Four years ago, God brought an angel into my life that he knew would change me forever. God brought my baby boy, Colton.
Index: A birth mother reflects on her choice to place her son in an adoptive family. The connections the birth mother and adoptive family have made throughout their open adoption journey have been a blessing for all. Here is how you can do the same.
“The day I saw your face was the first time I melted into a million pieces. I never loved anyone so much and all I ever wanted was to give you the best life that I possibly could. And I did. When we started our journey with open adoption I didn’t have the first clue. Never in a million years did I think of doing this. When I looked into open adoption more, I knew it was my purpose. Something God wanted me to do. I found three people. Something I didn’t realize was those three people would mean just as much to me…as my baby boy. I’m so thankful for Ryan, Lauren and Jackson. What a blessing. Happy birthday baby boy.I love you more than you will ever know.”
What is open adoption? Open adoption is the transfer of parental responsibilities which preserves the relationship between birthparents and the child they entrusted to the family that they painstakingly selected. It necessarily includes a full disclosure of identifying information and features a commitment to lifelong relatedness. True open adoption has four observable characteristics:
- The birth family selects the adoptive family
- The families have face-to-face, personal contact
- Both families exchange full identifying information
- Both families establish a significant ongoing relationship
It is natural to have all kinds of adoption questions. The details can get overwhelming and the process can be long. However, it is important to remember the big picture is that adoption gives a child the opportunity they need for a full, happy life. Of the four characteristics above, the ongoing relationship is most crucial and presupposes the presence of the rest. To be considered “open”, an adoption must involve a significant ongoing relationship. If there is no ongoing face-to-face relationship, the adoption should be considered semi-open or, even more accurately, semi-closed.
Michaela entered into open adoption when she placed her precious son four years ago with his adoptive family. Colten gets to grow up knowing he is loved and cherished by his biological mama – a lifechanging reality. The relationship a child has with their birth parents is directly related to the relationship the adoptive parents have with the birth parents. The children will walk in the paths cleared by the adults in their lives, so open adoption begins with the relationship the adults forge.
How can you actually establish a “significant ongoing relationship” with a stranger who is the biological parent of your child? Does it sound like I am taking this a bit too far to suggest such a thing? Even those of us who embrace open adoption struggle with this theme from time to time. Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach is a faith-based, Christian adoption agency. We believe the Bible gives us some clear foundational elements to use in forming “significant on-going relationships.”
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “you shall not commit adultery,” “you shall not murder,” “you shall not steal,” “you shall not bear false witness,” “you shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in the saying, namely, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Scripture provides ample encouragement to love one another. Here at Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach we believe that loving one another selflessly and consistently is the foundation to building strong ongoing relationships. When attitudes are positive and birth families and adoptive families work cooperatively and sacrificially on behalf of children, the results can be extraordinary. While there is so much more that goes into open adoption and the joy that it brings, it is important to emphasize the foundation; We are to imitate Christ in selflessness and love. Remember that it is all about the child!