Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable: Small Moments

As part of , Heather at Production Not Reproduction asks open adoption bloggers to describe “a small moment that open adoption made possible.”

We were at the hospital when our son was born, and ever since, I've been secretly hung up on his birth mother's reaction to him. She seemed... casual... almost indifferent. I spoke with her privately and let her know that if she had changed her mind or had ANY doubts about proceeding with the adoption, then maybe this wasn't our child, and we would understand. She assured me that she had no doubts.

And yet, she only went to the nursery (reluctantly) at her mother's urging, and she never once asked to hold him or feed him. I wondered if she was trying not to get attached. I wondered if she felt good about her decision to place him but regretted choosing my husband and me. I wondered if she was on serious pain medication. I wondered if she had mental health issues. I wondered how anyone could resist his tiny, soft, warm innocence and his sweet little head.

I think of her every day for many reasons. As the weeks passed my gratitude deepened, but still, I wondered, and in the weeks leading up to our reunion I was outright anxious and apprehensive.

Happy ending ahead... as soon as she saw him she broke into a grin and reached for him. I got to spend the entire afternoon watching her coo and rub noses with him, make silly faces and giggle about his wispy hair. And best of all, she smiled every time someone said he looks like her. A really big, proud, happy smile.

I didn't realize how much I needed to see that. She gave me so much, but I guess I wanted that too. I needed to see her with him as much as she needed to see him with me. Thanks to openness, we both got what we were looking for.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+


Ginger said...

Awww....I loved reading this...

Jess said...

I never expected those feelings, but feel the same way. I want so badly for our daughters bio family to love her and want her and to be happy in all of this because I love them, too.

Well written!

Thanksgivingmom said...

I'm so glad you got to witness that moment - and I'm even more glad that you have that to share with your son. That he knows the joy that he brought her in that perfect moment.

Maru and Fico said...

Thanks for sharing this... :o)

Deb said...

I am glad to have come upon your blog via the Roundtable. What a wonderful post, thanks for sharing.

Hua said...

Hi Sally,

This is a great post! I'm glad you got to experience this moment; your story is beautiful. I'm Hua, the director of Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network, and I'd like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page ( provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at


familyofthree said...

There really is nothing like watching our kids with their first parents, is there? It truly does bring such peace and comfort, in some small way.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Hey Sally, after reading your post at I thought I'd check you out...and yes, I can understand your thoughts...but understand that women who are giving up their children have to put some armor on because what is about to happen feels like ripping out their guts, and because the decision has often been made ahead of time, they are likely to react stoically, like a general signing the surrender agreement.

birthmothertalks said...

One thing that I like to tell all adoptive parents is that if the birth parents have regrets it's not so much about you as their parents. The regret (if any) is going to be more about the loss of them being the child's parents. I know I can only speak for me, but that's my 2 cents. I am glad that you was able to see your child's birthmom respond to them in a good way.