“If you can make it through this, there is nothing you can’t do…”
My birth parent counselor, Geri Glazer, said this simple yet profoundly supportive and knowledgeable piece of advice to me during my pregnancy seventeen years ago—forgive me for pausing a moment here…seventeen years! But more than the words themselves it was her unconditional faith in these words that allowed them to plant seeds in my belly, right alongside a growing little girl soon to be known as Mesa. These seeds have since given birth to a root system of strength I have used many times and will continue to use until my last breath.
As a birth parent, at the very moment I claimed that title, I felt a sense of accomplishment, proud that my heart was big enough to be the best mom I could be, proud that I gave her the chance to fly and create her own life. And while that sense of achievement has never gone away, in order for me to continue on with my life in a healthy way I needed something to look forward to. I received a Birth Mother education scholarship which enabled me to stay in college, and eventually graduate with a double major in sociology and education. Being in school, seeing that I had so many things that I still wanted to do with my life, and the financial aid provided for by the scholarship that helped me stay in school, cannot be underestimated in my mind in terms of the importance in regards to my healing process. The decision to place a child in an adoption is hard. There is no way of getting around that one, it’s just plain hard. As with any type of grieving situation, you need something that you can place energy in that helps you get out of bed, helps you into the shower, and back out into the world.
I would not be the person that I am if I hadn’t continued on with college after placing Mesa with her family. School gave me an opportunity to be around people my age, keeping me active and social, exposed me to new ideas, helped foster new dreams and goals, and gave me the opportunity to add to my bag of tricks, learning skills that have helped me live my life, I think, rather well. Knowing that I had goals I wanted to accomplish in my life that would make me proud and that would make Mesa proud of me kept me going towards life, and not towards a cycle of depression. To this day I want Mesa to be amazed at everything her birth mom has accomplished and at the way I view the world and live my life. Like any parent, I want to be an excellent example in so many ways.
Though I chose not to be an everyday mom, I didn’t choose for my life to stop. Instead I got the opportunity to still do ‘a,b,c’ and possibly ‘d and e’ before I choose to parent. All the things that I drempt of doing before I had a daughter, I have been given a chance to explore. That is such such a gift. Sometimes it’s a fine line between choosing to see a gift or choosing to see a barrier, and for every birth mom, I hope you find what it is that helps get you to the point of always seeing the gift. For me, education is one of the gifts I received. Always remember there are little ones waiting to tell their friends how lucky they are that YOU are their birth mother.
-Courtney*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
I Know How You Feel
I know exactly how you must be feeling. First, finding out that you are pregnant was I’m sure an extremely scary thing! Then to even let the thought of adoption enter your mind is an obstacle in and of itself. But here you are reading my letter, and that my friend, is the first step. Keeping an open mind in your situation is key, and it is so great that you are exercising an open mind by considering adoption for your baby!
My name is Kayleigh, and almost 3 years ago (which is so hard to believe!), I was in the exact same place that you are right now. Searching the Internet for the perfect agency to help me place my daughter for adoption. Scared, confused, helpless, and completely overwhelmed, I stumbled upon an open adoption website. This “stumbling” turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me!
I was 18, jobless, a high school graduate, living with my parents, and in absolutely no position to be raising a baby, when my then boyfriend, and I found out we were pregnant. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. So as a result, I didn’t do anything. I hid my pregnancy from everyone for 6 months, or so I thought. When I finally told my family, it turned out they already knew because of my growing belly- funny how that works! I will never forget the rainy day that my boyfriend, his parents, my parents, and I gathered in my living room to discuss what was going to be done about this ‘situation.’ We were told in no uncertain terms that our parents were not at all interested in raising another child, and that we should consider adoption. Strangely enough, both my boyfriend and I were adopted, and so it was not a foreign concept to either one of us. Although this was the case, it had never occurred to me how hard it must have been for my birth mother to place me for adoption. I could not fathom how I was supposed to give MY baby to someone else.
Over the next few weeks I had tons of things to think over; would I want an open or closed adoption? What kind of parents would I want to raise my daughter? How was I supposed to cope with all these emotions? Was I even strong enough to go through with this? I did some research, and when I found an open adoption website, something inside of me lit up.
