Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I needed that time...

I don't remember how I actually came to the conclusion, but I realized something the other day. Maybe it was while I was working on my letter to Samantha. I'm in the process of writing it to give to her when baby is born. Any ways, I realized something... The first time we did foster care, even though I was open, honest and not at all afraid of Ben birth father or Isaac and Madison's birth mother, I never ONCE thought about having an open adoption with them!

In the mix of chaos of my PCOS at it's all time worst and struggling with Isaac, we decided to close our foster care file. That was in November of 2007. After dealing with things, getting my PCOS (back then I still didn't know WHAT was causing all the problems) straightened out, we decided it was time to adopt. I think it was in June or July of 2008. We met with LDSFS. I already knew the caseworker (his dad is now our bishop), we started the paperwork, we announced it to family in friends, we started saving money, we made "pass along cards", we sent out said pass along cards, but it just wasn't meant to be. During that time I got really involved in the adoption world. The more I read about open adoption, the more I fell in love with it, the more I wanted one!

It was a crazy experience when we decided to foster again. I had sworn I NEVER would do foster care again. I told my friend all negative things about it and advised NOT to. I owe it all to my friend, one day out of the blue she says "Let's do foster care again together!" We had met in the foster care training classes the first time around. The second she said it, it just felt right. I knew we needed to! Brad was hesitant... It took time, but he eventually agreed! I was beyond excited about it! I couldn't wait to announce it to our friends and family! Our family had mixed re-actions about it. We got a lot of "Are you sure that's a good idea?" Now I'm a VERY sarcastic person and my response was "No, I just woke up one morning and decided I wanted to do it and be miserable again!"

By the time we had Emma I had thought about an open adoption through foster care. I hadn't thought too much about it. It is one of those things that really depends on the birth family situation. Like, Ben's dad was still using Meth and his mom tried to kidnap one of his siblings. That situation would not be safe to have an open adoption. (Obviously there is a lot more to the case, but because of confidentiality, I'll leave it at that!)

I wasn't 100% sure I wanted an open adoption with Samantha until the day before she decided to relinquish. Once I heard that it was her decision, out of her love for her daughter, I felt inclined to throw "open adoption" out there. I never discussed it with Brad. I remember the first time I said it out loud. Emma and I were in our caseworker's office waiting for Sam to get there. I told our caseworker "Tell her I'd like an open adoption." I wasn't saying that to push or pursued Samantha into placing Emma for adoption, I really did mean it. Uh hello, look at us now! Then actually talking to Sam about it and hearing her experiences with Ethan and Avery, I knew I was all in! (I have only heard Samantha's side of the story, but Ethan and Avery's adoptive parents also agreed on open adoption, but after a few months changed their minds. She says it was because she was occasionally getting arrested. Again, not bashing these people, I've never met them. Just Sam's side of the story.)

To make my long story short, I truly needed that time between foster care experiences to fell in love with open adoption. It amazes me so much about how Samantha and I's relationship is like.

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