A beautiful hospital experience
Susan Tompkins, LCSW
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Journeys of the Heart Adoption
Recently I was part of a beautiful hospital/adoption experience, something we all want but don’t always get. I don’t mean that the birth mother didn’t experience grief and loss but considering the difficult circumstances , she felt surrounded by the love and tender loving care.
How do I know this was a beautiful and loving experience? Of course, I have my own feelings and observations but numerous nurses validated this and social workers stopping the adoptive parents and me and saying something like, “this is the most loving and caring adoption we have ever experienced.”
One has to start with a birth mother who was open to receiving the love and TLC and adopting parents , in this case Layton and Sean, who had it in their hearts to give it. In this case, we had that openness and receptiveness on both sides.
The hospital did not have an extra room for the adoptive parents so the Layton spent two nights in the room with the birth mother and sweet baby. The first night the birth mother wanted to hold the baby most of the night. She did and when she really needed to sleep, she handed him over to Layton, who was more than ready to hold the precious bundle. Sean was in with everyone during the day and at a nearby hotel at night, getting his special time with the baby when it seemed appropriate.
The sharing went on throughout the hospital stay with the Layton always checking in to see what the birth mother wanted and then made sure she got it.
We all met at the hospital early in the morning. Layton handed over a medium sized black bag to the birth mother saying it was full of things she had packed that the birth mother might want or need during hospitalization. While we waited to be admitted, the birth mother looked through the bag and was she surprised. Clearly, Layton had put a lot of thought into the ingredients.
Here is a list of what was inside:
- Stool softener
- Water bottle
- Snack mix
- Facial wipes
- Make up remover
- Journal and pen
- Nail polish
- Hair bands
- Uber and iTunes gift card for a ride/meal/music
The birth mother was so grateful that such a bag was put together just for her and it set a nice tone for the whole stay.
Add in a phenomenal hospital staff who supported the birth mother in every way and often stopped by just to give her a hug or word of encouragement. Add in a complicated birth that Layton helped with, bringing she and the birth mother closer. It also didn’t hurt that Layton was herself adopted and understood the importance of birth family in the child’s life and who very much wanted the loving relationship that she didn’t have until much later in adulthood.
All the ingredients were there for the best adoption experience possible. You may be this fortunate when it is your time to be at the hospital with your child’s birth mother. However, if not, think of some ways that you can replicate the caring. For instance, you can have the care bag ready to go and maybe add a few things that are specific to the birth mother’s liking. (Pay attention to what she does like during your time with her or ask the adoption coordinator).
Alternatively, come up with your own ideas about what will make her feel like the special person she is.