From the outside looking in, the particulars of our open adoption agreement for our youngest son August can seem complex if not completely intimidating and confounding.
It has inspired questions, many questions: Isn’t it confusing for your son? Isn’t it unnerving for you? Don’t you worry that it will undermine, even threaten the bond you have?
The answer is a very polite no to all of the above. When an open adoption is in a child’s best interest, it is indeed one of the most important relationships in his or her life; and it is one that needs and deserves a most careful cultivation.
Because she is in his life, my son’s birthmother can answer his questions as they arise. He is not relegated to the position of having to file away his queries for decades and be sated temporarily with “maybes” and “I-don’t-knows.” He will never have to wonder why because he can ask her, and she can tell him. And of all the gifts a parent can give to a child, peace and security are among the most profound.
As August’s mother, I have received my share of pats on the back for embarking on this path and maintaining this connection for him. And as appreciative as I ever am for the kind words of others, I don’t know that I deserve a single accolade. At the end of every visit, I get to go home with this beautiful boy. His birthmother does not.
August has two mothers—one who would sacrifice anything in the world for him and one who already has.