Open Adoption: This is hard, this is heartbreaking and this is the best thing for the kids


Adoption is beautiful, adoption is love, adoption is complicated, adoption is recognizing loss, honoring the biological relationships and holding space for all the feelings that come from all the emotions adoption brings to the table.

I’m not a fan of language like ‘lucky’ or ‘blessed’ when we talk about adoption.

I am however honored to love and adore and walk our children through the loss and the love that comes from being adoptees.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning and unlearning language we use and perspectives we can keep and I feel my role is to share what I’ve learned and continued to learn with my community. We all can be better just by learning from others.



When we told our family/friends and online support group that our kids biological mom would be attending our adoption hearing we were met with some opposition.

“Why would you have her at your day?” Was the consensus and while I understood exactly why the people who loved us were concerned, I also could see a bigger picture.

This isn’t just our day. This is most especially our kid’s day. And I knew the pictures we had from that day with all of us there in that room was more important than anxiety I was feeling in the moment.

Four years later I am still proud of our choice that day.

I am proud of the photos of all of us standing there and smiling and saying this is hard, this is heartbreaking and this is the best thing for the kids.

The adults in the room were making choices that were excruciatingly painful for the betterment of these precious babies. And while the loss of their biological parents will always be the grief they carry through life, I can only hope they find comfort in knowing we chose them, and their bio mama chose us and together we work to give them the lives they deserve.

Our story is unique as yours is.

We know the boundaries we need to stay within for our kid’s safety and you know yours. I can’t recommend anything too specific when it comes to adoption because circumstances can vary so vastly but I want to strongly encourage biological connections when they are safe because they are so important to make, grow, and keep.

Keeping in contact with biological parents when it is safe and wanted by the biological parents can be as simple as a photo text, email or even written letters.

Communication shows a mutual respect for each person’s role in the adoptees life and shows the adoptee(s) a relationship between both parents gives a sense of comfort. Knowing the adoptee shouldn’t feel a bad for feelings they have for each parent.

It is so important to make sure your child knows that it is ok and NORMAL to love both parents and they aren’t hurting feelings for their normal feelings.

If you know bio mom is open to mail sending gifts on special occasions is fun for the child as well as the adoptive parent. Gifts for birthdays, Christmas and most especially Birth Mother’s Day.

Birth Mother’s Day can be a way to bond picking out a special gift for a very special person. One year I sent a personalized locket with the kids birthstones. Other years I sent framed photos. Another year hand painted flowers by the kids. Just thoughtful reminders that we think of her means the world to her.

I know some families have meet ups in parks, invite bio families to birthday parties, holiday gatherings etc.

I think it is so beautiful some families can spend time together in person. This part strongly varies family to family. I cannot share that this is something we are able to do but I do believe if it can be done it is a wonderful thing for all parts involved.

Keeping up with biological extended family is a wonderful way to keep connections as well. The more people wanting to love your kids the better off they are. I also know families with zero contact at all. And if that is what is safest then that is the right thing to do.

Again, knowing boundaries and limits is very important and serious and I am not here to say connect with unsafe people. I am here to say if these relationships are safe then they should be explored. I understand that there is anxiety and worry over how delicate and complicated these situations can be.

I know that fear of your child wanting them over you and they can say that and want that and still love you. These are the hard things that come from adoption and our jobs as grown ups is to validate and love and protect and be as truthful as age appropriateness can let you be.

Adoption is complicated. There are lot of emotions on the line and such a balance of truth and tenderness and love and support. The adults must adult. I can’t emphasize this enough. Let the kids feel and say what they need to say and support them. Even though it hurts.

Thank you for being that mama your child needs.

Kids can come to us in so many different ways. It doesn’t have to be a birth canal that makes them yours.

Follow your heart. Do what’s best for them and guide with intentions to break cycles and see your child capable of anything because they have a village of supporters and cheerleaders.

Keep loving those kids and doing the hard work mama, your fruits will be plentiful.

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