Hello, my name is Jorja and I am the very proud mother of a daughter, Jessyka, who was mature enough to not only make a very difficult decision, especially for her age but then to also follow through with it in spite of a lot of opposition from me. I am also the very proud grandmother of a little boy who was lucky enough to be a part of an Open Adoption which gave him parents who are absolutely this grandmother’s dream come true. But we will get to that in a moment.
I am sorry I could not be there in person to convey my feelings on Open Adoption, not only from a grandmother’s point of view but also as someone who was adopted.
When my daughter told me she was pregnant and that she wanted to put the baby up for adoption, I cannot tell you how devastated I was! Not only did I cry and argue with her but for the majority of the pregnancy I prayed that God would change her heart or mine; I have to be honest and say that I was leaning more towards the side of changing her heart than changing mine. I even started checking into what I could do legally to adopt the child against my daughter’s wishes. She wanted her baby to have both parents to raise him, some thing she didn’t have for very long as I was a single parent the majority of her life and she didn’t want him to have to do without financial security in his life, another thing she never had as we had struggled financially most of her life. She also did not want to watch me struggle to raise another child; I had offered to raise him. In order to fight for the baby I would have had to sacrifice and sell my house to pay for attorneys which I would have done without hesitation. What I wasn’t willing to sacrifice was my relationship with my daughter. By going against her wishes, I would have destroyed our relationship and also told her that I didn’t have faith in her decision-making abilities.
But I could not imagine having a grandchild that I would not be an active participant in his life. I already had two grandbabies and was very active in their lives. Jes kept assuring me that with Open Adoption, I would get to be a part of his life. But remember I was adopted so I had a different view. While I was raised off and on by my biological mother (my grandmother between times), I was 12 when I found out that the man I thought was my father had actually adopted me when I was 18 months old then within a year, he and my mother divorced and he wasn’t around after that. So in a child’s eyes that meant there were 2 men out there who didn’t love me enough to claim me. That is one of the thoughts that will run through your mind when you can’t ask your parent why they didn’t want you. What is wrong with me? I found my biological father when I was 32 years old. It took me years to get up the courage to call him. I had known who he was and where he lived since I was 12 but I was always afraid if I contacted him he would reject me. That was not the case and we are now building a good relationship. But I didn’t want my grandchild to ever go through those doubts. The closed adoptions that I had seen always left so many questions unanswered. You wonder why they did it, do they ever think of you, do you have siblings that they loved enough to keep, etc. even into health issues that are hereditary. There is just no closure for that child.
Well, enough on my views of adoption of old. I told you I kept praying that God would change Jes’s heart or change mine. Well, from day one I always knew that the baby was a boy and so in all my prayers, I had called him Josiah Grayson but I only told my mentor and my daughter-in-law never mentioning the Grayson part to my daughter as they had disliked the name Josiah when I suggested it. They had chosen a different name that I really was not fond of but it wasn’t my decision to make. Then approximately 3 weeks before the baby was born, Jes came to me to say they had chosen a name I probably would not like. When she told me Grayson, I started crying so she thought I hated it. When the adoption agency called to say the adoptive parents had also chosen that name I just knew it was one more sign that God was involved. The first thing in this process that had convinced me was when the adoptive parents had the same names as my daughter and me. So many things fell into place that there was no doubt that it was not going to be Jes’ heart that would change but mine.
I am not going to tell you that it was not hard to watch that baby go home with someone else when the time came but what I am going to tell you is that when you see the look on that couple’s face as they hold that baby and you see so much love and wonder in their expressions, it helps. It helps to know that they have wanted, waited, sacrificed, worried, prayed and anticipated that child as much as any biological parent ever could, if not maybe more. When they took my grandson home, I never, never, never had a moment’s worry about whether he would be cared for and loved as much as any grandmother could wish for her grandchild. As time passed, I kept my distance because I wasn’t sure where I fit in but let me state right now that is not anything to do with the adoptive parents or their family, it was my own feelings. From the very beginning of this process, George and Jessica as well as their families have always made me feel like I am just another extension of the family and have included me as a part of the baby’s life. I have had the pleasure of watching him grow over the past two years into a very lovable, intelligent, well-cared for, secure toddler who is far above a lot of his peers and I believe that is due to WELL I have to say Good Genes of course but also the loving, secure environment of an absolutely awesome “adoptive” family who as stated before is this grandmother’s dream come true.
Let me state, Open Adoption is absolutely above and beyond any of the old-fashioned closed adoption plans. Too many times people my age see it as being wrong or a choice that girls make because they don’t want the responsibility of raising a child but it is actually a very mature decision which is not easily made or followed through on. How many children are out there being neglected or tugged between parents who are not mature enough to think of the child before themselves? I cannot tell you that it has been easy on Jessyka but I can tell you that never once has she wavered, wondering if she made the right choice. If I was actually there in person, I would have to stand up and applaud my daughter, Jessyka for making a mature decision that I know I could not have been unselfish enough to make. I don’t tell you often enough, Jes, but I am very, very proud of you for what you did for your child!
When I prayed that God would change my heart or hers, I never dreamed it would be as complete as it has been.
Have a Wonderful Day!