potential birthmothers have got to have one of the hardest decisions they have to make when they decide to make an adoption plan or by her choice the other option(I won't mention that word), thankfully our daughters birthmother chose to make an adoption plan with her yet unborn child back in 2007 and we were the blessed and joyful couple that accepted her match.
We met her in her 6th month of pregnancy and she had such a positive attitude that she was going with her plan to place and really wanted us to be the couple she chose to parent this baby. At our first in-person visit with her (and our social worker), She proceeded to ask us if we had a name picked out and if we wanted to know the gender to help with the name selection. WOW, that was fun to hear her ask us that question and within 5 minutes we knew the gender was female or in other words in the to-be-mom community, "PINK". Yippppeee. I was so excited. We told her the two names for a girl we had picked out and we agreed on Julia and she picked her middle name (our mutual understanding as it she has the right to name her anything she wanted from day 1). So Julia Marie she was named in-uteral! What a fun time because I had always dreamed of having a girl first and I wanted our first to be DH's little girl. Sure, at that point in time in the birthmothers life, she had all control, all decisions to be made, SHE IS the baby's mother and IS our beautiful baby girl's birthmother!
After weeks of talking on the phone, meeting in person , a few bumps in the road and then setting up the delivery information (we got invited to one of her doctors appointments and got to see this precious little girl on the ultrasound screen, so surreal!!!! especially after having gone through 7 miscarriages). We wanted strongly to believe this was going to happen, the placement from her birthmothers arms to ours, yet we were honest with ourselves and still kept reserved about the whole process. The birthmother sensed our pull back of emotions and called the social worker on it and the social worker discussed it with us that even on raw emotions of a failed adoption just weeks prior, it was ok to let some of our guard down and let ourselves be happy outwardly by facial and bodily actions! Like HUGS and like asking if it was ok to feel the baby kick in her belly..etc...
Things got so close in the last weeks, I was nesting, DH was prepping for time off, and figuring how much time I could take off work because I didn't get paid for it. Ugh.
Then the emotional questions started hitting before delivery, would we be invited to the delivery room (yes, I was asked by our birthmother to be in there and to take pictures too!), dh was asked to stay in the hall until the baby was out. How we would be treated at the hospital! Except for a minor issue with our birthmothers purse being stolen, all went smooth in the hospital. I then saw the emotional side of things change for her birthmother after she left the hospital only 24 hours after delivery. I was scared she would disappear and not want an open relationship with us, but infact, she wanted to see her only 4 days later when she went to the lawyers office to sign the TPR papers. Then we averaged seeing each other in person about once every 3-4 months for her first year with us providing letters and pictures each time. We had to learn that it was her move to make the decision when those meetings would take place. Sometimes we suspected that she was not in a good emotional state to deal with seeing us all in person. I can't imagine what she thinks when the date approaches for meeting up with us in person. Heck, I am nervous too. I just want to see them, birthmother, Juli'a birthsiblings (1 bro and 1 sis) and her birth grandma.
So we stand having invited J's birthmother to her birthday party a few weeks back. A week before the party I got a call on my cell phone stating she would love to be there and asked if it was ok to bring her sister (birthaunt) and mom (birthgrandma) and her birthsiblings. OF COURSE, but I did let her know there were going to be around 60 people there. That must have scared her. In fact, I know it did because she said she would love to arrive about a 1/2 hour early with the mutual friend driving so she could have a few minutes with us to have fun and calm the nerves. SURE! Heck, I even joked that my sister would put her to work with prepping food if she was that nervous about meeting everyone.
Well, came the day of the party. Friends showed and the mutual friend and her hubby and daughter showed, but no show for J's birthmother and family. WOW, that took a long story to get to that climax. Disappointing climax at that. At first I was starting to tear up while holding Julia watching the friend come down the drive with her hubby and daughter. I must have had a sad look on my face. The friend told me the reason she was not with her is that the birthmother would not answer the door when they were ready to leave. My thoughts on this is that J's birthmother was so scared to meet so many strangers and feel as though they might judge her in the way that would be so hurtful to her. BUT I feel in fact it would have been just the opposite for her. Heck, I am not her and I don't know what her feelings are and I am really sorry she missed her daughters first birthday party, but I know she was thinking of her at least. It took me a few days to get over the anger of her not showing, but then I tried to look at it from her perspective as much as I could try to understand and think of how hard it might be on her to see Julia, see the family setting we are all in, and to meet so many strange (unknown) friends of ours. I let the anger ride away at night now knowing that I have such a beautiful miracle in our arms each night rocking her and giving her a bottle of her favorite milk now. God brought us to her birthmother through friends and I am so thankful for them all. That is what makes it possible for me to be able to work around the anger, look at the family picture (birthfamily and us ) on the refridge and know she is thinking about us each day. Especially this BEAUTIFUL girl that is finally growing some hair and has 5 teeth now.
sometimes couples might find it hard to work past the disappointments of the rollercoaster ride of OPEN adoptoin. I can expect the unexpected and still be a happy family. I will still write her letters and send pictures every few months. She knows our phone numbers and how to get a hold of us by snail mail too. I just hope she is emotionally ok. I hope she is feeling our love we send to her each night when Julia points to her picture on her nursery wall and says hello. I hope she knows we are ok that she didn't make it to J's party and that we will eventually get together and have our extended families meet up. We will not be judgmental of anything as we hope the same in return. We hope that we can focus on the kids and let the siblings spend some quality time. It must be hard as the older birthsibling is old enough to ask quesitons about adoption. I told J's birthmother that if she can't answer B's questions about adoption to please feel free to have her call me and I'll try and help or maybe our social worker can help too.
I want to see life from every side of adoption, so if you are a birthmother with an open adoption, please feel free to contact me and let me know how you dealt with your child's first birthday with their adoptive family. How was it emotionally for you and your family? I want to cry thinking that J's birthmother is sad, but I konw I can't fix the emotional state she might be in. I can try and comfort if she wants me to be there. Or even if she wants us to step away and give her space, even if that means months and months with no contact. I am ok with that. I will still always tell J about her and what a blessing she is in our lives and always will be!
I hope she knows we think of her and her kids every day too! Let there be calming in my heart knowing she is ok and hers too knowing Julia is too. We are so blessed no matter how many days, weeks, months it takes between in-person contact. I will get through this one day at a time.
thanks for reading this mumbojumbo .. I know it might not make sense to anyone else, but it is a place to jot my feelings down and wonder if anyone else goes through these ups and down hills of emotions in open adoption relationships with their birthmothers or birthfamilies.