The adoption triad refers to the three groups of people who make up an adoption; the
adoptee, the first/birth family, and the adoptive family. The adoption triad is often represented by a triangle.
Because our family was built through transracial, open adoption, our family tree looks quite different. We are more than white parents with Black children. Our family includes Black birth parents, Black bio siblings, Black bio aunts and uncles and grandparents. Our family has expanded and extended in ways that we have yet to fully realize. We are given the opportunity to create bridges for our boys to their WHOLE family of origin and while we won’t insert ourselves into their first families lives if it causes disruption, you better believe they are my children’s family just as much as their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that share mine and E’s last names. Their Black Lives Matter just as much as my boy’s lives, even if you don’t think of them or consider them when you look at my children. Why is that? What are we taught about adoption? About who matters in the adoption triad? Whose story gets pushed to the forefront?
Their first family’s matter. This does not take away from my motherhood. It adds to it. Open adoption is the most powerful thing that has ever happened to me. It makes me a better mother. It is my greatest teacher. It is a comfort, a challenge, a gift, a constant reminder of grief. It is a guide in how to be humble and grateful. Open adoption has taught me how to be a fighter and a lover and an advocate and a protector and a mama.
We often tell our boys that their birth families are the roots of their family tree and the branches and leaves are the members of their adoptive family. They are each the trunk of their tree, made stronger and more stunning when the roots are deep and the branches are full.
So this is me, one leaf of my boys' family tree, one point in their adoption triad. I'm navigating motherhood to my two Black, strong, kind, funny, wild and gentle boys making sure their roots are watered, honored, and always part of our family's story. Here you'll find my thoughts on how I try to do that. Xx