Friday, September 10, 2010

I *heart* Open Adoption

Occasionally we get asked if we have contact with Hadrian's birth family. People are funny. They kinda ask with a look of "oh these poor people, always have a birth family to contend with". Nothing could be further from the way we feel. We love our open adoption. We love our son's first family. They are a great family...from top to bottom, oldest to youngest. We feel genuinely connected to them.

When Justin and I were discussing adoption at first, we always always always thought we'd do international adoption. We did not want an open adoption. We didn't want the birth family always hanging around. It seemed, unnatural. Ha. When we began the actual journey of adoption we started reading (We, meaning I, of course) and researching and the more we read the deeper we dug, the more we saw how awesome open adoption is. Our son was privileged to live with his birth grandparents for 53 days and in those 53 days we grew to love this family. To be a part of a new family. And nothing could feel more natural.

I still remember sitting on their couch and giving Justin "the look" so that he would ask the tough question. He asked Hadrian's grandparents what they wanted in terms of a relationship...What did they see for the future of our son, their first born grandson. I can still feel the pain and sadness as Hadrian's grandpa explained what they thought would be the best for everyone. Little to no contact. Letters and pictures. They definitely didn't want to see him. Not because they didn't love him. But because they thought it would be easier. Easier for them to move on. Easier for us to start a new life. Easier for Hadrian to accept us as his parents. I can still feel my heart race when I think about the hours that followed that visit. I remember stepping off their front porch and just being swallowed by sadness. I'm sure I cried on the way home. I loved this family and I knew my little boy would love them too. How could I keep him away from them!? Justin and I were heartbroken. For them...and most of all, for Hadrian.

Justin and I began praying. We talked a lot about how to change their mind. In the end we talked to a few people...our case worker and some friends and we decided that it was ultimately their decision and we would follow their lead. We wouldn't pressure them into seeing him or anything of those sorts, but we would just wait and see. *Thankfully* they began talking to friends and family as well. After a few more visits with them they brought the subject back up. They explained more of their feelings and we explained ours. But they did agree they still wanted contact. They were leaning more towards an open adoption.

This past year has been so fun, having a son...and gaining a new family in his aunt and uncle, and grandparents...and COUNTLESS great aunts and uncles. We've spent hours sitting around their living room. Endless hours at restaurants. Hours swimming in Uncle Doug and Aunt Teri's pool (Thanks again Doug and Teri!). Grandma Julie is always ready and willing to babysit. Even at the last minute. And always with a smile. We were even invited to the family reunion this year. They take a picture of each family that comes to the reunion and we were asked if we'd like to be in the family picture.

Our family is far from conventional. But we are a family. We aren't connected by blood, but we are all connected by love.

There are so many reasons to love our open adoption...but our 6 best reasons are Hadrian, Julie, Kelly, Lizzy, Michael and Tina.

We are so blessed.

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