I mustered up the courage to call this agency, and was shocked to find that the woman who answered the phone was a birth mother herself! I scheduled an appointment and was again shocked that the woman I was having a meeting with was yet another birth mother. As I glanced around her office, I was encouraged to see that there were pictures with her, her grown birth son, and her husband and other children. She told me that in open adoption that they focused on, was one in which the birth mother was honored, and one in which instead of losing a family member, you gained many, many more. She shared with me that I wasn’t in this alone. Not only do they require counseling before placement, but they offer support groups before, during, and after placement. This gave me hope that there was actually life after adoption!
After that initial meeting I was 100% sold on the idea of an open adoption. I was so excited that not only could I have a relationship with my daughter, but with her adoptive parents as well. I had many criteria for the potential adoptive parents of my daughter. I had a perfect couple in mind. As my daughter was going to be African American I wanted her to be raised in an affluent African American household. I wanted her parents to be a fairy tale couple with a couple children already, a hefty income, and a promise to never get divorced. Of course, these expectation were completely unrealistic, and I quickly realized it as I thumbed through a set of potential adoptive parent profiles. Even though I knew this probably wasn’t realistic, I still held on to these characteristics. It became increasingly difficult to locate a family, but finally, after Geri’s commitment to find me a family that appealed to me and going outside of the profiles I had been given, I found my family!
Immediately upon meeting Karl and Leslie, I fell in love with them. They had absolutely none of the attributes that I was looking for in an adoptive family. They were white and not at all fairy tale-esque, but perfect for me, and more importantly perfect for my daughter. Our personalities meshed right away and I couldn’t imagine a better match ! They already had adopted a little boy and were so excited to have a little girl to call their own, and I was more than willing to place my little girl with them.
Three weeks after meeting them, I went into labor. This was the most emotional part of my whole adoption experience. After my daughter was born via C-section, I had to stay in the hospital for a week. During this week, I bonded with my daughter, and all of my hesitations and fears came back. I knew it was the right thing to do in my head, but my heart begged to differ. I questioned my entire decision to place her, and rejected the adoptive family completely. I treated them so poorly and so unfairly. I felt as if they were there to take my baby from me and I couldn’t even look at them. It amazes me how during this time, I completely forgot how much I loved these people! Handing her over was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. I cannot express the amount of courage and strength you find when you know this is about loving this little person so much, about wanting her to have all the security and opportunity in the world; courage and strength you have inside of you too. It took ALL of my courage, strength, and love to do this. But then again, that’s what being a parent is about, putting your child first. Hard lesson to learn at 18.
Each day the hurt got easier, and my heart began to agree with my head in realizing that this was truly the best decision I could have ever made. I began to go to support groups every month, then I began to lead these support groups, then I started to speak to potential adoptive parents, and then I started to speak to potential adoptive parents, with my daughters adoptive parents. My relationship with her parents began to blossom into a truly beautiful bond. We became extremely close and I finally experienced truly feeling like an extension of their family. The relationship that I have with her adoptive parents is one of the most amazing things in the world. I never imagined that me, the girl who could barely imagine placing her baby, would have this tremendous relationship with the SAME people who were the complete opposite of what I was looking for; the people I was so angry with in the hospital, the people I chose to be my baby’s parents.
Over the last 2 years, my life has become something amazing and I 100% have adoption to thank for that. I am a full time student at Metro State University, studying to get my degree in Social Work. I mentor women, such as you, who are exploring the idea of adoption, as well as continue my mentoring work with those who have placed their children. None of these things would have been possible if I had not chosen adoption for my child.
If you have any questions or would just like to have someone who can relate, to you to talk to feel free to contact me!
My email address is [email protected] .com
-Kayleigh*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
I Knew in My Heart
I became pregnant when I was 33 years old. At that age, most women would be ready to start a family, but at that point in my life, I could not have been more unprepared.
When I became pregnant, it was quite unexpected. While I was certainly old enough and mature enough to raise a child, my life was not the least bit stable. I was a business owner and definitely did not have the time, a baby deserves. However, that did not mean that I was not excited about the prospect of being a mother.
Shortly after learning of my pregnancy, I lost my business. I decided to deal with the emotional pain of that loss by focusing my time and attention on caring for my unborn child. Unfortunately, as the months of my pregnancy passed, my relationship with my fiance, grew rockier. About a month before my due date, I learned that he was cheating on me. It was at that time that I realized I needed to put the best interests of my unborn child, whom we had already named Austin, ahead of my own desires and find a couple who could raise him better than Greg and I could as separate single parents.
