Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The Punky Brewster Mentality...
Growing up, my idea of adoption was based on what I like to refer to as the "Punky Brewster mentality." In other words, all I knew about adoption came from what I saw on T.V. (Punky was actually in the foster care system, but as a child I don't think I really knew the difference.)
Funny sidenote: I actually went through a period of time as a child where I was convinced my parents had adopted me because there were so many pictures of my older brother from his birth, but I never saw any of me! Gotta love being the second child, right? :-)
Anyway, I say all of this to bring up that my perception of adoption was totally based upon fictitious characters. Adoptive parents were those cold acting older couples that lived in a big house, and the "real" mother was unloving and uncaring or her baby had been forced unwillingly from her arms. And the thought of "open" adoption never even occurred to me. Adoption was a secret that no one talked about. I remember my first experience with a family who chose open adoption. If I didn't actually ask the adoptive mom, I know the thought ran through my head, "Aren't you afraid that their birth mom is going to come and take them back?" But honestly, I just had not been properly educated on the truth. (A devastating blow to my thought process--apparently Punky couldn't teach me how to properly color coordinate OR how to know the truth behind foster/adoption!:-) I think all of my fears I had before about adoption stemmed from my struggle of living in fear. I think I've mentioned before that I struggle a lot with this. I remember when I was pregnant with Lucy, the one thing the Lord said to me repeatedly was that He was teaching me to "live in faith and not fear." Just when I think I'm getting better at this concept though, that fear comes in and rears its ugly head in my life. And this was the case when we first started talking about adoption. I couldn't even imagine at first wanting to do a domestic adoption because of the fear that the birthmother would come and take her baby back. But the Lord began working in my heart, and I realized that domestic adoption was exactly what He was calling us to do, and even more so, He was calling us to seek an open adoption. Now, instead of being filled with fear from open adoption, I'm filled with so much excitement. I seriously cannot wait to meet this amazing woman who is going to give birth to our baby! I look forward to learning all about her and hopefully maintaining good contact with her. We aren't just going to be welcoming a new baby into our family--their birthmommy is certainly going to be a huge part of our family's life from the moment she steps into it! She truly is a blessing to me, and we haven't even met yet. She is going to give us such a sacrificial gift-she has chosen LIFE for her baby, but ultimately she is going to choose us to continue to guide that child through the life she has chosen to give him/her. Just as the birthmother is making such a selfless decision for her baby, I realize that I, too, must place my children's needs above my own. While there are certainly many unknowns for me as a parent choosing open adoption, there will be not be as many unknowns for our child by us choosing an open adoption. Don't get me wrong--I don't think open-adoption is the only way to go, or the "right" way to do things. And I'm certainly not saying anyone who has chosen a closed adoption is not a selfless person! I just feel like this is the path God has chose for our family. I think one of the most beautiful things about adoption is that everyone's story is different--just like Punky's wild sense of style by way of color combinations, adoption stories make up a rainbow of tales that paint such a beautiful picture of life and of love. So maybe the "Punky-mentality" isn't so far off after all;-)