Being Open About Open Adoption

By Katie Davis

Being Open About Open Adoption

I’ve been worrying about our future birthmother a lot recently. I don’t worry about how well she is taking care of her body or how she is taking care of our future baby. Well, I do worry about that a little, but it seems so far out of my control. I’ll never be able to help my birth mother choose organic food, give up pop or take her prenatal vitamins. I’ll never be able to take care of my baby in utero the way that I would if I was able to carry. I’ve accepted this. Sure, if we meet early enough, I can try, but she is her own person. No, with those issues my brain switches off. When those issues come up I imagine hearing static in my head, and giving God a blank stare that says, “Your call on this one.”

When I think about our birth mother, I worry I won’t be able to communicate clearly enough that we will love and take care of her baby. Even those words seem inadequate: “love and take of.” I’ve rewritten that sentence about four times, and I’ve yet to come up with anything better. I want her to know that, even in her moments of self-doubt and pain, she choose right with us. I don’t ever want her to worry about her baby with us.

Our birthmother’s humanity is seeping into my subconscious awareness of this process. It’s easy to eye the idea of the birth mother with critical skepticism. I know because I used to do the same thing. Women who consider placing their children tend to do so because they are at a place in their life where they are not physically, financially or emotionally prepared to parent at that time. Our family and friends have watched our pain and are protective of our hearts in this tumultuous process. Yet, now I find myself with an overwhelming amount of sympathy for a woman who I am asking to do what I never could: place her child for adoption.

It’s so much easier to view the birth mother as a villain to save the baby from, but that’s not reality. Reality is she was selfless enough to grow a baby she didn’t feel she could keep in her stomach for nine long months. She watched her stomach swell. She felt the baby kick. She was selfless enough to ask for a birth plan when she was most likely scared and enduring indescribable pain. Think about it, our bodies are biologically wired to have a surge of hormones during and immediately after pregnancy that help the mother feel attached to the baby. Our birth mom is going to fight through the fog of hormones, feelings of helplessness and the pang of attachment to try and give her baby a better life. It is because of this that I find myself protective of her, whoever she may be. It is because of this that we will stay in contact with her in whatever way she feels most comfortable. We will always stay true to our contact agreement. But it is also because of this that if she decides to fade away because our baby is too painful of a subject, I won’t judge her. But our family will always be here for an update if she ever finds her way back.

I just want her to have peace, and if I can’t give her that, I’ll give her any pictures or updates she wants. In a lot of ways, we are equally helpless, caught in the wake of how our lives are about to collide.

About this writer

  • Katie DavisKatie Davis lives with her husband, Jon and their two fat tabbies, Calvin and Milo, in Michigan. Katie is an English teacher who loves road trips and finding the interesting in the local.

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3 Responses to “Being Open About Open Adoption”

  1. Katie, your story is profound. Thank you for sharing your life changing event. Emotions and hormones are connected… like you and the birth mother will always be to your precious baby. Best wishes and God bless.

  2. Rose Ann says:

    An incredible journey made even more special by your empathy for the birth mother. Best wishes to you and your family.

  3. Thank you for your kind thoughts and best wishes! It has been a long and hard wait. We hope a birth mother picks us soon! Thank you again!

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