My husband and I started our adoption journey in 2016. We adopted our incredibly smart and sassy daughter Maylin in February 2018 and adopted our son Jaylen, the happiest baby you will ever meet, in September 2020. We feel beyond blessed, but it was quite the road to get to where we are today.
Our story covers most of the adoption experiences you probably have heard of - a near perfect adoption, a disruption (that included fraud), and a “baby on the ground.” It was the definition of an emotional roller coaster, but we are on the other side with what we consider our perfect family, Birth Moms included.
At the beginning of our journey, I don’t think we saw that last part coming - considering our Birth Moms as part of our family. To tell you the truth, the relationship with Birth Moms was the part of adoption that we were most unsure about, and probably should even say scared. We had a preconceived notion of Birth Moms that was unjustified and even selfish. This all began to change with attending the Adoption 101 class that ASA offered, and it drastically changed further when we met Maylin’s Birth Mom for the first time.
We started to put ourselves in our Birth Mom’s shoes. Even though we could never come close to imagining what it is like the place a child for adoption, we had to try. And we had to put ourselves in our future child’s shoes. If we were adopted, what would we want our adoptive family to do? The courage, strength and love that it takes in placing a child for adoption is immeasurable. We finally understood that and gained an unconditional respect, admiration, and love for our Birth M oms.
I would consider both of our adoptions to be open, and it has evolved to that. Our relationship with Maylin’s Birth Mom started as semi-open. We shared pictures through a photo share website and even occasionally texted. There was a point at which we lost contact with her. We know it is not uncommon, but we were really disappointed that this happened. Still wanting to respect Maylin’s Birth Mom’s emotions and privacy, we reached out to our agency after several months of no contact. We asked the agency to contact Maylin’s Birth Mom to see if she still wanted to continue being in touch. We were concerned she lost our number which was exactly the case. We were able to get back in touch and have talked to her more in the past 12 months than we have in the past 3 years. Our relationship now includes video calls and we even have been discussing a future visit.
Because of the respect and admiration we gained with Maylin's Birth Mother, we approached our second adoption wanting an open relationship. However, we were happy to oblige with whatever our Birth Mom felt comfortable with. When we finally matched with Jaylen’s Birth Mom, we were so happy to hear that an open relationship was exactly what she wanted. So far that has looked like lots of texting, photo sharing, video calls, and we just scheduled our first visit for September.
We recognize that not every Birth Mom wants a semi open or open relationship and there are ups and downs no matter the relationship type you have. You should do what is healthy for your family and your birth mom. But do not make the relationship choice out of fear. Put yourself in her shoes. Put yourself in your child’s shoes. Be an advocate for your Birth Mom. She is one more person in this world to support and love your child unconditionally.