There's one final perspective on Noah's sealing weekend that I need to share: Katie's. People often ask me, "How is she doing? Seven months later, what is she feeling about the adoption?" And of course, the common question: "What was that like for her to be in Colorado with you guys for Noah's sealing weekend?"
Before I get into Katie's thoughts on the matter, I want to say one thing: Every adoption situation and every birth mother is different. Sometimes I worry that by sharing so many details about our experience, friends and family will think that every adoption looks like ours--or, perhaps worse, that I think that every adoption should look like ours. That is simply not the case. Adoption is a very emotional and sometimes complicated decision involving multiple families, and there is not one "right" way for everyone involved to feel. In sharing our experience, I am only speaking for myself, not every adoptive mom in the world, and in sharing her feelings, Katie is only speaking for herself, not every birth mom in the world.
I understand that open adoption does not work in every situation. I also understand that adoption is not the "right" decision for every young mother, and I would never judge a young woman who chose to parent instead of place her baby for adoption, just as I hope no one would ever judge Katie for her decision. These are intensely personal decisions. I recently read a blog post written by a birth mother named Jill, and she wrote about how it makes her feel when others tell her she made the "right" decision by placing her baby for adoption. She strongly feels that this is not their judgement to make, and I agree, and so does Katie.
Our experience is our experience, and it doesn't have to be anyone else's. We only share it to give one perspective of what open adoption can be like. Just a few decades ago, the adoption world was very different. Often, birth mothers never got to see or hold their babies. The babies were just whisked away and never heard from again. I can't imagine the grief or the lack of closure. I am so glad that birth mothers today get to decide whether they want to place in an open or a closed adoption, and I'm so glad for the healthy, wonderful open relationship we've formed with Katie and Drew and their families. If we adopt again, I know that the dynamics will be different depending on the wishes and circumstances of the birth parents, and that is okay.
But enough about all of that...on to the good stuff. Katie always has such beautiful things to say, so let's get to it. Here's an email from Katie, shared with her permission, about her experience in Colorado for Noah's adoption finalization and sealing weekend:
At first I was nervous that I would be really sad and emotional about the adoption being finalized. It was going to be "for real" now. But I wasn't sad at all. I think that I had come to accept it such a long time ago that it was just so special. All I could think about was how happy I was for both you and Ryan, and of course my little baby Noah (:
I think that for me, Noah will always be my baby, but he will always be your child. So, watching him grow up is not difficult for me. I really don't have any doubts that what I chose was the right thing for my baby. You three belonged together, you just needed a little help from me to get there.
I am just so greatful that I got to be a part of all of it, and that you allowed Drew's and my family to be there with you. I love how close we all are and how our relationship is so good. It makes things a lot easier on the birth mother side to know that I made the absolute right descion, and I would never change that choice. It's the one thing in life I'm so proud of.
As usual, Katie stunned me with her wisdom. I love how she worded it when she said, "Noah will always be my baby, but he will always be your child." So profound. He was hers and hers alone for the 40 weeks that she carried him in her womb and in those first few days of his life; that sweet little newborn Noah will always be solely hers and Drew's. And now he is ours, though forever connected to his birth parents not only through genetics, but more importantly through love.
I read this adoption quote shortly after Noah's birth, and I thought it was beautiful and very true: "He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine; and so together, we are motherhood."
I love you, Katie Rose!