Google defines “open adoption” as an adoption in which the adoptive and birth families share identifying information and have contact with each other during and after the adoption process. There is no mention of how to achieve this or what it will look like in the future. My experience over the past 14 hours has helped me understand it more.
Today, I was given the opportunity to witness something that will forever stay in my heart. It is the true definition of open adoption. The love of a birth mother for her son and the love of an adoptive family for their son’s birth mother. Everyone put their personal desires on the back burner to focus on the other person. The tears were flowing as I witnessed an excited couple wait patiently in the waiting room and not even knowing if they would be able to see the mom/baby. There was also a mom who had her own struggles but made tough decisions so that her son would be born healthy. She fought hard to get help when everyone just offered a bus pass and a list of shelters.
The room was filled with emotion, but what stood out to me, was the respect the birth mom and adoptive family had for each other. Watching mom get excited to share her space with the adoptive family and then the family being so gracious to not overstay their welcome. They allowed mom her time and space but made themselves available if mom wanted them to be there.
I don’t need a crystal ball to see into the future, because I know in my heart that these families are all one now. My definition of “open adoption” is unconditional love.