Why I Love Open Adoption

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but I still feel like celebrating. The roses (or tulips, in our case) still haven’t wilted, the chocolates still haven’t melted, and the sense of connectedness that the day brings still hangs in the air.

Earlier this week I told you what others love about open adoption. Today, I’d like to share what I love about it.

My wife and I have been blessed not once, but twice, by open adoption: Two amazing boys that remind us every day what a crazy, complicated, weird and wonderful process it can be–and how lucky we are to be part of it and call ourselves parents.

For all of the ups and downs we’ve been through (and there have been plenty of those) , I really do believe that to live open adoption is to love it. Here are a few things about it that I love.

  • I love the way that when infertility brought down the curtain on one act in our life, open adoption was patiently waiting in the wings for the next one to begin.
  • I love how even though we couldn’t wait to start a family, open adoption always seemed to take its own sweet time, making sure that when “the Call” finally came we would know exactly what to do.
  • I love that open adoption made me question assumptions I had about myself and what makes a family, and then helped us start one of our own.
  • I love how open adoption made me not only forget about my infertility, but in an odd way actually made me feel grateful for it.
  • I love the way that when we eventually came out and told people we were adopting, they automatically shared their own adoption stories with us, allowing us to feel less alone.
  • I love the fact that our sons’ birth parents picked us out from a stack of profiles and saw things in us that we never noticed ourselves.
  • I love how the moment we were chosen to become parents, our decision to embark on a process where there didn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel or sometimes a tunnel at all suddenly became validated.
  • I love that even after our children’s birth parents chose us, they put us through a nerve-wracking quiz just to make sure we were the right ones.
  • I love how by the end of our first phone conversation with them, it felt as if we had known them our entire lives.
  • I love the fact that they not only chose us, but that they explained why they chose us, without us even asking.
  • I love how the moment we realized we were going to become parents, the future went from being uncertain to exciting and even terrifying again.
  • I love the way we fell in love with our children and their birth parents long before we met them.
  • I love the way we went from waiting for something to happen to scrambling to catch the next plane out of town.
  • I love the fact that even though we were too late for our children’s births, their birth parents described the events to us in a way that made us feel not only like we were there, but that we hadn’t missed a single moment of their lives.
  • I love how, almost overnight, we and our sons’ birth family went from being total strangers to confidants to friends to, finally, family.
  • I love the way that neighbors we didn’t know started crossing the street to talk us after we magically showed up one day with a baby in our arms.
  • I love how I learned to fend off questions at the playground about why my sons didn’t look like me by explaining that they got their looks from their mother.
  • I love the way that our children are more perfect than any child we could ever imagine giving birth to.
  • I love that our older son knows where he got his passion for soccer and that our younger son knows where he got his independent streak and his beautiful big eyes.
  • I love the way we and our son’s birth parents can agree to disagree about things without worrying about hurting each other’s feelings or keeping our opinions to ourselves, just like any other family.
  • I love our how birth families can visit their children and see for themselves just how well they’re doing and how much they’re loved.
  • I love that open adoption lets adoptive and birth families celebrate their gains but also acknowledge their losses.
  • I love how birth parents are often less complicated than your own parents.
  • I love the fact that living an open adoption day-to-day is so much more exciting that any sensational movie-of-the-week about it could ever be.
  • I love that because our door is always open, we never have to fear our son’s birthparents showing up one day and demanding their children back.
  • I love how even though our son’s birth parents live hundreds of miles away, they’re never far from our thoughts.
  • I love the way that parenting two high-energy kids has made me forgot all the years I spent waiting for them.
  • I love that if our sons ever get confused about having two sets of parents, it will probably be because they won’t understand why other children don’t have them, too.
  • I love that open adoption has put me in touch with a community that is just like any other and yet completely different.
  • I love the fact open adoption opened my eyes to what openness, honesty, compassion and respect really mean.
  •  I love how even though open adoption may not be right for everyone, it has been right for us.

What aspect of open adoption do you love? If you enjoyed this piece as much as I did writing it, please leave your comments in the section below or share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: lifelikeapps