Wednesday, September 5, 2012

OAR #40 Reason For Choosing Open Adoption

There is a new prompt up from Open Adoption Bloggers

What were your reasons for choosing open adoption? 

 Where do I start?

Well, I start by saying there wasn't any other choice for me.

He has known his birth mother, and her family, since the day he was born. Because they are his family.

He has known my family since he was 2, because they are also his family.

What else do I say about that?

He's got the best of both worlds. He got a family that loves him mercilessly and without restriction from both of us.

But; if I were to choose 1 reason- and only 1 reason- that we initially went with an open adoption, and if I'm completely honest, and ruthless with myself- it's not because I knew how good this would be for him, for us, or for C.

It's because our lawyer, John Ramsey Esq., told us that was the best possible thing to do for our child- then despite D and I trying to convince him to have her declared unfit- our lawyer told us to shut up and listen.

That's right. A lawyer told us to. D and I, at that particular time, we still so young, 22 years old. And we were both still wrapped up in our fury, our anger, our disappointment and our hate for what C had done- not just to Bugs, but to US.

Because it's hard being a young parent. It's fucking hard. And it's even harder when you feel like you weren't given a choice- but responsibility says you HAVE to put a child first. And there isn't any money, or time, or a babysitter for you to be just a 22 year old. You have to be a parent first.

And at that time, we were so furious with her for leaving us holding ALL the responsibility. All the duty of care. All the cost. All the blame from her side of the family. And above all, the fear. That was the worst. The fear, every second of every day that you wouldn't be able to do what was best- that we wouldn't be doing the 'right' thing with our parenting choices.

And so, that's my shame. The years of anger and resentment. But to my credit (and I will take sole credit, because D wanted several times to wash our hands of it all), I insisted on working towards being more open, to having MORE contact, and BETTER contact.

 It was a long road for me to work through, getting through all my own anger and resentment, about how MY life had been changed, to what was best for my little boy. To get to a point where I can accept that she was just as scared, just as young as we were. To get through all of those painful, negative emotions and now just celebrate this awesome chance I was given.

The chance to have the single most awesome son on the planet. To have a large, extremely devoted family (on both sides), and be able to say, "I'm his mom. Yes, so is she. And we love him very much."

So, that's what made me choose open adoption. A lawyer who was, Thank God, so very much smarter than THIS 22 year old girl.


  1. Here from Open Adoption Bloggers...

    Wow, what a story! Kudos to you for listening and working through a difficult situation.

  2. Thank you. Family isn't easy. "Normal" families are every bit as difficult to deal with as such an integrated extended family is.

    I can't imagine cutting anyone my son loves so much out of his life.

    We don't always agree, and haven't always gotten along, but I believe we've come to a place of mutual love and respect. Enough so, if they don't like something I say or do, they are free to tell me so without a fear of being shut out of our lives.

    And I hope if even one of my friends, acquaintances, co-workers or extended family members is thinking about adoption, or potentially adopting, seeing how truly worthwhile a FULLY open adoption is to the child- and all the parents.


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