Friday, March 26, 2010

Becoming More Open

I'm already pretty open, much to the annoyance of some, I'm sure. But that's not what I'm talking about today. Rather, once again I'm trying to define the parameters of open adoption. Specifically, our open adoption.

As I've mentioned before, the nature of open adoption isn't static. It can change and develop over time with the needs of the triad . . . parents, child, and birthmom. And it seems, to be fair, that each part's needs should be considered equally. Right now Andy is too little to have much of a say in the matter, but his needs are what motivate me.

Since December I've had much more contact with A, Andy's birthmom, than in all the time before that. Sometimes we talk on the phone, but more often its texting. In fact, some of our more meaningful exchanges have happened via text. Right at the beginning of spring break I got a text from A saying that she had been watching "The Locator" and her thoughts came to Andrew and me and she just wanted to say 'thank you' and let me know that we are in her thoughts daily. I was very touched, and answered that it is my true hope that neither she, nor Andrew, ever have to search for each other.

This weekend A will be passing through town with her current fiance, 6 year old, and 5 month old. We will be meeting at a kid's pizza joint for a visit. I'm so excited for her to see Andrew and to see how amazing he is. I'm excited to take pictures of all of us together. I'm excited for Andrew to know just how blessed we are by A. For him to know just how much he's loved by all of us.

But I'm nervous, too. With each little step forward toward more openness I look around, from side to side and front to back. It's a little like walking on an ice covered lake, I suppose. I wonder which little step forward will send us crashing through the broken ice, putting us in emotional peril. I feel responsible not only for Andrew, but for A as well. I also need to look out for Brian's heart, and mine as well.

There isn't really a handbook to tell us how to do this. It's really up to all of us to figure it out as we go. So far it seems as though we are all navigating very slowly, which is a good thing. It allows us time to process and contemplate next steps and to just basically figure things out.
For now I just feel fortunate that we haven't had any conflicts, or hurt feelings, or closed doors. We still have the utmost respect and admiration for each other.

And so I'll stop here, promising to revisit the topic after our get-together this weekend. In the meantime, I'll be searching for the perfect outfit for Andrew, and hoping that the bruise on his forehead from falling into a coffee table fades away.


  1. I'm in awe of parents who do open adoption, especially ones that see the birthmom on a regular basis.
    Kudos to you for being able to keep up with the relationship.
    Put him in his best and be proud he is YOUR son!

  2. I hope you have a wonderful visit! And don't worry about the bruise--anyone with a 6-year old will understand that playful kids bang themselves up on a regular basis. :)

  3. I can't even imagine the feelings you have, excitement and nervousness. I think it is great that you do this for Andrew.

  4. I hope the visit goes well!!! I am sure that Andy will look wonderful because he has amazing parents and he is YOUR wonderful son!!! Good luck!!

  5. I think you are a pretty selfless person and I admire your ability to look beyond what seems so hard to so many people and be open to a constantly changing relationship. I commented once before about how grateful I am for you explaining why anyone would want to do an open adoption. I had always just assumed that if you were giving up a baby, then you gave up your rights to ever see that baby. It had never occurred to me before reading your blog that it wasn't about the parents (birth or adoptive)... it was about the child. I know so many friends who have gone through their lives feeling discarded and unwanted because they have never had contact with their birth parents regardless of the fact that their adoptive parents were so loving. Good luck with the visit. I know that Andrew will appreciate it when he is old enough to understand.

  6. Best wishes with the visit! I am also excited for you and can't wait to hear an update! Andy will be simply irresistable!

    I found myself nodding right along as I read your post. So many of the same thoughts cross my mind too.

  7. Good luck with the visit. While I know it's part of what you signed up for and wanted, I still think it's brave cuz like you said, how can you not turn this way and that wondering.

  8. Walking on ice pretty much sums it up.
    Hope you had a nice visit.