Saturday, December 31, 2011

open adoption - full hearts

a blog prompt from "production, not reproduction" suggested bloggers to consider "what did you learn about open adoption in 2011?"  (production, not reproduction)  we learned a hell of a lot!  we started this adoption process being terrified of open adoption.  in 2009 we did not even want to consider working with agencies that were only filling open adoption plans.  in 2010 we filled out our paperwork knowing that we "needed" to do an open adoption, but not fully believing we'd be able to do it with our full hearts. 

through a series of people we met, seminars we attended, the agency we selected, the social worker we were blessed in working with, and the longing of my adopted sister to know her birth parents - we knew we needed to be part of an open adoption.  but, while we needed to do it - we still did not fully want to.

if you read back through this blog from its inception you'd see how unbelievably scared we were regarding open adoption.  we were scared because we were threatened.  threatened that the child we adopted would never fully be our own.  threatened that this child that we adopted would never be able to call me "mommy".  threatened that the child we adopted would never love us as much as they'd love their biological parents.  we were threatened because we were uneducated.

when we talk to others who have not experienced an open adoption they're where we were last year.  it's just a place of not knowing.  it's just a place of being unable to imagine.  it's just a place of fear.  it's just a place of not being able to understand how it could work.  we still cannot believe we came from this dark cold place.

you see, now - we're in a place of warmth and light.  a place where our baby lives knowing the love of our family and his birth family.  it's an amazing place where the things we have in common are a love and longing for daxton to grow up, be happy, be healthy, and be loved. 

daxton's birth mother is a part of our life.  we email back and forth with her at least 3 times a week.  we've met her for a visit in her home, a visit to see santa, and dinner.  we were never threatened by her in these meetings.  she's able to see him, hold him, hug him, and love him.  we were actually nervous that we'd let her down.  we were nervous that she'd be less than impressed with our parenting skills - something we did or said.  we were nervous that she'd regret picking us to be dax's parents.  however, she never said anything of the sorts.  she's sweet.  she's kind.  she's loving.  she is not a threat to us.  she wants the best for us.  she wants daxton to be happy with us.

we're so glad we did not let fear overcome our adoption plans and ruin our chances at being the parents of this wonderful little boy.  if we were not willing to open our lives up to a birth family we would have turned our backs on raising this amazingly beautiful child.  if we were not willing to risk being nervous and being threatened we never would have met this sweet boy we call our son.  his birth mother wanted an open adoption and she only looked at profile books from families who were willing to share their lives with her.

open adoption is the way we can show daxton that his birth mother loves him.  he'll see her four times a year.  he'll send her notes, cards, and pictures.  he'll be able to talk to her if he needs to.  he'll really know why she chose to place him with us.  closed adoption leaves questions unanswered.  closed adoption leaves doors closed and leaves adopted children full of wondering why.  we've learned that opening ourselves up to the open adoption is something that our hearts just needed time to work through.  we learned that doing this for daxton really helped us become more secure, more assured, and less nervous in the process.  we learned how helpful it is for daxton's birth mother to heal by seeing him, visiting with him, and hearing how he is progressing. 

it's all worth it, and we're so thankful we are where we are with our full hearts.


Melodie said...

i was exposed to open adoption for 5ish years through my sister and it still freaked me out! Holden's adoption is closed. not by our choosing, but by his sweet birth mom's. so it's just something we'll have to figure out with God's help. but it's amazing how God changes us through this experience. loved reading this post. i know Daxton is surrounded with love on all sides. and what a blessing that is.

Cat's Litterbox said...

You already know my thoughts on open adoption... it really is the most incredible, amazing thing to be apart of. Until you face the fear and open your heart, you won't ever know how beautiful open adoption can be.

I think closed adoption would be so scary. In fact, I don't know if I could ever do a closed adoption- I pray I never have to experience a birth mother wanting a closed adoption.

Anyway-- so glad you guys are basking in the warm of open adoption! It's amazing to know that you're involved in something so special and sacred and to be a critical leg of the open adoption triad!!

Kierstin said...

Love this post!! So honest, so true!

kjhartley said...

What a wonderful post. It so very much expresses a journey many adoptive parents go through about open adoption. I work for an adoption agency and with your permission and giving you credit, would really like to share this post as a handout for prospective adoptive parents who are looking for more information about adoption and openness. I think that it would help those who may be nervous about openness to understand it is a journey.

Please contact me at

I would love to hear from you.

Kristy Hartley-Galbraith
Adoptions From The Heart