Barbara, Like Sadie, I feel like an ambassador for open adoption. My husband Jeff was adopted in 1963 and we adopted a domestic newborn in…...
Adoption Blog: Improv Mom
Everyone Should Have a Betty
Betty is my mom. She's five-foot nothing, has the energy of a rocket, and is always up for a challenge, such as de-cluttering my basement, shredding several years' worth of papers, or undertaking domestic adoption. I can tell you from experience that, once the decision has been made to move forward with any of these life-changing tasks, you can never underestimate the support you'll need. Enter Betty. And, in honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to share a taste of Betty being Betty:
- After two pregnancies that ended badly and one round of IVF that produced two "grade one" embryos but little else, it came as no surprise to Betty that my husband, Tony, and I were looking into adoption. That's all Betty needed to hear before springing into action, calling her personal adoption network of one -- her good friend who had a good friend who had a daughter who recently adopted her children. Yet, this is exactly how Tony and I connected with our adoption attorney, and ultimately, with Kim, our daughter's biological mother.
- It was late January, and Kim was scheduled for a mid-February C-section. Tony and I couldn't put it off any longer: We had to paint and set up a nursery. It felt like a monumental task -- what if there was no baby for the baby's room? What's more, I hate painting. Thankfully, Betty was on hand to push through our fears and get the job done, as well as keep a close watch over those of us who were also on hand to get the job done. I know my dad could never have set up the crib if it weren't for Betty's unflagging supervision.
- When it came time to travel to Indiana for the birth of our daughter, aside from Tony, I knew I wanted Betty by my side. It was a good move. My mom has a knack for normalizing the strangest of situations, such as when we took Kim and some of her family out to dinner the night before she gave birth. There's nothing like Betty exclaiming, in a heavy Long Island accent, "Oooo, I love my sizzling chicken and shrimp dish! What did you get?" to instantly set a light-hearted tone for the evening.
- After Tony and I had physical custody of Beth, we were ecstatic, exhausted, and in shock. In our new role as parents, we relied on Betty to feed us. I remember her, with my dad in tow, coming back to the hotel suite we all shared, plates piled high with chicken and broccoli stir-fry they'd wrangled from the happy hour buffet. "They even gave us a tray!" she cried with delight.
So, you see, without Betty's almost maddeningly upbeat enthusiasm, I'd quite possibly still be living amongst my musty old boxes, cuddling up to a bag of old bills instead of my little girl. It was a longer, bumpier road to motherhood than I expected, but it all worked out – just like Betty said it would. Yes, Betty can drive me nuts, and, according to her, I can do the same to her. However, now that I have a daughter of my own, I am doing my very best to emulate my mom and be the Betty in Beth's life.
I love you, Betty! Happy Mother's Day!
Everyone should have a Betty, especially as you go through the adoption process! Who's the Betty in your life?
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Meet the Author
Barbara HerelNew York
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