At Lifeline, our heart is to walk with you and meet you where you are. Whether you are 1 month pregnant, or you have already had your baby, we want you to know that our counselors are here for you! You may be nervous, excited, or scared for the first meeting, but know that it is our joy and privilege to sit with you and hear your story! You can come in with a million questions, or you can just listen while your counselor shares with you about your options. There will be no pressure to make any big decisions at the first meeting because we just want to get to know you and for you to get to know your counselor.
Here are a few things you can expect during your first meeting.
First…. What is a Pregnancy Counselor?
A pregnancy counselor is simply a woman who chooses to spend her days helping expectant moms of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences think through and choose the option that is best for them and their baby. Your pregnancy counselor will be someone who is local in your area and can easily meet with you on a regular basis as you discuss your pregnancy options. They desire to walk this road with you by equipping you with truthful information and empowering you as you decide what is best in your journey.
Where will we meet and how long will it last?
We understand that meeting in an office is not always the most comfortable or the most convenient meeting location. With that in mind, your pregnancy counselor will gladly meet with you in a public location that meets your comfort level. Some common locations where past meetings have taken place are fast food restaurants, coffee shops, the local library, or a pregnancy resource center. Feel free to let your counselor know what type of setting you are most comfortable in! The first meeting will usually last about an hour and is a great opportunity for you and your counselor to get to know one another. Your pregnancy counselor will give you adequate time and a safe space for you to share your story
What will we talk about?
The purpose of the first meeting is for you and your Lifeline worker to get to know each other. We want you to walk away feeling confident in your support person and that all of your questions about the adoption process were answered. Your worker will get to know you through some helpful questions so that we can know how we can best serve you. Some of these questions will be about your living situation, your employment, what has brought you to consider adoption, and if there are any other needs in your life that you have related to your pregnancy. Your worker will not pressure you to talk about anything that is outside of your comfort level. Feel free to be honest with your worker about what you do and do not want to talk about. We encourage you to make this a two-way interview! We are here to answer any of your questions, no matter how big or small!
What Questions Should I Ask my Counselor?
We want you to feel confident in working with Lifeline! Whether you are talking to multiple agencies, or you are just desiring to understand the process with Lifeline, here are some common questions that women ask at a first meeting:
- What support will I receive during my pregnancy?
- What does the matching process look like?
- Have the adoptive parents received training?
- What happens if I change my mind at some point during the process?
- If I need and/or desire grief support before or after the adoption what will this look like?
Will I fill out paperwork?
Your worker will talk through some intake paperwork that helps you understand the adoption process. This paperwork is very minimal usually including a confidentiality form assuring you of our commitment to your privacy and an agency agreement detailing our commitment to serving you. You will receive copies of any paperwork you complete so that you can review on your own time after the meeting. The paperwork you complete does not commit you to make an adoption plan, or even to working with Lifeline. You are in the drivers seat, so we can fill out as much paperwork or as little as you are comfortable with. It is absolutely fine if you want to simply share your heart with your counselor and complete paperwork at a later meeting. Whether you are anxious to get started with the process of adoption or want to take things slowly, let your worker know and we will make sure to go at a pace that makes you comfortable.
Whatever your thoughts and feelings about your pregnancy may be, remember that you are loved, and you are not alone!