When you set out on the process to adopt, I think the term “Open Adoption” is kind of scary for most couples. Your first thoughts are that the big bad birth parents are going to come after you and disrupt your family unity. When your child is older, they will decide that they like their birth parents better and run off into the sunset with them. I have to say after our P.R.I.D.E. training course (see our post – Step by Step Guide to domestic adoption in Ontario) and going through a domestic open adoption, my opinion has definitely changed. You have to remember that they are choosing you to be the parents of their child. They are creating this family unit for their child by placing them with you. The last thing they want is to ruin that. The goal of open adoption is help the child understand their story from the start, they will grow up knowing that they can come to you with questions or talk about their feelings of being adopted.
Today I was talking to our adoption agency on the phone, and the director was telling me how our birth parents are feeling about our open relationship. She told me that they feel that “their little girl” is in a wonderful home with a great family. All I heard in that comment was “their”, but not for the reason that you would think. I know legally she is mine, the adoption is final. I am not threatened by them. She will always be ours and theirs, in different ways. Sure, it would be nice to say she is ours and only ours, but the truth is she is only ours because of them! We only have her because of the selfless and brave decision they made! I get to tuck her in every night and see her smiling face every morning because of THEM! So when I hear someone say “their daughter” or if I hear them call themselves mommy or daddy, I take it as a friendly reminder of how incredibly blessed I am to call her mine.
The director then mentioned that we have had her for a year now, and how has it been? she says, hhmmm how has it been? I got choked up and I could barely finish the conversation. It’s been the most joy i’ve ever experienced, the most full of love my heart has ever been. I have never wanted to care for and protect anything more in my life. I’ve never felt prouder. I feel closer to my heavenly father now that I know how much I love my child, I know he loves me that much and more. It breaks my heart that the birth parents miss out on all of this, and I get to have it. It’s been the best year of our lives and the hardest year of theirs. Why do I get to have it? She is someone else’s flesh and blood! She has their eyes, their nose, their lips. How did we end up in a place in life where we get to be on the receiving end of that gift? In a perfect world we would all have our own babies and keep our own babies, but we don’t. We live in a very broken world, where we all have to make really tough decisions sometimes. And these two people put themselves aside and loved their unborn daughter so much that they decided to give her what they knew they couldn’t. I heard someone say once about open adoption,
“they loved her so much that they broke their own hearts for my daughter, how could I not want someone like that in her life”?
Sometimes people compare adoption to adoption in the gospel and how God adopted us as his children.
he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–Ephesians 1:5
and Yes adoption is taking in a child who is not your blood and raising them as your own, Like Christ did for us, but I don’t feel comfortable putting myself in the position of God in that scenario. I feel that adoption is yet again, us on the receiving end of his amazing grace pouring down on us. We couldn’t have biological children, but yet by no power of our own we ARE parents. We were weak and he was strong.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.–2 Corinthians 12:9
Yes, we were nervous about open adoption, “won’t a child ever just be ours?” we said.
But I will tell you now, that it is overwhelming, and almost unfathomable that someone else entrusted us with their child. They did something most of us could never do.
Happy National Birth Parent Day!
We love you!