Friday, July 24, 2009

OA Roundtable #4

I have this piece of flair over there --> that says "Open Adoption Bloggers." It's a blogroll of people from all sides of the open adoption triad who blog. I've found some amazing blogs through it, and some very wonderful folks have found me.

A few weeks ago Heather at Production not Reproduction started sending out writing prompts, so that folks in the blogroll could have a discussion of sorts on various topics. This is what she says about them:
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 part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even have a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

We're at prompt #4 now, and I still feel like I'm teetering on the edge of participation. I don't have a traditional open adoption...just currently I don't have any adoption and that's something I feel intensely aware of sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. This is a funny club to be in, the waiting club. But I wouldn't be here, if it weren't for open adoption.

So our fourth assignment is to write about a small moment that open adoption made possible. It might be about something that happened during an interaction or conversation if you have face-to-face contact. Or a moment centered on a letter or picture, if you don't. Just a single, small moment that could not have happened if the adoption were not open.

So far most of what the other bloggers have posted - all of whom are currently in open adoptions - is pretty special. In a good way. Mine isn't special, at least it isn't special yet.

When we looked at adopting, we looked at all kinds. Domestically there just aren't a lot of closed adoptions still happening. Internationally, open adoptions are pretty hard to do. So if we had wanted a closed adoption, we probably would have gone international. I suspect that is part of what makes international adoption such an attractive option for so many.

The first moment then, is this: I am talking to Liz, days after we complete all of our paperwork and turn in our profile books. She is telling me the story of a woman whose baby girl is due mid-March. My heart is pounding. This is more information that I would ever have in a closed adoption. I say yes, please, show her our book.

Then there is the other moment, a few days later: I am again talking to Liz, but this time she is telling me that the woman chose someone else. She chose a single mother to parent her daughter, she chose someone that reminded her of herself. My heart is again pounding, but differently. I hang up the phone.

Neither of these moments would have been possible if we weren't hoping for an open adoption. We wouldn't know these stories, which means we wouldn't know much about our child before she comes to us. And we wouldn't be chosen, which despite feeling rejected when we are not picked, is so important to me. I want a relationship with my child's biological family. I want her to want us. I want her to choose us from a wide range of options. I think this is good for the first mothers, giving them an important degree of control over situations that must feel quite untenable. I think it's also good for us as the adoptive parents. There is a sacred trust that begins this relationship. It starts with choice, and options. Even when the choice isn't us, we're making it possible for others to become parents in this painful, uncomfortable, and wonderful way.

And our turn will come.


  1. Oh, my gosh, I love what you wrote. Especially "There is a sacred trust that begins this relationship. It starts with choice, and options. Even when the choice isn't us, we're making it possible for others to become parents in this painful, uncomfortable, and wonderful way." That's a beautiful sentiment, beautifully worded. I often use the phrase "sacred trust" when talking about adoption.

    I say this as an AP who was de-chosen more than once in the two year-wait for our second child, it IS SO important to be CHOSEN by BM/BF. It matters deeply.

    Whenever I read one of your posts I get excited, because you sound awesome, and I'll be very happy for you when "it" happens.

  2. I often think of the situations and babies and mothers we were shown for and wonder what happened, if they placed, if they're happy, etc...and our child is over 2 years old, so it's been a LONG time. I sometimes wish we could at least know what happened (and with some of them the answer was "chose to parent" and so we do, but still, lots we don't). It's a crazy journey, but in the end it's worth it.

    The's scary, but you know, I don't know anyone who has regretted it.


  3. PS, I meant scary *at first*....there's nothing scary (for us and most I know, at least) after it happens. Don't want to give you the wrong idea! :)

  4. aww, thanks to both of you! I love OA roundtable! ♥

  5. I agree with you, about how important it is to be chosen. Very important for the birthparents to have that ability, that say, that control. And really nice and reassuring to know that our profile spoke to them in such a way that we were the best choice for them. In a way, spiritually, I think it adds to the feeling that our daughter chose us, through her birthparents choosing us.

  6. Though I'm in an open adoption now, I didn't choose Dee (I have a pretty unique placement story on my blog if you're interested) but as the weeks, months went by I learned a little bit more about her from the SW that we communicated through.

    And then I met her. And I was washed over with this relief where I felt that I WOULD have chosen her. I told her as much, because I wanted her to have that feeling as well - to know that this is a life I'm happy our little girl is living.

    I can't wait for you to live that moment as well - best of luck to you on your journey!