Sunday, March 10, 2013

Can you out grow open adoption?

This is a thought that came to me the other night.

In my life I feel there are many situations and relationships that I have 'out grown' or at least, the other parties did, or things changed and made it unreasonable to expect a continued relationship.

For example, I decided to leave my mothers church(when I was 16), the church I grew up in, because the doctrine was not what I needed it to be, as well there was no real productive use for me within the community.
Now, there was things I could participate in, but I could not in good conscious because of the errors I saw in the basics of the church's practices and doctrine. I felt I had learned new things in different ways that made the things I had accepted before unacceptable. So I moved on, to churches that were much more attune to the details I craved to know and understand and was also able to be an important part of the activities in good conscious knowing that I could support them without compromising my convictions.
Would it be fair to say that I 'out grew' my mothers church. At this time, I know that they are starting to make important changes, but far to slowly for me. I feel like another species of Christian when I have tried to visit the church of my childhood. It is a place that is foreign to me now.

As we physically grow, we naturally out grow many things, both socially and emotionally too.
The things I loved as a child are not all the same things I love now, although a few things remain constant.

The friends I had in school are likely very nice people, but I am no longer friends with most of them just because life goes on. People get jobs, or move or find other groups or places to belong and then it just awkward to try and keep that connection with a former classmate/teammate/coworker/etc.
It makes more sense to me to wish them well and not expect another response or contact, but if one were to happen, it would be welcomed, of course! It's just that I don't think it's emotionally healthy to try and stay friends with all the people you've been friends with. Sometimes it's better to just let them go without any hard feelings, just knowing that they've developed a life that doesn't need you. While that can be a tough reality, it is reality.

I know family is supposed to be this one constant thing, but I think families change constantly as well.
Children grow, parents find new social groups at work or church, etc and the connections to family can seem like an extra job that's not entirely needed.
There are likely millions of people who need to be reminded to contact their parents once in a while because in our grown up lives, talking to our parents might be the last thing we think of doing. Same goes for other family, cousins and aunts and uncles, etc that we have grown up with and had wonderful times with are no longer a part of our adult lives, not because we don't care about them, but because our lives have 'moved on' from the carefree times of childhood.

Part of me, even being a birth(first)mom actually likes it when an adoptive parent says they 'forget' that they didn't give birth to their adopted child. It's not that I want them to forget me. I want them to see their adopted child as if they always belonged with them. I want this because it seems to have an attitude of more permanence. Like the feeling that most people have about people in their lives they can't imagine life without.
That feeling that the people they care about were always a part of their lives, whether or not such a feeling is logical, that doesn't matter to me. I just want adopted children to be as taken for granted as natural family usually is. I am not sure that adopted people want to be reminded that they are adopted, they probably don't need that, they need unconditional acceptance and not to be expected to be thankful for their inclusion into their family.

I just feel there comes a point in time when a relationship takes more effort than reward or necessity.
I know that Parker needs to know who I am, and he does. Why do I need to keep bugging him with visits and semi-annual reminders that he came from me and not his adoptive mom. Maybe he should be allowed to forget that he is adopted too. That's another thing, I find it amusing when adopted people activity compare themselves to their adopted family just as many other average people do. I like it when people find the ways they are the same and not the ways that they are different.

For life to be lived well, change is vital. Change means growth, personal or otherwise. If a change that benefits an adoptive family is subsiding from being in contact with a birth(first)family, maybe that would be a good idea. If a birth(first)mom like myself who loves her birth son, but needs to focus on her future needs to take time away from contact, etc maybe that would be a positive change as well. I don't want to be constantly waiting for a picture, a visit, etc. Even when those things happen, I want it to be more natural, not forced. If it happens, it happens, if not, that's OK, it's not the end of my world. I don't want to focus on bringing to life a relationship that is futile at best because my son's adoptive family have a rich social, emotional, and spiritual life and my involvement is not at all necessary to create a well-balanced young man out of my son. Of that I am sure. He is now old enough for me to see the kind of person he can be for his whole life. He knows everything he needs to know, and can ask if he wanted to know anything else, but I highly doubt that will happen.

I've seen many people I care about change and grow, or better and for worse and many times staying in relationship with them does little to no good for either myself or the others.


1 comment:

TTABaby said...

Granted I'm new to your blog... but it sounds like Parker is older. I have wondered myself at what point I will allow my daughter to have a say in how open the adoption is. I think it is what is best for her however I also think that at some point it is her decision. Will at some point she need a break or will she always welcome the visits?

Thanks for the insight :)