Two families, two mothers, two fathers, two perfect babies and a whole lot of emotions!
My journey to double placement was unique. Navigating the life-long connection with both families, post placement, will be just as unique.
As I wrestled with the emotions of a second adoption in two years, my natural tendency was to consider everyone but myself in the scenario. I was nervous and terrified of what was coming and felt confused as I hashed and rehashed it all. I had planned to keep my son up until nearly the last trimester of my pregnancy, so time was of the essence. Who was this baby boy meant for? Should I even consider another family for him or place him with the family I already knew and loved. Would I hurt anyone’s feelings? I knew that the choice to place my son with a different couple than my daughter, just a year and a half prior, would possibly shake up the settled dust but I knew I owed it to myself and the special adoption process to at least explore it.
It is important to note that I could barely choose breakfast from a Denny’s menu, let alone a family and life for my unborn baby. From my previous experience I trusted that the right path would be clear and in time, it was. Heaven lead me to the right plan for my son.
I have been incredibly blessed with two awesome families and things have been peaceful and smooth since placement. I never expected any hostility or negative reactions from either dynamic but I was not naive enough to think there wouldn’t be any differences. I was preparing myself to have different “Open Adoption” ideas and preferences as I decided on the second family. I was very happy with the visitation and extended family-like relationship with Juniper’s (my daughter) family so I was good if they were similar in that. I also knew that it is a different experience for everyone and adoption can be tricky. It brings up emotions that can be difficult to navigate, moreso with an open adoption and the relationship with birth parents. I knew before my son was born that the visitation and relationship would be a bit different, but in no way better or worse. I am now very happy with it as well. I have always made it my goal to keep the emotions rational and healthy for baby and the biggest part of that is a good, authentic relationship with the hopeful adoptive family.
As I try to imagine the future for both babies, I hope they can have a transparent and open relationship with their parents and myself. My goal in this is to allow them the opportunity to ask questions. I want them to get the clarity they need, if any, and to build a healthy, happy life. That is why I placed them with their families at this stage in my life in the first place. I will always support that goal in anyway I can with the different family dynamics at play. Luckily they are phenomenal parents and people who I consider family.
I have had visits with both families and have learned, through simple and clear communication, what is best for them as individuals. I have tried to make it a point to express my feelings and allow them a safe space with me to do the same. I had to ask questions and confront my future curiosities, as hard as it was at times. So far, both families have been gracious in allowing me to be vulnerable as none of us know what may come in time. None of us can say what life will be like in the next 5 years or 10 years and what adjustments will need to be made to keep the most healthy circumstances for both children.
I think the biggest managed mindset that has helped me is this, “They are the child’s parent. Period. I relinquished my right to dictate my will or insist I know what is in the child’s best interest.” Accepting that has distilled any lingering emotions that I am their mom. I have always taken the stance of trust in the parents I chose to raise these sweet souls. I chose who I did knowing how big the responsibility would be. I let go of both babies in the hospital and that is it.
I hate to take a harsh angle but the truth is, they are no longer my right or responsibility and the sooner that is greeted with peace in my heart the sooner I can harvest better relationships with the families raising my babies.
If I could offer 3 helpful tips to fellow birth moms about creating and maintaining a good relationship with your child’s parents in an open adoption I would offer the following:
- Remember that emotions can be fragile but you are all working toward the same goal. You are on the same team and your sweet child’s well being is the common purpose.
- Be open with and communicate your feelings. Express concerns and tell them the things that will help you cope and feel at peace. I can promise they care about your healing and how you can be the best you for the child they are raising.
- Look at the long term outcome. Imagine the relationship you want to have with your child as a birth parent and act in a way that will support that future relationship.
I have plenty of updates about these beautiful experiences but I believe certain pieces of information have a time and a season to be shared. I have been healing and growing from my recent placement and I am grateful for the people who never forget me in their prayers. I have been loved and embraced and I appreciate the open mindedness through some circumstances that can be hard to understand.