One of the most anxiety-provoking and mysterious aspects of open adoption is the coming together of birth parents and adopting parents. Neither party can imagine what the other side will look or be like. How will someone choose us? Who will want my baby? How will we know what to say to each other, be with each other, and form a life-long relationship? And yet, I have seen this happen so often and so successfully over my 27 years here that I continue to be moved by the power of this process. It’s a little like falling in love – sometimes you think it will never happen, and then it does – and you feel like this was the person meant for you. Adopting parents and birth parents often feel this way about each other. The words “perfect match” come up over and over again.
Adoption Connection adoptive parents take on the challenge of describing their birthmother and her decision:
But like all relationships, forming a bond, working together, and maintaining an ongoing positive connection take some work. Trying to help everyone understand and appreciate this special relationship starts from the very beginning of the adoption process: with the homestudy for the adoptive parents and the call, text or email with the birth parents. For some folks, it seems very natural; for others, it is more uncomfortable. Almost everyone can see why an adopted child would want to know his or her biological roots, but the idea of a real person who may be a part of the family and child’s life is not so easy to imagine.
Having seen so many adoptions, I continue to be amazed at how people from very different perspectives and life circumstances can form important, enriching, and non-threatening relationships.
Post-adoption contact agreements are discussed throughout the pre-adoption phase, and mutually acceptable agreements are developed so that everyone knows what to expect in the future (as much as life and human behavior can allow).
Adjectives like “awesome, incredible, saintly, beautiful, thoughtful, selfless, mature” are commonly used by adopting parents to describe the birthmother of their child. They are awed by the difficulty of the decision and the love and strength that went into the act of trusting them to be the parents.
Related Posts: The Wait: Advice for Adoptive Parents
Related Posts: Words of Wisdom in Open Adoption