What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Julia Ann Pearson.

I often see that awkward twitch in people’s smile when the open relationship with our son’s birth mom comes up. One can almost see their mind race with all of the objections and questions spilling over one another like a messy load of laundry in need of washing and sorting. I teeter between leaving everything unanswered (Lord knows I don’t need to explain our family to anyone) and filling them in completely on why I think open adoption, when available, is so important.

I find it totally makes sense that in a world where everyone has that one story they have heard about that horrible adoption thing that happened to their sisters, college roommate’s, dog walker’s, grocery bagger’s best friend, people feel automatically concerned that we are not only associating ourselves, but our adopted child and our biological children with this theoretical monster of a woman! I also find it crazy, that in a world where people are either super concerned about the rights of the unborn, or the rights of a woman to choose, that we find, when a woman has made the choice, for whatever reason, to have her child become a part of another family, she should just swallow, pack up her hospital bags, and move on with her life. As if that is possible. As if that is always what is best for that child. As if that is always what is best for that woman. As if that is always what is good for an adoptive family.

Yes, I would say a short year into this relationship, open adoption is super messy. So is life. So is adoption of any kind. The truth about adoption is that it is always TRAGIC. As much as I am 100% sure that God placed our beloved child in our family, I also know that mothers and fathers were meant to be with their own biological children. It is tragedy of all sorts and circumstances that causes a child to need to be adopted, in all adoption situations, but it is MIRACLES and divinity that cause those children to find their forever homes. So yes, it is messy, but I think that honesty often is, and because we have the opportunity to give the truth to our son about where and who he came from, even though parts of that would be hard, I would rather his heart be in touch with, and work through the truth of that, instead of him having to deal with the fantasy or questioning of a closed adoption. Of course, many times open adoption is not an option. Sometimes because of logistics, sometimes safety, sometimes wisdom. We hope to adopt again and we are aware that having an open relationship is sometimes not an option.

I also feel strongly that his birth mother should be honored and respected by our family for bringing our son into this world, and for who she is, just like the rest of us. There are many things I know about her and her journey with our boy that hurt, and many things I will never know, that would probably hurt even more. My love for her though, as a fellow mother of the same precious son, as a fellow woman who has experienced my own pain, my own tragedy, as a fellow child of God who knows what we both need most desperately in life is GRACE, my love for her, for us together, for all we have been brought through hand and hand and the journey down the road that we cannot even see, that love is so deep. I believe that sharing and showing our son that love, no matter all of the petty and ferocious obstacles she and I will surely face, will be part of what shows him who he is, and how valuable and precious his life is to all of us.