open adoption

The Journey to Adopting our Sweet Zachary

Our sweet Zachary is now 12 weeks old so I figured it’s about time to share the story of how we were lucky enough to be chosen to be parents for a 2nd time through adoption.  I always find writing about our adoption stories tough because although we are over the moon to welcome another son into our lives, for Zachary’s birth parents comes pain and sorrow over this loss.  We will be eternally grateful to them and admire them so much for putting Zachary first.

Without talking much about Zachary’s birth parents (that’s Zachary’s story to share if he wants down the road), here is the amazing journey that brought our sweet, sweet boy into our lives.  This story was definitely a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows.

We were told it was harder to adopt a second time since a lot of birth parents choose couples without kids and while Chris was anxious to put our names into the ring in the fall of 2014, I was a bit hesitant.  I was in a great place at work, I’d wanted to put savings aside for the process and life was great.  I did agree to start the adoption process with Chris in December as the paperwork takes a while.  By February we were adopt ready and I was getting the ‘itch’ to have a baby again – it amazes me how fast it can come on.  Too bad we were told it would take longer this time around.

At the end of February I received a phone call through our Canada Adopts online profile from a birth mother due in 2 weeks.  She lived in another province so I needed to call an adoption practitioner with experience adopting out of province.  To make a long story short, this adoption didn’t work out and while on the phone with the adoption practitioner to discuss it she asked if we had one of our adoption profiles we could send her.  She wanted to present us to a couple the next day.  We felt like it was a long shot and perhaps her just wanting us to feel hopeful again.  Normally birth couples pick an adoptive couple within a couple of days so after 2 weeks of not hearing anything we figured they had either changed their minds or chosen someone else.

The Highs

Fast forward to March 24th – I’m at a pub with my best friend enjoying a nice big glass of wine when at 10:00pm my phone rings.  It’s the adoption practitioner.  She asks if we’re really adopt ready and when we leave for Florida.  We were leaving that Friday (3 days away) to have one last trip before Jackson turned two.   The bizarre thing about it was that was exactly what had happened with Jackson’s adoption – we had a trip booked to Florida when we heard the news we’d been chosen.  She said the birth mom of the couple we were presented to was in labour and while we hadn’t been chosen officially, she was pretty sure we were the top choice.

I run home and wake Chris up to tell him.  Chris is pretty out of it when he’s woken up and didn’t really understand haha.  He had thought the birth couple had chosen a different route.  It wasn’t until the next morning that he started asking questions.

The official phone call came at 2pm on the 25th.  Zachary had been born on the 24th and we were officially chosen [insert happy dance combined with holy cow we are about to be parents of 2 boys, 23 months apart].  The next step was to drive to Ottawa on the Thursday to meet the birth parents and make sure they did want to move forward with us.  We were all set to cancel Florida but everyone wanted us to take the trip, especially since Jackson had asked ‘airplane day?’ every day that week.  Talk about a chaotic 10 hours – we had to find a sitter for Jackson, take the dog 40 minutes away to where he was staying while we were in Florida, finish the laundry, pack for Florida, tie up the loose ends at work so we could go on vacation, tell my boss our news that I could be leaving work in just a couple of weeks (gulp!) and think of baby boy names (the last one was the fun part!).  The good thing about the adoption process is the adrenaline you get and not needing to sleep. Plus, why not start to get ourselves prepared for little sleep with a baby right?!

The meeting with the birth parents went really well.  They’re amazing people and we instantly felt a connection to them.  It was definitely a nerve-wracking process still as you don’t want to say the wrong thing or do anything to have them change their minds and the whole time you’re worried they will.  The interesting thing we learned was one of the reasons they picked us was because we are in an open adoption with Jackson and they saw how happy he looked in our pictures.  They also liked that we travel.  We then drove back to Toronto Thursday night, Chris drove the babysitter across Toronto to her house and I finished packing.

Needless to say Florida was a much needed break and great to spend some last one-on-one time with Jackson before becoming a big brother but it was also a very nerve-wracking week.  Birth parents sign adoption consents 7 days after the baby is born and then have an additional 21 days to change their minds.  We were still in the early days with a long road ahead.

The Lows

This time the adoption waiting period was absolutely brutal.  I can’t imagine what the birth parents go through during this whole process and in our case some second thoughts on their end were happening.  Because of all the uncertainty and having Jackson at home, Zachary stayed in an extremely loving foster home in Ottawa until the waiting period was up.   We did get to go visit him and received email updates with pictures.

