michelle is just incredible and a dear friend. (she is one of the adoptive moms that i covet)
she and her husband are hoping to adopt.
Shortly after my oldest son Noah’s birthmom placed him in our family, I started to miss her. Noah was born eight years ago, right before adoptions became open at LDSFS, so we had to send letters through the agency and she didn’t know our last name. It seemed so strange to love and like somebody so much but not to be able to further develop the relationship past placement day.
We met for the first time while she was pregnant and, I thought, “If we had met under other circumstances, we’d be close friends.” And I knew right away I’d love her perfect baby boy because I liked her so much. Little did I know at the time that being friends WAS possible.
Sometimes Greg and I would talk hypothetically about how cool it would be to see her again and to hang out with her family. At the time we didn’t know any other families or birthmoms involved with open adoptions, so it seemed like only a hope. One day several months after placement, I cautiously asked our caseworker if anyone ever did more than just write letters to their birthmom. I vaguely suggested that we were interested in visiting Noah’s birthmom but didn’t want to bring it up with her if it would do any harm toward her healing. Thankfully, he said – and I quote – “You do whatever you think is right.” I have thanked him several times over the years for giving that advice. His advice was a bit ahead of the times at LDSFS. If he had given the slightest indication openness was something to worry about, we wouldn’t have proceeded and we wouldn’t have developed such fantastic friendships with Noah’s birthmom or later with our second son Sam’s birthmom.
Noah’s birthmom lives in another state so we see her roughly once a year. The first time we hung out (Noah was 18 months) was heaven. We had a BBQ at her parent’s house and totally overstayed our welcome. We loved showing Noah off to her and bragging for hours about how smart he was and how well he talked. We couldn’t stop talking to her family, sharing stories and getting to know them better. When we left that night, we begged for another visit.
Finally we were able to arrange one for Christmas Eve, 18 months later. My 30th birthday. I couldn’t imagine a better birthday present to myself. After that visit, we felt like LDSFS rebels. Here we were with a bona fide friendship with our son’s birth family! We wanted others to enjoy something similar, so we started talking to other couples and encouraged our caseworker to promote openness more. We wrote a letter to our caseworker pleading our case. That letter was published several months later in a newsletter put out by the agency.
By that time we had waited a few years for baby #2. We ached for that baby. One day, Sam’s birthmom had an appointment with her caseworker. She was pregnant and feeling overwhelmed by choosing a family. She had emailed several couples and none were quite right. She had overlooked our profile online because we already had Noah. But her caseworker showed her the newsletter article about our deep love for Noah’s birthmom and our hope for another open adoption. She emailed us the next morning.
That was almost five years ago and we can hardly even imagine our lives without her. She brought the sweetest little baby to our family. We loved him instantly and that ache we had felt for so long immediately was replaced by pure joy. And once again, we experienced the sweet friendship of a new birthfamily.
I love my boys’ birthmoms for so many reasons. Since we bonded over something as huge as grief, loss, respect, and especially a perfect baby, the friendships were deep from the start. But over the years as we’ve really gotten to know each other and as we’ve bragged over the same child and done fun things together, I have really gotten to love each women for WHO SHE IS. We have done so many things together including eat, play at the park, sit on the couch and talk for hours, go to museums, reminisce about our baby’s infant pictures, send “how are you – I miss you” texts – just the regular things friends do. A few weeks ago I ran a dilemma I was having by Sam’s birthmom and her husband. I had no experience with the issue I was worried about and knew that they did. Not surprisingly, they offered excellent advice. Every.single.time I spend time with either of our boys’ birthmoms I leave happy and fulfilled.
Just this morning on the way to school Noah randomly said he loves his freckles because he got them from his birthmom. Then he told me he LOVES having two moms that love him. He asked me if I’m jealous that he’s adopted and I’m not. I had never really considered that before. But I have considered that I need and value the birthmoms I do have in my life. These two women gave my kids life and they gave me love. I may not have a birthmom, but I have them. And I am grateful.