Overcoming Fear In Open Adoptions

This guest post is by Maxine Chalker, founder of Adoptions From The Heart and an adoptee.

Thousands of adoptive parents who opt for traditional, or “closed,” adoptions have faced the same challenge.

Your child grows, enters school and soon begins to ask tough questions. Questions that center around their biological parents.

The real problem, of course, isn’t that you don’t want to answer these questions, but that you’re probably just as ignorant of your child’s birth parents as they are.

So instead of responding to the child’s concerns, adoptive parents can only answer with the unsatisfying refrain of “I don’t know.”

Most adopted children have a basic desire to explore their roots. We all yearn for history, a narrative that can help explain who we are and where we may be going.

The vast majority of children are better-served by being provided with concrete answers. Continue reading

A Birthmother’s Advice on How To Build Trust in An Open Adoption

This guest post is by Michelle Thorne, a birthmother.

Navigating an open adoption is not for the faint of heart. It takes bravery and love and work.

I would say, even as a birthmother in my own adoption, I have massive anxiety surrounding every moment of contact.

I never want to overstep my bounds or do anything that would cause further separation.

It’s not my son’s parents who make me feel this way, but an ingrained fear that I don’t deserve a relationship with him.

I am not alone in this.

“I want to tell them but I’m afraid…”

“I wish they sent me more pictures but I don’t want to bother them.”

“It really hurt me that they didn’t send me anything on his birthday.” Continue reading

What It Feels Like To Be A Birthmother

This guest post is by Gina Crotts, a birthmother.

The small window that sits above the kitchen sink is just big enough to feel the heat of the sun upon my face. I load the dishes into the dishwasher as I hear the laughter of my three children. They chase each other then fall to the ground completely entertained by the fresh air and the dancing trees around them. 

I find myself in this position often, watching the three of them in awe that they are mine. I reflect on the pregnancy and birth of each one of them and what beautiful miracles they are.

I send gratitude to the sky to be their mother, to teach them, to love them, but more importantly to learn from them. I cannot imagine one without the other and the different roles and personalities that they bring into our home. 

Then I think about her and how it would be, four of them, laughing under the dancing trees. I close my eyes and I see her there, guiding the three younger with grace. Continue reading

Why We Have An Open Relationship With Our Son’s Birth Family

This guest post is by Tennille, an adoptive mother. 

It was bedtime, the stories had been read and prayers had been said. Then, out of the blue, our son said, “Mommy, you were praying for me while I was playing in Kelli’s tummy.”

Mateus was 2 1/2 at the time, and his comment filled my heart with joy.

When my husband and I were thinking about building our family through adoption, we had a discussion about open versus closed adoptions.

We agreed that we would raise our child to always know they had been adopted, to know who and where their birth family was, and to make sure they knew they were always wanted, loved, treasured, wished and prayed for.

Mateus is 3 1/2 now and we continue to build an open relationship with his birth family.  Continue reading