At the beginning of our adoption, emotions were high, birth family visits were frequent, and roles were unclear. Well-meaning friends and family members suggested that it might just be “a whole lot easier if our adoption was closed.” We could bond with our baby without interference, and the birth parents could “get on with their lives.”
V is for Victor... or is it?
It was a sparkling May bursting with new life, and we were going to be parents in two months. We didn’t have a crib, bottles, formula, diapers or onesies, but my husband Kevin and I had a name. Our son would be named Victor.
Getting to know you
Someone once said that "ninety percent of life is showing up." This is particularly true in open adoption – something I learned from my son’s birth dad, William.
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Grand’s professional activities and research have been focused on search and reunion, adoptive family identity, provision of adoption services, and openness in legislation and practice. With his book, The Adoption Constellation: New Ways of Thinking About and Practicing Adoption, Grand challenges current and past adoption practices and discusses new and more inclusive ways of thinking about adoption. Grand also addresses the looming identity crisis of donor adoptees and the need for open information for the children of reproductive technologies.
My three-year-old son Callum had his first horseback ride today. He’s always been drawn to horses, and spends a large amount of his play time trying to “ride” almost anything he can straddle. So we knew he needed to ride a horse. But we were surprised to see the ease with which he rode, holding the horse’s mane in one hand and my hand in the other, as the horse (named Whinny) was led around the pasture by her owner: Callum’s birth mother, Lisa.*
1. Adoption is different in person
Openness in international adoptions is just as critical for emotional and psychological health as it is for domestic adoptions.
What does an international open adoption look like? Certainly openness in adoption is different when an adoptive family is faced with barriers of language, culture and distance. I’ve spoken with adoptive parents who express relief when their international adoption is complete. The assumption is that given the physical and cultural distance that there is no expectation for openness with birth family or home country.
Explaining adoption through differrent ages and stages requires the right amount of information at the right time.
A number of decades ago (I won’t clarify how many – a lady never tells her age you know), I was adopted. My adoptive parents are amazing. They told me I was “chosen” from the earliest moments. It was part of me and something I was proud of.
As I prepared to adopt, I knew there was a “right” answer when it came to openness. Openness was good, and I needed to come across like I believed it. The truth was, openness scared me silly.
What I really hoped was that any child we adopted would have an unfortunate, yet complete, lack of background information, and that openness was something that I could favour without actually experiencing.
In the 24th of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily, Grant and Lynn--has made her decision not to adopt the unborn child of Emily’s birthmom. Since then things have gone very silent, and she’s wondering what on earth is happening.
It’s been two months since that first phone call from the adoption agency letting us know that Alexa was pregnant and she wanted us to adopt her new baby. We were told her due date was late May or early June and, since she hadn’t had any prenatal care, that was just an estimate.