Milo’s birth mom wouldn’t mind you telling me this. She’d say the same thing. Her major hang-up with adoption was a fear that adoptive parents would take her baby boy and never be seen or heard of again. Most of her questions the first time we talked with her were veiled pleas for reassurance. And we understood this and respected it. She wanted to know that she could trust us.
In our adoption, and most adoptions, I assume, there is no thing that legally binds us to communicating with her. Parents have and will turn on the charm, accept the placement of a baby or toddler or child, and go off the radar. Our agency contract stipulates letters and photos at pre-determined intervals. Milo’s birth mom wanted an open adoption that includes regular contact and visits, and we welcomed this gladly.
From our first communication, we’ve been building mutual trust. She trusts us to care well for Milo, to love him, and to remain committed to him no matter what life brings. She trusts us to communicate with her, to involve her, and to allow her to be a regular part of his life. We trust her to remain in contact, to stand by her commitment to adoption, and to be honest with us about her journey in life.
To build trust, we’ve worked to exceed the commitments we’ve made to her. We’ve flung wide the doors of communication, even though yes, it is strange to be so open with a near-stranger so early on.
Some snippets of how this has worked for us:
+ We gave her our full names and our phone number and our address early on.
+ While waiting for clearance to travel home, we regularly updated Milo’s birth mom about what we were hearing. We communicated that we wanted to see her again before we flew home, and we followed through with that. It meant waiting an extra day to go home, and it was worth it.
+ We gave her space to process and grieve, but we told her we were open to more contact and more pictures and more whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.
+ We’ve exceeded the communication we agreed to in our agency contract by sending her regular mail for holidays and her birthday. We text message nearly every day!
+ We’ve been upfront with her about the progress we’ve seen toward Theo and Elliot coming home. We’ve communicated how this transition will be hard and how we will be stretched to meet the needs of each of our boys. But we’ve communicated how much we love and are committed to Milo.
+ We have updated her about Milo’s health. I text her after his check-ups with his weight, height, and any concerns the doctor had. We have also involved her in decisions we have made for Milo’s health. He may require surgery later for a couple issues, and we’ve talked those through with his birth mom.
She truly entrusted him to us, and we love seeing the ways that trust has grown.