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 up to Open Adoption Roundtable #47.
Have you experienced a stalled open adoption relationship? Have you ever been the one who pulled away? Tell us about that.
When we matched with Jackson’s birthmother, S, I had a vision of where our relationship might go. It was based on her behaving in a certain way – making specific, better choices. That didn’t happen.
For the first year or so, we talked all the time. I sent updates on time. But she moved around a lot. I didn’t always have a way to reach her. I sent updates every few months instead of every month. It got to the point where I only sent things twice a year – during the summer and at Christmas.
When we adopted Cassie, it was important to me that I be able to send Laine (and later Harris) updates on a more regular basis. I committed to every two months. I didn’t always make it exactly on time, but I sent the updates. I was available via Facebook, email, phone, and text. I still am, for that matter. But I haven’t sent an update yet. I finally have Laine’s (along with her Mother’s Day card) put together, and all I have to do is mail it.
With S, I wasn’t getting anything back. I didn’t know if she was getting the updates. In fact, one got sent back to me because she had moved without telling us. With all of the other demands on my time, sending updates to a black hole just wasn’t a priority.
I’m actually very depressed right now about events in my life that I’ve not blogged about (and likely won’t). I haven’t wanted to write cheerful, look at what a great family we are letters, because my persona right now is all about life sucks, but at least I don’t have cancer.
What’s my point? I know my relationship with S stalled for a long time. I feel that it’s been going better, but it’s not where I’d like it to be. I’ve not really built that much of a relationship with Laine yet, but I feel that she’s a more introverted, private person, so I may never have an easy-breezy relationship with her. Meanwhile, Harris has dropped off the face of the earth. I haven’t heard from him since he stood us up in Louisiana, though I have texted and emailed him.
For me, I just have to keep plugging away and not let the guilt stop me from doing what needs to be done. I feel once I’m in a better place, I’ll be more able to pursue the kind of relationships I’d like. In the mean time, I try to put in what effort I can to ensure that we have some relationships.