This latest showing has taught me a couple of things. First - for all my resolutions to keep non-news to myself, I pretty much tell everyone everything that's happening with this. And second - it is hard for a lot of the people I run my mouth to understand why we want an open adoption. Believe it or not, the two are related.
So the me and my mouth thing. It's not that I tell people's secrets. But I do tell my own. If you know me in real life (or if you met me in certain internet circles - Original ILC's holla!) then chances are good you know quite a bit about the paths Andrew and I have been on while we have worked towards building our family the past few years, both blogged and nonblogged. There were plenty of times that my choice to be open about our experiences made me uncomfortable: when I was experiencing disappointment, had a bad doctor's visit, or wanted to lock myself in a dark closet and sob without being bothered, for example. During those times I didn't always love it that there were friends and family loving on me in their various skilled and unskilled ways. There were plenty of moments when I swore through tears to Andrew that "from here on we're not talking to anyone about any of this!" But that feeling never lasted. Ultimately I'm glad that the people in my life know what's really happening with me, whether it's something they "get" or not. It might not always be the most comfortable choice, but it allows me to be real. And, in an odd way, it holds me accountable to my own experience, helping me to weave the more difficult parts of my life into the tapestry of moments and experiences that have formed me into the person I am. A person who I am usually very grateful to be.
There are lots of reasons why in general open adoptions are good: research has shown them to be extremely beneficial for adopted children, it allows access to genetic and medical history, and it can moderate in some ways the immense pain a birth mother feels at the loss of her child.
But this entry is about why open adoption is something that is a particularly good fit for us. (also transracial adoption, which forces a certain sort of openness just by being what it is.) It fits me especially. If there is one thing I've learned so far in my journey towards parenthood it is that the payoff for openness in my life with the ones I love is worth the pain of all the small ways we let each other down.
I'm writing this down now, so I can come back later and re-read it. I know that if we are granted what we're praying for - an open adoption with a birth-family we can trust and be involved with - there might be times when I desperately wish it was not so. I might need the reminder, in future dark-closet-sobbing moments, that there are good reasons we are hoping for this, that the payoff will be worth the immediate cost, that dealing openly with reality is the choice we have always made, and we're good at it.