I’m part of a group called Open Adoption Bloggers (see the little orange bottom on my side bar). Their website is a wealth of information on open adoption and has links to tons of other blogs, all unique with different perspectives. Occasionally, they present a question for discussion and all us bloggers contribute. Well this is my first time contributing!!
The question: Does it get easier? It was posed in the context of openness between birth and adoptive parents. Well, seeing as how we are still waiting to start that relationship, I will have to come at this from a more “hopes and dreams” angle. My experience with openness in adoption is limited to our experiences so far.
Do I expect that it will be easy? No, there are humans involved. We are wonderfully and frustratingly flawed. It will take time for us to get to know each other and to learn each other’s personalities. However, knowing Josh’s and my personalities, I expect it to be a positive learning experience. I do not presume to understand what our future birth parents will struggle with or what they might like or dislike about our parenting technique. I do expect Josh and I to maintain respect for their role in our child’s life and I expect them to do the same for us. I expect that the emotional connection I have with these people will only grow. I don’t see how it couldn’t! They’re giving me motherhood. This is not an exchange of goods or even a basic bond between friends. This is a sacred exchange between two mothers connected by one child. It will require gentleness, selflessness, and genuine unadulterated love on both sides. That’s not something I feel I could forget over time. I expect it won’t be easy to meld two families experiencing the full spectrum of emotion, from grief and fear to joy and excitement. I do expect it will be easy to love these people because I already do. This might all sound naïve, especially to anyone who isn’t looking at adoption from a Biblical standpoint. Again, this is a hopes and dreams take on the question. We don’t know the future. We do know that through Christ we are all adopted and we are all His children. “We love because He first loved us.” 1John 4:19. I hope it will be as peaceful as possible. I hope the pain will be minimal and balanced with hope for the future. I hope our child feels loved by both families. I do not hope to love, I want to love, I look forward to love, it is my intention to love.
We do look forward to our lives being less open with the world in general. When we tell people we are adopting there are inevitable and sometimes amazing questions. Can you have “your own”? (The response to that is a whole other blog post). Did you try fertility meds? Have you considered surrogacy? (Not bad questions I guess, I just get them a lot.) I even once had someone ask me “so is it you or your husband who doesn’t work right?” Wow. Apparently announcing an adoption gives people permission to ask incredibly personal questions. Sometimes I answer because I feel like I’ve shared something personal, in a sense, opening the door for them to ask questions. I’m a fairly open person to begin with. I think we should share experiences and learn from one another. Sometimes I’m a little gobsmacked though. When people tell you they are trying to get pregnant, would you ask what positions they were using!?
So when it comes right down to it, I don’t know if our relationship will be difficult, get easier over time, or if we’ll all be best friends and live happily ever after. I do know that l look forward to being open with a select loved few instead of everyone and their grandma!
This post was written in response to the writing prompt in Roundtable discussion #51.