Talking about Adoption – Finally

I keep delaying posting. I want to talk about adoption, about the process, about what our open adoption looks like, but I’m struggling to find balance in what is mine to share and what is Big Mama’s and Fox’s. Teasing out pieces that are ours alone, or okay to share is difficult, our experiences are of course entwined. Part of the problem is that I’ve already experienced some of ‘those questions’ from kind folks. Questions about how Fox came to be with us, really personal questions as to why we pursued adoption, specifically why Big Mama placed and who she is. I’m not bothered in answering why we entered into the world of adoption and I’m certainly fine in talking about open adoption. I am increasingly uncomfortable about questions about Big Mama. I feel protective of her. I want to respond in such a way that folks understand how amazing she and Big Sis are, that Big Mama is fabulous and complex and she had good reasons and this was an incredibly loving decision. I’m suspicious of questions as to her well-being. Some I know are born out of genuine concern and empathy for her, but sometimes I worry that it is more curiosity than empathy that drives the question.

So let’s get this out of the way.

I think it doesn’t take much to imagine that placing a child for adoption is an incredibly hard and painful decision. That following placement a mother and father feel significant grief. In an open adoption the adoptive parents don’t have the opportunity to turn away from the first parents’ grief, from their pain, and frankly I don’t think we should. So, it is hard for us too, but we need to suck it up (thanks to those, you know who you are, who have been incredibly supportive). We’re also experiencing the wonderfulness of this child and our charge is to provide the most incredible, loving, stable environment for him and Bean that we can. Thinking and stating that adoption is sometimes hard, that open adoption is sometimes hard DOES NOT mean that we regret pursuing open adoption. Big Mama placed Fox with us because she felt was in the best interest of her children. We are in an open adoption because it is in the best interest of the children and Big Mama is just cool.

Sincere questions about open adoption are great, ask away, but statements made questioning the wisdom of open adoption should be made exceedingly carefully. Know that if I think that a question veers into an area that is really about Big Mama or is a something that I would only want Fox to hear from us or Big Mama I’m not going to answer it.

Phew. That said maybe I can get back to posting semi-regularly.

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13 Comments

Filed under Adoption

13 responses to “Talking about Adoption – Finally

  1. I understand the dilemma – writing about adoption in an honest way helps people, I think. At the same time, it’s hard to do it while being careful of other people’s privacy. Tricky.

    • Jan, Thanks for stopping by. I agree, writing with honesty about adoption, including not only the joy and honor of parenting , raising this lovely little boy but also the problems faced in adoption without infringing on Big Mama or Fox’s privacy important, but also very tricky. It was nice to be introduced to your blog.

  2. Moni

    XO to all of you!

  3. Great post – hope it feels good to get that out there, and I hope you get a good response not just today but ongoing. It is hard, I think, for any blogger to work out the boundaries of what’s okay to share and what’s not – what should stay as personal family moments, and what is fun to tell friends (and strangers) online. I can only imagine how much harder it is to make those decisions in your situation, taking into account everyone’s position and perspective. Trust your instincts, you’ll work it all out. Look forward to reading more from you about your exciting journey! Big hugs xx

  4. Right on, sistah! And, write on.

  5. There is a complexity to your situation that many people probably don’t even realize exists…I think it’s wonderful for you to point that out and I hope those people are respectful of your decisions on what/how to share information. Open adoption implies that there is more information and detail available than closed adoption, but as you point out, not all of that information is our business and I can see the challenge in front of you. In the long run though, I think Fox and family will fare better…

    • Leah, I thought I had a grip on this prior to matching and it is only now in the midst of it I see how little I actually understood, and I imagine I still can only glimpse parts of Big Mama’s reality. Thank you for your support it means a lot.

  6. The questions about L’s birthmom were the hardest in the beginning for me. I felt uncomfortable with the questions and even more just saying I am not going to answer that question because often it led to questions about why such secrecy. However, it gets easier (or maybe you just get stronger) either way it doesn’t seem to bother me so much anymore! Great post and love the pictures of the little guy…just gorgeous!

  7. Hear hear. It’s a delicate balancing act of openess and privacy and your story and Big Mama’s journey.

    I think curiousity is a huge driving force for questions from friends and acquaintances and it’s not a good enough reason to share intimate details. Those should only be shared with the closest and most trusted people in your circle.

    It’s tough but so happy for you!

  8. Just found your blog for the first time and loved this post!! So many curious people and most are sincere, but it’s such a tightrope!

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