A birth mother and an adoptive mother reflect on adoption

Open adoption, real adoption stories

Birth mother Hannah and adoptive mother Nijole, discuss their adoption story from when Hannah became pregnant to how their open adoption relationship is today. 

Why Open Adoption

Video Transcript

I think that anybody who is thinking about adoption should definitely consider open adoption because it’s unbelievable. For every ounce of pain that you go through, you gain back ten million pounds ounces of love, joy. You know, it’s just awesome. It’s amazing for everyone involved. It’s unreal. So I couldn’t imagine going through…I couldn’t imagine my life without Harrison, without Nijole and Larry and Taylor. I just couldn’t. So I think it’ awesome. But it is difficult.

Making an Adoption Plan

Video Transcript

Throughout my pregnancy I kind of thought hey, I’ll just have the baby and then I guess I created a fantasy like it’ll be okay. Like we’ll just live with my boyfriend and I’ll just finish high school real quick and you know, whatever that means. And then I’ll just have this child and I’ll be a mom. And it’ll be fine.

Slide: After the birth of her son, Hannah decided to make an adoption plan.

Just hearing him cry I was like 'oh my god that’s a little person and what...?' It was really crazy. And I was just immediately stricken with this feeling like 'I can’t keep him. You know, I can’t keep him.' And it was because I loved him so much. I was just like how could I keep him? I can’t keep him. And all these feelings and all these physical feelings and all these emotions and mental feelings were just streaming through me. I was like I can’t do this. I can’t do that. Like oh my god.

Slide: Hannah decided to meet with a counselor at the hospital.

That was probably the most amazing thing that I have ever done in my life. Both for myself, for Nijole and her husband and then for my son, for Harrison.

Choosing a Family

Video Transcript

Slide: Hannah remembers finding a family to parent her son.

Deciding on a family was tricky because I had created this impossible idea of who I wanted to raise my kids, right? I was like "okay, like they can’t be this. They got to be that. They can’t be this. They got to be that. And I don’t want that but I definitely want this and I don’t want that but I do want that. And they have to have been married for at least ten years and they have to have another kid so I’ve seen them raise somebody so I know that they can do it." You know? Like this, that and the other.

And it would be great if they were biracial because Harrison is biracial so he should grow up like that too. I’m adopted and both my parents were Caucasian and I love my parents to death but it was a struggle not touching on any of my African American culture and history so I wanted Harrison to have that.

And I remember after expressing my needs and stuff for the family that I wanted I was given like four profiles. I was like, okay alright. So I looked at them and looked at them and I just remember opening Nijole and Larry’s profile and I was just like oh my god. And I can distinctly remember a picture of them at Disneyworld and I was like oh my god like something about them and they had their daughter and I was just like “that’s them”.

A birth mother and adoptive mother explain why they love their open adoption

Video Transcript

I think that anybody who is thinking about adoption should definitely consider open adoption because it’s unbelievable. For every ounce of pain that you go through, you gain back ten million pounds ounces of love, joy. You know, it’s just awesome. It’s amazing for everyone involved. It’s unreal. So I couldn’t imagine going through…I couldn’t imagine my life without Harrison, without Nijole and Larry and Taylor. I just couldn’t. So I think it’ awesome. But it is difficult.

Slide change

And I recall that hurt when we would see you and what was the happiest time of our lives, I knew in my heart it was sad for you and I didn’t know how to fix it. The only way I knew how to fix it was to always reiterate that Harrison would know that love existed but I didn’t know how to take the pain away from you. But I saw it at the restaurant. I saw it at Chuckie Cheese's. I saw it at the park. But I just hope that today you know how much we love you and how much Harrison loves you.

 

Explaining the decision to parent after placement

Video Transcript

Slide: When Hannah became pregnant again, she and Nijole decided how to tell Harrison

I remember when you told us about the pregnancy. You and I talked about how we were going to address it with Harrison and so I talked with Harrison and he understood and we had a little conversation about it and of course he loves Hannah with all his heart and so he was happy for her.

But I remember distinctly lying in bed with him one day. He was laying down and we were playing and I was hitting around his nose and we were playing kind of silly stuff and he says mommy, “Why did Hannah choose to keep Dorian and not me?” And it took me by surprise because we weren’t talking about it and I tried to explain the best way I knew how. He was six at the time. A six year old.

I had to compare Hannah to my daughter who is the same age as Hannah to some of his cousins who are the same age as Hannah and the age she was when she was pregnant with Harrison. So I said “You know your cousin T.J. and your cousin this person and the other?’ I said “Are they adults or are they children?” and they were the age that you were when you were pregnant with him. And he said, “Mom they’re children! They’re not grown-ups.” I said “Hannah was their age when she became pregnant with you and she thought about whether she could parent you and take care of you and she realized that she had to find a family and we were the lucky recipients. We were the lucky ones.” And so he came to understand that. He came to know that. I said “She loves you more than anything in this world. You are her baby.” Because I never wanted him to feel less than Dorian because I know that you love Harrison the same way you love Dorian.