Over the next few weeks and months, I did a lot of research. The social workers spent time educating me on the benefits of openness for everyone in the adoption scenario. I read a lot online and in books about open adoption and the benefits. I quickly began to understand that this is exactly what I wanted for my future child(ren). I could re-hash all the fundamentals of why I believe open adoption is best in many (most?) cases, but if you've read my blog for long at all, you already know them.
I wanted to share with you a specific moment that occurred last night that brought tears to my eyes and reaffirmed ALL of the decisions we've made about having an open adoption.
At our last visit with Aidan's birthmom, hubby took a picture of her, him, and me together. I never did do anything with the picture except send it to a few immediate family members and admire it a lot. I realized the other day that I've been slacking on showing him pictures of her (the few that I have!) and I started feeling pretty bad about it. So, I uploaded this picture of the three of us to the local photo shop and had an 8x10 print made. I'll be turning it into a wall hanging for a Christmas gift for him.
Anyway - Aidan saw me taking this print out of the envelope and he asked, "who's that?" I held it up in front of him and said, "I don't know, who IS that?"
He instantly pointed at me in the picture and squealed, "Mommy!!"
Then he pointed at himself in the picture and said "Nen-nen!" (Aidan)
Then he pointed at his birthmom and said, "who's that?" (Cue the guilt...) I waited a minute to let him think, wondering if he'd come up with her name.
After a minute, I said, "who IS that?"
He said, very thoughtfully, "uuuuummmmmm...."
Then, after another moment of thought... "kiss?!" He proceeded to take this print from me and mash it to his face, planting a wet slobbery kiss right on her face.
Happy tears streamed down my face as I squeezed him tight and reminded him of her name.
And, once again, all our reasons for choosing openness for our son came rushing back and the guilt disappeared. He knows. He's known since he was born. I remember saying that at our visit when he was about eight months old. He might not understand, but he knows that she is very special.
I hope he never forgets that.