Saturday, November 12, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #31

Write About Open Adoption and Being Scared

Gus and our two angels

I think being scared is something that happens throughout life as a family touched by adoption. From the moment we got the call that matched us with Gus's birth family, we became scared of many different things. We were scared that our dream of becoming parents and a family would crumble before our eyes and not happen. We were scared that our son's birth mother would not like us once she met us in person. We were scared that she would not be able to let go and decide to parent.
Gus and his birth father

Gus and his birth mother

Once we left the hospital and had him in our custody, we were scared that once we had him, what on Earth were we going to do with him?? Parenthood is scary!! We didn't know if we'd be able to handle it being away from home and living in a hotel. We were scared that we'd mess up and do something that would hurt Gus.

I look back at things I did during those first few hours with him and I shake my head. "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!" I ask myself!! You live and you learn I suppose.

Once we were FINALLY able to leave MI and head home to NC with Gus, I became scared that I was a bad mom. Was I giving him everything he needed? I questioned everything I did and was so uncertain. It's the one job that no one gives you feedback and you can't see results until your child is grown. 

Then it was time to head back to MI, and we were going to be meeting up with both sides of Gus's birth family while there. Trying to coordinate times and places and make sure that everyone was happy was a nightmare. I was beyond stressed and oh so very nervous and scared about seeing his side of our family. Would they try to take him back (crazy thoughts)? Would they judge me and think I was a terrible mother and he'd be better off with them? Would his birth parents regret their decision to place him with us?
Gus and his aunts (birth father's sisters)

Gus's paternal side of our family

Gus and his Grampy (birth mom's father)

Playing with his birth mom

The maternal side of Gus's birth family

Gus with his Grampy and Grammy

The trip north couldn't have gone any better and our fears and doubts were quickly diminished. It was during this visit that I had my first moment of selfishness. I admitted to Steve that I HATED having to share Gus with other people. While there's a HUGE side of me (90%) that absolutely LOVES our open adoption, there's a part of me that's still grieving the loss of being able to get pregnant and have a child with my DNA and one that I don't have to share. For the rest of our lives as a family, adoption is something that will always be in our family... it's usually not something I think about, but when I do, it's that 10% that pops up and gets upset and bitter, and a bit selfish.

We got the call that we were ready to finalize in April, so we headed back to MI for our unexpected trip. We thought we could finalize through the mail and didn't have to appear in court, but we were misinformed. So, we drove up on a Thursday night and left on Sunday morning. It was a quick trip, but so worth the 24 hour round-trip in the car.

We finalized on April 15 and asked Gus's birth mom and her mom if they'd like to join us. To our amazement, they came and made our day so very special. After court, we went to lunch as a family and got to meet Gus's Great-Grandma! She lives in the Upper Peninsula of MI and was down for a visit... the timing was perfect because she got to meet her first Great Grandchild.
Gus's Adoption Day with his birth mom and Grammy

All of us together for the support of Gus

It's official!!

Gus with his Great-Grandma, Grammy, and birth mom

We were hoping to go to MI for Gus's first birthday (May 11th, 2011), but with the unexpected trip in April, we decided to push the trip back to July. That ended up getting pushed back to the end of August. We were able to have both sides of Gus's family come together for a day to celebrate Gus's birthday and to hang out. Gus's Great-Aunt Sharon offered her island cottage for the location and we had a wonderful day together.
Swinging with his birth parents

Grandpa, Gus, and his birth father

While at the cottage, we got to meet Gus's Great Grandma on his dad's side. This is Gus, his birth father, his Grandma, and his Great-Grandma!

Birth father, Gus, Grandma holding him, and birth mom

We celebrated Gus's first birthday together and Gus sat in his birth mom's lap while we sang to him and watched him blow out his candle

Chillin' with his birth mom

Now that we've had a lot of time with his birth family, they're like just another extension of our family. We genuinely care about them and stay in frequent contact with them. I send pictures and videos via text quite often, and they always reply back with thank yous and cute comments.

I guess what I'm scared of now is how to tell Gus about his adoption. I want it to be something that he just always knows about. It's not something that I want to force down his throat, but I also want him to continue to know how much his entire birth family loves him. 

I think I'll continue to keep open lines of communication with his birth family and just keep them as part of our daily conversations and pictures. It's as important that he know who they are, as it is for him to know my side of our family and my husband's side of our family. Together we all complete him and make him the Gus that he is.


Post a Comment