I began researching open adoption agencies because I knew that there was no way in the world I would be able to give this baby boy up for adoption unless I was somehow able to remain a part of his life, in some way. I talked to a couple of different agencies before I finally found Geri. She, along with members of her staff, especially her birth parent mentor made me feel special and confirmed my belief that open adoption was the right thing for me and my child. I instantly felt like I was making the right decision.
Greg and I were given many books which we reviewed together. Each book told a story about a different couple who was seeking to adopt a child. I was concerned that we would not know which couple to choose to raise Austin, but we trusted that God would lead our decision. As we read through each book, and looked at their pictures, we began separating the books into two piles. Those couples that we believed were definitely not right for him, or us, and those that were possibilities. Then, as we reached the middle of the fifth book, we knew we had found the right couple. Stephanie and Kevin had already adopted one boy and were hopeful of blessing their family with yet another child. They had all the qualities we were looking for and both of us knew instantly that they were the couple God had already chosen to raise our baby.
I don’t think a mother could ever begin to touch on the overwhelming feelings of love she is inundated with during the moments just after she gives birth to her child. It is indescribable to say the least. And yet, during those very moments, I knew in my heart that we had made the right decision for this beautiful baby boy!
The following weeks and months were difficult at times, but knowing that he was only minutes away from me made the separation easier. Stephanie and Kevin made Austin as available to us as possible so that we never felt like he was out of our lives. We had barbecues together on a regular basis and we talked regularly. When Austin was 1½ years old, Kevin was transferred to another state, with his job. That was really difficult for me. Knowing that I couldn’t visit Austin as regularly as I had been able to was extremely painful. Those initial months, I missed him so much.
As the years have passed, the separation from Austin has grown easier to handle. I have continued to visit him once or twice a year ; each visit being around 3-4 days long. The time I spend with him is very special and the relationship I maintain with him, Steph and Kevin as well as Austin’s older brother, Conner, is unmatched. Steph sends me pictures of the boys regularly and Austin calls me on occasion just to say hi and tell me that he loves me. Sometimes he even asks me to come watch him play soccer (that afternoon). While he does not quite understand the concept of “I live 1000 miles away and cannot be there in time” he does understand that he is the an important person in my life and that I love him very much. He knows he is adopted and he knows that I gave him up because of how much I loved him and how much I wanted for him to have the best upbringing and life he could possibly have.
I have come to truly appreciate the decision I made for Austin many years ago. He is being raised by two wonderful parents, he has an incredible relationship with his older brother, he is an extremely happy boy and he has every opportunity available to him that I wasn’t able to provide for him. I know in my heart that he is exactly where God wants him to be and, if given the opportunity to go back and make a different decision, I wouldn’t change a thing.
-Kendel- *Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
It’s Not Easy, but oh so loving…….
My Note to Birth moms: When a mother makes the choice to give her child up for adoption it does not mean that she does not love her child. In fact, it means very much the opposite. It is one of the most unselfish, loving things that a mother could ever do for her child. She is putting the needs and interests of another human being, her beloved child that has grown inside her belly for nine months, above her own desires despite the pain and loss she anticipates feeling forever. It is never an easy decision and one that should not be taken lightly. It is, however, a very mature and selfless act. Do not ever be afraid to do what is in the best interest of your child. God will help ease your feelings of loss and bring you much peace.
What Helped Ease My Feelings of Loss?: Shortly after Austin was born and continuing for several years, I occasionally spoke at the adoption agency to parents who were seeking to adopt a child. I told them my story of how I came to choose open adoption and tried to relay to them all the benefits that an open adoption afforded them, their soon-to-be-adopted child and also the birth mom. Speaking to these parents helped me to cope with my loss and truly appreciate the gift that I was able to provide to Steph and Kevin, as well as to Austin. Speaking with those parents-to-be also helped ease the pain that continued to remain in my heart, especially after Austin moved away.
