Open adoption has many faces: joy, excitement, peace, acceptance, relief, anticipation, reliance, friendship, gratitude, and hope. Following are some people-faces to give vision to the emotional faces of open adoption. The common glint visible in the words and the eyes of these beautiful people is this: The one true face of open adoption is love.

Hannah

“Having an open adoption is a benefit to everyone involved. It’s an ever-evolving entity—it’s emotional and exciting. It’s worth every ounce of effort—through it all, there are more people to love this little child, and that’s what’s most important—love.” – Hannah, Adoptive Mom

 

Jenni

“Though my son’s birth mother is half a world away, I love that we can keep in touch via Facebook. When he was 13, he and I traveled back to the island where my son was born. He was able to get acquainted with his birth mother and other family members.” – Jennilyn, Adoptive Mom

 

Jessica

“Open adoption is about LOVE and that’s what makes this relationship of openness possible. Because of this love I have had the opportunity to watch this amazing little boy grow, learn, and love. It is one of the greatest blessings of my life, and to me it’s what makes open adoption so wonderful. I feel blessed to be his birth mother. It is a title I wear with honor.” – Jessica, Birth Mom

 

Jocie

“I think the one thing I love the most is that through the whole process I never felt as if I was just losing a child—there was only the beautiful feeling that I was gaining a family. I love being a part of his life and seeing how much they love and cherish him every day of their lives. He is twice loved. :) ” – Jocie, Birth Mom

 

Jordan

“I love open adoption because it lets me be in Grayson’s life and watch his family continue to grow as well as mine. Open adoption, to me, means that you’re not just placing your child, but that you’re also placing yourself in a bigger family. I still get to see Grayson and I interact with his family often—they even came down for my graduation. I love open adoption because I get to see how he is doing and he gets to see how I’m doing; we’re both becoming who we are because of adoption. Because he has two parents that love him, he isn’t struggling for what I can’t give him. I found two amazing parents to take care of him for the rest of his life and I am able to do everything a girl should be able to do: go to college, travel, be involved in different clubs and activities, and achieve different goals to the best of my ability—all things that I know Grayson will be able to do one day because he is being raised by the best parents a boy could ever hope to have. Open adoption has changed my life drastically for the better and I love every second of it.” – Jordan, Birth Mom

 

Katy

“They will never have to question my love, but when they do, I’ll be right there to tell them that it spans to infinity and beyond. And when I’m not able to be there, she’ll tell them for me.” – Katy, Birth Mom

 

Kenna

“Open adoption was never not an option for us. How could we bring this little child into our arms without bringing the one who loved him first into our arms as well? She is every bit a part of our family as our son, and we are thankful that open adoption works for us.” – Kenna, Adoptive Mom

 

Melissa

“Open adoption in our family has been a journey for all of us, and we’ve worked together to keep our relationship focused on what’s best for our kids. My son has a beautiful relationship with his birth mom, and my daughter has a birth mom and birth dad, plus numerous extended family members who all play an active role in her life. Both families have welcomed our other child into their families as well, so we’ve seen love dispel all views of what a ‘normal’ family looks like. When we finalized our daughter’s adoption, her birth mom and birth dad accompanied us to the court house and asked that a photo be taken so their daughter could see that they fully supported the union of our family. I can’t even imagine the strength that took, but our kids’ birth parents continue to amaze me with their strength and their desire to put our kids first. Open adoption has been all about communication, and we’ve learned to work together through the years to create something so amazing. All adoptions include some level of pain, but it’s incredible to see how we can all love and support each other through it.” – Melissa, Adoptive Mom

 

Rita

“I love open adoption because I can watch my child grow up. I can also establish a relationship with him. He will always know he is loved as well. I am very fortunate to have opportunities to see him often because of the closeness of my situation.” – Rita, Birth Mom

 

Sheyann 2

“This past weekend, we got to spend time with my daughter’s birth mother at her apartment. She welcomed us into her home—all of us, not just our daughter. My son and our daughter played with her puppy, ate ice pops, read stories as we watched the kids play, and caught up on life events. As I sat in her home, as we watched the kids play, I looked around her apartment. Everywhere I looked, there were photos of us. I noticed gifts that we’d sent her on her birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Birth Mother’s Day. She laughed as our daughter, Olivia, crossed her legs in a very unique way . . . apparently the same way her birth mama does. Moments later, my son was enthralled with her yarn work flag; she gave it to him. He slept with it that night. We don’t have contact with his birth family, at his birth mother’s request, and while Olivia’s birth family in no way replaces his own, their love has helped heal his heart a bit. As I sat in her home, I realized, once again, that we ARE family. There were pictures of us all on the walls, just as we have pictures of her and gifts from her in our home. We have shared memories together, we are eager to see each other, and we miss each other when we don’t see each other for a month or so. I worry about her like I do my other loved ones. Open adoption creates families . . . if all sides allow those relationships to grow. As adoptive parents, our focus in open adoption is not, and should not, be about regulating visits with birth families. And only in very, very rare and extreme circumstances should contact be terminated. Our focus should be about maintaining healthy relationships whenever possible and creating opportunities for theĀ relationships between the adoptee, birth parents/family, and adoptive family to flourish. Open adoption and loving my children’s birth families brings me joy and peace. They are MY family.” – Sheyann, Adoptive Mom

 

Stefanie

“I did my very best to give my daughter the very best life possible. Seeing her happy and healthy in the care of her amazing family gives me the closure and the peace that I need to endure the hardest of days. I couldn’t be more grateful for the love that I have been shown and the lifelong bond that exists in our open adoption relationship, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!” – Stefanie, Birth Mom