Back when I still didn't have hair, my friend Allison invited me to an adoption support group she had been attending. Allison and her husband, Adam, are adopting the sweetest little boy from South Korea this Spring. Their social worker is the one who runs this adoption support group, which is made up of birth mothers, adult adoptees and adoptive mothers. It was very eye opening to me, even when Jason and I were barely talking about adoption (because I will still going through treatment). To hear from birth moms and the idea of open adoption was all pretty new information to me. All I had really known about adoption was closed ones. After attending two meetings over a year ago, I knew back then that our adoption would have to be open in some way, thanks to this support group. At the start of group you go around saying your name and who you are in the adoption triad.
Last week, I returned to the support group, not as a girl who was "thinking about adopting" as I once introduced myself, but rather "hopeful adoptive Mom". Even saying that makes this whole process feel even more real. As a birth Mother shared some hardships she was experiencing, I had so many questions racing through my mind I wanted to ask her and the other birth mother in the room. I don't really like to speak up in groups of people, especially ones I do not know. But the question that kept coming to me was "What would you, as the birth mother, want the adoptive mother to know?" When I did get the nerve up to ask this question, one of the birth moms in the room looked straight in my eyes and said "I am not a threat. You are the Mom. I choose you to raise this child. I am not a threat, I respect you." My eyes welled up with tears. I don't think I would of ever been able to identify our future birth mother as a threat as part of my fears in adoption. However, hearing this birth mother say that to me, it gave me a peace my scared heart needed to hear.
The unknown of an open adoption is what the fear is mostly for me. So when information, making the unknown, more known, it makes it less scary. I have much to learn from these women in this support group, but I probably will never forget those words I didn't know I needed to hear so badly. What an amazing resource to have. These amazing, brave women who have walked this road of adoption already, willing to share so much of their pain and sorrow to a stranger like me.