Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Roundtable #40

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them. 

Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

What were your reasons for choosing open adoption? (Or, for adoptees, what are your reasons for continuing to invest in your relationships with your first family?)


I have never wrote for any of the roundtable topics before but I felt drawn to this one for some reason. 

To say open adoption was something we wanted from the get go would be a lie to be honest.  We started to adoption process 2 years ago with the mind-set that we wanted a closed adoption we wanted no parts in an open adoption at all.  I think what made us start off as wanting a closed adoption was starting this process in the foster care end of things.  We took the classes thinking that is what we wanted to do.  We left feeling all birth mothers were bad people.  They lied, did drugs, took advantage of people. What else was a person to think, right.  Over time and much thought and prayer my mind slowly changed.  Well maybe a letter and pictures once in a while won't be so bad.  Then it was ok well maybe a visit every so often would be ok too.  It was a slow process coming to that decision to say the least, and I can't say there was just 1 thing that made us decide that.  It was just the realization that this woman is giving us an amazing gift. The gift of a child, us being able to have a family, the gift of a life, what is the big deal about letters and pictures and visits.  I have to admit part of it was for selfish reasons.  God forbid something happens down the road, those birth parents will be our link to the medical history we need and maybe even worse, organs or other things.  I know that sounds really bad and it sounds even worse as I type it out but it is the truth and I can't help it.   

Then our son's birth mother got in touch with us and my outlook changed even more.  We spend months building a relationship with her, getting to know her.  Growing to love her.  It became so much more than about a girl, or woman, who was going to give us her baby.  She was a woman who needed someone who would be there for her no matter what.  I remember being in the hospital after Noah was born and her telling me something and when I asked why she didn't tell me before she said remember how you told me you were afraid I would like you once I saw you and met you, well I was afraid if you know EVERYTHING you would change your mind.  I wanted you to meet Noah and love him before I could tell you so you wouldn't change your mind.  It was in the very moment that I knew that I would never go back on my word and I would always have an openess with her.  And it wasn't for any of the reasons I listed above because the pretty much don't matter in this situation.  I also saw the demons she fought everyday in her life, see she herself was adopted and it was a full closed adoption. (That is all the more I will say about her story, it is her's to tell).  But I never wanted Noah to have the questions down the road and no one to answer them.  Someday he is going to want to look at her and see his own eyes looking back, just like I can look at my father and see my eyes looking back.  Or little things he does now I often wonder where does he get that.  I am lucky enough to be able to ask that and find out.

Yes I will be honest it had been a hard road, alot of ups and downs.  But I think we are getting to a better place in our relationship, or at least I am hoping we are.  For the first time since Noah was placed with us we got an honest heartfelt letter from her and so did Noah (for when he is old enough to read and understand).  Her heart hurts right now and that is ok it is allowed to and it will for a long time.  She was a parent doing the best she could and she made a decision that most of us could never make if we were in those shoes.  She is a human with feelings and I am not going to just write her off.

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