The Beauty of an Open Adoption

She has a right to know where she came from.

Shelley Skuster January 06, 2015
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We had finished packing up the fourth suitcase when I peeked inside the diaper bag.

Pretty sure I can take credit for preventing a whole ‘lotta nastiness in the Des Moines Airport after I realized we almost forgot DIAPERS.

Yeah.

Diapers.

Just give me the Mom of the Year award early…

We planned our flight to correlate with Olivia’s nap time.

“This will be perfect. She can just nap on the flight there,” said Chris.

God must’ve been rolling in laughter at our plans.

Because only He would know our direct flight to Texas would be delayed not once, twice…but THREE times.

And then it’d get cancelled.

And then we’d get a call from the hotel that it overbooked.

Seriously.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Fortunately, we were able to catch a flight in the evening.

Also fortunately, there’s a bar at the Des Moines International Airport.

Just kidding…kinda.

BEAUTY IN OPEN ADOPTION PARA

By the time we boarded and landed, we barely checked into our [new] hotel before our 15-month old literally crashed onto the plush bed.

Thanks, Courtyard Marriott. Our short stay was comfortable and just what we needed to rest up before the four-hour drive ahead of us.

We had a big week, after all.

The last time we were in this city was when we met our daughter for the first time on the third floor of a busy hospital.

This time, we were going to sight-see and visit her birth parents.

While we were excited, some people had reservations.

“Are you sure that’s a good thing for Olivia?”

“Wow, I could never do that.”

“Aren’t you worried Olivia will think she’s her mom and not you?”

“I bet she’ll want her back.”

Here’s the deal.

Olivia’s birth parents are a part of our family.

They always will be.

We’re so grateful for both of them.

We always will be.

Of course it’s a good thing for Olivia to form a relationship with the woman who brought her into this world and the man who helped create her.

Of course it’s a good thing for her to see where she gets her nose, her eyes, her smile…

As her mother, the last thing I want for her is to wander around this world wondering if a man or a woman at the grocery store or shopping mall or post office could be one of her birth parents because they share similar facial features.

She has a right to know where she came from.

Don’t we all?

I’m grateful Olivia will never have to wonder who her birth parents are.

I’m grateful she has photos with them, access to medical history and information that’s bound to be interesting to her as she gets older.

And I’m so beyond honored that I was [somehow] deemed worthy to share the umbrella of motherhood with such a selfless, beautiful woman.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The title of “mom” isn’t a competition.

My daughter will never have one mom.

She’ll always have a first momma, and a momma who…well, is her mom.

She’ll always know she’s extra-loved.

So of course, our trip was a “good thing” for Olivia.

It was a good thing for all of us, actually.

After we weaved through 20 lanes of traffic and pulled into the parking lot to visit the gorgeous, brave woman who chose life for our daughter, I thought my heart was going to physically explode from my chest.

And when I saw my sweet daughter in her birth momma’s arms, I almost fell to the ground in the beauty of that moment.

There are no words to explain the joy and happiness I felt in seeing my daughter be loved by her first family.

This is the beauty of an open adoption.

And I’m so grateful we were chosen to be a part of it.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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