So many of my posts start out with conversations with one of the amazing adoptive mamas I have the honor of working with on a daily basis.  She’ll know who she is as soon as she reads this, so I won’t name names, but I will say thanks:)  When my husband and I were first talking about adopting, I’ll be very, very honest – I was one of those people who wanted a totally closed adoption.  I was terrified – plain and simple.  I was threatened by the idea of “two moms,” and to be painfully honest, I didn’t want remember my kids’ history at every turn. I was still dealing with the pain of loss and infertility, and I didn’t want to deal with something that I felt would cause me more pain.  That’s not a proud moment, and I’m not happy to acknowledge that, but I said I was going to be honest, so there’s the ugly truth.  I look back almost seven years later and am shocked that I ever felt that way.  My heart has changed so much, and I value so greatly our kids’ histories and the people who created them. 

I met my kids’ birth parents before the baby was born both times.  I worried and worried about how the conversation would go, what we would say to each other, etc. before our first adoption.  The second we sat down, it was easy.  So easy.  It felt natural and we bonded immediately.  I loved talking to our daughter’s birth mom.  I wrote in my journal that night, “I’m so glad I can tell our daughter that her first mom is hilarious.”  The moment our daughter was born, her first mom had everyone in the room be silent and called me into the room.  She said to me, “I wanted the first voice she heard to be yours.”  How could anyone not fall in love with someone as selfless and so full of the desire to have this baby loved?   Her only thoughts were on our little girl and what was best for her.  We spent two days together.  She taught us how to swaddle and gave us tips on how to do our daughter’s hair:)  We laughed and cried and when it was time for her to go, I felt like my own heart was breaking.  I treasure the time we spent together and the stories I know that I can pass along to the daughter she gave birth to and placed into my arms. 

We spent time with our son’s birth mom before he was born, as well.  The experience was different, but the areas of the heart were exactly the same.  I was blessed enough to be asked to be in the room when our son was born, and I was holding his first mom’s hand the second he made his appearance.  We both cried and marveled over his perfect little hands and feet.  She gave me something I never thought I would have.  She included me in the most precious of moments, and I will never forget those moments.  How can you experience a moment like that with someone and not treasure them?  Again, she was selfless – she wanted to give me the experience of being there when our son came into the world.  She wasn’t thinking about herself.  She gave freely to me and to our son. 

These women taught me so much about redemption and about love.  They showed me how to be a mother.  They were selfless in the love the had for our children.   They were making the decision that they believed to be best for their child, and isn’t that what all moms do? 

In my talk with this precious almost-adoptive mama today, I was reminded of how organically the relationships developed with our kids’ first families.  I thought I wouldn’t want contact and I ended up not being able to imagine not sharing parts of theses kids’ lives with the women who first gave them life.  I was so worried things would be awkward and I wouldn’t know what to say, and things just ended up flowing naturally.  I hear similar stories from other adoptive families all the time.  There are times I can’t wait to send a picture their way because I know they’ll laugh or be uplifted by the sweet smiles of our miracles – the same way I am.  I know not every case is this way.  I know there are times that birth families don’t want or can’t handle contact, and that should always, always be respected.  I know there can be times when an adoptive family has to step back due to issues that arise, and we absolutely should always be thinking of the good of our children, of course.  Not every family can agree to monthly visits, of course, and what’s best for both sides needs to be considered.  But, what I was remembering today is that my not wanting openness wasn’t about the good of my kids – it was about me and my fears.   When I remember the examples of selflessness shown to me by the sweet women who gave my children life, I can’t help but want to be that same sort of mother to them.  I challenge all of us to strive to go beyond our fears – believe me, I know adoption is FULL of reasons to be afraid.  But, things change.  Hearts open.  Fears are completely erased.  I’m richer for having spent time with my kids’ first moms.  I’m in no way threatened because these women placed these children in my arms with their entire hearts.  I’m honored to be able to share pieces of them with their first families. 

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