This guest post is by Cara Anne, an adoptive mother.
When you’re told that it’s nearly impossible to have biological children, that sudden sharp feeling of despair stays with you forever.
On a cold day in January my husband and I silently exited the doctor’s office, shared some tears and headed back to work.
We were in shock. What do you do? Who do you tell? Where do you go for support when you’re told this type of news?
After spending more than a year picking up the pieces and receiving support from a good friend who had adopted, we decided to take the plunge to try and adopt too.
Although the idea of open adoption was a scary and foreign idea, we were comforted and grounded by my friend’s experience in open adoption.
She reassured me that her relationship with her birth mother was similar to a good friend or a sister.
She explained that her visits with her son’s birth family were comforting and joyous.
As we moved forward in our adoption journey, I held on tight to the reassurances and support that my friend provided me.
I learned quickly through our adoption training that having an open adoption meant more than growing our family by one precious human being.
It was an opportunity to open our hearts to an entire family.
In a year’s time, our incredible birth mother granted my husband and me the most beautiful baby we’d ever seen.
Our relationship with our son’s birth mother has taught us more than we would have ever expected.
Over these past few years, we have been able to witness the genuine love and compassion she has for her son.
What has surprised me most in this journey is the love and connection I feel I with her.
She has taught me what it means to truly love a child unconditionally.
The day I held our son in my arms in the hospital and she left the building with her mother empty handed, I cried and cried.
My gain was her loss.
I can only imagine the unbearable grief she must have experienced.
I cannot help but be reminded of this after each visit we have with one another and wonder if she too feels the same.
If so, it speaks to the incredible love and compassion she and her sister have for our son.
In a way, I feel that our birth mother is always with me.
She is in my mind and heart every step of the way.
When I look into our son’s eyes, there is not a moment that I don’t think of her and what she has done for us.
Getting to know our son’s birth mother over these past few years has enabled me to develop a stronger connection with our son, as I can see some of his personality traits in his birth mother.
For he is in her and she is in him. We are all interconnected in the most unexpected and delightful ways.
My most recent joyous moment was during our last visit with one another.
I reminded our son how lucky he is to have two mommies.
He was in my arms at the time and reached over to his birth mother for a huge hug while sharing his excitement with a “YAY”!
All three of us hugged and hugged and then of course he invited daddy to join in and so we all hugged and enjoyed the moment for what it was – celebrating together our crazy beautiful family.
Open adoption is an incredible opportunity.
I could not imagine my life without our son’s birth mother and aunt in it.
Our relationship is comforting; it gives me a sense of contentment and inspires me to be the best parent that I can be.
What I think makes our open adoption successful is the tremendous amount of respect we all have for one another.
We are caring, true to our word and we honour each other’s boundaries.
Currently, my husband and I are trying to adopt our next baby love and are reminded of the painful road to adoption.
Although the road to adopting is tough, I am grounded by my experience in open adoption and I am incredibly thankful for the wonderful family we already have.
We would cherish the opportunity to adopt a second child and experience open adoption with his or her birth parents and their family.
Thinking about what another child and his or her birth family would bring to our family is exciting.
Every birth family brings their unique story and love with them in an open adoption and we would be honoured to be a part of it and to celebrate this extraordinary connection.
Cara Anne is an adoptive mother. To learn more about her family’s open adoption and their quest to adopt again, visit her blog.
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