When I started my journey into adoption, I feared open adoption. I was lost, confused and had a poor interpretation of what an open adoption was. Needless to say, it never crossed my mind that my family would grow by more than just the child we were adopting. That all changed once we were matched with expectant parents–parents who chose us and committed to entrusting us with their most precious creation, their child.
I’ll never forget the day, less than a month after our first match failed, that a long-time friend, who I rarely saw other than on social media, messaged me and told me her little sister was considering adoption and if it would be OK if she contacted me with questions since I knew so much about it. The next few days were a whirlwind of emotions. While I had known my friend for many years, we weren’t especially close friends, but since then she has become one of my best friends… and of course, she is my son’s aunt!
When I was first introduced to her sister, we exchanged phone numbers through the adoption agency we were working with and I was headed out of town. I handed my husband the keys and I spent the entire drive texting with her. We asked each other every question under the sun about each other and adoption expectations. How the tables had turned. They were considering closed adoption because they feared it might be too painful to see him. I encouraged them to consider open adoption and assured them it would not only be best for them, but ultimately best for their son to know them and never question their love for him. That was the start of a beautiful relationship.
Open adoption relationships are exactly like any relationship. It is exactly like a family relationship. Sometimes there are misunderstandings. Sometimes there are last minute cancelations. Sometimes there are joyful celebrations. Sometimes we mourn together. But the bond we share is unbreakable. It is unconditional love that is centered around the joyful child we call “our” son. Not only has it brought my friend, his aunt, and I closer, but we have his birth parents that are now like siblings to us. He has a relationship with his biological siblings. He has extended family members that we see at holidays, interact with on Facebook, and share milestones, happiness, and hurdles with.
Family isn’t ever perfect and we don’t try to portray perfect. We are perfect for each other though. I wouldn’t change my uniquely huge family for the world!