Hi All –
When my man and I were first discussing adopting, we had one huge decision to make. Drumroll please…do we have an open adoption or closed adoption? In our series Adoption: Let’s Be Honest, this is one topic that cannot go unnoticed. Because it involves interacting with birth families. And this is messy business!
Since our kiddos came out of the foster system, there was no real pretty “college couple slipped up one night” kind a story. No sir! It is more like “high most of pregnancy and snuck out of the hospital to avoid CPS” kinds of stories. And the characters of those stories are just as “colorful”. So deciding to further expose these kids to the families that couldn’t (or wouldn’t) care for them well, seemed ludicrous!
Sounds hard-hearted you say? Try holding a raging child whose brain cannot connect two dots because it was never given a chance to develop normally in utero! Or a 6-month old who had to be trained to let us hold him when giving his bottle because no one had and he had become so self sufficient! Or to quote my 12-year old this year “I want to meet my birth parents. I have a few questions for them!” I bet you do buddy! Questions that have haunted him since he could start processing that we were not his “real” parents. This is quite common for any adopted kids. And the other thing is if we have them that means no family member was legal acceptable to take them or didn’t want to take them. Not something you write in their baby book, huh?!
We ruled out a full open adoption. The state we are in does strongly suggest allowing letters/pictures and uses this as incentive to have the parent relinquish versus having rights terminated (where that option is off the table). This is okay until the presents started to arrive. Smoke-drenched dirty stuffed animals and blankets. Baby toys for a 5 year old. Pictures of family partying around the Christmas tree! We decided no presents!
This story has a second part to it. This part only covers the young and vulnerable stage and needed to know someone could and WOULD take care of them. But what happens when they reach the oh so golden teenage years? Stay tuned to hear…the rest of the story (thanks Paul Harvey)!
Chat soon ~