Navigating an (Imperfect) Open Adoption

January 27, 2016

Today I have the privilege of sharing part of our story with Lauren from Sobremesa Stories. Every Wednesday she features women who are willing to share their stories of joy and struggle, pain and happiness, in a very real and honest way. I'm so honored to be among these women who've had the opportunity to tell their story. 

I sit staring at the last Christmas card envelope I need to address. Next to me, a completed stack for family and friends sit ready to go. I pull out my daughter’s card, look over her note again, the one she thought up by her seven-year-old mind alone –it’s addressed to her birth mother. She’s wondering if she would care to come to Christmas, “if she’s not too busy.”

A sad smile crosses my face as I see, once again, the tender heart that is my daughter clearly displayed across the colored note to her birth mother. I set it aside and start to write my own note to a woman I’ve never met but somehow feel connected to. I tell her that Jasmine came up with the note on her own but Kyle and I are in full agreement; we’d love to have her come for Christmas. We’ve sent cards in the past and her birth mom has responded with letters and presents of her own, offering Jasmine encouragement and love from a distance, but this is the first time we’ve invited her over for an actual visit.

I send Jasmine’s note along with our card and an extra picture of Jasmine, licking the envelope, hoping we still have the correct address for her and that she’ll receive it. Too scared to tell anyone else what I’ve done, fearing that they’ll tell me I’m crazy to invite her or try to talk me out of it, I let no one know of our note to Jasmine’s birth mom.

Every once in a while, being a foster and adoptive mom is a lonely proposition (like I shared about in this post). I have wonderful mama friends who have supported me on all fronts, who love my kids well, and who listen to all my successes and failures. But sometimes it’s hard to quite put into words the balance we try to strike with our adopted kids about birth families and adoptive families.

The bond with both sets of families for my kids is undeniable and I would be discarding a part of themselves if I ignored this other half of them, their birth families.

You can read the rest of my post here

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