Open Adoption Roundtable #33: What I Have Learned About Open Adoption in 2011

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 #33.

What did you learn about open adoption in 2011?

I started out with a very cynical “what I learned about open adoption in 2011” idea, then realized that it was really a “what I learned about the adoption process in 2011”. I’ll still probably write that, but it didn’t answer the question at hand.

So I really started thinking: What did I learn about open adoption in 2011?

I finally realized that 2011 wasn’t an epiphany year as past years have been. In the past, I’ve learned (in no particular order): not all birthmothers are the same, relationships change, open adoption is hard, and open adoption is important to my son.

When the year began, I wanted to learn more about the experiences of people who aren’t adoptive parents. I ended up focusing on birth parents. I almost wrote “birthmothers” but I did find and follow two birthfather blogs as well. (They seem to be the only two in existence, which is too bad, but that’s another post.)

I learned quite a bit from reading birth parent blogs. Although many of their situations are different, they all seem to share a distinct feeling of loss for their placed children. None of the birth parents I follow regret their decisions, exactly, though they do sometimes regret the actions or circumstances that led them to their decisions. None of these people regretted having their children, and all of them are fiercely protective of their children.

I find it interesting that people from very different backgrounds and situations who may have very different individual experiences so often relate the same feelings. I think I’ll have to look at adoptive parent blogs and see if we exhibit a similar trend, but I’m not sure that we do.

So, what did I learn about open adoption in 2011? I guess I learned more about what open adoption is like through other people’s eyes. Nothing earth shattering, no epiphanies, but a lesson learned nonetheless.

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