Before I start this post, I have to thank reader MaLa for introducing me to these wonderful blogs! Thank you!
Since we are on our adoption from foster care journey it’s become really important to me that I learn from others that are going through what we, hopefully, will be going through in a bit. Imagine how happy I was to learn of two blogs about adoption from foster care: one blog from the parent that had her parental rights terminated and one blog from the parent that adopted that child! They have an open adoption and both women have worked to created a stable family live for their daughter.
From the birth mother on openness in adoption:
Then there was Rebecca and her husband. My daughter’s saviors. I left our first meeting with a peace I hadn’t felt in years. They were accepting Ashley for who she was and they weren’t giving up, like many before them had. My mother often joked, “it takes someone special to love Ashley”, and there they were. Those special people had found her, and better yet, they didn’t hate me. The fear that whoever adopted Ashley would see me as a monster, had loomed in me for quite some time. I imagined they would keep her from me, with fear I might try to take her or damage her in some way. But not Ashley’s parents, they were different.
It was obvious they had educated themselves in attachment, and shared my view, that in order to build a new bond, you have to nurture the first one. Not only that, but because Rebecca was an adoptee herself, she really understood the importance of maintaining Ashley’s relationship with me, her birth mother. I have to say, it wasn’t easy! I will never forget the first time I received a picture from Ashley, on the envelope “Mom” had been crossed out and the words “bio mom” were written in it’s place. I cried for hours, but it was through those tears that I accepted my new role in Ashley’s life, as her first mom. After that I realized if I didn’t move into the position of “birth mom”, Ashley would never fully integrate into her new family. It was here that I believe I regained my title as a “good mother”. I had truly stepped aside and let her go. It is in stepping aside that real love can begin. It was the most selfless act I could do for my child. Little did I know it would come with such a great reward.
From the adoptive mother on openness in adoption:
It may be an over-simplification, but I tend to see adoptive parents as falling into two camps: those who believe that you must sever the attachment to the original family in order for the child to attach to the new family and those, such as my husband and myself, who believe that the child is more likely to securely attach to the new family if the original bond is left intact. I believe that attachment begets attachment, and that, conversely, a child who has had one bond broken will find it more difficult to trust and attach again. I began on my open adoption journey believing that facilitating a relationship with my child’s original family would strengthen rather than weaken her connection to her adoptive one, and that did in fact turn out to be the case.
From the adoptive mother on the birth mother:
I never could have predicted how far I would end up going in the direction of openness. I would not have guessed that my daughter’s other mother would become one of my closest friends and one of the primary inspirations in my life.
From the birth mother on the adoptive mother:
When I think of a “good mother” I too think of these things, but I also see a woman who can admit she makes mistakes, and understands sometimes the best thing you can do for your child is step aside. I’ve seen this quality in myself, as well as in Ashley’s adoptive mother, and I’m proud to say we both have it.
The last word from a birth mother on adoption from foster care:
So ask me today how I feel about adoption through foster care, and I will tell you I owe my life to it. Every child, no matter where they started, deserves a forever family. Unconditional love can come from all places, and Ashley has found that she has more than most. Through trauma and suffering, has come peace and joy. My outlook on adoption and love has forever changed and I have Rebecca, her family, and adoption to thank, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I have nothing to add.
I just hope that when we adopt, both sets of parents (adoptive and biological) can do whatever is best for our child. Here’s looking forward to the future!