Shannon and her hubby are the proud parents to a silly, lovable 2-year old boy. When they adopted him, they added even more members to their family.
"Adoption, in general, is an ongoing emotional journey for all involved. And for our family, having an open adoption has guided this journey," she said.
Here's Shannon in her own words...
Open Adoption: 5 Reasons I Love It
1. It’s Not as Scary As You Think
I remember getting the news we had matched with our son’s birth mother, it was one of the best phone calls I ever received. I could tell you exactly what time it was and where I was!
That night, we would talk to her on the phone for the first time.
I was a nervous wreck.
During one of our more recent conversations we had, she had shared with me that she was too.
We both had our insecurities and worried what the other person would think.
Neither one wanted to say or do the wrong thing for fear the other person might change their mind or pass judgment.
Through the short time before our son’s birth we talked, texted, and sent pictures.
We even spent a couple of days together waiting for him to make his way into the world.
I grew to not only care for the child she was carrying, but for her and her family as well.
I also think that adoptive parents, we feel so vulnerable.
Many things are out of our control and we’ve invested so much emotionally to the process.
The unknown is so scary, and I think adoptive parents can worry that roles will be confusing to those involved.
The important thing to remember, for example, is that each woman is a mother to the child in a way that the other woman cannot be.
Each plays an independent and important role in a child’s life.
To be honest, I’m fairly new at being part of an adoption triad as an adoptive mother, so I don’t pretend to have all the answers.
I’m not sure exactly how things will evolve as our son grows, but being able to communicate with his family and share in each other’s lives has been a blessing.
I also understand that every situation and every family is different.
For us, we’ve enjoyed is the open communication with our son’s birth family.
It’s not been without hiccups, but because we can talk about it, we work on it!
We exchange cards, pictures, gifts.
We Skype and we visit in person.
He knows who she is, and knows his biological brother.
As he gets older, I hope he’ll ask us all questions and understand that we all love him very much.
3. It’s an Extension of our Family
Two families came together for the love our little guy.
I see them as an extension of our family tree, they are a part of our son and he is a part of them.
We want to do all we can to honor that.
When we arrived for his birth, they welcomed us with open arms during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
We are forever grateful.
I want our son to know its OK for him to embrace this large, specially formed family.
4. We Talk About it Candidly
I find that those unfamiliar with adoption or interested in learning more, want to know about the “openness” of our adoption most of all.
I love being able to speak about it and dispel any misconceptions people have.
It really opens up the door to talk about what adoption really is about and what it means for all involved.
Our hope is that our relationship as a family formed through adoption can be encouraging to those around us and show adoption in a positive light.
Like any family, we’re not perfect but we’re all here because we all love one special little boy.
As silly as this may sound, I love looking at our son and seeing how much he looks like his birth mother, he’ll make a facial expression and I’ll think to myself, “Oh my gosh, it’s her!”
I know that he’s picked up our mannerisms, but I love knowing where his little quirks, looks and preferences come from!
I hope to encourage others to consider open adoption if it’s a good fit for your family.
Like any relationship, it takes work, communication, time and trust, but it’s been worth it!
Contact me for more details.