball of nerves and didn't want to I went with it. It was so good for me to focus on prayer and ask Our Lady to intercede for us, it really calmed my nerves.
2. Do your hair and make-up
Now I am not saying this for vanity's sake or trying to sell yourself to the birth mother. It is more so that you feel more at ease. Let's face it when we feel beautiful we feel more confident in who we are. Plus I find doing my hair and make-up pretty relaxing because I put on my favorite music to get ready to and just concentrate on getting ready.
3. Be Comfortable
Do things and surround yourself with what gives you comfort. Listen to your favorite music on the way there, wear a favorite bracelet or pair of earrings. If you have a favorite rosary bring it with you in your purse. Being comfortable will make you more relaxed and more yourself which is who the birth mother wants to get to know.
4. Embrace the Situation and Be Random
Now don't be all random and all over the place when you are meeting with her, do that before. When I found out she wanted to meet us I had all these thoughts and feelings that were jumbled together. I embraced my crazy and just let it happen. There would be times where I would just shout "Ahhhhh!" when JJ and I were home or in the car on the way there. I cried because I was overwhelmed by the supportive response we got from family and friends who were surrounding us in prayer. I even cried on the way there because it gave me hope which is hard to come by when you have been dealing with infertility.
5. Bring a Small Gift
This may sound a little odd but I think it's a nice ice breaker. Ask your agency or facilitator a little about her so you know what may be appropriate. We found out she likes candy so we got her some of our favorite candies and it turned out her and I both love the savory and sweet combination which was one of the candies we got her. This helped us to break the ice a bit and made it feel a little less awkward.
6. Remember You Are Both Human
This may sound obvious but I think we can forget this as you and the birth mother are in opposite situations, she is pregnant and you desperately want to have a child. You feel judged because you think she is critiquing your every move and she feels judged for being in the situation that brought her to choose adoption. JJ and I really tried to treat this as if we were meeting any new person for the first time. We allowed her to control the conversation so she could feel comfortable asking us questions which wasn't that difficult because she was naturally extroverted and we are naturally introverted. I tried to be a little more extroverted so that I was consciously not drawing too inward which I tend to do around new strangers. Be honest with your answers because you are not perfect and she should get to know the real you, she is trying to make the best decision for the baby that she can and I am sure it is not easy.
When it's all said and done whether or not you find out if you are a match that day go out and celebrate in a small way. This helped us to feel good about the accomplishment that we had done, it was one more thing on the adoption journey that we had experienced. Even if she doesn't choose us we now know what happens at a meeting with a birth mother so we have some experience under our belts. JJ and I went out for frozen yogurt afterwards and it was just what we needed!
So those are my tips for meeting with a birth mother. All in all we had a great experience! We will find out this week if she chooses us so please keep us in your prayers! Our facilitators said 90% of the time if a birth mother has chosen to meet with you it's usually a match but the melancholic in me is thinking about the other 10% of the time. I have a pretty busy week ahead with clients and the retreat coming up on Saturday so I won't have too much time to agonize about it but let's be real I will be thinking about it a lot. Please keep her, our facilitators and us in your prayers this week, thank you! St. Joseph, pray for us!