Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Birthmom in our home… good idea or bad idea?
When I was four, I remember walking into the bathroom where Mom was doing her hair. I was excited and ready to leave to my swimming lesson at the local pool. As I stood there wearing only my little swimming trunks, Mom turned to me…
“What’s that on your chest?” Mom wondered.
“I don’t know,” I said, scratching the little bumps with my fingernails.
“You have the chicken pox!” she realized. “You can’t go to swimming lessons if you have chicken pox.”
I was sad. I enjoyed the water and I was always excited for my lesson. After my chicken pox had run their course, I was transferred to a different aquatic class.
“So,” Mom said after my class was done. “How was your first day back?”
“We practiced jumping in the deep end,” I answered.
“The deep end already?” Mom asked nervously. “You guys are a little young for the deep end.”
“I was with the older kids,” I said proudly. “Some of them were scared, but I wasn’t scared.”
I had never been in the deep end before. I spent some time in my regular class splashing around and kicking my feet, but jumping in the deep end with kids more than twice my age was a whole new experience. That’s where Jammie and I found ourselves with our adoption.
Brianna had a trip planned to come see us in our home. Sure, she had lived with us for a few months before she gave birth to our little boy, but we hadn’t seen her face-to-face since our son was two weeks old. Jammie and I had spent the last eleven months getting our feet wet in the open adoption world with pictures, phone calls, etc., but having her come to our home again felt like we were jumping into the deep end.
Brianna was awesome (so was her sister, who came with her).
“Let’s go see what Mom is doing,” Brianna said once, while holding our little boy.
It was the little things like that, her calling Jammie the “Mom,” and referring to me as the “Dad.” She said lots of things to make sure we knew that she approved of the way we were raising our little boy. Hearing her say those things meant the world to us. It helped us feel relaxed and instead of feeling the jealousy that would have been natural for a situation like that, we were able to enjoy watching her play on the floor with our little boy.
That visit was the best thing that we could have had for our relationship. Knowing that she approved helped us relax while she was in our home, and helped us to love and embrace our roles and relationship even more. Not only that, but it paved the way for the openness of our second adoption also. It’s not for everyone. Having birthparents into your own home is a common place to draw a line. A lot of people recommended against it, saying that their relationship is very open but their home is something that they keep for themselves. I repeat, it’s not for everyone, but it sure is wonderful for us.