This OA Roundtable prompt was posted a week ago, so I am a little late getting mine up, but I wanted to write on it, late or not. Here it is:
One year ago many of us answered the question, "How will you be proactive in the area of open adoption in 2010?"
If you participated in the January 2010 discussion, revisit your post and give us the one-year-later update.
And whether or not you participated last year, tell us about your open adoption hopes or commitments in 2011.
Well I did participate last year, so let's start with revisiting what I said. I had four goals for our semi-open adoption:
1. To send more than pictures and a sharing sheet next month. I give myself a 3/5 on this one. I did send two picture albums to Z this past year, one covering J from 0-4months and another was sent off at Christmas and covered through her first birthday. I sent pictures and letters each of the other months. Her Christmas package included a photo book, several loose pictures of J in case she doesn't love the whole photo book thing, and a letter that included some ideas I have had about how she might contact us directly if she ever would like to. In the coming year I should like to continue to send photos regularly - if not every month than every couple of months - and do at least one comprehensive photo book.
2. To pursue contact with some of J's relatives who the agency may be able to put us in touch with. While I have pursued this nothing has come of it. I am disappointed, but intend to do work to maintain connections with the agency at least, in case these relatives resurface.
3.To practice, practice, practice telling baby J the story of how we became her parents and she became our daughter until it feels normal, natural, easy, and I can do it without crying. When I posted this goal J was not even three months old yet, and it makes me smile to remember how new everything was. I have definitely practiced, and there are still times when remembering makes me teary. I hope that never stops. Re-reading this particular goal helps me realize just how normalized our story of family building is for me now. I have had lots of practice telling it to friends, to J's little cousins, and of course to J herself. I will keep right on practicing, however.
4.To really be open. This goal was like a little pep talk for me about the semi-open nature of our adoption and how to live into openness in all the ways that I can whether Z is ever ready for more or not. This is an ongoing thing for me, figuring out how to have an open posture, readiness towards Z and openness with J, without having expectations as to what Z might want later on. This is an active, ongoing goal.
As for hopes and commitments in 2011 - there is one big one on the table in addition to these. This is the year we'll decide about an A+A baby #2. If we do begin another adoption in the next year it will add a layer of complexity to our family dynamic and we will once again be hoping for openness.