During this waiting period, our lowest low of our two adoptions happened.  We were going to see Zachary for a 2nd time when we were told it might be best to drive back to Toronto from Ottawa as things weren’t looking good.  Chris and I were devastated, especially as there had been a possibility we would bring Zachary home that day, had all our gear in the trunk and had told Jackson about ‘Baby Zack’ coming home so he’d be prepared (luckily he hadn’t come on any trips to Ottawa at this point).  We got into the car and started a somber drive home…….for about 20 minutes and then pumped the tunes and sang and danced (well I chair danced, Chris does air drums) and knew that if it’s meant to be, it will be.

Sure enough, after two more grueling weeks it was meant to be.  We drove to Ottawa the day the waiting period expired with our fingers and toes crossed that our phones would not ring with bad news and they didn’t (yippeeeeee!).  On Thursday, April 23rd, with Jackson, we went picked Zachary up and brought him home with us.

Having Zachary in our lives was worth every minute of the process and we couldn’t be more in love.  Jackson is the best big brother and we are so blessed to be lucky enough to have such two amazing boys so close in age.  Everything really does happen for a reason.

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A letter to my son during the adoption waiting period

We have only met once but it was love at first sight.  I am not yet 100% sure you will get to come home with us and grow up in our loving home but I pray that you do.  I know that no matter what happens you will be loved by many, many people.

There are only 8 more days until we will know for sure and all I wish is the best for you whatever that destiny may be.

We think about you every day so even though we can’t have you in our home yet, know that you are definitely in our hearts.  Jackson says Baby Zack every day and ‘brother’.  It’s really sweet.

Although 8 days seems like a lifetime right now, we know it will pass quickly.  After all, vacations of 8 days always seem so short don’t they?

All we can do is keep our fingers and toes crossed and wish your birth family all the support and love we can give during this tough time.  And promise to them that if everything works out, we will honour our open adoption commitment to them.  We want you to know where you came from and how this adoption is completely built on love.

So while I wait, I will keep dancing to my music cranked in my kitchen and binge watch Nashville after Jackson goes to bed.  I will enjoy sleep while I can.  And I will pray that everything works out the way it’s supposed to.

Love,

Shannon (hopefully mommy)

The Dreaded Waiting Period in Adoption – Waiting to See if Birth Parents Revoke Consent

My husband and I recently adopted our 2nd child through Domestic Private Adoption.  While I still have to write our success story, I wanted to share a couple of posts I wrote during the waiting period.  Here’s one from day 13 of the 21 day waiting period (which starts 8 days after the baby is born and the birth parents sign consent).

8 days left!  8 days left!  8 days can seem way too short for a vacation yet way too long when you’re waiting for news.

Chris and I are on our rollercoaster ride yet again trying to adopt a 2nd child – maybe this is incentive for me to finally try the Leviathan rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland this summer.
I’ll spare the details of this adoption right now until things are more final but I just wanted to share what the waiting period is like for those out there trying to adopt.  I’m not going to sugar coat it – it sucks!  I wonder if it’s similar to child birth – after time you forget about it and are all ready to do it again.  Either we forget how we felt during the waiting period the first time around or this time is much harder.
There are definitely good days and bad days and each day I struggle with how positive to me. I’m generally a very positive person but some days I’m worried about being too positive and getting hurt. On the other hand, if something doesn’t work out I tend to dust myself off pretty quickly and focus on the good in our lives and what the future holds.
Right now everything is day by day for 8 more days.  Our family starts our mornings with high fives and my two-year old son doing a dance knowing there’s one day less in the month long waiting period.  Some nights if I need a big glass of wine and to watch 5 straight episodes of Nashville on TV, that’s what I do. Anything to get my mind off the waiting.
For any of you currently in the waiting period, not every day is hard.  I’ve had way more easier than harder days and up until this Monday with 9 days left of the period it hasn’t been bad.
Good luck and I’ll keep you posted!

