Heather at PRODUCTION NOT REPRODUCTION has introduced an OPEN ADOPTION ROUNDTABLE. What a great idea!
The writing prompt for today is:
What one thing about open adoption would you tell your past self, if you could?
The short answer....It's no where near as scary and complicated as you thought it was.
I grew up hearing all the media reports of birth parents changing their minds and going to court to take their children back after 5-10 years and seeing the children cry as they were handed back to their birth parents. I told myself, even then, I would never do an open adoption.
BOY, WAS I EVER WRONG! Laws have changed a lot in the past 30 years. There is actually no such thing as "closed" adoptions anymore. There are just different degrees of openness. After so many years of adult adoptees not being able to get their family medical histories, they finally decided that, at the bare minimum, this was necessary. So, unless you adopt oversees, or get a child that was abandoned, where the birth mother didn't give them any information, it will be open, to some degree. I know there are still times when scammers hurt adopting couples, but except for very specific instances, adoption is very safe for all involved. Of course you need to check out your company very carefully and stay involved through the whole process, but adoption can be a VERY wonderful process.
In high school I was amazed by a friend who bravely gave her son to those who could give him more and shocked when she told me it was an open adoption. Then, I thought, it would be so confusing for the children to fit in with their new families, if they knew they had another mother living somewhere else.
BOY, WAS I EVER WRONG! Samuel will always know how much "K" loves him and wanted a better life for him. I will never cut her out of his life and she will always be a part of who Samuel is. Samuel is my son and nothing will ever change that, but he is also "K's" son and knowing her will only make him a better person.
Growing up and up until I started this process, I had a very selfish view on adoption. (NOTE: This is not the way I feel now, so please don't send mean comments.) These women who stupidly got themselves pregnant need to just give them away and forget about them. It's better for both of them just to move on. Then my sister adopted a 6 month old from Korea. The conditions in other countries were so horrible that these children really needed saving. Also, because of the way these children are given up and the laws in other countries, the chances of these parents coming back into this child's life are slim to none. Now this made a lot of sense to me. Foreign adoption was the way to go. Once someone else or I take this child, they are MINE! I want no one else involved. They have no rights to this child. They gave them up. They don't really love them. I don't want anyone else butting in on how I raise MY child.
BOY, WAS I EVER WRONG! I now know that Samuel is God's child and my husband and I are the lucky ones who get to raise him. "K" made a very selfless choice (as do all birth parents, foreign or otherwise), in placing Samuel in our hearts and I will always love her for that. As soon as I met "K" and her family, my fears about open adoption just disappeared. I never expected that, but it was truly God working in the moment. The day we had Samuel's blessing ceremony at "K's" church and she sobbed while placing him in my arms, I knew that Samuel would be a special boy, because he has her heart beating inside him.
So, what one thing about open adoption would I tell my past self, if I could...Tracey, you will one day see that things are not as black and white as you think. Open your heart and God will grace your life beyond measure. Open adoption is an amazing experience and a wonderful blessing for everyone involved. God is so good!