19. February 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Adoption · Tags:

A huge trend has sprung up on social media in the last few weeks as women and men have photographed themselves holding poster board signs. These signs are covered in the only details they have of their first family; their biological family.

My heart aches for these adult adoptees who long so much to know where they came from and who loved them for the short time that is missing from their personal histories. Back when many of these people were placed the arms of their adoptive families, open adoption was unheard of. At best, they had some details and direction if they wanted to start looking when they were older. Until then, they were left to wonder.

To be honest, open adoption scared the heck out of us at first, but I think that was because we didn’t understand it.

Before I knew better, I thought of that level of involvement from a biological parent as some sort of competition that I would ultimately lose because I wasn’t as cool as the other mom in my child’s life. I also worried that it might be a way to keep our family under a microscope to see if we would make a bad decision so they take the baby away.

That was all wrong. Very wrong. After tons of reading and hearing from people that have lived with open adoption, we have discovered how truly remarkable it is.

The biggest lesson I learned is that it isn’t about me. It’s about the child. It’s ALL about the child. There are so many questions that our child will have about who they are and what their story is. There will be medical histories that they need to complete. They have emotions to be able to come to terms with surrounding their adoption. They need to know that they were loved, not unwanted.

It’s true that they can get all that information second hand or from a form, but that isn’t going to fill the hole in my child’s heart. That connection they will feel to their first family is real, and they deserve to develop that relationship. There may have to be boundaries, depending on the circumstance in order to keep it a healthy relationship. Still, it’s important to me to facilitate that relationship.

As wonderful as it is that we have social media to connect, but it would break my heart to watch my child fit the only facts they have about their biological family on a poster board.

How amazing would it be to have enough ideas to fill volumes? Stories and moments that could give them that foundation and springboard them into their identity. Between their biological family and adoptive family, our child would have a complete picture of what has shaped them, allowing them to embrace it or learn from it.

I have nothing but admiration for these brave men and women that are looking for answers. I’m hoping that as adoption evolves that we will have more answers than unanswered questions for these adoptees and more love to replace the confusion they might feel. I’m going to do my part in our family by welcoming open adoption into our lives and helping to develop these relationships.

Love can only be multiplied. When there are more people in the world loving my child, it’s important that my child know and feel that love.

With love, the ever hopeful prospective adoptive momma,

Christy

P.S. Check out these folks looking for their birth parents and help them on their journey by liking and sharing their photos!

Mary
Chris
Kelli
Tyler

Big portions of this came from our answer to Cynthia from Q&A Tuesday. Thank you for the great question!

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2 Comments

  1. What a beautiful and thoughtful response! I am blessed to have found my birth mother 5 years ago after what was essentially a shot in the dark: finding a letter left for me to find in my county file. Rebuilding our relationship has had its ups and downs, but its better than the loneliness I felt growing up as a child who was so different than my parents and the rest of my family- I didn’t feel like I ever fit in all that well. Plus there was always this unspoken assumption that my birth mother wasn’t responsible/didn’t love me/I was a bother to her. Having children of my own really opened my eyes to how deep a mother’s love is: to even let go of their precious one to give them a better life. That is when I knew I had to find my birth mother even if it was just to tell her that I was OK and that I had forgiven her and to forgive myself for all the awful things I had assumed about her. Looking back on it all now I wish I had known her growing up, it would have helped me understand my own self, my strengths and weaknesses. I wish I had memories of my brothers and sister growing up, instead of being an overprotected only child. I wish I would have known growing up that I was loved by two mothers, instead feeling rejected by one and desperately clung to by another. No amount of attention or gifts from my adopted family could replace the bond I longed for with the family that was lost to me. God Bless You and Daniel for not only opening up your lives and hearts to a child, but to another family as well and letting them be in that child’s life and not hidden away in shame.

  2. Thank you Christy! Great post.

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