How did you choose the adoptive parents for your child?

AMANDA

So when I was going through the process of adoption, I had went to a counselor who helped me looked at different couples and it was kind of like an agency where you could go through different profiles. At the same time actually, the baby’s father, his mom, was working with a woman whose niece was wanting to adopt. Her and her husband couldn’t have children and so they decided to go through adoption. So it was kind of through this organic connection really that we ended up meeting and before we met they had sent me a letter and it was just all about who they were and it really showed their personality and it showed what their interests were and just the kind of people that they were.

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So when I met them, I think, just right away I liked them. They were just really down to earth. They were really genuine and so I could tell right away that they were kind people and that they were loving, and they were just funny. And so we connected right away and I think that’s what what really sold me on them being the ones that I wanted to raise my daughter and from there I never second guessed it. It was just… It always felt like the right choice.

I think I did have set ideas what I wanted. I think my option would have been raising the baby as a single mom and for me that wasn’t ideal. I wanted a married couple who held the same faith as me because I was raised with a really strong faith background so that was quite important and also just people who are going to be able to provide a stable home. So I was looking for someone who was well educated and had good jobs that were really just well-suited to raise children and have a family. Those things were probably the main components that I was looking for in adoptive parents.

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LEAH OUTTEN

I had a list ready to go of what I wanted. Basically, I envisioned what I wanted to be for her and how I wanted my family in the future to look. I wanted things like a husband, maybe mid-30s, having stable jobs, and maybe even having another child to see how they parented. It was actually was pretty important to me for them to have another child, whether biologically or through adoption, to see how they parent and discipline and their relationship. I wanted them to be Christian like I was.

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I also wanted them to be within the same state so that we could be close but not too close, if possible. Most importantly, that they have the same vision of adoption that I envisioned. I really wanted an open adoption. I decided on adoption partly from knowing that I could have a relationship after placement, that was huge. I was important that we were on the same page.

I don’t remember what their profile said. I remember their picture and when I saw their pictures, it reminded me of my family. They had the long brown hair like mine, we had the same kind of dog, and they were the same age as my Dad because he was a young dad. They were in their mid-30s, reminded me of my own family, and what I wanted for my child in the future. I remember their pictures and having that feeling, just like when you’re finding your soul mate that you know that they’re the one and you just have that confidence, that peace.

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MAKENA LEIGH PORTER

So when you’re picking an adoptive couple at 16 years old, you have no idea what you want. You kind of reflect on yourself. There were thousands of profile I could have gone through and I only went through 60. First, I went based on religion, I want them to have something in their life that was supporting them. I wanted them to have a pet, cause if they can take care of a pet, they can take care of a kid. And I wanted them to already have a child with them, biological or already placed with them cause I wanted my kid to have a sibling.

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And the birth father, he wanted them to be attractive and as long as they were good people, they were the right ones. A lot of the profiles I went through, they weren’t open about themselves and I would never pick someone that couldn’t tell me who they are. I wouldn’t just place him to stranger’s hands. So I weeded out a lot of couple probably 50 of them, cause most of them didn’t have pictures first of all. Once I got through those, about the last 10 or so, I wanted to know who they were more in detail. What they like to eat, what they do for holidays, the openness. And the couple that I picked, they had a video and an essay sort of letter to the expected parents. It was about how life would be like for the child that I was going to place and for me because they wanted open adoption. The family I chose is they were perfect for me and they still are. I don’t regret that or doubt that ever.

So I wanted my birth son to be far enough away but close enough away because of this open adoption and they live 5 ½ hours away so they’re not my next door neighbors and I don’t—I’m not bothering them all the time. We both have our space but we both have enough contact that it’s perfect for us. We’re basically family and so our house is their house and their house is my house. So I get to go down and I love the area there. They’re in Utah. It’s beautiful and it’s the perfect place for my birth son to grow up with.

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BAILEY CORRELL

When I started looking, I guess as a typical grad student, I like my list, I like organization. So I started by making a list of “If I could raise her the perfect way, what would that entail? What would that be?” So I started with the typical, like I said, financially stable. Two parents, a family that love her. A safe community. A good education. Opportunity for college or whatever else she might want to do. And worked my way down to even the smaller things like, obviously money to go to gymnastics or ballet like little girls tend to do, you know [no audio] .

