A Strong Independent Adoptive Mother
Elizabeth F. grew up an only child and chose to stay solo into her adult life. She reveled in the freedom of not being tied down by family obligations; she wanted to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. It was the temporary-ness that drew Elizabeth to fostering. Adoption was never on her radar. But as you’ll read below, things changed.
Becoming a Family
Baby Jack came to Elizabeth at just four months old. Instantly she felt a connection to him but knew his birth parents wanted to reunification. A little over a year into Jack’s placement his birth parents voluntarily surrendered their rights. Adoption day, May 31st, 2019, came a year later and is a day Elizabeth remembers fondly.
I more or less sobbed the entire morning- I was thrilled my son would be mine legally, forever and ever. I was relieved it was all over and we could be a “normal” family now without caseworker visits and complicated paperwork and legal limbo. But I was also crying because my “win” was his birth mother’s huge loss. The happiest day of my life was also likely the saddest day of hers. The reality is that there is no adoption without trauma and grief and loss, and I felt the weight of that truth more than ever on adoption day.
Something special about Jack’s adoption is Elizabeth’s relationship with Jack’s biological parents. Since they voluntarily terminated their parental rights, Jack’s adoption was able to be open. This means that Elizabeth and Jack’s birth parents can contact each other.
Elizabeth is proud of Jack’s birth parents for overcoming addiction and other challenges to become healthy loving people and parents to their two younger children. Thanks to Elizabeth’s openness, Jack is able to have a relationship with his birth parents and biological family, something Elizabeth is so grateful for.
Love Goes Both Ways
Elizabeth regards adopting Jack as the best thing to happen to her. While she doesn’t have the freedom and flexibility of her single life before adopting. She is so happy and fulfilled as a mother and plans to continue fostering and adopting in the future.
Words of Wisdom
Elizabeth offers valuable advice on the process of fostering to adopt.
Adoption isn’t transactional; it’s not a way to make a family if all other options fail. Adoption is a lifetime commitment to helping your adopted child navigate their background story with grace and love, realizing that any and all adoptions are inherently born from trauma and loss, and therefore can present a range of emotions and challenges, some anticipated and some not, over an adoptee’s lifetime. Adoption is a lifetime commitment to honoring the birth parents and birth family – and in the case of open adoption, it means entering into a personal relationship with those players for a lifetime, regardless of the ups and downs of that relationship – not much different than a marriage.
Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your story of becoming an adoptive mother and family. For more information on how to adopt through foster care, check out our adoption calculator here.