Open adoption is something many families hold close to their hearts. For every family it looks just a little bit different. It also ebbs and flows with time and circumstances. It is my desire to share with you stories of families who wade through the hard to find the beauty that is found in open adoption.
Today Nikki shares Part TWO her story. I’m so glad Nikki agreed to share her story. I’ve found her to be the BEST example of how open adoption works. I’ve found her heart for JOY and for family persecution amazingly inspiring!
Today, almost 3 years after our journey began, I stand firmly and speak passionately for open adoption, expectant mother rights, and birth mother support. As an adoption advocate and lead team member at The Church of Eleven 22’s Operation:Adoption ministry and birth mother advocate/board member for The Adoption Authority Adoption Agency I am stepping out into the community and working toward a change. I acknowledge my child’s growing need and right to know her story. I guard her heart fiercely as she will begin to notice the differing shades of skin between us, deflect the poorly delivered questions in the Walmart check-out line, and pray she won’t see as many newborn and infant pictures in her albums and feel a void. As a parent we are limited in certain aspects of what we can offer our children, but as an Adoptive Mom I feel that is even more evident. I quite literally can not do it without the help of our daughter’s birth family.
On the day of placement we only had met and gained contact information for Mama Joy. We were navigating an open adoption for the very first time, feeling overwhelmed by it all so we didn’t ask questions or push for more. Again, like a developing romance, our relationship and trust grew over time. Phone calls, emails, private social media pages where pictures and comments could be shared freely. As our relationship grew so did our reach to extended family. We learned that every person involved had their own version of the truth and while emotions rain high the love for this child was present and unwavering. In time we have found our strengths together and weaknesses apart. We are fulfilled by our personal contact via phone calls, texts messages, Facetime and visits. Our daughter is thriving, no doubt because she knows nothing but love and support from all directions. Collaboratively we have created a safe place for her to grow, ask questions, and simply belong.
I hope to be transparent for you in regards to the good and the bad while safeguarding the relationship we have built. Placement did not come easy for my daughter’s birth mother and while it’s a beautiful story that deserves to be told it is hers to tell and mine to protect. It’s not a story of flowers and gifts, no balloons were released or music playing in the background. It’s messy. Satan has a foothold in many doorframes of adoption and we did not escape it. On any given day I can find myself, in all of my selfishness and sin, angry at the woman that is still so desperately in search of herself and her footing in this world but by nightfall I find my compassion, love, and grace. I tuck in our daughter; tell her again of the story of how she grew in Mama Joy’s belly and Mommy’s heart. I praise her beautiful dark brown skin and stroke the magnificent coils that are quickly growing on her head.
She gets to know her great worth because she is worthy of all things great. We live in a big ol’ world but under one sky, on one earth, and we are all children of God. Through all of our own individual ‘messiness’ He loves us and died for us. He renews us daily and redeems our broken stories. Only in Him will we find what we are looking for, only by love do we know forgiveness and family, and by adoption we are called His. Because of Him I get to call my daughter and her first mother, mine. Together we are family and family is not just something, it’s everything.
You can follow along as we continue to navigate parenthood, open adoption, and this crazy thing we call our life over on Instagram @Heartgrownbabylove or on Facebook @ Searching For Our Starfish. You can also email me any time to chat about your favorite book, wine, or anything adoption related @ HeartGrownBabyLove@yahoo.com
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