open adoption roundtable: how openness changed me

As part of Open Adoption Roundtable #5, Heather at Production Not Reproduction asks open adoption bloggers to answer the question: “How has open adoption changed you? In what ways are you different because of open adoption in your life?” Check out her inspiration, a wonderful post about being a mother in an open adoption at This Woman’s Work.

Openness has changed me in so many ways. It has made me more honest, for instance, with myself and with others. From our initial outreach in anticipation of connecting with an expectant mother to our interaction with Baby J’s biological family, I had to dig deep in search of what really matters to me and convey it openly and honestly. I had to overcome fear of vulnerability and judgment, but only in doing so could we have achieved the level of openness we now enjoy with K and her family.

Openness has helped shape my identity as a mother. Through our extensive contact with K and her family from before Baby J was even born, I felt affirmed as this little girl’s mama. The act of being chosen to be her mama and the interaction with her birth family all serve to reinforce my role as mother to this child. This has been incredibly empowering. I wonder if we didn’t have this relationship whether I’d feel the same way.

Openness has helped me put my own ego aside for the benefit of our child. It has helped me understand what it means to call her my own. It has helped me realize my role not just as a mother but as a caretaker of our precious daughter and her own unique story. It helped me realize that I serve as a “bridge” to her family of origin.

Openness has enabled me to become more present and aware, more compassionate and accepting, both in my every day life and as a mother. I’m more conscious and intentional in my thoughts, words and actions. I take greater care to ensure that I’m a better listener. I try not to pass judgment and I am more accepting of things with which I may disagree or cannot control.

Finally, with openness in our relationships came openness in my heart. I am filled with gratitude and love for Baby J’s family who entrusted her care to us. I never knew my heart could open so wide so fast. Openness has helped me to understand the privilege we have in choosing our family. If you had asked me a few years ago about the relationship we’ve formed with K, I might have thought it sounded crazy, or scary even. But now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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~ by luna on August 17, 2009.

7 Responses to “open adoption roundtable: how openness changed me”

  1. Luna, these beautiful words have moved me to tears. What a truly inspiring mother you are! As an adopted child, I can say that you are doing exactly what I wished my adoptive mother had done for me in giving your daughter all of your love without the possessiveness and fear that can arise when a biological family is involved. Allowing Baby J to grow up exploring her identity in this loving open relationship will bless you both, as it already has!

  2. You are an amazing bridge.

    I love this: “If you had asked me a few years ago about the relationship we’ve formed with K, I might have thought it sounded crazy, or scary even. But now I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    Well said!

  3. Your introspection on these issues is so inspiring. Baby J, her birth mom and you and your husband will all have richer lives for your openness.

  4. I feel all these same things. I love how you put everything so perfectly!

  5. What a great post. Thanks for sharing.

    My thoughts are with your family too.

  6. […] at life from here tells how openness has made her more honest, present and empowered as an adoptive […]

  7. […] view my role not just as caretaker of our precious daughter, but of her unique story as well. It is my job to […]

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