My Open Adoption Story

I am mother to a 3 ½ year old boy whom my husband and I adopted at birth.  I am also in the process of adopting a little girl, who happens to be the biological sister of our son and will be born in 8 days.

A little background.  After a few years of trying to get pregnant (I am sure it was all my husband could do to keep from laughing out loud when I would spring out of bed following sex to stand on my head – but I thought it would work! )  I found out that I was born with no fallopian tubes and half a uterus – thus rendering me unable to carry a baby.  Not the most fun news to hear while your legs are in stirrups and you are staring at the ceiling, but timing has never been my strongest virtue.     My condition is something I was born with and it affects about 1% of the world’s population. 

I was shocked. I thought I was the most fertile woman on earth and spent years  trying NOT to get pregnant!  What what what?  So, after much tears ( and birthday cake, my go-to when I am sad !) my husband and I decided to flow with what was our reality and explore adoption. 

There are many ways to adopt.  You can go overseas to adopt as many people and celebs have chosen.  Or you can choose to adopt publically in the US, which can be  a long waiting game – or you can choose to go the route of private adoption – that is work with an attorney who helps place pregnant women with wanting families.  We chose this route.

By some fluke ( or divine intervention ) I reconnected with a girlfriend from high school who I had not spoken with in about 10 years.  She was in the process of adopting via a local private attorney in Los Angeles.  We got that attorneys info from her and set up a time to meet him.

The world works in mysterious ways. 

Private adoption is not a hard process at all.  Or at least it was not for us.  We filled out paperwork, pages and pages of personal questions but questions that are important to make proper placements and issues that are important to think about and discuss.

In a nutshell, private adoption works like this:  We were asked to create a “birth mother” letter.  This is the information the birth mothers will have when making their decision about who they want to place their baby with.  If the birth mother likes what she reads, then the attorney will set up a time to speak on the phone.  If the phone conversation is amicable and a connection is felt, then you move forward with the legal paperwork.

My husband and I decided to have an Open Adoption, that is, we chose to remain in contact with the birth parents.  Open adoption was not my idea.   It was my husbands.  The only time in my life that I threw and broke a glass during a fight was when we were discussing open adoption.  It was like rubbing salt into my wound.  Really?  Just because I cannot have children on my own, you now want me to share being a mom with his birth mother?  Can’t I just pretend she never existed and have her go away?   I felt threatened and insecure and I did not  want our child to think he has two mommies.  Once the glass was swept and I calmed down I realized that open adoption is the best way to de-mystify the process and be honest about the fact that all our choices for him were out of love for him. 

So, with a bit of anxiety we flew to meet these people who were about to change our lives forever.  Luckily, it was love at first sight.  They seemed like good people, smart people doing the responsible thing for a child they could not care for at their stage of their lives.  We agreed to move forward with the adoption and the attorneys and social workers led us down a path of paperwork compliance.

Our son was born 3 ½ years ago and he is the light of our lives.  His presence has brought our entire family together in a way that could not have been imagined prior to becoming parents/grandparents/aunts and uncles. 

As a family we have visited his birth parents once.  His birth mother and I e-mail and text every so often and we send pictures of our son so they can see him growing up.  For their part, they send presents for his birthday, which we explain came from the people who created him and from the woman who carried him in her belly.

About 10 months ago I got a phone call from our sons birth parents that they are pregnant again and were wondering if we would be interested in adopting. .  ( I think I must have been like Mother Theresa in my past life to deserve such a blessing in this life!)  Feeling totally blessed, we welcomed the opportunity to bring into all of our lives a biological sibling for our son – and – every women’s dream – or at least this women’s – the baby was a girl!!!!

So here I am literally 8 days away from the birth of our baby girl!  I am frantically finishing up my designs for Spring 2011 for one of my companies while I finish up a Spring 2011 catalog for another one of my companies.    I feel pressure and stress, but I know deep down that I will get finished what needs to get done and what does not get completed will just have to wait! 

It’s hard enough running two companies and at age 42 being a mom to a 3 ½ year old boy who this week thinks he is batman!   I also recognized that I have just signed up for another year of no sleep – but lord knows I love my life, I love the chaos, I even love the feeling of utter exhaustion when I lay my head down at the end of the day.   I have learned to live with imperfection and bad nails.  In my case, it may not be the most traditional route, but if you learn to live with imperfection and bad nails ( haha but really, personal grooming is WAY down at the bottom of my To Do list ) I truly believe you can have it all!  

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