Chapter 15: What do you see?

Today while enjoying lunch with Bryce, we got to talking about open adoption. He was very hesitant at first to have an open adoption. However, after taking education courses he slowly opened his mind towards the idea.

Bryce asked me today if I ever wanted a closed adoption. My experience has been very unique and I feel so blessed to experience the event that happened on my first day of work.

On my very first day my office held a birth mother panel, to share their stories and answer our questions. The panel was sooo enlightening. My first serious thoughts about adoption since learning of our infertility earlier that year was brought to me by the powerful words spoken through amazing women who placed their children for adoption.

My friends at TheRHouse, Lindsey and Josh, gave a presentation about infertility and adoption to help the team understand the emotions and perspectives of all members of the adoption triad (the triad refers to birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents).

What an amazing day. I went home crying. No one knew we couldn’t have children. No one knew that the blonde in the back row, hanging with the CFO, was fighting a silent battle with her husband.

I remember crying to Bryce about how beautiful adoption was, how raw I felt, and how wonderful it was to work with people who truly understood or are trying to understand the emotions of infertility (and adoption). I felt that I had been guided to them. I was where I needed to be.

So to answer Bryce’s question: No, I never considered a closed adoption. From my very first steps into my job at Adoption.com I was introduced to the wonderful world of open adoption. I saw the benefits it brings to all members of the triad. I learned that birth mothers are real people with real emotions. They aren’t simply a means for us to have children. We feel so incredibly blessed to know so many amazing women who have placed their children out of love. They have given us so much insight and have blessed our life and the life of our future birth mothers and children.

While talking about openness further, I learned that Bryce is educating in his own ways (which makes me want to sing and twirl on top of mountains like in The Sound of Music). He may not have a blog, have a social presence, or speak up as much as I do, but he does advocate and educate. Just today he was speaking with someone about adoption and they stated they could never have an open adoption.

Bryce responded with: Think about what you’re saying for just a moment. This woman trusts you with her child, against all family and social pressure and against her maternal instincts. She has so much love that she can break her own heart in order to provide her child with a life she feels she cannot provide. There is a woman, who trusts you with the most wonderful of blessings – a child – and you can’t trust her in return?

My love for my husband grew in that moment.

He then spoke to me about situations where openness can be scary – drugs, prison, etc. And despite how hard those situations are, we both know that we want openness.

I hope that Marissa knows that we truly want an open adoption. I hope she feels the love we have for her. I hope she sees that though we are scared, we are excited. I hope she knows that her child will always know her name, her story, and be a part of her sons life.

Bryce said to me today: “We adopt a child just as much as we adopt the birth mother into our family. And she adopts us into hers.”

When we first started this journey, and I began my work at Adoption.com, I used to think our logo represented the adoptive father, the adoptive mother, and the child.

I’m so glad that our eyes have opened. It took time, but they opened.

We now see the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.

What do you see?