Definition: An adoption that involves ongoing contact between birth and adoptive families, including visits. (http://www.adopting.org/adoptions/adoption-and-foster-care-glossary-open-adoption.html)
My husband and I had talked about adoption if we couldn’t get pregnant, but we decided we would only try adoption after we had tried on our own for 10 years. Well, after five years of trying on our own my father approached me (November 26, 1997) and said he knew someone who was contemplating placing their baby for adoption and would I be interested. I don’t think I even consulted Mykel (my husband) before I said “YES!”
My dad told me a little bit about the birth mother and also mentioned that she had two other children (ages 2 ½ and 8 months) but she wasn’t considering placing them, only the baby (she was expecting a third child, due in April).
At the time I worked for the county attorney (criminal law stuff) but one of the attorneys there had mentioned to me that if I ever decided to adopt he would be willing to do the adoption for us. I told him about the situation and he contacted the birth mother. He felt we should do a closed adoption, but I felt strongly that we should meet the birth mother in person (all these years later I am so glad I did). So, on December 22, 1997, we met our children’s birth mother for the first time. (Before that I had put together a little bio with pictures of Mykel and I to give to her so she would know a little bit about us).
Our attorney accompanied us, and during the visit we met our children’s biological grandmother, mother, and her two children. We had to walk up some stairs to get to the living room of the apartment, but when I looked over the edge of the stairs and saw Bryan and Cole for the first time I INSTANTLY fell in love with them. The youngest crawled up on my husband's lap and Mykel held his hands and he just bounced and bounced and stared intently in Mykel's eyes. Bryan (the oldest) sat between me and his biological grandma on the couch. I just wanted to reach out and touch his soft cheeks and hug his tiny body, but I refrained from being overly excited (it was really hard though!)
When I met my children’s birth mother for the first time I felt a strong connection to her, like I would my own sister, but my heart went out to her. Here I was, longing so much to have a baby to hold, to love, to kiss and hug, but yet to satisfy my longing, she would have to give up something so unbelievably impossible to give up.