Melissa | An Adoptive Mom from New York

Melissa_Int.JPGAs a child, did you ever dream that you would one day adopt?

No, I didn't but now, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Why did you choose adoption?

My husband and I tried to have children naturally for a couple of years without success. We finally went to an infertility specialist and after two more years of appointments, needles, tests and tears we still had no answers. We gave up hope...decided to just be the two of us. Fast forward 10 years and our hearts still ached for a child to love. My mom mentioned adoption, and I seriously looked into it for the first time. What an eye-opener! We found a small agency that was a great fit for us and now we have our beautiful son.

Domestic or international?


Open, semi-open or closed adoption?


Did you want an open adoption originally?

I never really considered the options as the state we adopted in is an open adoption state by law. I think an open adoption is the best situation for all parties involved.

Describe the rewards and challenges of your open adoption.

The rewards of our open adoption were mostly before our son was born. I loved getting to know my son's biological mom and getting answers to questions he may someday ask if we ever were to lose contact. However, after our son was born, his bio mom really didn't want too much to do with us. The contact seemed fewer and further between. I do still randomly call or text her just to make sure she's okay, but our conversations are short, which makes me a little sad as we were so close during her pregnancy. I think open adoption will hold great rewards for our son if we lose contact with his bio mom, and he wants to find her. I think another reward would be that having an open adoption has made us more open about telling our son. We've told him since day one that he was in our arms that he was adopted, even though he obviously couldn't understand at two days old. We still talk about it all the time and answer his questions and dispel his fears. Every year we celebrate his adoption day by going out to whatever restaurant he wants and taking him to the toy store for shopping fun... he LOVES it! Tells all of his friends he's adopted and is proud of it!

If you could dispel an adoption myth - would would you say?

The biggest myth that we faced in the early days of our adoption was that our son's bio mom could "take him away" from us. Yes, there were a few weeks that we had our son at home and his bio mom had not signed off on her parental rights, but truthfully... it was such a blur with late night feedings and diaper-changing and loving on this adorable bundle of baby that we had been blessed with. Those weeks went by quickly and without a worry! Once we had our court date, we had not yet officially adopted our son, but he was ours and no one could take him from us. I always tell him, "We are your family FOREVER!"

What's been the most surprising experience as an adoptive mom?

I worried that I wouldn't be able to bond and love my son as I would had I birthed a child naturally. Once I held him in my arms, I knew that worry was not a worry at all! He stole my heart completely. I also think it's funny how he has so many of our personality traits and mannerisms and just funny things that are just a blessing from God. For example, my side of the family LOVES to eat raw bread dough... I know, DISGUSTING! Well, our son LOVES it just as much as we do! We make homemade pizza, and he grabs a huge pinch of that raw dough right out of the bowl. Makes my hubby gag every time, but fills my heart with even more love.

What's your greatest wish for adoptive parents today?

Wow...just that they would be as happy and blessed by adoption as we have been. Open your heart. Let that little face fill it!

If you could tell your child's birth mother one thing - what would it be?

I have told her time and time again that I love her, and I have thanked her for making my dream come true...for making me a MOMMA!

What excites you about BraveLove?

I won a BraveLove t-shirt awhile back and my hubby stole it from me and wears it ALL the time! People will ask him, "What's BraveLove?" It's a great opportunity to share the joy of adoption. Also, I love hearing from the birth mothers and their stories. Adoption is a beautiful thing!