Sunday, April 12, 2015

Message about Open Adoption from Jacob's Birth Father

Hello, my name is David - I am Jacob's birth father. I'd like to share a few words regarding open adoption. I pray that my words will suffice to express my gratitude for this miracle in efforts to illustrate the peace and comfort that open adoption brings. 

Sometimes we are faced with unplanned adversities that take us by surprise. In most cases, these situations stimulate fear and doubt within us. They sometimes make us feel hopeless and suddenly we feel weak and see no light in our lives. Even, we may feel like it is the end of the world. This is how I felt four years ago as I discovered that an innocent soul was en route to this world. I recall desperately asking myself questions like "What am I going to do now...I can barely take care of myself. I'm not prepared to care for a child. I have nothing to offer to this child. I'm not economically 'nor spiritually stabled...what type of example am I going to be?" At age 23 I had no idea where my life was going to end up. But then I remembered that my Heavenly Father never leaves us...especially during difficult moments. So I decided to pray. 

I prayed to Him because I knew that He knows what's best for each of us. He understands our circumstances better than we do. So, after much prayer and pondering, we were prompted to place Jacob for adoption. But we wanted to keep Jacob to ourselves, despite knowing that we had very little to give him. I could have worked two jobs...even three if needed; I could have spent numerous moments with Jacob; I could have loved him and supported him without a problem. But unfortunately I could not give him what is most important - an Eternal Family. I quickly learned that Jacob's eternal happiness was much more important than my own earthly happiness. And so I am blessed and grateful for the miracle of adoption. 

After meeting Rob and Jana a few times, we exchanged many loving words of comfort and sincerity. We decided to place Jacob in their lives in an open adoption. Although at first I was worried about Rob and Jana not honoring their word of open adoption, that concern quickly went away by their loyal actions. They've kept their word and they always go the extra mile to keep me updated on Jacob's well-being and growth. Numerous pictures, videos, emails, and visits have flourished our relationship throughout these past 4 years. And today, I am blessed to be able to say that they are family to me and I have a deep and an eternal love for each of them.

Adoption has helped me gain a testimony about love. True and sincere selfless Love. After placing Jacob in adoption, I was able to feel a glimpse of the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us. I was able to feel that in spite of the pain and sorrow that we can feel when dealing with adoption. Open adoption provides us with peace and comfort by enabling us to give an innocent soul the most precious gift - Eternal Happiness with an Eternal Family. Moreover, open adoption enables us the opportunity to continue witnessing the growth and happiness of the individual that we most love. I am grateful for open adoption and especially blessed for having placed Jacob in the arms of Rob and Jana. I will always love them and they will always be my family :)  

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness...provide for their physical and spiritual needs...and to teach them to observe the commandments of God...Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations...Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony."

- THE FAMILY, A Proclamation to The World

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grief in Adoption

"So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light... Just promise me that we'll be alright "  --Mumford & Sons

That is the quote that keeps running through my head right now as I try to ignore the emotions and thoughts that come with the other words that are competing for space in my head right now: 

Rejected. Again.  

I've lost count how many times this has happened in this adoption journey.

But each time it happens it hurts.  A lot.  Part of me wants to try to guard my heart.  But I can't.  And I suppose a part of me doesn't want to.  But when things don't work out it is really hard and all I can hope is that someday this journey will end and I will see the light and love in another one of my child's eyes.

When I know we our profile is being considered--even if I know it is a long shot, I choose to hope.  I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment.  Because each time I receive the news that we weren't chosen the darkness and grief returns with a vengeance.  I think I choose to hope each time because I want to.  I want to be excited and happy about the prospect as long as possible, because I know how much it will hurt even if I try to not be excited.   And when we are chosen, I want to have been excited and to have felt the anticipation in every step of the process.  So this time, at least for the last day and a half my mind was filled with possibilities and hope.  But now, I feel as though I have run smack into a brick wall.  I feel sad, angry, frustrated, lost, pathetic, rejected, and yes ungrateful.

I know I am so blessed.  So incredibly blessed to have been able to adopt a child.  Now after having been rejected so many times I realize even more how miraculous it is to have Jacob in my life.  And I am filled with gratitude to his birth parents who placed him in our care.  That thought brings happiness and some healing to my broken heart.

As I was (and still am) sitting in my grief and sadness I read this quote: "Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith...It is the price of love." author unknown

And so I will pay the price.  Because at this time, apparently that is the price that for us, needs to be paid.  I do think waiting and wanting children to come to our family has made me (personally) a better mother.  But I would be happy to stop waiting anytime!!  Also, knowing the sacrifice others made so I could be Jacob's mom is always present in my mind.  The sacred trust his birth parents placed with us to love and care for Jacob is a great responsibility and one that we do not take lightly.   

Well, I know I'll feel better in the morning.  Part of me didn't want to stop feeling sad.  I just wanted to grieve.  Another loss, another step further away or closer in this journey--which ever way you want to look at it.  As I was crying I was reminded of something a friend shared with me a couple of months ago about weeping.  She said that weeping was a gift to cleanse the aching soul.  And so I took some time to weep and feel that hurt and that loss, because my soul was aching.

Now I suppose it's time to stop letting the depressing Why? questions and rejected feelings press upon my mind and either ask myself some better questions or fill my mind with happy things.

Like this little guy...

I can't help but smile and feel happy looking at that picture!  
So I think I will just sit and stare at it for awhile. 

To those of you who sat with my in my grief for a little bit, thank you.  I so appreciate your love and friendship. 

-- Jana