A friendly resource for women who want to lead better lives

Becoming an Instant Mom

There are a lot of different kinds of adoption, but the situations under which I adopted my children are very special to me. Both times, I became an “instant mom”.

When both of our kids were born, my husband and I were hoping to adopt but we were not matched. This means that we did not know our boys’ birth moms beforehand, nor did we have any warning that a baby would be coming into our lives.

We just got a call that there was a baby for us – one was on his way and would be born 12 hours later, the other had already been born. We just went to the hospital and became “instant parents”.

Many people would freak out if this happened. I didn’t have one thing prepared – no crib, no diapers, no nursery at all. I didn’t have maternity leave scheduled at work and I didn’t have meals stored in the freezer. I didn’t go through pre-natal care with the birth mom, and I didn’t take a parenting class or mentally prepare for the change this would bring to my life.

If having a child is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, this might add to it.

However, I wouldn’t have done it ANY other way.

The chance of an adoption match falling through is really high – I have experienced it – and it is terribly painful. I don’t actually know what it’s like to have a successful adoption with an early match – maybe it’s great – but I felt completely out of my element the whole time we were matched.

Our first two months of parenthood were very chaotic. Setting up a nursery, the legal process, and adjusting to a new life were all just tossed in our laps one day. But, I got to do it while being a mom to and holding the sweetest babies.


I would absolutely recommend this avenue of adoption if it is an option to you. It seems stressful, but it is so worth it! And, for me, it was way less stressful than being matched ahead of time.

If you are considering this possibility, it might help to have a few ducks in a row:

  • An adoption attorney who will need to bring legal papers to the hospital
  • An infant car seat
  • Someone to help with your household while you’re gone – pets, kids, plants, etc. will need to be tended to on very short notice
  • Someone who can run grab a few things for you like diapers, formula, and baby clothes
  • Friends with hand-me-downs or baby things you can barrow – you don’t need much the first month, but I found the 5 B’s to be very helpful: bassinet, baby carrier, bottles, bouncy chair, and bath seat

Honestly, though, anyone who knows you want to adopt will be more than happy to help you with these tasks – with or without advance warning. Or, you can call me. I will definitely do it for you! I had lots of people pitch in to help me and I welcome the opportunity to pay it forward!

What do you think… could you become an instant mom? Would it be more fun or less fun this way?


3 Responses to “Becoming an Instant Mom”

  1. Jenna Bell

    I meant to reply to this a few days ago however, being a new mom myself it got pushed aside. My hubby and I just adopted a sweet boy, Will. We had our daughter in 2011 with the supervision of a perinatologist and my cardiologist. I have a heart condition, cardiomyopathy, I was diagnosed with in 2008. After my pregnancy my dr highly recommended that I not have anymore biological children so we decided to adopt.

    We were not instant parents. We matched in March and our son was born May 29th. We used an agency which provided us with an all inclusive (expensive) package. Being matched a head of time has its advantages and disadvantages. It was really hard waiting to see if she would change her mind. It was great to be able to get ready and prepare our 2 1/2 year old for the upcoming change.

    I’d be happy to pass on my experience to anyone thinking of adoption too!

  2. Lindsay

    I actually think this is a great way to adopt! I would be so stressed throughout a birth mom’s pregnancy, worrying about how she’s caring for herself, whether or not she’ll change her mind, etc….This “being thrown into it” reduces that kind of stress. Sure, at the last minute you’ve gotta scramble to prepare for a baby, but it’s the BEST reason in the world to scramble, I would imagine!

    • marylemonwater

      That’s totally how I feel about it, Lindsay! It seems kind of ideal to me. I feel pretty lucky to have had this experience twice.


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