Picking a day to celebrate

Adoption is anticlimactic, I’m not going to lie. Of course it has its amazing moments and I wouldn’t change any minute of what we went through to adopt Jackson but it definitely had its ups and downs. Many of you reading this know our story but for those who don’t, here’s a recap:
• April 6th, 2013 – day we got the call from the adoption agency saying we’d been chosen by the birth parents – we were in shock – was it finally happening – amazing, amazing day!!!
• April 14th – a week before Jackson’s due date and a day before we were to meet the birth parents – was told the birth mom had gone to the hospital to get checked out. Didn’t hear any more news that day – anxious day!
• April 15th morning – day we found out our son had in fact been born the day before but that they weren’t sure when we would meet the birth parents. Told to drive back to Toronto from my parents instead of going to meet birth parents – extremely anxious! Also didn’t have any boy names ready so spent the drive going through names.
• April 15th afternoon – day we were asked to turn around from Toronto and drive to London to meet birth parents after all at the hospital – nerve-wracking yet exciting!
• April 15th nighttime – we met Jackson’s birth parents and families for the first time in the hospital and instantly hit it off. We also met and held Jackson for the first time which was incredible and heartbreaking at the same time. How do you act in front of the birth parents when it’s one of the most painful days of their lives? Left hospital feeling incredibly heavy and wondering what tomorrow would hold when it was time for Jackson to go into a foster home.
• April 16th – met Jackson when he arrived at the foster home. Told him his name. Incredibly beautiful moment but then the realization of holy cow, we’re parents? We had 9 days notice! Lol. Then the realization Jackson was placed in a foster home for a reason – to give us time to prepare but also to learn from this amazing couple who had fostered 94 newborns before Jackson and taught us everything we needed to know about formula, diapers, etc. Of course we have tons of people in our lives to help us with this but it was really appreciated.
• April 27th – day that Chris, his sister and I drank margaritas and painted his nursery while listening to music and dancing. We were parents!!!!
• May 4th – the day we brought Jackson home – beyond amazing but it also meant that there were 10 days left for the birth parents to change their minds.
• May 15th – day the waiting period ended. The day we’d been waiting for. The day we’d saved our champagne for and the day I had to go to bed at 7pm and skip the champagne as the stress caught up with me – talk about anticlimactic haha.
• Jan. 29th, 2014 – day I opened the mail and received what looked like the adoption finalization record for Jackson dated January 22nd. We were told it wouldn’t happen until closer to April and the agency hadn’t been notified yet so again, a very anticlimactic day. We couldn’t celebrate as we weren’t 100% sure it had happened.
• Jan 22nd, 2015 – celebrating the 1st anniversary of the date our son’s adoption became finalized in the Court. The day we can all truly celebrate as a family!

Adoptive families celebrate many different days. We will always celebrate Jackson’s birthday as that’s definitely the most special day of the year but we wanted another day to celebrate as a family as we didn’t know him on his day of birth. We originally thought we would celebrate his ‘gotcha day’ – the day we brought him home which is also very special but again, it was still part of the waiting period. The day we are choosing to truly celebrate as a family that will always have positive thoughts is the day our adoption became finalized – January 22nd!!!!

My Family

According to Webster’s dictionary, a family is a). a group of persons of common ancestry or b). a group of people who are related to each other. Most definitions of family include mention of ancestry and being blood related but not my family. My family isn’t one that the majority of people understand right away. My family description took my husband and I a while to understand when we first heard the concept. My family is my family and I love its uniqueness.

Let me describe my family. My family consists of my parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, parents-in-law, nephews, grandparents, husband, son and lots of extended family who we see quite often and love spending time with. It also consists of my son’s birth mother and father. His birth grandparents, aunts and uncles, half-sisters and many more. My family is an open adoption family. My family consists of tons of people who love my son and who love and support Chris and I. We are so lucky. Blood doesn’t make a family strong; love does.

Let me give you an example of our open adoption family. Chris and I saw both of Jackson’s birth parents this weekend. Friday night we attended a fundraiser for the pregnancy crisis centre that his birth parents went to. Because of this centre, Chris and I became parents to the most amazing baby boy almost one year ago now. At our table was Jackson’s birth mom, papa, aunt, two great aunts and two of his birth mom’s friends. Each person we met gave Chris and I a huge hug. One aunt told us to call her ‘aunt’, right away welcoming us into her family. It was like any family dinner talking about Jackson, work, the drive up, etc. We were asked when we were coming up next so they can see us again and have a big gathering. When we left many hugs were given.

The next day we hung out with Jackson’s birth father. He invited us to his family reunion this summer wanting to give us lots of time so we can plan to be there and meet his whole family. Hugs were also exchanged.

