BIRTH FATHER PERSPECTIVE [S4E11]
In this episode of ADOPTION NOW:
Jack and Adrian Collins share their rollercoaster of an adoption journey!
Jack and Adrian are birth parents who placed their baby girl for adoption when they were in college. They wanted a better life for her, although later they would find out it wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for.
Jack shares from a birth father‘s perspective on how he moved forward after leaving the hospital without his daughter. Adrian shares what it was like as a birth mother grieving the loss of her baby. Together, they both share their experiences from two different sides of the adoption process. It’s a rollercoaster-ride, for sure!
To start the interview, April asks Jack and Adrian to bring the story back all the way to high school (when they first met) and then college. Adrian shares first:
“I was actually attending a strict Christian school at the time and held all these leadership roles: I was the editor of a newspaper, editor-in-chief of a magazine…I just wanted to be that person everyone looked up to…When I found out I was pregnant, I was devastated.”
No longer the ‘pedestal of perfection’ as she puts it, Adrian was faced with the daunting prospect of a child on the way. She said she had always wanted to be a mom, but at that point, there was no way to support the baby completely.
Aprils asks Jack what his thoughts were at the time, and he says that the news was a shock, that there were a lot of things swirling through his head. It also didn’t help that they were in separate states, attending different schools. The distance weighed on them, as well as the unexpected responsibility of a child.
Adrian says she took a while before telling her parents. She was extremely afraid of disappointing her parents. They weren’t disappointed after all and they did bring up the option of adoption, but Adrian says she kind of swept it under the rug for the time being.
Aprils asks them when they considered adoption. Adrian says that it was eight and a half months into the pregnancy that they actually decided! She says it was difficult to imagine someone else parenting her child.
Adrian says she first received a letter from an adoptive couple and she threw the letter across the room because she was distraught about her situation. But deep down she had a good feeling about the couple. Once the storm clouds subsided, Adrian held onto the letter and kept her heart open for her child and this adoptive couple.
April asks her how she got this letter and Adrian said it was through friend’s mother who reached out to the couple at church. They wanted to adopt so they got in touch. Eventually, they met up at a zoo, which Adrian warns is not the most ideal place to meet by any means!
The meeting in California with the family went well. They learned the adoptive father had a history of addiction, but he had recovered. They offered him grace and believed him.
Fast forward a little bit and the baby was born in Colorado… on Jack’s birthday of all days! It’s crazy to think about. But to this day, Adrian says to this day it is still extremely hard to talk about. She says that leaving the hospital without your baby is excruciating. You are leaving a part of you behind, she says.
Adrian expresses that until the very last moment, she had wished Jack would change his mind and decide that they were taking care of the baby. April asked if she was mad at him at that point, and she says yes she was. A wall was between them for a while. But they wholeheartedly believe they made the right choice after the fact!
This period of their life was not easy. They settled on a semi-closed adoption. As Adrian says, they started off the marriage with loss and so they took 3 years to work through marital problems and then Adrian got pregnant. But this ended in miscarriage. She was beyond devastated.
“I remember just feeling like God had punished me.”
Shortly after, she went through some testing which identified what supplements she needed to take to help carry her first son to full term!
April asks about the birth and Adrian says it was a beautiful and amazing experience. It was a celebration that was made even sweeter because it contrasted with the post-placement grief that had prefaced the pregnancy. And soon, Jack and Adrian had two more boys!
Adrian started mentoring different birth mothers at this time. April reminds listeners that the birthmothers who turn around and give back end up healing the fastest.
And get this! Despite never thinking they’d ever have more kids, they decided to adopt!
Jack says that he was having lunch with a close friend and he told him about an unplanned pregnancy in the friend’s family. He says that right away he had this overwhelming feeling that the child was meant to be theirs.
After agreeing to become adoptive parents, revisiting the grief and feelings of the placement of their daughter 12 years before, and then traveling from Oklahoma to Colorado, the child was born! Adrian says she was extremely afraid that she wasn’t going to be a good mother to the baby, but she pushed through it.
She says she dealt with a lot of insecurities when she arrived at the hospital for the child. Feelings of grief flooded her, but she just kept praying to God and he helped her through it.
But wait, this story gets even more incredible! Soon Adrian and Jack got a call from their 12-year-old birth daughter and she came out and visited them in Oklahoma. And although it was a struggle to tell her boys that they had an older sister because she was afraid of facing shame, she told them anyway. They responded in an overwhelmingly positive manner, and in that moment, Adrian started to truly accept herself.
Fast forward a few years and Jack and Adrian meet up with their birth daughter again. Although it was difficult for her to share, Adrian said that things were not going very well at home.
Adrian and Jack would soon learn that her adoptive father’s addictions had resurfaced. But unfortunately, they had relinquished their parental rights. The adoptive parents were not happy about Adrian and Jack calling about her.
Once she turned 18, her adoptive parents gave an ultimatum: she could either stay with them or go live with her Jack and Adrian. To them, it was unnecessary. Both parties could be involved!
Jack and Adrian would then ask her if she wanted to be re-adopted. She took some time to think about it and absorb the proposition, and then she said yes, she’d love to be apart of the family! For more on this incredible story, listen along! There are so many amazing moments in this episode!