11.21.2008

Open adoption

This past week I've had several people inquire about our open adoption. I don't mind talking about it because I'm passionate about adoption. There are definitely details that are private and personal to our family (how "open" is our adoption, details about the birthparents, etc). If anything is specifically asked about those issues I tend to give more of a surfacey answer. Truth be told it is hard for people not in our boat to understand our relationship with the birthparents. The comments started from day 1 when people heard that the birthparents actually brought Declan to our home after they signed relinquishments instead of us picking him up from the agency. To us, this was such a special and memorable moment and it was surprising to me when we heard comments like "THEY came and brought him...that's crazy (or weird) or wasn't it uncomfortable?" That day was amazing and, though it was heartbreaking to know it was the hardest day of their life, it was amazing to see their strength and their certainty of their decision- in person.

I know by now that our situation is not completely normal. We had an "identified" match (a mutual friend gave our number to Declan's birthmom and she contacted us). But the best part of our match were the months we were able to build a friendship with the birthparents as a foundation for our future. We truly see them as part of our extended family and we hope, especially for Decs, that it stays that way.

Please know it's not all roses in open adoption. It takes a great deal of effort (emotional, etc) and consideration on both sides. We are forever grateful to Declan's birthparents and are thrilled that he'll have 2 more people to love on him as he grows. We hope he'll be a bright, open minded, educated child (regarding adoption and other things). We pray he feels special and adored no matter the fact that he didn't grow inside of me. We've vowed to not hide or sugarcoat how he joined our family but instead to celebrate it.

Now to all those that say "I just could never do an open adoption," I want to say that you're right, you might not be able to. BUT...I did have some of the same thoughts and judgments before reading a handful of great books (Spirit of Open Adoption is one that comes right to my sleepy mind). After meeting Declan's birthparents there was no question that we CAN do this. Let me be the first to say I'm no expert on this topic. My son is 13 weeks old and I'm sure we have a lot of learning and experiencing to do. But through many conversations I've realized open adoption might not be for everyone, but it is our life...and we're blessed.

11 comments:

Tracey said...

Great post! I totally agree! Once you experience it it's the only way to go! Good for you! God Bless!

What an amazing picture...you should frame that one!!

NeNe said...

Thank you for posting this! My heart needed to hear that today. God is speaking to me about adoption through so many different people...it is amazing!

BTW- Declan is beautiful. That picture of him smiling with you is wonderful :)

Melba said...

I love this post. Your love for your son really shines through your words and it's very sweet. I agree with you that this road isn't for everyone, but that everyone should at least consider the pros and cons. When we first started using the word "adoption" regularly, the thought of open adoption terrified me. Since then I have learned so much and come so far...I hope my birth family experiences are as positive as yours someday. :)

Melba

Diana said...

It sounds like you have had a beautiful experience. I think the birthparents bringing Declan to your house must have been amazing. They sound like the most selfless people on the planet and Declan was fortunate to be born by them.

Karen said...

Very well put, I agree that nobody can quite feel comfortable with open adoption until they've been a part of one. It's building that relationship that takes away the weirdness. It sounds like you had a kind of ad hoc relinquishment ceremony at your house that day, which must have been powerful. We wished we could have had one, but Evie's baptism felt like a similar thing for us.

jesshustad said...

I just love you.

Kristin said...

That is a GREAT picture!

ash said...

ash that's awesome. I'm glad you're reopened for business. I've got customers waiting. ;). Our journeys are so different and our adoption story with such different beginnings it's good to see that God has a unique plan for all of us and it's ok to do things differently. Dec sure is cute. He's such a muffin!

Vacant Uterus said...

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog! It's great to "meet" another open adoption mom. You're right, it's not all roses but it's well worth the journey. I'm so thankful there are others out there demystifying the process. Your son is beautiful!

PS~I used to live in NE too! Still kind of miss it some days. :-)

Christine said...

I'm going to post on open adoption later in the week. We have been involved in open adoptions for five years. Just located the birth family, recently, of our two Haitian children!

Even with kinks in relationships, it just gets easier as the years pass. I love how big our family has become.

Rebekah said...

...And he's just about the cutest little boy I've ever seen! Ben and I are "open" to being open! This journey is too crazy for absolutes. I think every situation is unique and depends on the parties involved. Because we don't know the most important part of the "party" yet, we have to wait and be as open-minded as possible. I'm proud of you guys, and what a beautiful blessing of a son you were gifted!