Months after the birth of their first grand child the parents of the baby’s mother still mourned and grieved their loss. Their daughter, too, grieved, but in different ways and for different reasons. This is not to say that either the daughter or her parents regretted the decisions that had been made, but acceptance can still be a difficult thing.
The grandparents found consolation in each other, and in the depth of grace and wisdom growing in their daughter, and in their faith. Always they had believed in a loving God who had a plan for their lives, and they truly believed that His plan was being worked out day by day even during this time of darkness. They continued to pray for their granddaughter and the family who was loving her in their absence.
One day, the grandfather was working on a multi-church project, building a house for a family in the community. As he worked side by side with different men, he noticed that one man in particular seemed to frequent the area where he was. During the afternoon, they spoke several times about the project and branched out into other topics. As workers began to leave, the younger man approached the older and introduced himself by name. The older, in return, gave his name. The younger man said, “Yes, I thought it was you. I’ve wanted to meet you for quite a while. You’re my daughter’s Grandpa.”
The two men sat down together and shared their hearts. The adoptive father told the grandfather that he had heard many good things about their baby’s family from the pastors who had facilitated the adoption. He talked about the reasons he and his wife had adopted, and the joy the child had brought to them. Then, quietly, he asked how the baby’s mother was doing. “Does she need to see the baby?” he asked, with the greatest compassion.
The grandfather went home that evening and told his wife the extraordinary story of his afternoon. When their daughter arrived home, they shared it with her. They asked her if she wanted to see the baby. She said she’d need time to think and pray. Several weeks later, she told them that she would, indeed, like to see the baby if it was still OK with the adoptive parents.
For many months the families shared back and forth, exchanging holiday greetings, birthday cards, and occasional visits. They all marveled at the peace and harmony that existed in their relationship, and spoke often of the blessing it was to each of them to interact in this way.
After almost two years of this sharing, the birth mother approached her parents and asked to speak to them about a very serious matter. She had been praying for her daughter’s family a lot lately and felt that it was time for her to withdraw from them somewhat. She felt that as the child was nearing three the complexity of the adoptive relationships might confuse her. The grandparents agreed that it was best for her to do whatever she felt was right in the situation.
A few days after this conversation, the grandparents received a letter from the adoptive parents, seeking their advice in a delicate matter. While praying for their baby and the birth family, they felt the Lord telling them that it was time to withdraw somewhat as the child was now almost three and might find the adoptive relationships confusing!
HINT: Not all open adoptions work this well. Some are troubled from the beginning by jealousy and fear, but one based on mutual respect, trust, love, and the best interests of the child can be a blessing to all involved. (And an abiding faith in a loving God is very helpful.)
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