-Kendel*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
“When I found out I was pregnant, something in me just knew adoption was the way the baby and I were meant to go. I was scared. I had no idea what I was doing. Nevertheless, something wiser inside of me knew everything would work out perfectly. I hadn’t even heard of open adoption before sweet Geri entered my life, but it made so much sense. I couldn’t imagine adoption any other way…I wouldn’t want to! My daughter is now three years old; with her birth-father devotedly involved, we have created a beautiful, albeit quite unique, relationship with her adoptive fathers. Make no mistake, adoption in any form is difficult and painful; I’ve never felt so much sorrow in all my life. Still, I would not change our situation; having chosen open adoption is the most powerful decision I have ever been a part of making.”
*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
I remember the moment I had found out I was pregnant, I was 18 years old and in my senior year of high school. My first thoughts after finding out, was it was either going to be adoption or an abortion. Not once did I think about keeping my daughter. I knew that I would not be able to provide for my child, nor could the father of our baby. For the first 12 weeks I was convinced I would have an abortion. Then one day as I sat in my therapist office, she helped me figure out what I truly wanted to do. I finally decided on adoption. Not a closed adoption though. It had to be very open. I wanted to remain in my daughters life. I wanted her to know me and her birth father. I wanted her to never have to question and wonder why we did not choose to parent her.
My decision I believe was the most loving and selfless decision I would ever make in my entire life. I had decided to give my daughter a family that is loving, stable, and can help her grow into a beautiful young women. Even knowing all of this, there is no doubt that this was also the hardest decision I would ever have to make. But I’m a strong person. I always reminded myself, “Samantha this is not about you, this is about your daughter”. This little human being that will enter the world shortly needs to have a loving, stable home. I could not provide that for her at that time in my life.
On October 13, 2010, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. I had chosen a family months prior, but slowly after spending time with them I realized they weren’t the right family for my daughter. The day before she was suppose to leave the hospital, I told them I had changed my mind about them being my baby’s parents. The nurses gossiped and thought I was going to keep her. That was never in my thoughts. I needed the RIGHT family for her. But the key to all of this is to stay strong minded. I still was reminding myself why it was that I was choosing adoption. We then put our baby girl in the arms of a family that takes care of children who have yet to find a family, known as cradle care providers. During that time with the help of my boyfriend and my mother, we came across the most amazing people. I found my perfect family. From that day on my Maisy had the most loving family. These people, who are the parents of my daughter, are the most incredible, selfless people in this world. They have provided love for my daughter and reassurance to me that she was in good hands. They are my family and always will be. To do this day I do not regret any decision I made. My daughter is happy, which makes me happy!
-Samantha.*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
Geri Glazer has been one of the best influences in my life in one of the most important ways. Placing a child for adoption has its history of painful outcomes. So many people would have you think it’s something that is dreaded and will make you and your child grieve for the rest of your lives. When I was seeing Geri as my birth parent counselor, she helped me to see things in a way that did not have to be painful. This has made all the difference to me in my life. It has made all the difference in the life of the child I bore and placed for adoption. Geri helped me to create an adoption plan that didn’t make me feel never ending pain. My entire adoption experience was and still is a source of extreme joy. My story is not one that I bear in secretive shame. It is one that I tell with pride. When I was in the early months of my pregnancy I struggled with my decision over what to do for the child that I would be giving birth to. So many other adoption professionals made me feel like I didn’t really have any rights as a birth parent if I would be placing my child for adoption.
I would have the right to choose the parents, but after that, I would potentially become a birthparent that would be feared; someone that couldn’t know where my child was or know how to make contact with the family directly. Where is the respect in that? Geri helped me to learn that having an untimely unplanned pregnancy wasn’t something that I should feel ashamed of. She helped me to believe that as a birthparent, I deserved to be someone that would be respected. I chose Geri as my birth counselor because she helped me to see the experience in ways that felt good for me. She helped me know that I did have moral and ethical rights as a birthmother and I was entitled to what happened in my child’s life. It made me feel free to love the child I was carrying instead of feeling like I wasn’t allowed to love that child, must not love that child, if I were to place him for adoption. This meant EVERYTHING to me. I wanted to love this child and care about him even though I wouldn’t be the his everyday parent. This concept has inspired me and helped me to understand that open adoptions are defined by my being free to love and showing respect to all of those involved. This message has been so important to me that I hold a special place in my life for endeavors to share this message to hundreds or thousands more people who also need to understand what adoption can be. If it weren’t for Geri helping me to feel good about my role as a woman and as a birthmother, the outcomes of my experience may have been one that left me in endless pain and grief.
