The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. To browse other participating blogs click here.
This is the first roundtable I have participated in...here is the prompt:
Write about open adoption and being scared.
I have this dream of how it is all going to work out. Of how beautiful we can make open adoption for our adopted child or children. I see us building a relationship with both birth parents and their families. I see us sharing and loving...always working toward the best interest of our child. I see us becoming friends, supporters, family. I envision us being there for our child’s birth parents in every way we know how, holding them up in their grief and supporting them through their ups and downs, through their own life accomplishments. I see a relationship that unfolds as a beautiful gift in front of the child we share in love. I see a table full of an extended… blended family, eating, sharing laughing…living. I cry thinking about sharing first steps and first words with our child’s birth parents, knowing that they will feel those moments just as deeply as we will and they too will cry. I see open adoption as an expansion of family of friends, not just by way of the children we adopt but by the addition of their families also. I have this dream.
I realize that this dream lacks the input of two crucial parties. Birth parents and the child we will adopt. They will have their own dreams, ideas, and feelings about how they want their open adoption to look and to feel. They will bring their own hopes and fears to this journey. They will each form their own relationships within this triad…adoptive parents, birth parents, child. They each will have their own dream and those dreams may not be the same as mine, as ours.
The unknown can be a fearful place. The unknown can be scary. A complete lack of control scares the crap out of me. So many what if’s and when’s and how’s and who... and a few more what if’s role through my patiently (some days) waiting heart and mind.
Maybe my dream of an ideal open adoption will come true and maybe it won’t. We don’t know what our open adoption will look like…we don’t know when it will happen or how it will happen. When birth parents do pick us to adopt their child, we will begin this journey of molding a relationship that will work for all of us. Regardless of our prior and previous thoughts and dreams, we will forge new ones…together.
For now I will keep dreaming about the endless possibilities of how wonderful our open adoption may be. We will stay open minded and surrender to our fears in a way that keeps us flexible, educated and prepared for the ultimate unknown.
Although I get scared and recognize that fear is a very real part of this journey for all of those involved, it cannot and will not dominate this journey.
Together, adoptive parents and birth parents…together…we will conquer our fears and come out on top... all because we are in this for our child and his/her very best interest.