Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dear Sugar: When You're Invited to a Match Meeting

Dear Sugar:

It seems surreal.  You've done all the interviews, background checks, home inspections.  You've filled out stacks of paperwork.   Then you're homestudy-ready and begin waiting.   Then comes the day your phone rings and guess what?  You've been chosen.  The expectant mother wants to meet you.  

You've envisioned this for months, even years, but now what? 

It's really simple.   You show up as your authentic self.   

If you're a graphic t-shirt and ripped jeans girl by heart, then show up as you.   If you think lipstick is for ladies who try too hard, don't wear it.   If wearing anything other than a sundress makes your skin crawl, rock your sundress.  Hubby has an affinity for socks with sandals?  Hey, whatev. If you love to bake, by all means, show up with your famous oatmeal cookies.  If you love to write, take a handwritten note (not a "thank you for choosing us card," please) offering prayer and encouragement (but not assumption).   If you are already parenting and your preschooler is a wild child, well that's just abundant energy that might make him or her an awesome big sibling.   

Let me tell you about us.  

Adoption #1:  Met for the first time at the courthouse to gain custody.  I'm a not nervous mess.  Terrified.  It went INCREDIBLY well.  

Adoption #2: Met at the agency, post-placement.  Immediately exchanged phone numbers and addresses and took loads of photos.  

Adoption #3:  Met at the agency pre-placement.  Took a small "self care" gift and a photo album full of printed pics of places around our town that we love, where our future child would get to hang out and enjoy.  

Adoption #4:  Met at the agency pre-placement.  Had a long heart-to-heart, answering loads of questions.   Asking few.  

Every meeting is different.  Every opportunity is a chance to listen, learn, and love.     

Just show up and be yourself.   Because...

It's so important that when you are chosen and placed, you are the person you represented yourself to be.  That you are, in fact, a great fit for the parents who chose you.  That you are a "what you see is what you get" person.   Because one day, you will face your child, an adoptee, and be asked hard questions.   

I want to be able to answer with a clear heart and mind.  I want to have nothing to hide.  To offer authentic, transparent, honest responses.   

I know it's easy to over-analyze yourself before or after a match meeting.  We truly are our own worst critics.   But I want you to remember you were "fearfully and wonderfully made" by the Almighty. A God who bases everything on holy truth.   

Do not choose deceitfulness.  Do not choose fear.  Do not choose aversion.   

No matter what, the placement may not happen.  Or it might.  And you cannot control a placement happening or not (nor should you ever try) based on your shade of lipstick, the cookies you do or don't show up with, or your energetic toddler.   

Show up as your wonderful self and see where the journey takes you.   You will never regret doing the right thing, always.  

Tell me about your match meetings.  How did they go?  Did the placement happen?  What advice do you have for others?  Let's chat!  

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