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I started at the top with the big things and worked my way down with the small things. I had a list with me. I had like a 4-5 page list going [no audio] and it started. Now I took that with me to the agency. No one there met my requirements and being a typical mother, I though no one was ever going to be good enough. I mean, I still feel that way, I love my daughter’s adoptive parents, they’re not perfect and nobody is. And I can’t imagine a better set of parents for her but I had to let go of some things where I was trying to micromanage and [no audio] being a little too critical. Because I really didn’t want to choose adoption of course and I was kind of being a really critical in the hopes that well, I can’t find anybody so I’ll just keep her. In that, I end up finding that there were things other than what I thought was going to be perfect that made the couple that I chose the best possible choice. They met almost every qualification on my list and then they added some. I wanted my daughter Elizabeth to have siblings. They do not have other children. I grew up as an only child and I beg my parents to have others kids [no audio] it just never happens. So a big thing on my list was I wanted her to have a brother or sister. They lead a church. Her adoptive father is a youth pastor so they have kids at their house all the time, all ages, constantly. So she has the benefits of siblings and still gets all the attention at home so it’s kind of the best of both worlds. But I realize there are things like that that they didn’t necessarily meet or everything I thought I wanted but they ended up being a better fit than I could have ever picked [no audio] on strictly by my list.

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HEIDI RUSSO

In choosing the adoptive parents, there were very specific things I was looking for. I obviously wanted it to be a married couple. I wanted them hopefully have other children or want other children so that Colin would have brothers or sisters. Then I wanted them to be a Christian family but it didn’t matter to me what religion they were. I wanted them to be an athletic family. I came from a very athletic family, sports were a big part of my upbringing and in knowing who I was and who Colin’s biological father is, I knew he would be an athletic kid. So that was important for me. Financial stability obviously was important to me and strong sense of family.

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Those were all very important to me. I met other couples and they just didn’t fit all of those things for me. I thought I would know when I met the couple. I knew I would have a certain feeling that they were the right couple and so as soon as Susie, the social worker I was working with through Lutherans Social Services, showed me the file of Rick and Theresa I knew looking at their file they would be the right couple. Then as soon as I met them, I knew in my heart they were right and I just started crying. They were good tears. They’re happy tears that I’ve found them and yet I knew that it was also a beginning of process of lost and grief. It was bittersweet that they were by far, obviously, a great choice.

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KELSEY QUESENBERRY

There wasn’t really anything specific that we were looking for. It wasn’t like they have to have this and this and we check it off our list and if they don’t have one thing we weren’t going to pick them. We just wanted people who were familiar and who would kind of parent like we would if we were able to. Mike and Amanda just felt like people we could be friends with and that was really important to us. The only thing we are looking for is to have a relationship with these people beyond Henry. I feel like I could be friends with Mike and Amanda even without the adoption. They don’t have the exact same ideals as us and that’s fine, that’s not what I was looking for.

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I was looking for people who would parent the way similar that I would even if everything doesn’t completely match up. As far as their profile goes, the one thing that really stood out to me, because they were the very last profile in the binder that we are looking through and I didn’t really read through it, Zach did and he liked them. I picked them based off of a picture of them with a stuff penguin because I thought it was really funny and the fact that they put such a goofy picture in their profile seemed really genuine to me and that’s why I liked them and that’s ultimately why I picked them because of a stupid penguin picture.

Since I have a lot of experience with kids I felt like I was more laid-back and that’s the kind of vibe that they gave to me. They weren’t going to be super strict and that was kind of important to us. Zach always felt like he’s always kind of like push, you have to go to College, you have to do this, this, this and this. We didn’t want people who seems like that. We just wanted someone more laid back and free spirited.

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JANEL BROWN

My mother worked with the adoptive parent’s best friend. So they had introduced my mom with the adoptive parents prior to me or my mom knowing of my pregnancy. Knowing that they were looking to adopt and they have tried for so long to adopt, within 3 seconds of telling my mom that I was pregnant, I told her to call them. The biggest characteristic for me with them was that they were married and happy. A mother and a father there to raise a child. They lived in the same area as I did and just knowing that they wanted a child so badly was very important. There were no other characteristics. I did have another family in California that my stepdad’s cousins knew and they sent a picture with a dear birthmother letter and quickly I turned them down because the family that I had chosen was already a perfect fit for me.

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