It’s sometimes hard to remember what life was like before our daughters and their birth families were part of it.

For us—and many others—open adoption has been a wonderful extension of our own family. It requires wisdom, grace, commitment, and honesty.

And it’s not always easy.

Here are three ways open adoption is difficult, wonderful, and amazing:

1. Open adoption can be a difficult balance of embracing the bitter and the sweet.

While we celebrate the amazing joy that adoption has brought to our family, we also recognize the tremendous loss our children and their birth families have experienced. That means we create a safe space for our children to share raw feelings and ask hard questions while celebrating the fact that we were chosen to be their family.

2. Open adoption can create a wonderful family tree.

In our house, we joke that we have more of a family “orchard” than a family tree. When we finalized the adoption of our daughters, their birth families joined our family as well. Maintaining an open adoption has paved the way for a wonderful extension of our family.

3. Open adoption can form an amazing connection.

Having an open adoption can provide a smooth avenue for an amazing bond to form between families who were once strangers. The relationships we have with our daughters’ birth families are meaningful connections we treasure, for we have chosen one another as family.

What about you? How is open adoption difficult, amazing and wonderful for your family?

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