Our Open Adoption Family
There is a unique bond a birth mother has with her children that she places for adoption, and I just love the connection that Jake has with his birth mother, Haley. I personally wish that every adoption out there was an open adoption from the beginning. I know that is not realistic, as many adoptions are stemmed from brokenness of some sort. It may not always be healthy to have an open adoption. But having one that works in the best interest of all parties involved is so healthy psychologically for the adopted child. In our case, we chose to have an open adoption, placing our trust in God’s plan for our family. And not a day goes by that I am not grateful for how ours has worked out!
What Does Our Open Adoption Look Like?
Our family has an ongoing relationship with Jake’s Birth mother, Haley, and her dad’s side of the family. Jake’s birth father is not involved in any way thus far. We get together with Haley often! She is now married with a newborn daughter. We see her about 4-5 times per year, some during our annual family traditions such as Jake’s birthday and Christmas, along with several other times throughout the year. We make every attempt to honor her on birth mother’s day, which is the Saturday before mother’s day. She and her husband also come to one or two of Jake’s baseball games per season. We see Haley’s grandparents and siblings and Aunts and Uncles a couple times per year, and at special events for their family, which we’ve gotten to be a part of, such as Haley’s wedding and baby shower! They include us as members of their family. They are all beginning to feel like family to us as well, and we enjoy being together and allowing Jake the chance to feel like he is a part of their family as well. How lucky is this boy to get the love and acceptance of TWO huge families?
I think the most beautiful thing about how our open adoption began was how Haley handled the paperwork for our long term openness plan. The agency requires the birth mother to fill out her requests on paper for how open she wants it to be, including milestone dates that she’d like photos and visits. The agency requires the same paper for the adoptive couple to fill out. We filled ours out pretty standard, with visits twice per year and photos a couple times per year. Well, when Haley was turning in her paperwork for that, she decided to tear her paper up, stating something similar to “I trust them. I don’t need this paper to hold them to it. I trust them that they’ll let me be a part of his life.” Well, I’m proud to say that I can honestly say that her trust was well-placed. We want her involved in as much of his life as she can be. Jake just adores Haley and Justin, and now his brand new baby birth sister!
Being an adoptive parent has taught me how to openly love. I have more love in my heart, more compassion in my heart, than I used to all because of what adopting has taught me over the years! One thing I hold in high regard is the bravery of the choice that Haley, and other birth mothers just like her, made for her child at such a young age. In fact, Jake’s middle name is Everett, which means Brave. We named him that in honor of the brave choice Haley made for him to place him into a loving family to raise. I have the utmost respect for birth parents who actively make a plan. In fact, I am regularly involved with the non-profit Bravelove (see link). They exist to change the stigma and language that have traditionally been associated with adoption, and instead try to change how people view birth parents. They have an annual fundraiser event in Dallas and I’ve been 4 years in a row. I’ve taken friends and family and even a client with me to the event! If you want to get involved, come with me to the fundraiser event in November. It’s eye-opening and just such a wonderful resource for all parties of adoptions!
If you’ve ever considered adopting, I highly recommend it! We chose local infant domestic, and got to be at the hospital the whole time after he was born! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, and know that I’m here for you during your journey to finding the child who longs to call your home HOME! How are you connected to adoption? I feel like everyone is somehow connected to adoption. Make sure you check out my adoption story blog post from August!