Revisiting An Open Adoption Fear
Further to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d share a bit more about my worry about our son’s birth mom.
Also, please note I may be slightly politically incorrect as I dive into this, but I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone. Rather I am simply being honest about a transition from some of my initial adoption feelings/fears to my existing real feelings.
When we first began investigating adoption to grow our family, we had a lot of questions and concerns. Ultimately, when we chose open-adoption, I will fully admit that this adoptive parent/birth parent relationship is one of the things we feared the most. We had no idea what to expect. In fact, one of the reasons we chose international open adoption is that just in case our future child ended up having a crazy birth mom/family we wanted distance. Simply, we were scared of what open adoption meant, and no matter how much our local adoption agency told us our fears were probably not realistic, even the amazing family we met with very early on told us they understood this fear but also know from their experience that we wouldn’t need to worry about this. But, neither the agency or the adoptive family could promise us that none of our fears were wrong so we continued to hold onto the fears. Our local agency even told us most adoptive parents eventually wish for more contact with the birth family, to which we basically laughed at them. In stead, we just held onto our fears, as if somehow by holding onto them we’d be better able to face bad stuff when it happened, because in our minds it was probably going to happen eventually.
Even with these fears, in the end, we decided open adoption was best for our future family, because the research points to open-adoption being best for the child, and at the end of the day our emotions on this were secondary to our future child’s. But, we also decided international adoption was also best in part because we thought that distance would give us more control over the relationship, and it helped us feel more comfortable with open adoption (we chose international open adoption for other reasons too, but this definitely factored into our decision).
But, none of this happened. Our local adoption agency was right.
We were wrong.
Today we know our son’s birth mother to be a delightful person who we welcomed into our family with open arms. (I know this isn’t the case for all open-adoptions, but I can only share based on our experience). And so, today we are surprised because:
- We see her a part of our extended family.
- We treasure her as part of our family. She gave us the greatest gift ever, a life with Little MPB, and we cannot ever overlook this.
- We wished we had more contact and that we lived closer together.
- I worry about her non-stop, especially when she’s overly quiet.
We honestly didn’t expect this. In fact, we spent so much time worrying about the possible problems with this relationship that we didn’t even really contemplate these positive things that might happen.
So, now when we look back we realize just how unfounded our original fears were.
And right now, while all is quiet, I am trying very hard not to be utterly consumed with worry imagining all the worst-case possible scenarios.
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I can’t imagine what that must feel like for you guys or for the birth mother. I wonder if she’s having more emotions and grief to work through now that she is parenting her second child. Maybe she doesn’t feel strong enough to reach out right now. I do hope she is ok though. I’m sure you feel very worried for her since you don’t have any way of knowing what is going on. Hopefully she is able to respond soon and give you all some peace of mind that her and baby are doing well.
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I understand this fear. I won’t say I have as open of a relationship with the biological mother of my two youngest, but we did reach an understanding way back when she was still having visits (my children were – well, still technically are until finalization this fall – in foster care). Sadly, no one has heard from their mother in months – not the county, not our foster agency, not her mother (who is adopting their older sister). With her history, it is scary to think of the possibilities. My hope and prayers are that she is well and just laying low while she deals with the certain grief in having her parental rights terminated. And, I do hope someday she will resurface and be healthy enough to engage in a relationship with her children.
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I’m sorry to hear your birth mother has gone silent again. I know that is worrisome for you guys. I have to say that I admire your desire to have a relationship with her and it speaks volumes to you as a parent to want the best for her.
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I’ve just manually tracked you down and refollowed you. When did that stop?? I assumed you were no longer writing! I’m sorry – I must have missed a ton, including baby MBP being a big bro!! I hope the mum is doing okay, and I understand your worry. Hoping to catch up with you a bit more now (feeling a bit stupid!).
As a birthmom of an almost three year old but I parent older children that I have sole legal custody over, I always worry about then his AP don’t text back but most importantly they worry a lot when I have gone silent. I know I read previously she had a new baby, could she just be overwhelmed? I have a birthmom support group I mediate on FB that I can privately give to you if you want her to be part of. Being a birthmom is hard and there is a lot like you said people don’t understand. I know I have seen many birthmom’s “go silent” as they were going through the grief process. Open adoption is an amazing gift to the entire adoption triad! I am blessed and thankful for my son’s AP everyday that we are an extended family. I am always here to help if you have any birthmom questions. Your blog is amazing!!!!