Unexpected Disappointment

When open adoption doesn't go the way you planned.

Sonia Billadeau August 11, 2014
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Open adoption was scary to me. I didn’t want to talk about it or find any information on it. I most certainly did not want to have one.

I believed all the stereotypical gossip about open adoption. My husband and I were against it. We did not think it would work. We believed it would confuse the adopted child and make things harder on all of us. It took a long time of praying, listening to testimonies, and becoming educated on open adoption for me to actually consider it.

My son has a closed adoption, so we wanted our second child to have one as well. We knew it might cause issues down the road having contact with one birth mother and not the other. For some reason though, our hearts were changed and we began to see the benefits of open adoption.

My daughter, who is ten months old, has an open adoption with her birth mother. Our agency required us to meet the birth mom before birth to build a relationship with her. They also required that we send pictures and letters every month for the first six months of placement. During that six month period we had to have one face-to-face meeting with my daughter and her birth mom. After finalization we were required to send letters and pictures twice a year and have one or two face-to-face meetings.

During the first six months of my daughter’s life we received three letters from her birth mom. They are letters that hopefully my daughter will cherish for the rest of her life. We also had one face-to-face meeting when my daughter was about seven months old. My husband and I felt really good about the meeting. It was hard and very emotional on all of us, but overall it was a sweet time we were able to spend together. The birth mom was really happy to see our daughter. She held her and hugged her.

About a month after that meeting we were to meet again for an annual picnic that our agency has. At the last minute, our birth mom called the agency and said that she was not going to make it. We were so disappointed, but we understood. Since our last meeting we have not had any contact from our birth mom. I called the agency the other day to let them know we were sending updated pictures and letters. They told me they didn’t have a good address for her and had not heard from her in a while.

We are so disappointed and sad. I never thought I would be upset about not having contact with our children’s birth parents. I am worried about her. Is it too hard for her to see us? We were so excited about how much contact we had with her the first seven months of our daughter’s life. Now, nothing.

It has been five, almost six months since we have heard from her. Has this ever happened to anyone else? You have a great relationship with your birth mom, and then she is gone. I am at a loss as to what to do. Our social worker said this does happen often. It all depends on what is going on in the birth mom’s life. If she is stable and happy, they hear from her. If her life is chaotic, they don’t.

I am glad my daughter was a baby the first time this happened. It will hopefully prepare us for the future. We are worried we might not ever hear from our birth mom again. How do you handle this? How am I going to tell my daughter that her birth mom disappeared?

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Sonia Billadeau


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