Instead, she helped me to know that I could choose my baby’s parents parents based on things that I would like my child to have in his life. She helped me to find parents that fit my desires, parents that matched me, parents that I could build a relationship with. She actively sought out parent’s that fit the descriptions I provided to her. After gathering together profiles from parents seeking to adopt, I had several good parents to choose from. It was a very difficult decision. Regardless, with Geri’s support, in the end, I chose parents that made me feel very very excited for the life that my child would live with those parents. I felt very good knowing that my child would be cared for in ways that I would want and in ways better than I would be able to provide myself. I found parents that made me feel comfortable, who made me feel cared for and that I was also important to them, not just the child I was bearing for them. Geri helped me to know that I could collaborate with the parents on an adoption plan that we all felt good about. Even though the law wouldn’t make those parents keep me in the picture, Geri helped me to know how to build a relationship with the parents that would endure beyond the birth of the child and the legal transfer of parental rights.
It’s been ten years since I gave birth to a little boy, Indigo. Having created an open adoption plan with Geri’s support, I have had everything I imagined and more for myself and the life of the child I bore. Geri helped to advocate for the rights I had for time with Indigo in the hospital, while I was still legally his parent. I really needed Geri’s support at that time and she was there for me. I wanted the parent’s to be involved at the hospital, but I also wanted my time with Indigo that would be time just for me. This was a very important time for me since it was the final day I would have as Indigo’s mom, being responsible for the care of Indigo. I wanted to cherish those final hours being able to hold him in my arms and love and adore him, just me and him alone. After that I would pass him into the loving arms of the parents I choose for him and it would be up to them to allow me into their’s and Indigo’s life. I would no longer be his everyday mom.
However, because I was able to create an adoption plan and believe that I had a right to collaborate with Indigo’s parents; Indigo’s parents and I have had several years of continuous happy memories that we have shared in the life of Indigo. They have always shown me extreme gratitude and a high degree of respect being Indigo’s birth parent. If Geri hadn’t helped me to know that I deserved that, I may have never created a relationship with the parents in a way that I believed I deserved it. I will always and eternally be grateful to Geri for her wisdom, guidance and support. The world of adoption wouldn’t be as great as it is, adoption experiences for hundreds wouldn’t be as happy as they are, if it weren’t for Geri.
Feel free to contact me if you need to talk
(435)890-2741*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
The Miracle of Relationships
I wanted to take a minute and explain, with gratitude, the blessing Geri Glazer has been for me – throughout my adoption and after. Had it not been for her, not only would I have not gone through her agency, but I may not have made the choice of adoption at all. To give up a child is, without a doubt, the hardest thing any woman may have to decide and Geri made sure I was never alone throughout the process, She personally took on my situation and helped me through the entire process,beginning to end.
One of the reasons I was glad to have found Geri is her love and understanding of the birth mother and the birth mother’s role in the adoption process. Without the birth mother’s decision and her comfort in making that decision – there wouldn’t be an adoption. Geri took time to get to know me and what my situation involved. She knew I had been through an adoption before and was severely damaged emotionally from that “open” adoption situation and that I was not completely sure this was what I wanted for myself and my child. She provided counseling at any time I needed it. If she was not available, she made sure that somebody would be. I had nobody – not my family, nor the birth father, nor friends at this time. I was completely alone. I already had two older children and the father of this baby was in prison. I was very scared and unsure. Geri made sure I had mentors that had gone through similar situations available to me, as well as personally providing me with her attention to answer my countless questions and resolve my fears and worries.
Because of Geri and what she had already done for me, when I was ready to look at potential adoptive parents, I felt confident in the people she brought profiles for, those looking to adopt and the level of education they received. Because of the type of education that Geri made sure the adoptive parents receive, it provided a foundation for an amazing relationship between my son that I placed for adoption, the adoptive parents, my daughter, and myself. Because of the education they received and their love of Geri as well, our bond is as strong as any family bond you will find.
My decision to put my child up for adoption and the miracle of the relationships I have because of that choice is a direct result of Geri and her vision and mission she has for adoption. I never would have had such an incredible miracle happen, had it not been for her.
Geri was the person that held my hand, took me to the hospital, and saw me through the hardest situation any woman could face. And because of her, I’m inspired to continue to be of service to her and a mentor birth mother that may benefit from my experience. Geri is an inspiration, a gift, and friend.
