Monday, February 13, 2012

An Open Adoption

There is quite the misconception about birthmother’s out there.  While I understand that there are lots of women who are drug dependent/unstable/teenagers etc that might choose adoption for their child, that is not our story.  Brittany is the opposite of the stereotype.  She is young, but not a teenager.  She is enrolled in college and gets good grades.  She is a mom to her sweet little boy who is almost 2.  She has made some mistakes but she is a responsible adult trying to make the most of her circumstances.  Would Ben have been able to function with her caring for him, absolutely.  Did she want something more for him, absolutely. 

I was terrified that we were going to be matched with a mother who wanted no contact after birth.  That was my greatest fear.  There is a quiet hope for me in open adoption.  A hope that Brittany’s heart can feel fuller, knowing how to reach us and check in with Ben.  There is a hope that Ben won’t have as many issues being adopted because he knows where he came from. 

 Many people ask us what our adoption looks like and to be honest, it’s a work in progress.  We are just starting out on this journey and we’re trying to navigate the waters.  What I do know, as long as Brittany continues to be a positive person in Ben’s life, she has a place with us.  We send updates via email back and forth a couple times per month.  We have agreed to visits 3-4 times a year or as we feel comfortable.  Do I hope this relationship will grow outside of those parameters, yes, because I see the benefit for Ben.  I think a misconception is that Brittany will try to “mother” my child and it isn’t the case.  She is elated to see his progress and see how he’s doing but she in no way intrudes on our parenting experience.  And I love her for that. 

There is also the tight rope that we’re walking….after all…adoption isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  I’m acutely aware that whether Brittany shows the after-effects of the adoption to us, that they are there.  It’s a fine line between wanting to share our happiness and recognizing the amazing sacrifice she made.  Since Brittany didn’t know she was pregnant, I’m not sure how much she “bonded” with Ben but I cannot discount that her adoption plan didn’t cause pain, on some level.  I also have issues that I’m trying to work through…issues surrounding Ben’s birth as well as the pressure I feel from being an adoptive mother.  It’s always a work-in-progress.

I love open adoption and I think it’s healthy for everyone involved, including Wesley and I.  The more we get to know Brittany, the better we understand her circumstances and the better we can educate Ben when questions arise.  I’m hoping for a deep, meaningful relationship with her and only time will tell what that will look like but for now, we continue to navigate through the waters in hope of creating something very special.

1 comment:

All in His Perfect Timing said...

Thanks for sharing this honest incredible post! You've put alot of my thoughts into words and still provide reassurance for my fears ... everything will be OK. I like you sharing about this topic!