Friday, October 2, 2015

Open Adoption: A Story of Faith, Trust, and Love

Yesterday I introduced you to Alex and Amy and shared how they were chosen by a brave woman to parent her son. Those next six weeks were filled not only with prepping a nursery, but more importantly with building a relationship with their birth mother. Before the birth, Alex and Amy flew out to meet her and begin their lifetime relationship sharing the important title of parents to the son they share.

I have been in awe of Alex and Amy and the genuine care, compassion, and friendship they have developed with their birth mother, Mason. The connection Amy felt immediately with her when reading her story has only grown. My phone is full of texts from Amy updating me on their adoption, asking for prayers for Mason, and telling me how amazed they are of her bravery, her perseverance, and her obvious love for her son.

I received this text from Amy over the summer: ...Susan, this girl. We cried together and I did my best to comfort her and she thanked me over and over. And I told her "No, thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives." We talked about how we are family now and that we both will need to rely on each other a lot through all of this. Susan, we seriously underestimated the amount of love we'd have for her. It's just so hard to navigate these really hard parts. It's so scary for all of us. And so beautiful for all of us too.

And because of this, because of Mason's selfless love for her son, together these two families welcomed their son into the world just a few weeks later. They have laughed together while talking about baby names, cried happy and sad tears together at the bittersweetness of adoption, and celebrated the goodness of God in knitting their hearts into a family.

In light of this, Amy and her birth mother Mason share more about the relationship they share and their open adoption...

It has been on my heart lately to share our experience and our journey so far with open adoption. Granted, we haven't been doing this long...but our experience has been one full of beauty. I think it's crucial for people to know that while open adoption is not for everyone, it doesn't make it something to be feared. Often times open adoption is filled with beauty. It teaches you a lot about extending grace and allowing yourself grace and it also taught us that we had to have an immense amount of faith to make this work.

For Alex and I we craved an open adoption. We have several friends with open adoptions and we desired to have that kind of relationship as well. I remember when we were in our season of wait; I would often ask one of those friends "What if I never find a birth mother who I just connect with? What if we never have that relationship I so badly desire?" Little did I realize then...but God heard the desires of my heart and he started weaving that into our family's story.

When our son's birth mother, Mason chose us to be Barrett's forever family it was like all of my prayers had been answered about the woman I would share motherhood with. We connected immediately. I knew from the very beginning that we would have something so special and that we would be connected on a level that I never knew existed.

Now, I know that open adoption isn't for everyone. Often times it just isn't meant to work that way...and thats ok! But, if you are desiring or even considering an open advice to you is to trust, love and be honest in every situation. Alex and I learned quickly that we had to trust Mason, we had to love her unconditionally, and that we would have to be honest in what we could give of ourselves and what we needed from her as well. This healthy communication allowed us to set up really healthy boundaries with each other. It allowed us to be able to be much more open with each other than we discussed it would be in the beginning.

I know that so many times we get to hear the adoptive parent's side of open adoption. But, what about the birth family's side? Don't we all just crave an understanding of that perspective as well? Well, our son's sweet birth mother offered to share her words with us.

My favorite part about our relationship is so simple: it's just the fact that we even have one! This hasn't been an easy event in my life by any means...but by building the relationship with Alex and Amy before Barrett was even born, and growing from that even further when we spent days in the hospital together for his birth, and even leading up to this very day, is something that I'm so glad we all put the effort into and I cherish it.  
I can feel the love that Alex and Amy have for myself, for my older son and for B. Having an open adoption has been one of my biggest priorities from the very beginning. Luckily, it has grown to be even more open than we all originally agreed upon. I know that even though I feel sad or lonely sometimes, all I have to do is text them and I can see him again. I was even able to witness his first time rolling over. I will always consider myself very lucky for that. I take comfort in knowing I will get to see things like that even if I'm not physically there. In my opinion, they key to having a successful open relationship is honesty. I even mentioned to Alex and Amy that one thing I loved about them before I chose them was that they were honest with me. I had really wanted to be able to have visits every year. They both explained that while they would love that as well, it wasn't something they could promise doing. So, we made a promise to say that we would always TRY to see each other at least once a year. They even have offered for me to come and visit them if they can't make it to me! Does it make me sad that there is a chance I may not get to see him in person one year? No, because we have talked so much about other options and I know that I will still get to see him in pictures of through video. 
I was also always honest about my past and because of that, we know it will help us to be prepared for the future.  
They say every day gets a little easier than the last. It's so true. Both Amy and Alex have helped me to feel like I can breathe again. They remind me that it's all going to be ok. They are my family and Amy and I have gotten so close...close enough that I consider her to be like a sister to me.  
They remind me that I can have comfort in my decision and I am so so grateful I was given you to parent my sweet Barrett.   
- Mason
Y'all this girl is our hero. She is more than our son's birth mother. She is our family. Each day we are so thankful God has chosen us to walk this path. We are so grateful He picked us to be Barrett's mommy and daddy.

To our sweet Barrett Alexander Mason, you are loved beyond measure sweet boy. Never forget that.


And Mason, I would love to speak for a whole tribe of us as well. From the dear friends and family of Alex and Amy, from the adoption community, and now from a slew of people who might only know your face from this blog and this story, you're our hero too. Your courageous love for your son, the selfless way you have shared your title as Mother with another woman, and the legacy you've begun for your son is nothing short of amazing. 

For more of Alex and Amy's journey, follow their blog at Glimpses of Hope.

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