Adoption is a journey of transparency. You have to commit to openness, not just to the future birth family you will connect with, but really to the world at large. It feels scary and risky at times. There are days when I feel like we are living in a glass house or are the stars of our own reality show. But the best things in life are worth taking risks and opening yourself up for. So here we are…on the road to parenthood through OPEN adoption.
The open in our open adoption journey began with the homestudy. I like to describe it as an application process on steroids. There were forms to fill out on work history, educational history, family history, and financial history. We were each required to write a mini autobiography, plus mini essays on a myriad of topics such as our desire to adopt, infertility, and parenting values. Next came visits to the doctor’s office for a complete physical and to the jail to be fingerprinted. After that were interviews, together and separately, and finally a visit to our home (for the home inspection part of the homestudy). Whew! It WAS a lot of work, but it was important work. Going through the process forced us to evaluate whether we were ready to adopt- which happily we were!
The next part of the process, delving deeper into openness, was the “Dear Birthmother Letter.” Think of first impressions and blind dates. What do you say to someone who is considering choosing you as the parents of their baby? How do you communicate the whole of your life, your personality, and your passion and dreams in a few short pages and a dozen photos? I can tell you from experience, it is not an easy task! Jim and I often found ourselves obsessing over details- Does our smile look natural in this picture? Should we use the word friendly or affectionate to describe our cat? Does this picture have enough action in it? We often had to remind ourselves to simply be ourselves. We are not trying to connect with every potential birthmother out there- we just need to connect with one- the one!
We are currently in the most open part of our adoption journey so far- networking! This was the biggest step to take. We are no longer just “opening up” to our agency or potential birthmothers. We are now letting the whole world (ok, the part of the world our friends, family, and facebook can reach) know that we are adopting and asking for help. Through our two websites, facebook page, blog, letters, emails, and conversations we are inviting others (you) into a very intimate part of our life-our journey to become parents. So although it takes courage, we are committed to sharing openly with you our hopes, our dreams, our pain, our struggles, our tears, and our joys. We will swallow our pride and ask you to pass along the link to our website or to pray for us when we are having a rough day. We will live in our “glass house” and allow you to see the real us! Scary? Yes! Risky? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely!
When we do become parents- and we believe with all our hearts that we will- we will JOYFULLY and OPENLY celebrate with all of you!
About the author:
Amy Thomas, and her husband Jim, are IAC clients waiting to adopt their first child. They reside in Susanville, CA and are excited to start their family through open adoption. If you would like to learn more about them visit: http://www.jimandamyadopt.com/
If you want to follow them on their adoption journey, tune in to their blog:http://jimandamyhopingtoadopt.blogspot.com/