I’d be lying if I said the whole situation is easy. It’s extremely emotional. You feel like eyes are always on you watching your every parenting move. You feel like eyes are on you watching how you’ll react to Jackson and his birth mom interacting. You feel like everyone in the room is watching to see if you truly get along like you say you do. But we do. This is our family.

What Philomena taught me about open adoption

In today’s world, there is no family ‘norm’ anymore.  Kids can have divorced, single, same-sex, bi-racial, foster and/or adoptive parents.  Family members may be estranged.  An adoptee could have his biological and adoptive families in his life.  A foster child may outgrow the system before getting a family.  Not everyone is accepting of all of these family types but more and more they are being accepted and becoming the new ‘norm’.  I found myself explaining an open adoption over lunch one day this week.  I explained how my son has contact with his birth family and that when he’s older I hope he has a good relationship with them and feels free to ask any questions he has but if he doesn’t want that, I’ll respect his decision.  I know open adoption makes some people uncomfortable and some see it as an intrusion on the adoptive family.  It is a pretty new family type and will take time for people to get used to.  Well last night I watched Philomena and it shed a lot of light for me on explaining open adoption and inspired me to write this blog.

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For those of you who don’t know about Philomena, here’s a short summary.  Philomena is based on a true story of a woman in Ireland who got pregnant as a teenager and whose family sent her to live in a convent.  After giving birth, she had to work every day for 4 years to repay the nuns, only seeing her son one hour a day until the dreaded day when her son became adopted without her ever getting to say goodbye to him.  She held this secret for 50 years and then decides to enlist the help of a journalist to find her son.  (Note: If you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want any spoilers stop reading this now J).  With the journalist’s help, she finally finds out who her son is and that he died a few years prior.  She also finds out the nuns were selling the babies to wealthy American families and then burning the records.  In the end Philomena finds out her son had also tried looking for her and ended up being buried in Ireland close to his roots which finally gave her closure.  The NY Times has an article with more details behind this true story http://goo.gl/Fk9ueX.

While watching this movie was gut-wrenching, especially as an adoptive mom, I love that we have an open adoption with Jackson’s birth family.  I get that this situation is different as Philomena didn’t want her son to be adopted but even in the adoptive world, birth parents wish circumstances were different so they could choose to parent.  Philomena spent 50 years just wanting to know her son was OK.  I like that Jackson’s birth parents can have peace of mind knowing how Jackson is doing.    If the nuns had just let Philomena know her son was OK, adopted by a lovely couple and living in the U.S., she probably would have slept better at night.  Every open adoption is different – not all birth parents want direct contact with their child as it is quite heartbreaking but getting pictures and updates helps reassure them of their decision and lets them know their child is OK.  Philomena thought about her son every single day and it makes me so sad to know she lived with that wonder for 50 years.   Family health history is another huge benefit to having an open adoption.  We received the health history at the time Jackson was adopted but staying current with this information is also important to us. Lastly, as we tell everyone, can you ever have too many people who love you?  Jackson is one lucky little guy with all of the people who love and care for him which is really amazing to see.

This week a sportscaster, Dale Hansen, came out and defended a gay NFL prospect in a very open and honest speech.  You can see the speech here http://goo.gl/SvxqoM.  It’s one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard and in it is a line I really liked.  He admitted being around a gay guy can make him uncomfortable as he doesn’t understand his world.  I get that open adoption is uncomfortable for some people and my advice to you if you are one of these people is to admit it makes you uncomfortable but not judge it or be quick to think it’s horrible for the adoptive family.  It’s just a new ‘norm’!

Hang in there – your ‘HAPPY’ is coming! Staying strong during the holidays.

The holidays can be a really hard time for people trying to have a baby or adopt.  I know – I went through it for 4 years.  My dream had always been to announce Chris and I were pregnant at Christmas by people unwrapping a picture of our ultrasound or an ornament saying something about Baby’s First Christmas with the following year on it.  I’d also had the dream of telling Chris on Christmas Eve somehow (not wrapping the pregnancy test though as that would just gross him out lol).  I was one of those people who thought we’d get pregnant on the first shot and I could plan every step of the way – wait, that’s not how it works?!

I knew adoption could happen fast but if you’d told me at Christmas last year that I would be a mom in less than 4 months, I’m not sure I would have believed it.  I know everything happens for a reason and a lot of time I think our journey happened the way it did to throw a curve ball at me and teach me you really can’t plan everything. This is our first Christmas with Jackson and looking back at last Christmas, I can’t believe all of this happened in less than 1 year!  We are so lucky and blessed to have the most beautiful, amazing 8-month old son.

