At the All Adoption Meetings we have participants whose children are grown and others whose children are infants. We have participants who have been living reunion for a long time and others who are just beginning to think about searching. And we have whole ranges of openness. There is so much value in hearing the voices of people who are living across the life span of adoption.
Last Monday, as I listened to one of the women talk about her family relationships pre-reunion — a reunion that has been thriving now for decades — it was a reminder for me that our relationships in open adoption are not stagnant.
At the beginning of our own journey I thought we had to get our open adoption relationship with our daughter’s birth mother exactly right or it would all go downhill. It felt tenuous and fragile and it was a few years into it before I could let my breath out and relax. But once I did relax I relaxed fully and I thought, “There! We did it!” and believed that our open adoption would shine like that forever.
Of course, the only constant in life is change. Our lives happened in unexpected ways (jobs, moves, the arrivals and departures of other family members) and so our open adoption shifted and suddenly I was scared again. Would we able to adjust to new uncertainties? Would we survive the momentous changes we were facing?
Our daughter’s mom no longer drops by a couple of times a month for dinner because now she lives states and states away and we only see her once or twice a year. I feel like I’m learning our open adoption all over again.
Listening to my friend’s life pre-reunion — a life that looked very very different than her happy reunion now — reassured me that we don’t have to get it right for forever. We just need to get it right for right now. It reminded me that all we need to do is roll with the inevitable change and live each moment as it comes.
The prompt for this month’s Open Adoption Roundtable was to write about open adoption and time.
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. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them. Write a response at your blog–linking back.