Posted by Natalie*, a birth mother

My counselor once told me, “Every single adoption is different. Every plan that a birth mother and adoptive parents make is unique.” I am glad I made my plan for my daughter, but it took a lot of thinking. It was hard enough to decide on adoption for my daughter. Choosing an open adoption made it in some ways harder, and in some ways easier.

The hard part was trying to think about what would be best for Abby over time. I was so focused on the moment. Would an open adoption and having me around confuse her? What would she think of me? I also had to think about my own life in the future. I’m not much of a planner, so planning for a lifetime seemed really overwhelming. The only easy part was the idea that Abby wouldn’t disappear from my life completely.

As I talked to my counselor at Adoption Resources, I began to think about what I wanted my life to look like. I chose adoption in the first place because I wasn’t in any position to take care of a baby at the time. I had a hard time covering my bills and I didn’t have anyone to help me if I kept Abby.

Abby deserved a great life with parents that were ready for her. I wondered how I could be a part of that. I realized that I wanted Abby to see me as someone she admired. This helped me stay focused on my goals and also made me realize that seeing Abby and knowing her would keep me motivated.

When the time came to choose a family, I looked at a lot of families’ photo books and read a lot of letters. Somehow, Steven and Arnie stood out to me. They had already adopted a son who was four years old, and he had an open adoption with his birth mother. We met and talked about how we could make an open adoption work. They spoke about their son’s birth mother with such respect.

I thought they would be perfect for me and Abby. When we sat down and talked about the plan, it all seemed to come together.

Abby is now 8. She knows who I am, and our relationship is everything I had hoped for. Yes, it’s a unique plan with visits and phone calls, but it works just fine. I admire the way she is open and loving, and just plain amazing!