Have you ever had those moments in your life where all of a sudden it dawns on you how lucky or happy you are?  I’ve been happy since the day Jackson came into our lives but it was in August when it really hit me.  On August 26th, 2013 I was sitting on the lawn of the Molson Amphitheatre (Toronto) listening to my favourite band Mumford & Sons perform my favourite song ‘I Will Wait’ and in that moment I knew life was perfect and I was the happiest I’d been in a long time. I Will Wait was my theme song when I needed a pick me up during the adoption wait.  I still smile and dance every time I hear it.

To those of you waiting, I hope 2014 is your year and that you have a special song to get you through the tough days!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What’s the right way of talking about adoption – adoption terms explained

Before the 27 hour PRIDE course on adoption, I had it all wrong.  I used to say a mother ‘gave up her baby for adoption’ and lots of other terms as I just hadn’t been exposed to the correct terminology.  I thought I would write this little blog to help people with talking about adoption.  If you do get corrected by adoptive or birth parents, don’t be offended, they’re just trying to help educate.

CORRECT USE

INCORRECT USE

Birth or biological parents Real parents, natural parents
Parents People like Chris and I – we are his parents now
Adoptee – child who was adopted Own child
Birth child Own child
The birth parents made an adoption plan The parents gave their baby up for adoption
The birth parents loved their child so much that they made an adoption plan The birth parents must really not have loved their baby to give it up.  (Side note – we never want our son to hear this – his birth parents loved him sooooo much that they knew making an adoption plan was best for him). Or the birth parents must be really young.  Every adoption has different circumstances and it’s not always that the couple is young.
Open adoption – child has some type of access to birth family (could be in person or through email/phone) – beneficial as the child can understand his/her background more Open adoption being a burden to the adoptive parents.  We love the fact that our son will get to know his birth family and will have all the access he needs to his family history.  It would be hard to not be able to answer our son’s questions in the future if we didn’t know anything about his birth family.
Was adopted Is adopted

When in doubt, just ask!

Everything Happens for a Reason – Our Adoption Success Story

My Grandma Gard has always told me everything happens for a reason and things are just meant to be.  It just so happens that 4 years to the week, our time had come for us to finally fulfill our dream of having a child.

It’s hard to believe that as I’m writing this everything unfolded in just under 3 weeks from the time we received the agency call to the time we brought the baby home.  So in 3 weeks we had to assemble a nursery, I had to wrap things up at work and we had to figure out things like formula (luckily we had the amazing expertise of a foster parent couple to guide us) plus our family and friends.

Out of respect for the birth families, I will not be mentioning any details of the adoption but do want to say they are some of the most amazing people we’ve ever met and felt an instant connection to them.  We are so thankful to them and their families and are very excited our son will get to know all of them and how much they love him through an open adoption.

Birth parents sign consents approx. 8 days after their baby is born and from that date there is a 21 waiting period where the birth parents can revoke consent.  During the waiting period we kept the news of our son very quiet so the below are some excerpts I wrote throughout the waiting period.  You’ll note I keep using the word surreal as it really is.

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THE DAY – Bringing Our Son Home

My darling son, we are about to bring you home which makes this one of the best days of our lives (and now I have Summer of ’69 playing in my head lol).  It was 4 years ago exactly when we first got the call about you that we had been trying for a family and we couldn’t be happier with how things worked out.  You were meant to be with us and were born in our hearts.

It’s a bit surreal knowing that today we officially become parents (although there’s still a week and a half left of the waiting period so we can’t shout it from the rooftops yet).

First Mother’s Day

Today is surreal – it’s my very first Mother’s Day.  I wish I could shout it from the rooftops but unfortunately the waiting period for the birth parents to change their mind isn’t up yet so we are staying pretty quiet until then.  Only 3 more days and things are looking good.  I can’t believe we’ve had him home a week now and how every passing second I feel more and more love when I didn’t think I could love him anymore or my heart might burst.  It’s also my first Mother’s Day in 4 years where I haven’t felt sad.

It was such a special moment when Chris wished me a happy mother’s day this morning and gave me a card from my little munchkin.  I was overcome with emotion.  Ok, so now that I’m a mom why is it I get overcome with SOOOO much emotion over everything? Haha.  I can’t even blame it on hormones.

