Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Open Adoption Timeline

Some may wonder what walking out an open adoption is like, I've kind of wondered that myself. Every situation is going to be different but sometimes it's just nice to hear what an open adoption looks like for one family. I guess that is really the reason why I write about adoption. I had so many questions, wondered about so many things, felt scared about almost every aspect and it was hearing stories from those who had gone before me that eased many of my fears. 

Our situation isn't an open adoption legally, but we decided that we want our kids to know their biological family so we are slowly working towards reconnecting.

Our open adoption timeline

We waited 14 months before making contact with our oldest three children's birth grandmother. Sam and I met her at a Starbucks and our time together couldn't have gone better. She was thrilled to hear how the kids were doing and relieved to hear how happy they were.

A few months later Sam and I met our kid's birth mom at a park. I was completely nervous. We chatted for a while, everyone was completely civil and she earnestly just wanted to know how the kids were doing...that was it. We talked about math and reading and how much they were growing and what made each of them smile. I walked away feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and was actually excited to have the kids see their mom again.

A few weeks after that meeting, we took the three kids to see their mom. It was the first time that they were seeing her in over 18 months. We left our younger two with friends and met at a public restaurant. The kids had ice cream which helped break the ice so to speak. I'm not sure that the kids knew what to think but they were all smiles. It is hard to explain but it felt like they walked away from that time knowing just how much they were loved and by SO many people. They didn't seem to be too confused or have any major questions, they were just genuinely happy to see their mom again.

an open adoption

Our next interaction happened through texting to set up a time & place to gather around the holidays. We mentioned that this would be a great time for any additional bio family to come and see the kids if they wanted to. We left our younger two kids at home with family and took our oldest three to meet their family at a restaurant. They loved seeing their cousins, aunt, great-grandma, grandma and mom. They came home telling the little kids all about the fun that they had and showed them some presents that they had each received. 

Our hope was that we could meet again in the summertime. This Saturday marks the day that we will gather again...this time at a park. Our youngest two are also coming along this time and are so excited to meet all of these lovely people that the older kids tell them stories about. 

our open adoption

We celebrated our first gotcha day 2 1/2 years ago (boy, does time FLY!) In total sincerity, our open adoption experience has been great! The bio family has never driven by our house unexpectedly, called uncontrollably or acted uncivil in ANY way (secretly, those were all of my prior fears.)

Their mom sends me a text on their birthday asking me to wish them a happy birthday and give them a great big hug from her. It is a joy to relay the message and give them a gigantic hug! At this point, we hope to continue getting together with the bio family for visits twice a year. We will see what the future holds as the kids grow. This story is only just beginning...

Have you experienced an open adoption? Are you thinking of adopting in the future? 

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7 comments:

  1. This is wonderful! So glad to hear that everything is going good with an open adoption. :) Thank you for sharing. I love hearing stories like this. I would like to adopt one day in the future.

    <3 Ash

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    1. Thanks Ashley, we think adoption is awesome and totally recommend it! ;-)

      ~Sarah

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  2. We are in the process of adopting a sibling group through foster care. They are all experiencing different stages of grief at the moment. If this is what healing looks like a few years out, then I am very hopeful that we can reach a peaceful place as a blended family. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Jenny,

      I know that each journey can look so different but yes, hopeful indeed! How exciting about your adoption!

      ~Sarah

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story! We have two children adopted from out of state and have an open adoption with our daughters birth family and a semi open adoption with our sons birth family.In the early stages of the adoption process I was very hesitant about what an open adoption would look like and how that would work. But in the end I would have it no other way! We have been able to visit our daughters birth family two times already and keep in touch via letters and pictures with both birth families regularly. I would encourage anyone with reservation about open adoptions that it can be an AMAZING experience to share your kid's lives with their birth families who love them so much!

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    1. Annie,

      That is wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for sharing some of your experience! :-)

      ~Sarah

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