A few nights ago I realized my favorite part of open adoption. It is sharing my proudest moments with someone else that is equally proud! I just LOVE when my son does something new and I can share it with his birth mom. Sure I can say it to my family or post it on Facebook. It may even get a bunch of likes and comments. But other than his birth parents, no one is quite the same level of proud of him as we are. That is a very special bond.
My husband has been away on business for a few weeks. He has luckily been given the ability to come home for the weekend to spend time with us (and because he teaches a Saturday class at a local college). This weekend we tried basking in as much family time as possible. Friday after we picked up Isaac from school, we went out to dinner and since the weather was perfect, we headed to the outlet mall to get the boys some new gym shoes. When we returned home, the boys still wanted to be outside (Ezra loves being outside and is constantly running to the door saying “side”). Joe and Isaac were tossing the football around and Ezra was just cruising around the driveway and the yard in his new Nike’s. Of course, like any proud mom with an iPhone, I was snapping pictures. Then I remembered that T, his birth mom, had asked if he was starting to run yet. So when he was chasing the dog, dad and brother around the yard, I switched the camera to video mode and recorded a little one minute clip of him running around and “playing” football. I couldn’t wait to send it to her!
Her response was pure joy! “Look at him run. I love it. It almost looks like he’s been running and walking for years!” I typed back “he’s a pro!” and her next message was when it hit me… she said “I’m so proud.” It is those moments that I know that no matter how many likes a picture gets on Facebook or how many oohs and ahhs grandparents, friends or other family members give, no one else in the world shares the same love for him with me and Joe as his birth parents do. They’ll never tire of seeing pictures that look exactly the same as the ones I took the day before. They’ll never think I talk too much about him. They’ll never think “Gosh this woman is obsessed with her baby.”. They get it. They are still his parents too, even if they aren’t parenting him. They are proud of him. They love him. They take joy in his happiness.
So many people are still scared off by open adoption, simply because they don’t understand it. Open adoption is not co-parenting or fearing that my status as “Mom” is at risk. It is sharing the joy of a child that is loved by many. Imagine depriving them that joy of knowing how he is doing, that would be a terrible heartache to be responsible for causing. Being able to share with him their love, well that in itself is very special. He will know he is precious, loved and cherished.
“He is mine in a way he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.”