There is never a birthday that will go by for my sweet boy Deacon that I won’t think of his first mom. The mom he had for 9 months before I was ever in his life. The mom that carried him to term and gave him life. The mom that still loves him today.
When we began a domestic adoption Aaron and I were both a little scared of the crazy birth mom that would probably come back and steal our child on their first day of kindergarten. We thought we would surely always have an unlisted number and freak if anyone looked too much like Deacon at the grocery store. Okay those are kinda extreme and surely we didn’t really have those thoughts, but in all honesty the birth parent issue was a scary one for us. We just weren’t sure what to do. We had never met anyone that was adopted. We had never met anyone that adopted domestically and talked about their childs birth parents or as crazy as it sounds saw them after the child was born. We were just new and scared and overwhelmed.
The more I started to read about birth parents the more I started to let my guard down and see things from her eyes and not just mine. I started noticing that birth moms really do love their children. Most of them are not on drugs, super young or uneducated. Many of them are in college, come from good families and not a drug in their system. Yes there are exceptions, but there always are in any situation. For me this was mind blowing, b/c I had given every birth mom the stereotype that you see on Lifetime movies. I was uneducated. I also was only looking at this adoption through my eyes and not through hers.
I read a book that altered my perception and pretty much changed our view and thoughts on what we wanted in a relationship with a birth parent. The book was called DEAR BIRTHMOTHER by Kathleen Silber. This book showed me that birth moms care about the kids that they are placing into another family. They want to know how they are, and how their lives are going. They desire to see them grow up either in person or through pictures. Wouldn’t you? When I read this book I had already birthed a child in the last year and so those feelings of pregnancy and birth were fresh on my mind. I kept thinking that if I had placed Cayden for adoption, wouldn’t I just want someone to tell me he was okay. That he loved kindergarten. That he was a fabulous big brother. That he loved pizza and enchiladas and chips and salsa. That he is learning to read and recently told his mom and dad the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Gosh these are things I would want to know. Simple every day things to ease my mind that he is okay. That he is safe and that he is loved.
I started relaying all these thoughts to Aaron and God began to stir in our heart a deep and true love for our childs birth parents. We had know idea who they would be, but we were praying for them and loving them and asking God to protect their body, heart, mind and soul. We were actively pursuing a relationship with this person before we even knew who this person was. God changed our hearts and gave us a peace about our relationship with whoever would be our childs birth parent.
When you are doing a domestic adoption both the adoptive parents and the birth parents can decide on what level of openness they both desire for the relationship. We were very much for a super open adoption. We wanted our child to know where they came from, who they looked like, & where they got their crazy traits from. These things were important to us and we knew that one day they would be even more important to our child.
When we found out we were chosen to be Deacon’s parents by his first mom we were so thrilled, but a little bummed that she wanted no contact with us after the adoption. My heart was broken for me, but more for my sweet son who would never know his history. I cried out to God to do something to ease this for us or to change her heart.
Deacon was born on a Friday and we were told that she still didn’t want to meet us or see him after the birth. Once again I was broken for her and all the pain she must be enduring. On Saturday the social worker came to me and told me that the birth mom wanted to meet me. OH MY WORD. I was so nervous and so alone. Aaron had already flown back to his gig he was at and it would just be me. Just me meeting the woman that just birthed the child that I was hoping would be mine in a few days. I was already in love with this boy. He had stolen my heart. What if she met me and changed her mind? What if I said something really stupid? What do I say to her? Thanks? No, that is is dumb and weird.
We met for about 15 min in her hospital room and I admit it was one of the most awkward moments of my entire life. I mean truly what do you say to a woman that just birthed a child and now wants you to be his mommy? It is humbling and weird all at the same time. It ended up going okay and I left feeling good.
Deacon’s birth mom signed her rights away on a Monday and that Tuesday we spent the entire day with her at the interim care moms house. It was a dream come true. We were with her and she was with us and we were learning about her and her life. At this point I didn’t know if we would ever see her again, so I felt as though I had to soak it all up so that one day I could look at Deacon and tell him about her. I needed to give that to him. He needed that and deserved that.
Four years later we have a great relationship with Deacon’s birth mother. She has been to many of Aaron’s shows and we just had lunch with her a few months ago. Deacon knows that he was in her tummy, but I’m not sure how much he gets of that as a four year old. He knows he was adopted and we will forever tell him the story of our journey to him and how God brought him to our family. He has changed our lives and many lives around him. He is a joy to parent and I’m honored that his first mom chose me to be his mommy!