How has open adoption changed you?
Production, not Reproduction has an ongoing Open Adoption Roundtable, with writing prompts on the subject of, well, open adoption. I only came across it on #4 – a call to write about one small moment in open adoption. Well, we don’t have an open adoption yet, so I didn’t feel qualified to write anything on that one.
But #5 is How has open adoption changed you? In what ways are you different because of the presence of open adoption in your life?
Which has got me thinking – I do feel differently now than when I first started seriously researching adoption. But in what ways am I different?
I’ve always had the presence of adoption in my life, since several family members were adopted, and as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to adopt, but I think I’m only just beginning to really understand what an open adoption is, or at least can be, about. What it’s not about is me; This isn’t about me becoming a mother. It’s about a child. It’s about that child’s family and identity, and the ways one is formed from the other (and vice versa to some extent).
It’s about the child’s birth family, and their ongoing relationship with their child. It’s about them being allowed to still feel like they’re parents. They’re no longer expected to just ‘get over it’ (or at least I hope they aren’t).
It’s about us learning what every parent has had to learn – to share our child. To learn that our child is their own person, with other relationships that are separate from the relationship they have with us. It’s about that quote we chose to put on the front of this blog: “We should not be asking who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child” – Jim Gritter.
So I guess in this way it is about me. Before we even enter into an open adoption, I’ve changed in one very big way. Learning to let go and not be so ‘precious’ about my relationship with my child may be my first step on the road to becoming a mother. And I think I need to thank ‘Production, not Reproduction’, as I don’t think I’d realised that before I started to write this.