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Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Birth family and adoptive family dynamics can be such a heap of confusion sometimes. It's one of the aspects of our process so far that has brought about the most questions. It's the number one thing that I worry about when I wonder about the future and how everything is going to pan out. I feel such an overwhelming amount of responsibility when it comes to how Jeremy and I are going to raise Selah to understand her story. I worry about the hurt she might feel as she navigates her way through questions, feelings, and dreams she may have about her birth family. I constantly pray that we just get it right.

Upon meeting Selah's birth mom, and even before we were ever matched with her, we decided that it was important to us to always raise our child with the knowledge of their adoption. It's important to us for our baby girl to know where she comes from, and to possibly give her the opportunity to know her birth family if it was important to them to be involved in her life. So we settled on starting out with a semi-open adoption, and we committed to keeping our hearts open and willing to develop relationships over time with whatever birth family God connected us with. We were beyond excited after talking with Selah's birth mom for the first time, after learning how it was important to her to choose an adoptive family who were willing to be open with her. Spending a week before the birth with her was an absolute blessing, and I was so thankful and relieved to be able to discuss things with her and come up with a plan as to how we would proceed to keep in touch after the baby was born. Things happened so naturally between us, and I remember leaving the hospital with our sweet baby, feeling so confident in the hopes that our relationships with her birth family would just continue to grow and flourish.

In the few weeks after the baby was born, we continued to stay in touch with each other through email and text messaging. We even met at the agency when Selah was 2 weeks old for a sweet visit. But it has tapered off tremendously since then. We continue to update the family with pictures/letters, and email, but have yet to hear a reply. And it breaks my heart like something crazy. My heart aches not for me, or Jeremy, but for birth mom...and Selah's siblings...and most of all for this sweet baby girl.

I think about this woman every single day. I want to be there for her like I was able to be in the hospital. I want to know how she's doing, how she's feeling. I look into Selah's eyes and I see her. The way Selah looks like her, it's haunting.

I have a beautiful picture that I took of birth mom holding Selah for the very first time in the hospital. It's such a special photo - one that captures both the love & adoration, and heartbreak that this sweet woman was feeling in that moment leading up to having to say goodbye. I remember the urgency I felt to immediately go and have the picture printed and framed to put on display in the nursery. I just had this vision of Selah waking up and seeing it every day, learning the woman's name that is holding her in the picture, and connecting it to her knowledge of her beautiful adoption story...

But sometimes now I wonder if that is the best decision.

I am overwhelmed with compassion for these birth parents. I do not understand how they are feeling, that kind of heartache... To make sense of things, I tell myself that it probably is just easier for them to keep their distance. I pray away anger or resentment, and ask God to continue to grace me with compassion for the entire situation. But the distance hurts, especially as we see it slip further and further away. The lack of response hurts. Not for me...but for Selah.

I try not to question how we will do this, and instead just trust that God will give us all the love, compassion, and wisdom that we will need to be there for our daughter as she figures out who she is in Christ, rather than a bloodline. We just trust that He will guide our hearts and our steps as we teach her to lean into His loving arms. We just trust that God will continue to fill us with so much love for her that she never has to question, but she will literally be able to feel it. We will trust that she will always know an abundance of family, and that she will see that DNA doesn't define who does and does not fall into this category. We trust that God will lead us to be everything that she will need in a mom and dad, and that He will comfort us as we comfort her if the answers aren't there. And we will trust that He will show us the way and give us the words we need to do what is best for her.

1 comment:

specialkkluthe said...

I have some friends who are going through the adoption process, hoping to take home a baby girl at the beginning of February. They've talked about the hard dynamic between them and the birth mother. It's definitely a situation that requires God's wisdom and compassion. Have faith that He will provide.