Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adoption Academy and a Bit of Rambling

Yesterday I got to speak at another adoption academy. The birth mom panel wasn't until 12:45, but I went much earlier because my mom was on the adult adoptee panel and I wanted to support her. She did such an amazing job. I'm so proud! My mother never talked about being adopted until 6 months ago at the last adoption academy. I think it's been good for her to do them.

One thing she always emphasizes is that adoption was an enormous blessing for her. Her parents were supposed to be her parents. She grew up with the family she was meant to have. Being adopted never made her feel any less; I can vouch for that. I always got the impression that my mom was her parents' favorite, as a matter of fact. My grandma always told my mom that she was a joy. How blessed is my mom to have such a great family? I don't doubt she was meant to be theirs. My grandma knew it, too. Her family must have thought she was crazy, adopting a baby when she was seven months pregnant. I'm so glad she did!

My mom had to leave after her part because she had a flight to catch - she's in Canada for about a week visiting my brother and his wife and their sweet little kids. I stayed. For my part, of course, but for the rest of it, too. I LOVE adoption academies. There is such an amazing spirit there and I always come away feeling like the luckiest person in the world to be a part of them, and a part of adoption in general. There's just something very special about the people there - those who can bear witness that God puts people in the families they're meant for in a very real way. I don't think I've heard an adoption story yet at an academy that didn't give me chills.

I was on the birth mother panel with Tamra, who placed more than 12 years ago and who is one of my favorite people, ever; and Krista, who placed about 6 years ago. It was a little intimidating for me to be the one with the most recent placement, and the most open. But it was good for me, too. One thing I tire of is having my placement compared to others that might be more open, and having people think that there's something wrong with me or with my couple that we're not as super open as some others are. I think the birth mother panel helps people to see that just because each level of openness is different, doesn't mean they're any less than or not as good as another level of openness.

The level of openness I have with P an M works incredibly well for us. It's what we're all comfortable with, and I know that we're mature enough and communicate well enough that if something needed to change, it would. But it's great the way it is now. I get very regular pictures and video and updates, and visits when I need them, and we're all happy.

I don't feel like Roo's mommy. I tried to emphasize that on the panel. A lot of these couples who are certifying for the first time are very anti-open adoption, because it scares them and intimidates them. They just don't understand it. There are no boundaries blurred. Roo knows exactly who her parents are. I feel more like her aunt, and she's my favorite niece. I love her more deeply than I can say, but I'm not her mama, and I haven't tried to be. That's not my job. I didn't place her for adoption only to try to be her mom.

I so love to see opinions and thoughts change. I love to see couples understand how amazing openness can be (if that's what works for them). Obviously, Tamra doesn't have an open adoption. I admire her strength and courage. I don't think I could have done it without the promise of openness. She did. She's a hero of mine.

I probably sound like a gushing moron, but I just LOVE adoption academies! They're emotionally exhausting but oh so worth it. The Spirit is so strong there.

I think it's funny how my little flying leap off the straight and narrow has helped me feel God's love for me so much more acutely. My testimony is so much stronger now that it's ever been before. Adoption is an integral part of God's plan for his children. I am so blessed to be a part of it!

Roo's daddy gave me a CD full of pictures from the past few months of Roo, many of them including Roo's sister. The two of them are the cutest things ever. They love each other so much. I hope that they'll always be good friends. I like to picture them in a few years walking hand in hand to primary on Sunday.

And for the first time in maybe forever, I can picture my own children doing the same. I don't know when I'll marry and be a mother, but I know it will happen. God's time, not mine. Can I be super cheesy and end with a testimony? I am so blessed to have played a part in creating an eternal family. I will be forever grateful to have been chosen to bring Roo into the world; to have been trusted by my Father in Heaven to carry and deliver one of His precious children and then to find her family.

Adoption is the most amazing miracle. I am more thankful than I can ever say that it is a part of my life.


Marianne N Doug said...

Can I just say, I love how you write. It is so spot on. I am so excited for out upcoming conference! I hope it is as good as yours was.

Rachel said...

The Colorado FSA is having a conference coming up and I am so excited for it! Thank you for sharing your testimony of open adoption. I have never been intimidated by the idea and occasionally I have thought "maybe open adoption should be scarier than I think it is." Your feelings about it make me excited to meet our birth-mother someday. I bet she is absolutely amazing!

jgirl said...

big (((hugs))) for you and your Momma...=0)

Mary said...

I feel so uplifted after reading this post and the post about your mom's adoption. Thank you for sharing your testimony of adoption!

elesa said...

I love this so much. I feel like maybe I have a better idea of some of what our birth mom feels.

LDSFS BP Group said...

I loved reading this Jill. I am sooooo happy for you. You can see the growth and testimony in your words and I love love love that you're my friend.