[email protected] *Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
A Gift Within Itself
Open adoption is really a gift within itself. I’m so thankful to actually have the opportunity to not only see Maddie regularly, but to create a bond with her parents as well. Being the centerpiece of a closed adoption myself often left me helpless and angry. I never wanted that experience for my daughter because from experience, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Unlike a closed adoption, choosing to do an open adoption gives me the chance to create a long-term relationship with Maddie and her parents which is one of the best feelings in the world. As she’s getting older, it makes me ecstatic to realize that she knows her birth mother and birth father by face and name. Seeing her face light up whenever one of us walks in the room is a dream come true over and over again.
Giving up a child for adoption is one of the hardest things that anyone will ever have to do, but placing a child knowing that you have an open relationship with mutual respect and trust leaves nothing but closure. I’m constantly reassured that my little girl is alright and is being provided the life that I prayed she would have. To see her parents give her the same love and affection that I would if I were parenting her helps reassure me that we made the most loving decision for her. Of course it’s hard going through the adoption process, but we are all better off knowing that we still be a part of her happiness, versus not having any idea as to how life is going for her, a life filled with secrets and fears. I honestly couldn’t be happier with the situation that I’m in, and the choice to provide the gift of a child to a family who longed for the perfect little girl from birth parents who wanted the BEST in all ways for her.
-Anthony-*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
I am a birth father……………
I jumped on the opportunity to write this letter because I had no letter to read when I went through this four years ago. Adoption is nothing to be scared of, it’s not the 1950’s it’s 2013 and its totally different than back in the day. Open adoption is amazing and magical, and so much better than I ever imagined. A child never can have too many people who love them. How cool is that to have a ton of people who think you are the best thing since white bread, not a bad problem to have!
In 2009 my girlfriend Morgan and I, at the time, placed our daughter through Geri’s adoption agency.
At first I didn’t know if I should or could be involved in making the adoption choice. Being involved in the adoption process is as much our right and responsibility as a birth father as it is the birth mother’s. I personally received lots of negative flack and rude comments even from my own family. Placing a child is the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it has turned out to also be the greatest thing I have done, too.
Adoption doesn’t mean you’re throwing away your baby or that you don’t care, just the opposite. It just means that you deeply care for the child and you want him or her to have a great start in life one you just can’t give them right now. You can’t play Russian roulette with your kid, you need to put them first before any of your own wants or needs. Babies come with their own needs and they have to come first. Hard Reality, sometimes hard to accept but it is what it is…….it’s your responsibility to put that little person first over any macho idea of “ownership” of this kid.
Many people will view you as a dead beat dad but that’s just not the case. You will not be judged in any way shape or form in the eyes of the people that really matter, most especially the adoptive family. Trust me I know what I’m talking about.
You are making a courageous jump! This decision will likely be the most unselfish act that you have ever committed in your life. Hopefully you get it and you understand being unselfish is what it’s all about……that’s being a parent….that’s real love……
-Eddie*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
Say it Like it is…………………..
“My daughter means everything to me. I can’t imagine the pain of never knowing her or how painful it would be for her to never know her birth parents. I am so grateful for open adoption and how it has allowed us to have a lifelong relationship.”
-Scott*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
Birth Grand Parent’s
From a Birth Grandparent
During my growing-up years, I knew numerous adoptive families, and all were very different. One had Korean and Filipino children; one had many foster children, but kept one disabled child for life; one couple learned they were “expecting” just as their adopted baby arrived; and several other families’ situations were equally unique, and all interesting to me. So I loved the idea of adoption, and was thrilled to be informed, twenty-two years ago now, that we had been chosen to adopt a soon-to-appear baby girl. We met “our” birth mother twice before the birth, and were at the hospital at her request when the baby came. We visited her soon after the birth, and she visited us before we left the hospital on the second day.
Like most parents, I cherished the hope that Kayleigh would avoid all the pitfalls I myself had had to climb out of as a teenager and young adult. Instead she waded resolutely right on into them, spending her high-school years focused entirely on her boyfriend. It was heart wrenching to watch such a bright girl blow off her studies in an excellent school, resisting everyone’s efforts to convince her of the importance of preparing herself for a satisfying and productive professional and personal adult life. When she announced her pregnancy just after graduating from high school, it was with the assumption that she and Anthony would keep the baby and set up housekeeping together. (She was living with me and he was with his own parents at the time.) A group meeting with all parents present made it clear to Kayleigh and Anthony that they were not really prepared to do this, having virtually no income, no credit, and no savings. Kayleigh couldn’t imagine aborting a baby she dearly loved, so she and Anthony began the search for the right adoption agency.
