By Hina and Paul Khan
From the beginning of our adoption journey, we were open to openness. We had attended a PRIDE session and heard a foster family speak about how they had continued openness with children they offered permanency to. It was always something that stuck with us. However, we never realized until we adopted, how much openness would become part of our daily lives.
Three years ago, we attended the Adoption Resource Exchange. We had been waiting a long time and felt like this may have been our last conference. As we scanned the profile book, there he was! On the very last page of the book was our son’s profile. When we saw his photo, we felt an instant connection. We knew that he was our son. We met with the worker and got some more information on him. The agency initially started to discuss our comfort with openness and vision for it.
Our son lived with his foster parents, Amanda and Larry, from the time he was 2 days old. They were present for his first moments and milestones. They loved our son without knowing if they would see him after his foster placement. When we heard his story, we know that we wanted to continue a relationship. We never saw our life without his foster family in it.
Initially during the transition, we took a short break from visits to work on attachment and bonding. However, a few weeks later, we booked a visit to meet them. Since then, they have become part of our family. They are very special people. We have all benefited from the openness.
Openness is key for our children who are developing their self-image and understanding of their personal history and heritage. It is critical for their mental health and offers a bridge to understanding. Our son has a connection to people who can provide context to what he was like as a child.
Never did we imagine the level of openness we have but now we couldn’t imagine it any other way.