December 14, 2007

I'm Just Discovering These

I ordered this little series of pocket guide books a while back for Ms B. Several were on the agency's suggested reading list and I thought she might appreciate them. She doesn't do the internet (I know!), so I didn't think she would pick them up on her own. They arrived earlier this week. I've been flipping through them and they're really good.

You can read the descriptions of the four guides at the Open Adoption Insight website, but they're sort of expanded brochures on some of the major issues for first parents in domestic adoption:

  • What is Open Adoption? -- Advocates for fully open adoption and emphasizes the importance of honesty, respect and flexibility. Touches on some of the philosophy behind child-centered open adoption.
  • Being a Birthparent: Finding Our Place -- Discusses of some of the unique challenges birth parents face and the ways in which becoming a birth parent is a transformative experience (for better and worse).
  • Birthparent Grief -- Acknowledges the huge loss that results from adoption and defines some aspects of the resultant grief. Resolution isn't described as "moving on," but rather as integrating the loss of a child into your life in a sustainable way.
  • Your Rights and Responsibilities -- An overview of expectant parents' legal rights throughout the process, but also their responsibilities to themselves and their children (like honesty, being well-informed). Covers a whole range of issues and questions--all those things that so many first parents have said they wish they had known to consider.
The material is upfront about the lifelong loss inherent in adoption, but not fatalistic. The focus seems to be living with grief in a healthy way. From my perspective they would be entitling (in a good way) for first parents in open adoptions because they are so affirming of the unique contribution they can make to their kid's sense of identity and wholeness. I appreciate that they're written by a real-life first mother who has actually been through what she's writing about (the always insightful Brenda Romanchik). Although geared toward first parents, I think anyone close to adoption could learn from them. I could see the grief booklet or the open adoption booklet being useful for family members who are struggling with the whole openness thing. We've all got an aunt or grandfather who just can't figure out why we open our hearts to our kids' first parents, right? The grief booklet actually gave me some new insight into some things K has said recently, too.

I just wanted to let you all know about them as potential resources, if you hadn't heard of them already. (I'm probably the last one!) Nothing replaces in-person counseling but the written word is powerful in its own way. I am the sort of person whose epiphanies often come in the quiet of my room with a book on my lap. And I figure even if these are things Ms B has already talking through with her therapist and/or social worker, it can never hurt to have the information in another format.


Anonymous said...

I've just come into a situation where my son's friends are expecting a baby girl in 4 months. I think I may just buy these books for them.
They are 16 yrs old. They are looking into adoption, but not fully decided yet.
I have suggested they get on the internet and start chatting with all members of the triad. I'd like to tell them about you blog as well.
I'm tring to help them as much as I can to fully understand what an important decision this is.
Anything that may help them is welcomed. I would appreciate any suggested sites, books, people, etc.

Unknown said...

My daughter's amom actually found these and gave them to me a few months after I relinquished. They are good. Didn't make much sense to me at the time (so close to relinquishment), but some of the things in them came back to me a couple years later.

Anonymous said...

My SW gave these to me during my pregnancy. They are part of what helped me understand that open adoption is best.

Jacksmom said...

I think that they sound like great resources, and I think I am officially the last one to know about them, LOL!

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