Roundtable time! This one is another chance to think back on the origins of our open adoptions.
Do you remember the first time you heard about open adoption?
If you need some further prompting: What were the circumstances? What was your reaction? If you grew up in an open adoption, do you remember the first time you heard the label applied to your relationships?
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 listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Growing up I knew that my uncle was adopted and my best friend Lisa was adopted. Both were from the era of closed adoption. I didn’t think much of it. I was a kid. This was our family, my friend, and I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward, I’m nineteen, just started college and the first person I connect with at Freshman Orientation, the person who will be one of my best friends in college, a roommate for several years and a life-long friend, shares that she has placed her son in a ‘semi-open’ adoption just three weeks prior. That was a slap bang introduction to the grief of a first parent. The adoption was considered semi-open as she had contact with the adoptive parents yearly through the letters exchanged via the agency. I don’t think I would call it semi-open now. There is much about that experience that is not mine to share, but needless to say my Best First Mom’s experience shaped my perspective of adoption, and when years later we began to think of adoption, to reflect on, to consider, open adoption was the only route I was interested in, not semi open, open.
Within this week we have embarked on our open adoption journey with Big Mama. Our first visit is upcoming and I’m looking forward to seeing Big Mama and Big Sis, although it would be a lie to say it is easy. Actually, being with them is easy, but this open adoption thing doesn’t allow us to look away and pretend pain isn’t there, so we see the pain, but we also experience and see joy. Amid it all is this lovely little boy who we all love.