That was when she met Geri Glazer, who patiently helped both Kayleigh and Anthony to deal with all the hopes, fears, ups, and downs of the experience. Anything to do with babies is fascinating to Kayleigh, and so she became interested in the whole picture of adoption-agency work as she moved through the process of poring over the profiles of hopeful adoptive parents and making the final selection. She and Anthony ultimately chose a family with a three-year-old “big brother,” who had also been adopted.
While the physical relinquishment of the baby to her new parents was difficult (unimaginably so to those of us who have never had to do it), Geri was right there to help Kayleigh remember that she was doing the best thing for the baby, and that the open-adoption arrangement she and Anthony had planned with the adoptive family would allow her to continue to see the baby. She pumped milk for six weeks, and the adoptive dad would bring Maddie along when he came on “milk runs.” Since then, all parties have planned outings and visits together, in various configurations. While Kayleigh and Anthony are no longer a couple, they remain in contact with each other and get together with Madeline and her family regularly.
And while all of this has been going on, the most remarkable transformation has been within Kayleigh herself. Soon after Madeline’s birth, Kayleigh began volunteering with the adoption agency. Geri would have her mentor girls who were considering adoption for their unplanned, untimely babies, and support them to make their own important decisions and then find the strength to carry them out. Kayleigh realized, somewhere along this journey that this would be the right profession for her, and so in the summer after Madeline was born, she began classes leading to a major in social work, with the intent of going all the way through a master’s degree and state licensing so as to qualify to perform all aspects of adoption work. She has become a serious student with a concrete goal. Geri’s encouragement has been invaluable through it all, and has contributed to a new level of maturity in Kayleigh that is heartwarming to see. I can’t wait for each new chapter to unfold!
Anyone considering open adoption should know that it can take many forms, from the minimal contact of my own experience, which was just right for me and my family, to the very-involved relationship Kayleigh enjoys with her birthdaughter’s family. Each set of participants arrives at the understanding of what will be best for them; open communication and trust with assistance from experienced professionals such as Geri, will allow all parties to feel at ease and get on with the roles they’ve elected to participate in.
While an untimely pregnancy seemed like a disaster at the outset, this whole experience has brought growth and joy, and great expectations for the future, which I could never have anticipated, and for that I am very grateful.
-Annie*Disclaimer – Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.
My Greatest Life Lesson
How do you appropriately say thank you to someone who cared for your daughter when you were unable? I don’t believe there are enough words to speak of that would describe what my heart has felt for 17 years. Geri Glazer took my daughter, Courtney, then 19 and a college student, into her arms and supported her as if she were her own. Courtney and I had many, many long distance (I lived 1200 miles away) discussions regarding her pregnancy, but honestly, I always ended up feeling so helpless. Worry and fear become as much a part of me as breathing. Until I had the opportunity to visit with and grasp Geri’s mission in adoption, I found my heart easing up on the heaviness I had felt. The support, guidance, counseling, honesty, integrity and passion I witnessed was such an eye opening experience. My fear and worry were replaced with hope and possibility, not only for my daughter and her baby, but for all the other birth moms and adopted families. The support and mentoring doesn’t stop after the baby is born, it continues with the same open arms into the future. Geri was available 24/7.
This journey was definitely an emotional rollercoaster. I was there for the birth of my granddaughter, as were her adoptive parents.. We all were in the room together and cried for each other and it felt as if were were one. That was confirmed when we heard her middle name would be Hart. We would always be connected. I wouldn’t change a thing about this experience as it gave me my greatest life lesson: love. What I know for sure is that families come in all shapes and sizes and that in itself is a blessing; my prayers were answered, my daughter and granddaughter were healthy and loved.
I believe God chose Geri as his angel on earth and gave her the passion and willpower to build this beautiful place called Adoption by Heart as only our CREATOR can do. She listened to that calling and has definitely earned her wings. What an honor it has been to be a part of her story.
*Disclaimer Photos and testimonials may be from both present and previous clients of employment of Geri Glazer and Jeanne Reisig.