Saturday, April 2, 2011

Adoption: No Greater Love?

Kal-El's Birth Mother, 6 days after placement

Before we were approved to adopt, Zay and I were discussing how open of an adoption we wanted to have once it all worked out... I was the one pushing for "as open as possible" (because I knew the benefits and I didn't want our child to be cut off from the family who loved him first) while Zay was still iffy about the entire adoption idea altogether, so he was hesitant about everything. He was going forward with adoption plans, but he had his concerns. He didn't think that he wanted to "deal with" birth parents and that he wished we could just be a family and be separate. I kept saying, "Noooo... I don't think you're gonna be like that. I think you're gonna care a lot about a birthmom." He shook his head. I was like, "Yeah. I'm pretty sure you're going to change your mind once you meet her." He didn't think so, but I know him better than he knows himself. :)

There's always an odd balancing act you have to maintain with open adoptions, in which you do need distance and separation... especially in the beginning. It's good for the adoptive couple so that they can bond and actually feel like a family - since they didn't have the entire pregnancy to prepare for that. And it's good for the birth parent(s) so that they can grieve and focus on getting their life on the path that they really wanted for themselves. But at the same time, openness and communication can help the healing process on all sides, and promote an honest and healthy relationship among all three parties - birth parent(s), adoptive couple, and child. So, I understand Zay's concerns completely. When a couple gets pregnant, they have some time where they can share that excitement together, to revel in the joy of being soon-to-be parents, and to feel closer as a couple. In adoption, there's always going to be an outside party... or parties... so, it's just different. We went from trying to get pregnant to trying to adopt, so it was completely natural to still have a longing for the feelings we originally thought would accompany creating a family.

Of course, when we started meeting birthmoms, he melted. Ha ha. He opened up a lot more. I could see his excitement and hopefulness and genuine concern for whoever would be the birthmother of our child. At first we thought out loud that we weren't going to fly to another state just to meet a birthmother before she had decided to choose us to be the parents. That would be kinda ridiculous and expensive. And since it wasn't worth the time, money, and energy... we would only meet birthmoms in Utah. But Zay's change in attitude about birth parents is what prompted us to fly to Georgia this past January to meet the girl who ended up changing our entire world!

One of the most amazing things during placement was watching Zay's emotional reaction towards our birthmom. It was like he wanted to protect her, take care of her, make sure she knew she was loved and appreciated, give her anything she needed to be comfortable. It was interesting, because I had no idea he was going to care so much when originally he had cared so little. Hmmmm... Now that I'm thinking about it, I could see that being something that could make an adoptive mom jealous... you know? Like, he was treating her the way he would treat me if I were pregnant? Hmmmm... interesting. Lol. But no, I wasn't jealous at all. I felt like I was living vicariously through her anyway, so it all made sense to me at the time. Ha ha. Anyways, she was crying her eyes out and Zay felt like his heart was just being crushed. He told me he couldn't understand how she could sign over such a huge part of her heart and her life like that. He had to pull the caseworker to the side and vent for a little bit. He said that it felt almost like the Atonement in that it was something that he could never repay... something he was overwhelmed with gratitude for.

The way I was interpreting it was guilt... I felt guilty for benefiting from a situation that was so gut-wrenchingly painful for someone else to go through. The caseworker was awesome, though. She kept reassuring us that we weren't the problem here. We were the solution. It wasn't our fault that the birthmom was in pain. We were there to ease her burden and the adoption was meant to be mutually beneficial. So, no - it's not like the Atonement. Adoption is about love, and we will be forever grateful that we became parents due to Kal-El's birthmom's selfless sacrifice... but it's okay if we don't go ahead and make her a Saint, lol. She's not Jesus. But she is pretty great. :)

Adoption can be so amazingly beautiful in a heartbreaking kind of way.

Other adoption stories that I LOVE:
The R House
Feigning Fertility
MyIWrite





3 comments:

  1. This totally made me cry. You guys are great. And that picture is beautiful.

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  2. @Anna - I'm so glad that moment was captured! She did an amazingly beautiful thing and the emotions were very high. I know it was so hard for her to see him, but I wouldn't think of not letting her have time with him while we were there. I didn't want her to regret not having time to say "goodbye" (or rather "see you later," but it still felt something like "goodbye")...

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  3. I love this! What a great way to tell this story! Man, you're amazing!

    ReplyDelete

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