Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ask Away: Open Adoption

 Photography by my SIL, Melissa Kelsey Photography
One of the top questions I am asked when people find out that all of our children's adoptions are all open is a version of "How can you do that?", "I would never be able to...", "How long are you required to continue" or "Don't you worry that they will take them away?" I am sure these questions are asked with the best intention rather then the "Are you insane?" that I often hear internally in my head.

I love adoption and even more so love talking about adoption so let's do just that. We love open adoption for some many reasons.
1) Open adoption blesses our lives and extends our family. Our children's birth families become our family. We love them and think of them often. We want to see them and love hearing about the things they are up to just like we do all of our family and friends.
2) We love and celebrate our children's roots and stories and want them to be proud of their own stories just like we are. Being adopted is something to celebrate and to be proud of. Families are created in so many different ways, ours just happens to be through adoption and we love it.

3) We always want our children to know how much both we and their birth families love and adore them. With open adoption, they can see and know for themselves.
4) We want the very best for them, just as their birth families do. Open adoption for us means more people that love and adore every little thing they do just as much as we do. It also means more people who are invested in loving and building them up just as much as we are.

5) We want our children to talk about adoption as much as or as little as they want to. Knowing their birth families and their adoption stories makes it more natural for them to feel like they can do that. Adoption topics and questions are never off limit in our house. I love knowing that if I don't know the answer, we can call their birth families.

How long we are required to maintain contact? We do not have an official contract agreement for any of our adoptions, we have chosen the openness that we have because we can't imagine having it any other way. We have the contact that we do because it works for our family for all of the reasons listed above.

Do we ever worry that they will try to take them away? No, we don't. Their birth parents made an adoption plan and chose our family. We know their birth families pretty well and are pretty certain that they enjoy visiting and at the same time are also glad when they can go home.

Adoption has become a wonderful part of our lives. With every adoption we have not just adopted our children but we feel like we have adopted their birth families and they have adopted our family as well. We wouldn't have it any other way.