Wednesday, December 28, 2016

i want to see my birthmommy...

As they grow, I'm watching my kids process their adoptions.

Like everything else in life, Marc and I don't shy away from having real, honest conversation about various topics with our kids.  (Of course, keeping it age-appropriate.)   Sometimes we initiate the conversations, but most of the time they just sort of happen at the most unplanned times.

Like yesterday.

The kids and I were riding in the car across town, and Caroline says, "I wonder if my birthmommy Megan will send me a Christmas gift?"  

To which Jameson, in typical little brother, copy-cat fashion says, "I wonder if my birthmommy L will send me a Christmas gift?"

Then Caroline, in her typical big sister, type A personality quickly jumps in to factually correct Jameson's statement... "NO, Jameson, birthmommy L will not send you a Christmas present.  But maybe your godparents will!"

I felt a twinge of pain for Jameson as Caroline's words left her mouth.  It was not the thing to say, but it was true.  His birthmommy won't be sending him a present.  

Caroline's birthmommy and Mommy
While Caroline enjoys the luxury of having an open adoption with her birthfamily (we call, text, email, visit like extended family), Jameson's birthparents have chosen a mediated adoption, where all correspondence like pictures and updates go through the adoption agency.  We don't have their address, they don't have ours.

"Who are my godparents?" Jameson asked.

"Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Ebed, silly!" Caroline retorted.   (Tiffany is my school-age friend that agreed to be a "godparent" to Jameson in the absence of him having ongoing contact with a birthfamily.)

Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Ebed
Deciding to enter into this escalating conversation with a gentler tone, I explained, "Do you remember, Jameson?  We called Aunt Tiffany when that little girl made fun of your dark skin.  Remember that?"

"Mmm hmm."

"Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Ebed know ALOT about having dark skin, so anytime you have a question or need to talk about something, we can call them!  Mommy and Daddy know a little bit about it, too."

"No you don't," he said teasingly with a smile from the backseat.  

We all giggled.

"Well, I have a question," Jameson said, and I held my breath in anticipation at what he might say next.

"Why do cars have wheels?"      (HA HA HA HA HA HA!)

So we took a small rabbit trail for a minute to discuss wheels, of all things.  And then Jameson said, "I want to see my birthmommy L.  Can we just text her?  What's her address?"

My heart began sinking. "We don't have her phone number and we don't have her address.  If we want to send her some pictures or write her a letter, we can send it to the adoption agency and they'll send it to her!"  I felt a little like a used car salesman in the moment, like I was trying to make something which is not okay somehow feel okay.

To a four year old, though, it seemed to work.  He wasn't upset, just innocently curious.

"Everyone's adoption is different," I told the kids.  "There are actually 3 kinds of adoptions.  The first is OPEN adoption.  That's what Caroline has with her birthmommy Megan.  And when your adoption is open, you can text or call, you know each other's address, and you can visit them like we visit birthmommy Megan when we go to Texas.

The second kind of adoption is called a semi-open, or a MEDIATED adoption, and that's what you have, Jameson.  That's where you don't know your birthmommy's phone number or her address, and she doesn't know ours, but you can still get in touch with each other through the adoption agency.  We were so lucky to get to meet your birthmommy once when you were 1 month old.

Meeting birthmommy L
The third kind of adoption is called a CLOSED adoption.  That's where you don't know who your birthmommy is at all.  It's like a secret."

"That's sad," Caroline said.  

"Well, I want to see my birthmommy again," Jameson repeated.

"I know, I want to see her, too, son."   

My heart yearns for this for Jameson.  "Maybe we will soon!  Would you like to write to her?  What do you want to say to her?"

He started dictating his letter.  "I'd say, 'Dear Mommy L, We have a brick house and a black car... and a white car.  I love you.  Jameson.'"

(Sigh.  Isn't that precious?)

"That's very nice," I told him. "She would love to know that."

Caroline's card to birthmommy L
I could feel a quiet, longing in my son's silence in that moment.  My eyes filled up with tears and I reflected upon my own life.

"You know, Jameson, sometimes when there's someone in our life we really want to see and can't, God actually gives us other people who can fill in those gaps.  He's given you Mommy, Daddy, and Caroline.  He's given you Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Ebed and so many other people who love you."

My heart could finish the next statement, though... But I want to see my own mommy.

(Okay, I know, I know.  I'm Jameson's mommy, and he knows it, too.  Who's Jameson's and Caroline's real mom?  ME.  I got that.  He's got that.  She's got that.  We're good.  While the mommy/birthmommy thing may feel confusing to others, around here it is just called "normal"!  ha!)

Adoption isn't a "once and done" event like we'd like to think. 

It's not like once a child is placed into a family, birthparents go away and are never thought of again, whether your adoption is open or closed.  

Caroline's birthfamily
Birthparents play a valuable role in their children.  Their DNA is in my family.  For my children to know a birthparent is to know and understand themselves better.  For Marc and I to know our children's birthfamily is to know our children better.  It is such a gift.  

I just want the same for my son someday.

"Mommy, I want Birthmommy L to have a open adoption," Jameson stated matter-of-factly.

At this point, I was fighting back the tears, for I was feeling my son's loss that he has yet to fully understand.

"Me, too.  We can pray for that."

"Now?  Can we pray for that now?" his little voice asked.

"Sure we can." 


  1. This is beautiful!!!!! I love how well you handle these conversations/situations though I know they aren't easy! Your just amazing and wanted you to know!!! Love you thanks so much for being you!!!!

  2. We're praying too. It's truly amazing to see God's Grace transforming brokenness to beauty. (I would write more but need to get another tissue.)