Adoption Consulting

Adoption Stories

Adoption Stories
Adoption Stories


Contact Me

Open Adoption Series: Part 2

When I read this post on Jen's blog, I knew I wanted it to be a part of this series.  I am so grateful that Jen agreed to allow me to share her story!

As we drove to our first meeting with K (Eliana's Birth Mom), 
I picked my fingernails, and my knee seemed to have a mind of its own. 
I couldn't stop it from bouncing. 
All I had the courage to pray was "Oh Jesus. Help us."

We waited outside of her house after our long drive...
Waited to meet the woman who might be growing the baby we might raise in her belly. 
It felt like a reality t.v. show;
Who does this?
Who shows up at a person's house, knowing that your lives might be forever changed by that meeting. 
It felt so surreal, yet so right. 

Eventually, K comes walking up, and we get out of the car to meet her. 
At this point, I am just in survival mode.
I had to tell my brain...Brain walk to her...Brain hug her. 
All of us were stumbling over our words. 
None of us had done this before, and we were all just trying to figure it out. 

I am pretty sure she felt equally as nervous. 
We all felt like our worlds were colliding and would never be the same. 
We spent the next day getting to know each other. 
I found it difficult to not stare at her...
She was so beautiful; her son was strikingly handsome
and her perfect belly on her petite stature. 
Dare I dream that the baby hiding in there would call me mommy one day. 

This was just the beginning of what we were to call an open adoption. 
From everything that I have seen, we have one of the more ideal and open adoptions. 

Open adoption wasn't always our heart....
We didn't know better.
We had no idea the implications of an open/closed adoption. 
The more we educated ourselves, however,
the more convinced we were that we wanted to be as open as possible. 

There was a period of time in U.S. history where open adoptions were unheard of...
closed adoption was the way to go.
In fact, you probably have heard many of your adoption experiences birthed out of this closed adoption movement during the 1950s-1970s.
There was a big push for secrecy. 
Birth mothers were sent away to home to have their babies and return back to normal life after baby was born, left to wonder if they ever really made the right decision.
They felt it was ideal for birth parent and adoptive family. 
Birth parent could move on from the adoption, pretending nothing ever happened, 
and adoptive parent could move on with their lives with baby in tow pretending as if their baby was their own biological child. 

The reality is that this movement left a mess in its wake. 
It is impossible for a birth parent to forget the baby that grew in them for nine months and they birthed, 
and it is impossible for adoptive parents to ever feel 100% secure in their role as parent with the secrecy of the adoption looming in the air. 
The whole scenario is clouded in secrecy. 

The more I've walked this journey out, the more I've come to understand the value of truthfulness.
In the same sense, I would be lying to say that openness and truthfulness is easy. 
It's NOT! 
Sometimes I would like to pretend that Eliana grew in my belly and that our family grew the same way most other "normal" families do. 
Because it would be easier in the short term, 
but we are investing in an open adoption for the long term. 
We have found great value in the truth and having a safe environment to say what we are feeling. 
In our home, there is nothing hidden. 
Eliana will always know she is adopted. 
Eliana will always know she is loved by two mommies,
and all of this will be talked about in an open manner. 
No secrets. 
"Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

Sometimes open adoption is awkward. 
It's awkward to visit K's home town. 
It's awkward to talk about the tears that show up unannounced at different times. 
It's awkward to have to tell K that Eliana has asked about her birth dad. 
A lot of it is uncomfortable, 
and it demands security. 
As Eliana's mother, I must be 100% secure in my role of mother. 
K does not threaten that role at all. 
Do I have moments where I feel threatened or tempted to compare? 

I remember this last trip we had a moment where Eliana was acting like her normal two year old self 
and hauled out and smacked Brian. 
I looked over at K, unsure of how she'd receive this behavior?!
Would she think I'm a horrible mom that Eliana would smack her dad and throw and epic fit?
Ha. No! 
She breathed a huge sigh of relief. 
"Oh Phew. I'm not the only one" was her response.
I stopped holding my breath and breathed a huge sigh of relief. 
Oh good, she still thinks I'm a good mom. 

We hit a crux, and we chose not to ignore the awkward moment. 
Instead we said something.
We have a safe place to talk openly. 

I have found that the greatest challenges in having an open adoption stem from my own insecurities.
My insecurities are all fear based and not rooted in God's truth.
Am I inadequate?
Am I good enough?
Is she still happy she decided for us to parent?!
Am I botching up her hair? ha.
As I look at these insecurities, a response is demanded, 
and I simply must bring them to the cross. 
A place where "his grace is enough for me. His power is made complete in my weakness." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9). 
Lord knows that we all struggle with insecurity at different measures...
some more than others. 
I know that if I live my life always insecure of my unique role as a mom; 
I will never be able to lead my kids in their uniqueness as they learn and grow. 
Comparison and insecurity rob us of our peace and joy to live out who we are as an individual. 

I'm so thankful that there is nothing hidden in our adoption...
On that note, I understand that not all adoptions are open, 
and I totally respect and honor each birth parent's decision to keep it open to whatever degree they feel comfortable.
Open adoption can have many levels of openness: sharing the adoption story with our children, pictures or letters to birth parents, phone calls, or even visits. 
Again, it's uncomfortable and awkward to watch someone else raise the baby that grew inside of you for 9 months! 
The value comes back either way to truthfulness. 
I have no idea how our next adoption will unfold. 
I have no idea what level of openness our next birth family will be open to. 
No matter what... 
Truthfulness will be our highest value. 
Questions will be met with answers, 
and my children will know always how loved they are by two mommas. 

I am reminded of the symbolic act of tearing the temple curtain.

You see the moment Jesus poured out his life and died on my behalf.
It was...
"At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51).
The temple curtain (the veil) was symbolic of the spiritual and relational barrier between us and our Heavenly Father.
The tearing of the curtain was symbolic of a new and restored relationship with our Father.  
It was on the cross of Calvary that adoption and truth and openness were purchased for us. 
Because of the cross of Jesus Christ,
all of us have inherited the right to become sons and daughters of the living God. 
All of us have access to have a living and active and open relationship with our creator. 

So when people ask: 
"What's it like to have an open adoption?"
My response will always be; it's hard, but it's so so good. 
It's such a blessing to have the opportunity to be a living representation of the gospel.
One life poured on behalf of another.
All so relationship might happen. 

It's worth it to be completely open and honest 
because it is
Truth that brings freedom. 

 These photos are from our first visit back to K's hometown after Eliana was born.
I love that the first picture has a rainbow across it.
God's promises fulfilled.
We are so blessed.

See part 1 of the open adoption series Here

No comments

Back to Top