Monday, June 8, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable ::: First assignment :::

A little while ago the lovely Heather over @ Production, Not Reproduction asked if those of us involved in the Open Adoption Bloggers community would be willing to join a "Round table" of sorts and occasionally address questions about open adoption on our blogs. Well of course I said YES. I do love to talk, after all. And not to go too lightly on us the first time around our first assignment is to answer this:

Your first assignment is to think back to who you were when open adoption first entered into your life. As with so many things in life, thinking about open adoption without having experienced it and actually living it out are two very different things. What do you know now that you wish you knew then? Has the reality of open adoption as it's looked in your life matched your expectations? What one thing about open adoption would you tell your past self, if you could? (If you're still in the beginning stages of your adoption journey, flip the question around: What one thing do you wish you could ask your future self about open adoption?) Be as creative or straightforward as you wish.

Honestly? I think the one thing I wasn't expecting was that we would not hear from our son's first mom... it's been almost a year since we've had any contact from her. We have not moved and have kept all of our information current with the agency. One day she just stopped calling and we haven't heard a thing since. We were meant to have a meeting at our house last August and she did not show. It was confusing to me and I was grateful that my son wasn't old enough to understand what had happened.

I know that she cares and I know that she loves him. I think she just needed to be separate from us for awhile to get her life back on track. We remain as open as ever and hope she comes back around. We don't know where she is. She moved and did not leave a forwarding address with us or the agency. Her previous cell number is disconnected. So we just wait.

Lesson learned? You can be as open as you want, but it is still a two-sided endeavor. You have to respect your child's first families feelings and wishes regardless of what they are.

We were always open to a fully open adoption. We said from the first meeting with our social worker that we felt that an open adoption would be the best thing for whatever child entered our family. We just weren't prepared for it to become closed from the other side...

Introducing the Open Adoption Roundtable ~ Production, Not Reproduction | A blog about open adoption



Kyle and Crystal said...

its so true andi! i always hear about adoptive families not living up to what as promised...but often birth moms disappear too. thankfully we havent experienced it but its always a possibility. i cant imagine a child being old enough to process and experience that. i hope she finds you again. i hope that connection can be restored. thanks for your thoughts...

Heather said...

Thank you for participating! (And for calling me lovely. :) )

I see this very issue come up for so many families. I think it opens up a whole new set of questions about how to sustain the values of openness when you don't have contact. Such a tough spot to be in.

TXMom2B said...

We prepared ourselves for an open adoption, only to learn at placement that the birthmother and birthfather wanted it completely closed, with no pictures or meeting or anything. It's a tough spot to be in, but we've come to terms with it and we're telling our son about it now (he's 9 months) so that, by the time he's old enough to understand, we're comfortable telling him about them with peace. That said, we hope, if we adopt again, for an open adoption.