Many people have asked me over the last year what it means to work with an agency that advocates for “Open Adoption”. What does it mean? How does it work?
David and I made a profile book for birthmothers once we were home study ready. It’s basically a scrapbook of our lives, and it includes a letter to the birthmother explaining our ideals, values, wishes for our family, what we like to do, our jobs, etc. This book is shown to birthmothers when we are profiled by the agency. The birthmom then chooses a family to adopt her baby based upon these profiles.
Once the match is made, the birthmother often starts a relationship with the adoptive family…letters, phone calls, visits, etc. Sometimes the match is long, or sometimes very short (like ours…one day). Once the adoption has taken place, the adoptive family keeps in touch with the birthmom through letters and pictures, and sometimes visits, keeping her updated on the baby’s progress and milestones. It’s healthier for the birthmom, AND for the child. The child will always know about his/her birthmom and will be able to have his questions answered about adoption, and it often helps with closure for the birthmom.
That said, I want to share a little bit about our match with Nicholas’ birthmom. She pulled our profile out of the batch because of our cats…it seems that one of the cats looks like one she has growing up. 🙂 That wasn’t the only deciding factor, however. That just made her remember ours and pull it out of the pile. You never know what is going to trigger the match! She then had our advocate call us and ask if we would incorporate one of the names she chose for him into our name for him. Of course we would! We told our advocate what we wished to name him and she told the borthmom. This was the clincher…she has a 16 year old son with the same name we chose, and she told the advocate that it “was meant to be”. YAY! You just never know what is going to trigger that “Ah-ha!” moment.
The birthmom (BM) wants to keep in touch through letters and photos. Maybe someday she’ll want to meet us…maybe not. We’ll see. We have exchanged letters already and it has been such a wonderful experience! She is a wonderful woman and I look forward to many years of communication with her. she has given us the greatest gift we could have ever been given, and we will be forever grateful for our son, and for her.