What do you do when the adoption wait has you feeling down? Attend an event held by an adoption agency that is not your own, of course! Good thing? Bad thing? The jury is still out on that one, but it really got us thinking!
One good thing most definitely came out of that night for us. There were several speakers at this event. One of the speakers was a teen who had been adopted as an infant. It was a closed adoption. We got to hear about his emotional struggles brought on by the unknowns of his adoption story, his attempts at finding out the who’s, what’s and why’s that led to his adoption, and finally the healing process that has begun for him. We also heard from a woman whose life was touched by adoption, both as a birthmother herself, and as an adoptive mother of two. Eighteen years after placing her son for adoption, the two made contact and got to know each other. She wanted to make sure that he knew he was loved by her, and that she thought of him often. Today, they continue to have occasional contact.
All of this got us thinking – a lot – about our decision for an open adoption. The more we dug into the subject, the more we realized how wonderful open adoption can be….not just for the adoptive child, but for the birthparents and adoptive parents as well. Open adoption has the ability to create one big family out of what started as two individual families – much like inlaws! A study from March 2011, done by Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, shows that only 5% of today’s adoptions are closed adoptions. The other 95% are broken down into open (55%) and mediated (40%). What an amazing and wonderful change over the past several decades, in the way we now think of adoption!
Our continued research on open adoption led us to a series of YouTube videos by yet another adoption agency. Again, not the agency we belong to but definitely worth taking the time to listen too. I think they have a total of 52 videos online. Eleven of those videos are all about open adoption. They talk with birthmothers, birthfathers and adoptive parents. These videos were so wonderful to watch. We sat up late one Friday night, watching video after video, until we saw all eleven. We encourage everyone who is touched by adoption, or curious about open adoption to watch these videos. They touched our hearts.
Hopefully, one day, we will have the opportunity to grow a family similar to those in these videos. Until then…..we wait.