With adoption as my option, I never considered how open it could be. In fact, my idea of “very open” wasn’t all that open at all. I never dreamed that my adoption would be where it is today.
It has, by far, exceeded the expectations of a scared and pregnant woman. I never imagined spending holidays with my birth daughters’ family, babysitting, or even taking family trips. But that is what my open adoption has become. It has gone from two families joining as one.
It has turned into my birth daughter’s mom becoming my best friend and my sister. We celebrate the highs and cry at the lows. In fact, it just does not feel like a normal day if her mom doesn’t text me.
Has it always been easy?
But has it been worth it?
In the very beginning, being in a very open adoption was hard! My feelings were out of control. My birth daughter’s mom needed space, in turn, my feelings were hurt. But communicating about everything was never hard for us. It's actually one of the biggest reasons our open adoption has worked so well. Sometimes it is difficult to talk about feelings or ask for a visit but it’s necessary. I didn’t want my relationship with my birth daughter to be restricted but also I wanted the same for her mother.
As an expectant mother considering adoption, I knew what relinquishing my rights would entail. I knew that I could not be the best mom for my daughter at the time. Communication is very important to me but I also knew I had to communicate that I do have boundaries as a birth mom but that I also respect those boundaries. I understand that legally I can not make any decisions for my daughter. I respect and honor any decisions her parents were to make. That our relationship isn’t co-parenting. I’m an important part of her life but I’m not going to be the one that makes big decisions for her. Because at the end of the day they are her parents. They also honor and respect me as her birth mom.
Sometimes “You’re the best mom” or “She looks just like you” goes a long way for both of us.
Lastly, taking time to just be friends has been very important. One night my birth daughter’s mom was staying in my area which allowed us to go have dinner and just talk as adults. We laughed and we cried. In March we will take our own weekend girl's trip to Chicago. We’ve always talked about taking a girls’ weekend trip and now it will be a reality. Being best friends definitely helps our relationship with my birth daughter. Our relationship isn’t awkward like people think because we are as close as they come.
To me it feels like our very open adoption is normal.
My advice for all three sides of the adoption triad? Openly communicate, don’t be afraid to express how you feel, and love, respect, and honor goes a very long way in a relationship. My hope for the future is for every birth mom to have the amazing adoptive parents that I have.
Adoption isn’t always an easy journey, but with my birth daughter and her family, it’s the most amazing journey I’ve taken.
This article was written by Andrea. Learn more about Andrea, find her video here!