Monday, May 31, 2010

Open Adoption

Over the past nine months I have been blessed with an extremely loving, supportive family. Extended and immediate. With such a large group of people I knew there were bound to be a few who would need a little help understanding open adoption. And that is totally fine. 9 months ago, adoption was a foreign subject to me as well, and if someone would have told me that now days, adoptions are normally open not closed, I would have looked at them and said, "that makes no sense." So, I understand how it feels to be on both sides of the fence. And honestly, adoption is such a whole new realm that takes experience or dedicated education to truly understand. I feel that I owe my family members, ones who may be struggling with my decision to place Sophie for adoption, an explanation and hopefully some insight into what adoption is all about.

First of all, what is OPEN adoption? Open adoption means that there is some level of open communication between the birth family and the adoptive family. The level of openness varies in each case. Some people do e-mails every few months, as well as pictures and the occasional phone call, and some people have monthly face-to-face visits. There's a whole spectrum for openness. And every person has to come to an agreement that everyone is comfortable with. In my case, the adoption is VERY open. Rebecca and Troy live 10-15 minutes from my home. They have opened their arms to both me and my family and our hearts have been filled with gratitude and love for them as well. We have become another piece of extended family to them and vice versa. In just over the past two months I have built a bond with Troy, Rebecca, and their boys that I never thought possible. We have complete trust and faith in one another, and honesty is always welcome. So far, I have kept in touch with them through daily texts, phone calls, and emails. As well as weekly visits. After placement however, things may change. No one is for sure how much, but Troy and Rebecca have made it very clear that they are willing to give me whatever kind of contact I need. I know that if I feel it's best to stay away for a time, they'll let me be. But I also know that if I want to see Sophie or go visit her at their home, I'm always more than welcome. They offer me even more than I ask for, and I never feel like I'm stepping on their toes. Anyway, so that's open adoption.

I understand that 10 years ago, open adoptions were unheard of. It has been understood for decades that the birth mom needed to be cut off and forced to let go from the moment the baby was born. What people failed to see or understand, is how that kind of cut-off denies the birth mom any sort of closure. Studies have proven that open adoptions are a win for everyone involved. Throughout my adoption journey I have met tons and tons of adoptees, birth parents, birth grandparents, adoptive couples, etc. I have witnessed first hand, the miracle of open adoption. It is something incredible. And not only does it work 99% of the time, it is now promoted by the LDS Church. It is what the First Presidency put their stamp of approval on, approximately 10 years ago. If our Heavenly Father says it's right, who's to argue? I know I have dear family members who believe it's best to stay in the dark. To avoid becoming attached to the situation. All I can say is that I hope one day you can see what a blessing it is to have Sophie as a part of my life, as a part of yours. I am NOT giving Sophie up. I want that to be understood. I am giving her MORE. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, probably ever will do. But if I can give my daughter more, than by heaven and earth I will. I just hope this helps, and that those of you who may not quite understand, someday will. I love you all. And I am so grateful for your undying support.

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