Friday, May 10, 2013

{Forever Friday} Openess in Foster Adoption: Growing Into It

We have enjoyed a semi-open adoption with our adoptive boys birth mother and birth grandmother. It is sometimes scary for us, leaving that door open... we worry about many things about how it will go in the long run. We certainly don't want to open a door for them to be rejected if their birth family does not keep up their promises. I have to tell you though that none of that has happened.

We feel nothing but love and gratitude from their birth family. Gratitude for the life that we are giving them, love for the children, us and our biological children. We also feel gratitude from them because they know that legally we have a closed adoption and they know that our openness tends to be out of the "norm". Every case is different. There are some very good reasons for keeping foster care adoptions closed. Safety, abuse, potential abduction, trauma related behaviors... all of it good reasons. For us though those risks are either non-existent or very low.

So we continue to try our best to offer visits once, twice, three times a year... we play it off the cuff. We have phone contact with their birth grandmother regularly. So here is where the "growing into it" comes in. Grandma just moved back to our area. She had been living across the country. I was full of butterflies and knots about this. We had enjoyed a really open relationship because she was so far away. We would talk on the phone 1-2 per month. She'd send cards and gifts to the children (all of them) for Christmas and birthdays. I could talk to her just as if I was talking to my own Mother or Mother-in-Law. It was comfortable. Now, being so close I was worried that I needed to put some walls up. I was worried for a lot of reasons - especially of telling her that I wasn't sure how it would go.

So this week when I talked to her for the first time she moved nearby she said how excited she was to see them. She hasn't ever met little Chase. And there was hesitation in my voice. She heard it and you know what she said? "We're just going to have to grow into it, aren't we?". My heart broke and soared at the same time. She understood completely and set me at ease again. We'll be getting together in the next week and I am excited to see her again.

{picture updated from the visit!}


  1. Julie- Can I have your permission to share part or all of this in a future post about openness in foster adoptions?

  2. SO BEAUTIFUL! I am so glad of her understanding as well of the situation. I imagine, at times, an adoption can almost be harder on the rest of the family than the birth mom/dad because of the situation and their having to "accept" the decision of the birth parents. (forgive me if my understanding of this isn't correct) - She sounds like a great Grandma ALL the children to know!

    LOVE YOU JULIE! You will all grow together!

  3. Oh the joy of finding such a resource for this newbie foster momma ...

    Delighted to meet you this evening. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a crazy blessed place to be refreshed.