After losing Noelle last year I printed this out and framed it. It is in our “happy” room. I need to remember it now more than ever.
The biggest thing we are trying to understand right now is why God has “allowed” these things to happen to us. I think, though, that we know that we have been trying to break through a door now for several years. A door that He does not want us to go through. He clearly has another door we are to open and enter. Whether that actually includes adoption or surrogacy or neither is yet to be seen.
We have an entirely new reality facing us. A scary journey. Our social worker says our fear will improve with time the more we learn. We are trying to be sponges and soak up all of the information we can between books, DVDs, online groups and online education. We are required to complete ten hours of education. We were given several websites and a list a mile long of books we can choose from. Having the personality that I have when I go to these websites that offer online courses, my instinct is to purchase and watch every single one. How can we ever know enough?
The biggest thing I am still struggling with is the openness with adoption. Closed adoptions are no more, which is a good thing. A birth mama choosing to place her baby for adoption is huge. It means she is making a mature, intelligent decision-knowing that there is better things out there for her baby. But, oh my goodness the grief that must accompany this decision that she makes. She deserves to know about the family she is choosing to parent her baby. And, I do believe she deserves to have periodic updates….via email or text for example. The first law firm that we met with had a wonderful basic requirement and the contact could be even more if decided upon between the parents and birth mama. They required that you sign a contract promising that you would send a weekly update until the baby is 8 weeks old, then monthly until their first birthday and then twice yearly until age 18. We are completely good with this. This works for us. This woman, this woman that is giving us the best gift of our lives deserves at least that much contact.
What frightens me (again, I am sure mostly due to ignorance) is when I read these stories time and time again in these groups I belong to about these parents who invite the birth mama and sometimes even her family to the child’s birthday parties or over for the holidays. Or, say the birth mama has other children, some parents will arrange for visits with these children. One of the education videos we watched actually discussed a scenario where the birth mama gets married and wants her birth child to be in her wedding. We were all, Wah???? One thing that has been made clear to us is that it is all according to what is most comfortable for both us and our birth mama. But, I feel like I am a selfish jerk. I read these posts from these wonderful women praising their relationship with their birth mama’s and I cringe because I don’t know if I can be as good of a person as they are.
We have also learned enough that open adoption is beneficial for the baby. Every person has a right to know where he/she came from. Every person. Research has shown that talking about adoption casually with your child from toddler-hood on up will help decrease the chances of your child from having identity issues as an adolescent or adult. Plus, there is the obvious…knowing the medical and family history is huge.
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