Open adoption. Just because it’s strange or different to some, doesn’t mean it’s strange or different to us.
Last weekend, together, we watched as our children chased, ran, giggled, and tore apart the back room at the TGIFridays in Hollywood, Fl. I think I saw pain in your eyes. I also saw joy. Thank you, M, for showing up and committing.
People are so concerned for me and my heart before we spend time with R’s first family. I am eternally grateful for this.
However, I think I have the easy part. I have the privilege and humbling experience of seeing my child’s family and roots. It is truly awesome to see the strength of nature and the power of nurture.
What must it be like for M? I won’t ever know the nuances of all she feels before, during, and after our visits. Anything she shares with me feels like an enormous gift. She doesn’t have to make time for us. She doesn’t have to put herself through what I can imagine are some incredibly complex emotions. The grace with which she carries herself through our time together is remarkable.
I am constantly told by people that our open adoption is commendable, that it’s incredible. It is incredible. M is the most incredible thing about our open adoption. Good gracious, I am thrilled she has chosen to show up and commit to this. She chooses to let us in, once a year, and create a day of love and laughter, but also of chaos and pain, and a time when the gift of privilege is on full display. It is a complicated day, but I know it is fueled by love and for love.
When we are all together, I am able to fit together the puzzle of R. I put pieces together and see MORE of my child through bearing witness to him with his first family. His nature. His 100% blood family. That is not me. That is theirs and theirs alone. I see a joy and a spark in R when he is with his bio siblings that is unlike any connection I have seen him have. The joy I feel in seeing more of R when we are with his birth family fills me up. It overwhelms me.
I have no illusions that this will no doubt get harder and more complicated. We are from different worlds; geographically socioeconomically, culturally, and racially.
Committing to this open adoption is just the beginning.
I am bracing myself (prematurely perhaps) for a time when my son chooses to turn away from me and towards the family that looks like him. The family that is his and his alone. I know this might not happen, but it could, and for some families, it does happen.This possible reality does make me feel uneasy, scared, and worried. That’s okay. So much of motherhood is uneasiness, fear, and worry….but coupled with all the delicious things; like watching your child learn how to use the mailbox key to check the mail, or slay dragons to protect Anna and Elsa, or snuggle into the crook of your arm in the morning, guides me through the tricky bits.
One day, R might read the things I write.
So, R, I want you to know that I will walk through uncharted territory all in service of you. I will offer you whatever you need to feel fully yourself. My love is not conditional in any way. I will love you through all stages of discovery, and joy, and pain. That is my truth, and your truth will not hurt me, no matter how you feel and you are entitled to have your own relationship with your first family, and with your adoption story.
Rory, your truth will not hurt me.
No matter what you need or ask for, I am here to advocate and help and love. I want to change the world with you and for you, my child. My bright fiery stubborn sparkly boy. I love you.
Happy New Year to all. May it be a year of words and love and rest and hopefully, for E and I, a year that introduces us to our second child’s birth mother. We’re ready. Xx