Too Much Contact?
When we first contemplated open adoption there were a few things that scared the bejeebers out of us. So today, I thought I’d revisit one of our biggest adoption fears and talk about my thoughts on it now that we are post-placement.
The fear was pretty simple – too much contact with birth family. In fact, this is one of the reasons we chose to do international adoption. (I say one of the reasons because there were a few significant reasons which all weighed heavily into our decision).
When we first started looking into adoption we met with an amazing family who shared their experience as they grew their family through open adoption. Honestly, I still maintain this couple gave us the courage to pursue adoption. When we met with them, we talked about this. We were honest about how worried we were about having a birth parent show up at our door at 3am, or demand more contact or second guess a parenting decision we had made. We even worried that we’d just be temporary parents until the kid turned 18. We worried about competition between us and the birth family. We worried about how we’d deal with hard situations that were always the worst possible thing we could imagine.
They gave us comfort in stating that in their experience none of these things happen. In fact, they told us that in reality often it’s the adoptive family who wants more contact with the birth family in the long run.
And then, the further we dug into adoption, the more we kept hearing this at every turn. At one point we even joked about how it must be part of the open adoption indoctrination, and we still weren’t convinced.
But guess what, only a few months in and we are already experiencing this.
We have not had any horrible conversations about our parenting skills. We have not had anyone showing up at our door at 3am. Nor do we feel any sort of competition. And we most definitely do not feel like temporary parents. Maybe one day some of this stuff will happen. But we also may not. And honestly, I don’t really think it will. And if it does, we’ll simply handle it as it comes and none of this stuff worries us anymore. We get it now. In fact, with hindsight being 20/20, those fears just seem so silly and weird.
Further, not once when we were considering open adoption did I imagine the strong feelings I’d develop for our son’s birth mom. In fact, I’ll admit not a day goes by that I/we don’t worry about her. Almost everyday she comes up in our conversation. We consider her part of our family. We want to talk to her, to hear about her day and hear about what’s new in her life. We already talk about when we will be able to visit her again. Simply, we want more contact. The irony is that we chose international adoption in part to limit that contact and now I’d give almost anything to have more frequent contact.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that while I do not have a crystal ball for the future, so far in our experience this open adoption indoctrination seems to be spot on.
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