The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. We’re now at Open Adoption Roundtable #31.
With Halloween just around the corner, I thought this prompt would fit right in:
Write about open adoption and being scared.
As I sit here in a hotel room, far, far away from my son, with a baby who is not yet mine, there’s an obvious fear to write about.
Instead, to take my mind off that, I’ll write about what has scared me about our open adoption situation for years.
Jackson’s birthmother, S, has three additional children whom she parents. Iggy is 7. However, an epileptic seizure left him with permanent brain damage. He is legally blind and functions at the level of an 18-month old. He may be autistic as well. Princess (formerly known as Baby A) is 3. CJ is 9 months.
As I’ve mentioned before, S doesn’t always make good choices. My biggest fear is that one of these choices will land her in jail, or worse, dead. What will happen to her kids? What will happen to their relationship with Jackson?
We have contact with S’s mom. She’s not in a position to take three children. I’m not sure she could take even just one. Iggy’s father is not involved in his life. (He may be in jail; I’ve lost track.) I have contact with Princess’s paternal grandmother. She seems to be a very good person. I don’t know if she’d be in a position to take Princess, but at least I know that if she did, we’d be in touch. S is currently living with CJ’s father. Frankly, he’s part of her not-so-good decision making. It’s because of him that we no longer have direct contact with S.
During a particularly trying time, S almost asked us to take care of Iggy. Unfortunately, I really don’t think we can. We’re not equipped to deal with such major special needs. Would we be able to take care of Princess and/or CJ? It would really depend on a number of factors. While I’ve always wanted a big family, Max would be perfectly happy with one child. (He’s happy with two children too, it’s just that he doesn’t feel that our family is incomplete at three members, the way I do.)
No matter what happened, I would want Jackson to be able to have a relationship with his siblings. If S’s kids end up in foster care, that’s not going to happen.
Now, hopefully S has or will start a new chapter in her life, and her decisions will be less risky. Even then, though, I might wonder, “What if S gets hit by a bus?”
Worry much, Robyn?