Monday, October 8, 2012

Myth: Open Adoption Is For The Birth Family

Myth-Busting Monday

One of the biggest reasons I decided to start blogging again is because I want to normalize the adoption experience for my family and especially my children.  I am frequently asked many questions regarding adoption, which I welcome.  Much of the time these questions originate in misconception or myth, this is my effort to remedy (at least a little) these misunderstandings.  I have found that many times all that is needed is education.  While I do not consider myself an expert, I choose to write from my own experience backed by research when available.

MYTH: Open Adoption Solely Benefits The Birth Families

TRUTH: Open Adoption Benefits All Involved

I know that the birth families of our boys love getting to see and know the precious boys they placed with us, open adoption definitely benefits them but it is so much more and benefits all of us.

For Me:
I love our open adoptions.  I love knowing and getting to show my love for the people my children come from.  I look forward to and am often giddy over any chance I have to spend time with them, text them, Facebook chat, or visit over the phone.  Basically, they are some of my favorite people on this Earth.

Some would say, “Well of course you love them, they made you a mother.”  Absolutely, this is true but for so many more reasons I love them.  I love that my children look like them.  I love that when I look at Zad or Ike I not only think, “Man that boy is cute!” but I also see their birth parents.  I love that when Zad eats something hot he shakes all over like he has the shivers and that just last week I watched Norma (his birth mother) do the exact same thing!  In that moment I watched Norma my heart was so happy and I giggled to see a trait I am so familiar with.  I love that when I recently saw pics of Ike’s birth father as a child he was standing in a way that exactly resembles Ike now.  I love that when I sing to Ike he calms and wants to snuggle, it reminds me of hearing Hannah sing to him when he was in her belly and how she could feel him relax within her.  I love that connection!

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my boy’s birth parents.  I don’t think this would be different had we never met or only met long enough to confirm their decision in Steve and I.  I would wonder about them whether I knew them and saw them or not.  What a great comfort is to know where they are, what they are doing.  I joy in their success and pray for them in their weakness. 

Knowing Zad and Ike’s birth parents allows me to be a better mother.  I know how to answer their questions about where they come from, who they come from; I love that the answer is to tell them they come from the bravest, most unselfish people I know.  I get to tell them I watched their birth parents hold them and love them as babies as any proud parents do.  I get to tell them how they touched their hair and whispered sweet tender words to them before they placed them in our arms to be their parents.  I know that their love for them was and is some of the most pure and real love.  I love that they trust me enough to teach them of their love and I do.  

For Steve: (in his words)
I’m happy for the benefits it provides our children. I am glad for the option to ask about medical history. I know that they were loved, that it was a thought out, prayed about and pondered process not just abandoned.  I know that even today they still care for their well-being and think that we are the best place for them to be.  It’s a badge of honor.  It helps me keep in remembrance how special adoption is, what a miracle it is.

For Our Children:
Open adoption allows our children to have answers, to be loved in person by their birth parents, to have a connection to their biological culture and race in a way we will never be able to give them, to have answers about health histories and traits, and to reconfirm their prayed over and planned out placement within our family.

It allows them to know more of who they are, there is no mystery there.  Hopefully there will be no fear or false hope when approaching their birth parents in the future because the relationship with them will already be solid and in place.

We believe in being honest with our children about all that is them.  We want them to discover who they are and we support any influence that improves their self worth and place in the world and the wonderful men we know they will become.

When people ask I often say, "Open adoption doesn't have to be weird unless you make it that way.  Yes, boundaries have to be respected and honesty is important when setting those boundaries but open adoption can be a wonderful addition to any family.  I can't imagine mine without it."

For some common concerns and facts regarding open adoption you can click here, here and here.


1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your story and helping to dispel some myths about openness in adoption.