Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's National Adoption Month

... and how fitting that bedtime would be delayed by a long and heartfelt conversation about adoption with my three oldest children tonight.

Almost nine years ago we received the life-changing news that we had been chosen to become parents for a second time. It was less than a year after adopting our first daughter Eva and we had some months to wait for Isabel's arrival - enough time to do much thinking and yes, even some worrying at times. :)

One question that we mulled over was the difference in openness that would characterize the two adoptions. While Eva's was completely closed - meaning no identifying information, names or addresses were shared and we never met her birth parents - in contrast, Isabel's adoption would be quite open. At the time we were concerned about how this inequality might affect the girls, especially Eva, in the future.

Fast forward through the years and it has never been a big issue, although at times Eva has expressed disappointment that we know so little about her biological family. Tonight, however, she had questions. Questions about whether it might be possible to meet her birth mother while on our furlough year in 2012, and questions about why we couldn't just type "birth mom of Eva" into the computer and find her. It made my heart ache to explain that her birth mother does not even know that her name is Eva, since to our knowledge the name we chose was the first legal name she was given.

On the other hand, I could assure Isabel that I had been in communication with her birth mother just this week and that almost certainly we would see one another at least once on furlough. She was pleased, of course, but it made me sad that her sister couldn't be given the same assurance. I explained to Eva that ultimately both parties have to want to meet, and so as not to set her up for disappointment, I tried to gently point out that there is a possibility that her birth mother might be afraid to reconnect. We talked at length about the reasons why, and finally closed our conversation with prayer for all of our children's birth families.

Missionary wife and adoptive mom Tara Livesay recently wrote a post on the subject of "Honoring First Families." In it, she states: "I don't believe any mother in the universe gives up her child without pain. I strongly believe that as an adoptive parent it is my job, my obligation- to love, honor, and pray for the first mothers of my children."

I hope that I can do the same, and I am thankful for the transparency our children have shown so far in sharing their thoughts and questions about adoption. It is such a privilege to be able to listen and talk with them on these precious matters of the heart.

1 comment:

Bumber's Bumblings said...

I'll be praying for Eva. I love the way you handled it--God has given you much wisdom.