Talk with a pregnancy counselor at Bethany if you have a savior complex about adopting and you will be set straight pretty quickly. The pregnancy counselors are unashamedly pro-expectant parent, feeling their grief and conflict through it all and advocating for them every step of the way.
The pregnancy counselors were part of almost every training we had through Bethany. They opened our eyes to what expectant parents really are like and the turmoil they go through in making an adoption plan. The expectant parents are really the ones making a heroic choice in the situation.
I remember holding back the ugly cry during one of the first videos they had us watch. It was a video a birth mom recorded for her son while they were still in the hospital together recovering from delivery. She is explaining to him that it is because she loves him so much that she’s making this choice for his life. (And that’s really the true representation of how the majority of expectant parents feel. This is the hardest decision of their lives.) Whew. Try watching that with a dry eye.
Yes, some of them are in these circumstances because of their own life choices (although some of them aren’t) but that doesn’t change the heartbreaking reality they are facing. Unplanned pregnancies happen to women in all life phases. For example, the demographic of expectant parents our FL Bethany office sees aren’t teens but adults in their 20s (this is older than the MI demographic). I needed to be educated on who expectant parents are and what their perspective is to help me be a better adoptive parent in explaining our child’s difficult story to him/her. I also needed to make sure compassion and not judgment was my heart disposition toward our child’s birth parents. If we have an open adoption this will go a long way in our relationship.
Bethany required we watch the story of Tyler and Catelynn on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. Tyler and Catelynn were actually clients through our Bethany office in MI. I’ve hyperlinked to it for anyone interested in watching.