When we made the decision to become parents through open adoption, we had no idea what a loving, open-hearted experience it would be. Like many, we faced a great deal of fear and apprehension along the way (home studies, waiting periods, fear of revocation). However, the more we opened ourselves up the the experience, the more beautifully it unfolded. Our birth family included us in so much of the pregnancy and of their lives. We couldn't have anticipated the relationships we would develop and are so very grateful to be on this journey with them. It is our hope that our daughter will flourish knowing the love, support, and mutual respect that exists between her birth families and adoptive families.
Benefits of open adoption. The most heart-breaking event in our lives was walking towards the hospital elevator without Harrison. It was as though a knife was twisting and slicing through us. It hurt, it ached, and the pain was burning and choking us. It felt very unnatural to leave Harrison behind with a family of strangers who were unknown to us, who had no bonding moments, who had not shared our lives or understood how this decision came to be. At the time, I felt and was sure if I would never be part of this little boy’s life. I was after all just the ‘bio- gran’ and this literally tore my heart out. I supported Christie’s and Curtis’s decision for open adoption. As a parent, my primary role is to guide, support, pick up the broken pieces or stay silent and stand back watching emotions and pain unfolding and hoping time will dull the ache they were feeling as a consequence of their decision. It tested their relationship, as not all relatives were supportive. Family, friends and co-workers were too opinionated and insensitive. We felt this in the hospital even and at Dr. Appointments. People, in general are too quick to pass judgment and stereotype without knowing the facts. I am proud of their decision as they had the best intentions for their baby’s future. Six years later … I am truly blessed. I am so thankful that Jeff and Lisa were chosen to parent Harrison. They embraced us and helped guide us through this unchartered journey. From a painful dark beginning there is light, the pain dulls, the guilt dissipates…it’s still there I don’t think it ever goes away fully but there is definitely more joy and sunshine in knowing and loving. A full open adoption has given me peace of mind knowing that Harrison is safe, healthy, happy and very much loved and that he loves in return. His family is very much part of my life, his parents, his sisters, we have developed personal relationships based on respect for each other’s roles. Jeff and Lisa are truly good people, they open doors and welcome you in, no judgment and only have the best intentions for their children. I receive hugs and kisses, FaceTime’s, and I love you’s. I extend my love to his sisters as they are an important part of his life. You can’t really love one without the other. This is so very special to me and I treasure each moment. This has comforted me and is allowing me to heal. My relationship with Harrison is different from what Christie and Curtis share with their birth son. I can see the pain in their eyes still, how excited Christie gets at the thought of visiting him or how sometimes she is scared to touch or hug him. Open adoption not only communicates family history and health information, it opens up limitless boundaries of love and acceptance for everyone involved. No child has ever said ‘I am loved too much’ but they do feel the sting when they are loved too little. Unfortunately, this can manifest into something ugly, producing negative thoughts and affects. Like a garden with the goal of a healthy and bountiful harvest, one needs to start with providing a means to support healthy root development. Only when one has healthy roots can one support the leaves that aid in growth. As adults in the child’s life our job is to nurture and aid in the child’s growth by providing values, morals and thus self-esteem to become productive society members. It’s all about the child.
My name is Maggie Facca. I have a story that I want to share. My story is of love, hope, compassion and family. Having a family of my own has always been a dream of mine and my husband’, Dario. Shortly after our marriage, we decided it was time to have a baby. Like most people, you assume it will just happen. Well, it didn’t! After quite a wait we were enrolled in the Calgary IVF program. After a few attempts, this process was also unsuccessful. During those years, Dario and I discussed adoption and we have always stated that what is meant to be is meant to be for a reason. So, after 3 years of trying, we filed our adoption plans.
ABC, and specifically, Laura, was a real pleasure to team up with. They were extremely helpful in guiding us through the entire process. Once on the “wait list” we were more excited than ever and it was tough not emailing or calling ABC to get updates. Okay, we snuck in a few emails!!! Dario and I will never forget the night we received the call. It was 9:30 on a Tuesday evening when Janet called to tell us the great news. We could hardly talk as we were so emotional. Janet explained the situation and then we realized how wild the next 24 hours would be, or so we thought. The next morning, 12 hours later, we were at the hospital meeting Janet from ABC. Janet was our guiding light through the next 12 hours and beyond, however the next 12 will be remembered as the most emotional time of both our lives. We now tell friends and family, it was more emotional than our wedding day! That morning, we had several thoughts rolling through our minds. What if the birth mother doesn’t like us, what if we are not a good match and we don’t connect well? Well, the instant Well, the instant that Jenna walked in the room at the hospital, we were filled with love, joy, emotion and the Kleenex box was being passed around. Again, our angel, Janet was able to guide the conversation. We talked about everything we could, including our family plans and how we would fit all of our lives together. Again, I had no idea how much love, sensitivity and emotion but, the connection that I had with Jenna was immediate and amazing. After getting to know each other Jenna expressed that she was making the right decision and asked that we become the parents to Lucius (that was his name at the time). With tears of joy we were barely able to get the words out but, of course, we say yes! Janet then asked if it was okay for us to meet Lucius and Jenna immediately replied with, “Of Course”. Little Lucius came into the room and immediately Jenna asked me if I wanted to hold him. It was the most emotional and loving exchange of my life. To this day, Dario says it was the most amazing thing he has ever seen. Jenna asked what we were planning on for names and our original plan was Angelo Dario Facca but, Dario and I asked if we could name him Angelo Lucius Facca. Jenna was filled with emotion and excitement and today, Angelo Lucius is doing great!
Today our lives are all filled with family and love. We see Jenna on a regular basis and include her in all our major activities. We are one big happy family! We are so grateful for ABC, specifically Laura and Janet for being there every stop of the way with caring and love towards myself, Dario, Jenna and of course, Angelo!
We are forever grateful to Jenna for giving us the greatest gift of life in our son, Angelo.