DE, THE BABY IS CRYING!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I'm going to visit the little babe, Don, and De for Labor Day Weekend next week...and I'm so excited! The last time I saw the Dollars was in May at my graduation, which is the longest period of time I've gone without seeing them. I'm sure Deanna must have changed so much since the last time I saw her. She's in the 95th percentile for height and 6th percentile for weight. Don said he's going to start giving her protein shakes to gain some weight because her metabolism is through the roof!
Don called me last week and asked me a random question that sort of caught me off-guard. "Are you ever scared to be honest with De or I because you're afraid we won't let you see Deanna if you make us mad?" I sort of laughed. The ole jokester! I thought he was kidding. But he wasn't. Apparently a woman on an adoption website had told Don that the term "birthmom" was offensive to all birthmoms. Don told her that I am not offended by the term "birthmom," and the woman informed him that he wouldn't know if I was offended or not because I'd be too afraid to tell him for fear that Don and De wouldn't let me see Deanna again. Don obviously knows me better than to believe that, but he wanted to ask just to be sure.
My answer to Don was "absolutely not!" I'm not afraid to talk to Don and De about anything. While the term "birthmom" may be offensive to some women, it's actually a word that I am proud to identify myself with. I wouldn't have described my blog as, "the journey of a 22-year-old birthmom" if I found the term offensive or degrading in any way. I don't care what you call it, as long as you understand that my experience with open adoption is real, it's an incredibly positive part of my life, and I'm going to be completely honest about it. It's not the term; it's the concept behind the term that truly matters: giving a child a wonderful life and family.
I think the honesty and openness that we share in our open adoption is the glue that holds everything together. If I ever had doubts that Don or De would take Deanna away, then I certainly wouldn't have chosen them to be the parents of my daughter. I made a choice to allow them to make the decisions that they deem best for Deanna, and I stand by them in every single choice that they make. Whether it be an outfit to dress her in, a sport to enroll her in, a savings account, or even a college education fund. The excitement I used to find in visiting just Deanna has turned into an excitement for being able to spend time with Don, De and Deanna.
I think it's easy for people who are not directly involved in our open adoption to rush to judgment about the relationships that Don, De, Robbie, and I share. They do not understand what they have not experienced. But we have become an extended family, and it would certainly take more than a few "honest" statements to diminish the bond that we have built over the past 5 years. Essentially, Don & De adopted not only Deanna, but Amy, Robbie, and both of our huge, crazy, wonderful families. We adopted each other, and that's alot of love.
Four years ago, De and I shared a single hospital room with Deanna for 3 days and nights after she was born. I remember the single moment when I fully put my trust in De to be Deanna's mother. During the first night of our hospital stay, Deanna began crying in the middle of the night, and I was incredibly exhausted. I rolled over in the hospital bed and called to De who was sound asleep on the couch:
"De, the baby is crying..." : )