Monday, March 23, 2009

This past weekend, my best friend Angela, my younger sister Laura, and I took a trip to Myrtle Beach to visit Deanna. We spent the day playing on her new swing set/tree house, riding the bikes and golf cart around the neighborhood, climbing trees, playing tag in a field of dandelions, and running rambunctiously through waves and sand on the beach. As Deanna led us into the garage to show us all of the bikes, she excitedly babbled on and on about how many bikes they have. "We have two mommies bikes," she said matter of factly. "No pun intended," laughed De as we walked into the garage. I always find it humorous when the dual mommy things come up. Deanna knows I am her tummy mommy, but I often wonder if she really knows who I am. After all, we did share 9 months worth of watermelon. De asked her who I was once, and she replied, "a girl." Haha, yes I am a girl. De laughed and said, "No, who is Amy Hutton?" (while patting her stomach.) Deanna immediately got a smile on her face and replied, "my tummy mommy!" Yes, she's got it. I've done a lot of thinking lately about why our open adoption has been so successful. I can't stand reading those horrible stories on the internet about "open adoptions gone bad." Sure, I understand that things don't always work out perfectly, but I am a testament that open adoption can work, and it can have a happy ending. If we never hear the "good stories," then we'll never consider open adoption a choice, and I can't stand to see that happen. When I called De the next day to thank her for having us, we got to talking about it. "I think people are more open to open adoption the more confident they are with themselves," she said, "because it's not about you anymore, it's about somebody else." I thought about it. It made a lot of sense. If your ultimate goal is for this child to be happy, then everything else should fall into place. It takes a huge amount of trust on the part of both the birth parents and the adoptive parents. I remember when Robbie and I first sat down and met with Don and De. They explained that they wanted us to be as much a part of the baby's life as they were. "What do you mean I can visit her whenever I want to?" I thought skeptically. What kind of people would really allow us to maintain a relationship with the child they are raising? As time went by, and we got to know each other better, we began to develop a strong relationship built on trust and mutual respect for each other. De came with me to my doctor appointments, we had a baby shower together, and we even took the hospital tour together. The more we got to know about them, the more we realized that this was the right thing to do. When I go to visit Deanna, De lets us have time together. She understands how important it is for us to have that relationship, and she is confident in herself as a mother. She doesn't "stand guard" and watch our every move. She gets things done around the house, shares funny stories, and asks questions to see if I did a certain thing when I was Deanna's age. We trust each other, and we make the situation work because it's not just about us. It's about somebody more important. While De and I have ALOT of little things in common, more importantly, we both share an incredible love for a beautiful 3-and-a-half-year-old blonde girl... and for two mommies, that's something that will never change.


The Reality of Happily Ever After said...

Absolutely incredible -- Any time I need a pick-me-up, I'm coming on over! You live in Raleigh, huh? I live about 45 minutes east of the OBX... My SIL (sister-in-law) and sister live in Raleigh -- I would love to meet you!

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