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Published 12/23/2009 at 4:55pm | Views: 2944
On the way into work, today, my morning radio station had an adoptee call in for "therapy" advice. It's usually about that time, in the show, I switch channels (I have small tolerance for insignificant banter), but I stopped short, as soon as I heard the word adoption. The girl was in her early thirties and wanted to look for her birth mom, but was afraid of hurting her adoptive mom's feelings. She felt caught because she loves her family, has had a wonderful life, and her brother (also adopted) has no desire to meet his birth mom, yet she has this longing to know her biology. Several times over the last few years she'd brought it up to her family, but was always met with cringed smiles and strained answers. Part of her family's hesitation comes from the birth mother's history (what they know of it) - drugs, jail, countless men, etc. The girl was calling to ask what the listeners thought - should she ignore her adoptive family's hesitation and pursue her birth mom or, like her brother, should she just lay it to rest and be content in her present life?
If you're like me, this stirs numerous thoughts.
If I didn't have a strict, no-talking-on-the-phone-with-Ty-in-the-car rule, I would have called in and said, "Go. Go find your birth mom. Your adoptive mom will work it out."
Although this situation is totally unlike ours, I can empathize with the adoptive mom. She is probably experiencing a rainbow of emotion from pride to fear and her protective mama bear heart wants to cover her daughter from further hurt, if it doesn't work out. I get that. I think there would also be an element of - Am I not good enough?
I also feel for the daughter. I try to put myself in other people's shoes, often. It gives me an appreciation for perspective. If I was adopted, it wouldn't matter how great and full my life was, I would still be curious about my beginnings. I understand why adoptees desire reconnection.
As soon as I got into work, I ran to my computer and emailed my thoughts to the radio host. I'm not sure if they read my opinion on air or not, but I try to campaign and cheerlead open adoption as much as I can. When I hear stories like the one above, my heart bleeds for all involved. Nothing about adoption is perfect, but the same holds true for parenting biological children. Adoption is complicated; life is complicated. I'm not saying our way is the best way or that open adoption is always the answer, but it sure is the best for Tyrus...and I know it can be for others, too.
I am so thankful. SO THANKFUL. That God has given us the opportunity to live out open adoption, first-hand. I'm thankful that Ty will not have pieces of his story missing or have to fantasize about what was. I'm thankful that my heart is forever bonded to Rebekah and that we both prefer the other mother, above ourselves. I'm thankful that I'm able to talk freely and openly with Rebekah without ever questioning my words. I'm thankful for Ben and his partnership - that our hearts our in agreement when it comes to Ty and his birth family and our family. I'm thankful that everyone in our life has embraced open-adoption and recognizes God's mighty hand in little Ty's life.
We are not perfection. But God is.
When I look at Rebekah, I see the Father. I see the same unconditional love he had for his son. Rebekah made great sacrifices, for Ty...and Tyrus will always know. He'll never wonder. Rebekah is a familiar face and name in our home and will always be a standing presence in Ty's life.
This week, Rebekah and I were talking about some things on my heart and from the conversation, Rebekah reminded me that even if she never gets to talk to Ty, she will be satisfied in our relationship, knowing that I am caring for her son in the best way I know - and he's happy. I, of course, immediately responded with, "Talk to him? Are you kidding me? As soon as he says his first word, you better believe we'll be calling to show it off!"
Here's the thing about our open-adoption. My heart is wide-open to Rebekah. I don't call her because I'm being nice. I don't involve her in Ty's life because I know it's best for Ty. I embrace her because I love her! She is my family and my heart and I want to share our life with her.
I am so thankful that Ty will never have to be the adoptee calling into a superfluous radio station asking for therapy