A Tale of Two Birth Mothers


Someone once told me that every adoption is unique; no two stories are the same. Now seven years into our adoption journey – and walking alongside multiple other families through the adoption process – I can whole-heartedly agree.

From the choices of how to adopt – agencies, private, domestic, international, foster, etc – to the differing philosophies, to how the placement actually plays out, there are numerous choices and variables during those waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) months.
Why am I sharing this? To completely freak out and overwhelm that waiting mama? To make adoption seem daunting and unpredictable? No way, no how, nada.

While it is true that adoption comes in all shapes and sizes and stories, that is, dear friends, the gist of parenting. There are similarities and bonds made over “I know what you mean,” and, “I felt that way too,” but there is also beauty – something special even – about the uniqueness of each adoption. It’s a story unfolding that’s just for you, just for your new addition. It’s not perfect and for sure will have rough edges, but it is crafted and formed with purpose just for your family. I believe that through and through.

This is a mantra I often share with mamas still waiting in the waiting game. (Have I mentioned how tiresome the waiting is?) Yet, the uniqueness of the adoption story does not stop with placement. The adoption triad and subsequent family life continues the trend of “no two stories the same.”

This makes sense when you think about it because no two people, no two families are completely alike. And when adoption is part of your family, that also means birth family becomes part of your family too.

No two adoptions are the same. No two birth families are the same. And I’m thankful for that.

Birth Mother, Part 1

To be honest, I spent so much time preparing to become a new mom and fretting through the waiting process that I did not visualize or even think through what birth family meant for my family. And, to be honest again, as a first-time mom, I’m not really sure that forethought or understanding is even possible. You can’t know what you don’t know (or experience). Thankfully, like most aspects of parenting, I was able to ease into this as it was presented to us.

Our eldest daughter was already born when we matched with her. The birth parents were very involved in selecting us and expressed a willingness to meet us post-placement. However, that never came to fruition after two cancelled meetings (on their part, not ours).

Since that time, my eldest’s birth parents have not responded to emails, texts, or calls sent by the adoption agency in efforts to make a connection again. We do not have an open adoption relationship with them, although this was their original request.

Does that mean her birth family is not part of our lives? Heck no. They are. They made her. She resembles them in stature and, no doubt, personality. Even if we do not have a face-to-face or letter-sharing relationship, they are still part of my life and for sure part of my daughter’s life. They have roles in this story and always will.

Birth Mother, Part 2

Our second daughter came to us under different circumstances. She was still in utero when we matched with her, technically. Her birth mother delivered the next day!

We met her birth mother only a few days after our daughter’s birth. We met our daughter – and brought her home – about one week after that initial birth parent meeting. At placement, her birth mother placed her in my arms. (By far, the most moving experience of my life.) We met her birth mother again, along with her birth grandfather two months later. Although we have not continued to meet with the birth mother face to face (her choice), she still accepts our pictures and letters we send regularly throughout the year. We do, though, have visits with our daughter’s birth grandfather, birth step-grandmother, and birth uncle two to three times per year. We have a very open relationship.

Which Tale Is Better?

I could, nay can, drive myself crazy comparing the girls’ stories . . . wondering which one is better, which one is healthier. How do I ease any pain my eldest may have about her birth family’s lack of involvement? How do I shore up my youngest as she navigates birth family at such a young age? Is this confusing to her? Is she worried that we aren’t her “real” family?

Yes, these are honest questions we must ponder and act upon as we parent our kiddos. But I have come to this conclusion: Each girl’s story is her story. We will take it as it unfolds. Each story has loss and heartache. Each story has grace and joy. It is my job as their mother to help them see both sides, to feel both sides of the story. It is my job to be honest about birth families, about adoption, about love, about how crazy I am about them. One story is not better than the other.

Like our own family dynamics, the relationships will evolve over the years, probably more in an up and down pattern than a clear ascent or descent. As the girls age, we will give more and more power and decision-making ability to each girl as she grows in maturity and opinion, particularly to interactions with birth family.

For now, we do everything we can to honor their birth families. When the situation allows, we pursue relationships with birth families, leaving that door ajar so our daughters, as they get older, can decide if they want to close it or open more.

No two adoptions are the same. No two birth families are the same. And I’m thankful for that.

Do you have a birth mother "tale"?

Contributing Sister Site and Author

Emily Youree, Fort Worth Moms
About {Emily}

Emily Y first became involved with Fort Worth Moms Blog  when it began in the Spring of 2013 as a contributing writer. She became the managing editor in the Spring of 2014. Twelve months later, in 2015, she became the sole owner of the blog. Emily became a mom in 2011 when she and her husband welcomed home sweet Anna Zane, and then added Louisa to the family in November 2014. Since then, life is full and fun! In addition to wife and mom and business owner, Emily works on freelance projects as a writer/editor, wielding her red pen for grammatical justice everywhere. In 2014, she co-authored and released Legendary Locals of Fort Worth. She has also written a Bible study, Grace in the Empty Spaces . She also enjoys gardening, yard sales, and drinking caffeine during the wee ones’ nap times. Follow Another Youree Day  where she documents the joys and jests of life as a working mama. 



  1. Great post, Emily! And, as one of the adoptive moms you encouraged along the way, our adoption story is, too, unique to us. With an open adoption that’s not “super” open, my prayer is we can always have some sort of connection with birth mom so that when our daughter is ready, if the day comes where she wants to see her birth mom, that option is available to her. In the meantime, we take it day by day, and cover the situation in lots of prayer.