Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's all about the truth

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?)
When I decided to make an adoption plan for Parker, I was barely pregnant, but my guiding vision came to about a friend(from years before I became pregnant), who herself placed in open adoption.
In my mind, it wasn't 'open' adoption, it was just the new way that adoption, in general was being done, as far as I knew.
My friend had given me the impression that it was the most normal and natural thing to do.

To me, closed adoption seems like it takes so much more effort than open adoption.
I mean, you have to painfully choose to exclude yourself, or being excluded from the life of someone who is your blood, your kind, your family. For a birth/first mom, she forces herself to deny it happened, and adoptive parents also deny it happened, even when it is obvious.

It has never made sense to me to exclude people, and I have never understood why people exclude others from their lives under this strange notion of 'simplicity'.

To be fair, I am a very private person, and too many people overwhelm me.
As well, I often exclude myself from the lives of people who have proven to be harmful to me, or to others I care about, that makes sense.
But excluding a stranger who does something especially kind for you, as some adoptive parents do, this will never make sense to me. What is in it for them to continue to block certain people from their lives.
Especially in an age where people stay 'friends'(at least online) with their ex's and random high school associations. Why would you stay friends with people who have contributed nothing to your life or worse, unpleasantness, while excluding the one who contributed the most important part of your life??

I am a birth/first mom though, and it is unlikely that I will really understand what it is to parent because I do not see myself in that role, the role of a parent.
I do understand what it is to be busy, and tired and sometimes, not have room for everyone you want to have room for in your life, but those times fade and suddenly, you have whole chunks of time where you have nothing to do and begin thinking of those people you didn't have time for earlier, because now, you do.

My 'choice' in open adoption was not really about creating a connecting as it was leaving that connection intact, ready to be used when the time is right for everyone to get together again.

For me, it's also more about letting Parker know the truth about his life and his family, as everyone should.
As someone who was born to a family, I cannot imagine not knowing my whole family history, as boring as it may be. I cannot imagine not knowing that I look like my mom, but act like my daddy.
I just want Parker to know, as naturally as I do, the things about himself, that the shape of his nose comes from me, that his energy comes from his birth dad, Jacob, those kind of things.
I want him to know all the things that people born to there families know.
It only seems fair.

I may not be as present in his life as I wish I could be, I think the same for my nieces and nephew, but I am determined to remain someone that is easily contactable. I need to be someone who is known about as much as anyone in my everyday knows about me.
Anything less feels like a lie, and my conscious is too loud to let me live a lie like that.

In my opinion, open adoption is about living truthfully, because I don't think you really love someone if you lie to them about something as important as who they are.    


Tiffany said...

I absolutely loved your last sentence. It sums up everything perfectly, and it's exactly how I feel. "In my opinion, open adoption is about living truthfully, because I don't think you really love someone if you lie to them about something as important as who they are."

Yes, it's about the truth. And children deserve that.

Stopping by from the Roundtable.

Rebeccah said...

This is a beautiful post. Giving kids the gift of truth is huge. It's what I always try to keep in mind as an adoptive parent.