A few days before I met with my son’s new family, I was handed a list of questions that I could ask them about their parenting style, family traditions, religious preferences, etc. After all, it was important for me to know the truth about this family that I was entrusting with my most prized possession.
Their parent profile answered most of my questions prior to the meeting. In fact, it was in part, because of their honest answers that I chose them. I didn’t know everything about them but I knew enough to know that they were the right family for my son.
Over the years, there have been disagreements between us. There have been times when I felt they weren’t making the right choices for our son. There have been times of awkwardness and discomfort because of our clashing perspectives. And there have even been times of temporary distance between us. But one thing I knew from the start was that no matter what, I could trust them to be real with me. They didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear so that I would choose them. They didn’t give me the appearance of honesty. They gave me the truth.
The truth isn’t always comfortable. In fact, it can be downright painful at times. But it is far better to be genuine from the start than have to backpedal and experience disappointment years later. Be honest about your expectations. Be honest about your intentions. Be honest about the extent of openness that you desire. Your candor will help to establish a relationship built on trust – a trust that will sustain you during the more difficult times.
I have never questioned the decision I made to place my son with his adoptive family. Our relationship is stronger today because we have remained honest with one another, even when it was painful. Make that same commitment to your child’s birth mom today.