Daring to be open
“Of course the adoption should be closed. I’m going to be the mother, the one who cares for the child and works hard to meet all their needs. I’ve waited a long time for this. I’m not sharing that title, or this child, with anyone else.”
If my thought process sounds harsh and judgmental, you’re right. At the time of those thoughts, I was still struggling with the emotional roller coaster that comes with years of infertility.
It wasn’t until I heard a young adopted teen speak about her open adoption experience that I really started changing the way I was thinking and feeling.
The teen shared how she would always consider her adoptive parents to be her “mom and dad” but was thankful she knew her biological family and history. As I listened, I realized my thoughts needed to stop revolving around me and my desires but rather about what would be best for our child.
My husband and I were excited when we eventually learned a 19-year-old expectant mother had chosen us for her child. As we got to know her, my walls of bitterness, selfishness, control, and jealousy crumbled. I saw how this young woman was determined to find a way for her child to have the best life possible, regardless of the pain and sacrifice it would mean for herself.
After hours of labor, with tears in her eyes, she lovingly placed Emma in my arms and hugged me. Emma knows her birth mother and has never questioned our open relationship or found it weird—it’s all she’s ever known.
Every adoption journey requires love and sacrifice from everyone involved. Our journey hasn’t been perfect, because we aren’t perfect people. We’ve had hard, vulnerable conversations to set boundaries and clarify expectations, but we’ve stuck together and made sacrifices because we know it’s worth it.
When an expectant parent decides to pursue adoption, we work to honor both the expectant parent and the potential adoptive parents’ goals, building a relationship centered on the child’s best interest. Ready to take the next step?