The First Few Weeks

We are 2.5 weeks in and things are amazing!  Our son is perfect in every way and a really good baby (not that we’d care if he wasn’t).  I know there will be days I’ll want to pull my hair out but I’m shocked at how calm things have been and how easy it’s been to completely change our day-to-day lives.  We’ve had lots of visitors which have definitely helped as well.

The first week was a bit stressful as our dog Marvin got bit by a cat and got quite sick with infection.  He was in and out of the vet 6 times in 3 days which was pretty stressful.  He’s back to normal now and loving our son.  Marvin makes it to him first if he’s crying and gives him lots of licks – oh and he checks on him when he’s napping by peeking in the crib or bassinet.  It’s really cute.

The big accomplishments for this new mom so far are walking the dog and pushing the stroller at the same time (sounds easy but you don’t know my dog haha) and changing a poopy diaper without dirtying a 2nd one in the process!  Oh, and not letting J pee on himself as I’m changing the poopy diaper!  The cutest thing J has done so far is when I go to kiss his cheek he turns his head so I get his mouth – priceless!

On that note, I must go find J for his bedtime feeding and snuggles.

Until next time!

Coming Full Circle on Private Adoption

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This post expands on the last post, the ever expanding elastic of our adoption    mindset and why we chose to pursue private domestic adoption as one of our avenues.  I’ll come back to the other two avenues in later posts.

Let’s go back to the beginning and our first couple of months investigating and learning about adoption.  We had 3 choices: international adoption, private domestic adoption (adopting a newborn within Ontario) and public adoption (through Children’s Aid).  You can choose to pursue one, two or all three.  It just gets more costly and for international adoption you can only choose one country to adopt from.

The Before

What we first learned about private domestic adoption scared us, I’m not going to lie.  First off, it’s kind of like online dating in the fact that you put yourself out there and wait to be chosen by a birth family looking for a home for their child.  You make what is called a profile book that speaks to who you are as a couple and your values and beliefs and this is used as the basis to showcase couples to birth families.  There is no registry to add your name to where you’ll eventually be chosen because your time has come.  How do you get your names out there?  One way is to post your profile on websites such as Canadaadopts.com or adoptionconnections.ca and wait to see if a birth parent contacts you.  You can also register with adoption agencies (usually social workers or lawyers).  Then the question becomes how many agencies should we register with?   Each agency comes with a registration fee to handle the paperwork, presentations of your profile up until you’re matched so it tends to come down to a question of how much money do we want to spend registering.

As for the matching, the birth family, with the help of a social worker/adoption agency, chooses the couple that they feel is the right fit for their child.  Sometimes you meet in person and sometimes it’s based solely on your profile book.  (Good thing Chris and I are in sales and marketing lol!)  You never know what’s going to stick out in your profile so you try to be as real as possible and hope something jumps out at whoever’s searching.

Once you’re matched, it’s super fantastic but you also never know if the birth mother will change her mind and decide to parent.  The birth mother also has 28 days after the baby’s born to change her mind.   I totally understand and agree with this law but at the same time, it’s heartbreaking for any couple who has to go through it.

The last thing we learned about is what’s called open adoption.  Open adoption is where the birth family still has a connection to their child and the adoptive family whether it be through emails, pictures, phone calls or visits.  More and more adoptions are becoming open adoptions.

Needless to say, when we found out all of the above, we thought private adoption was not for us.  Then we looked into it some more.

The After

Open adoption is truly incredible once you learn about it.  One of the amazing people I’ve met in my adoption journey put it best.  She chose to adopt internationally for the sole purpose of not having to deal with the birth family and open adoption.  Her child, adopted as a baby, is now 5 and the mother would like nothing more than to have access to his birth family and history to help answer all of his questions, of which she doesn’t have any info.  Another woman I met framed it this way ‘it’s one more person to love your child and children can never have too much love.’  Unknown birth family history can hit adoptive children at any time but from the stories I’ve heard it really tends to hit home whenever a doctor asks for medical history.  Another sore spot with adoptive children is having to do a family tree or where his/her genes come from in science class.  Some focus on their adoptive family but either way, it’s a tough situation for any adoptive child.

Yes, the selection process and potential for having the birth family change their mind and decide to parent their child would break our hearts but at the same time, being able to be there from day 1 of our child’s life and answer all of their questions about their birth family far outweighs the risks in our minds.

We have what it takes to keep riding this rollercoaster for as long as it takes and know it will be worth it in the end!