This is a photo that to our family is and will always be a very special one indeed. It represents a promise and a commitment and a colossal leap of faith to be sure. It expresses love but also vulnerability. It is a picture of August and his birthmother Katelyn, who has pledged to be a consistent and permanent presence in August’s life. And it is with her permission that I can share this here.
Katelyn is a young woman–a brave and selfless young woman, in my humble opinion–who created an adoption plan prior to August’s birth, a decision not made lightly but one that she felt was in his best interest. Despite her young years, she had the foresight to know that she was at a place in her life where she couldn’t be the parent she would want to be; and so she chose us as August’s parents and asked if we would be amenable to some degree of openness.
At the forefront of every decision we make for our children is the question: Is this what is best for our child? And it has always been our contention that surrounding ourselves with people who want to love our children is most assuredly in their best interest. August will grow up hearing from us that his birthmother made this decision out of the deepest of love for him; but he will have the added benefit of also being able to hear it from her. That is a gift unparalleled.
The visits we have with Katelyn are surely to establish and enhance the relationship that she and August will build, but I would argue that they are something more. The more we get to know her, the more it is clear that she, as much as anyone else, is a member of our family.
For many reasons, this opportunity is not present or, it would seem, even possible, for Oscar and Edgar. The situations with their birthparents are strikingly different–from August’s and from each other’s–making the likelihood at this time of a connection virtually nonexistent. But it is my hope, as they watch August and Katelyn together, that they will see the parallels and understand that a birthmother who chooses adoption does so not because she doesn’t love but because she love so much that she sacrifices in ways only few can imagine. And I hope that all my children–as they watch this life unfold–are able to bask in the love–however it is articulated–that surrounds them.