This is completely irrelevant to your post, but I'd really appreciate recommendations on open adoption books for prospective adoptive grandparents - we are working up to telling our (mainly my) parents (mainly my mother!) about our adoption hopes...
I'd love to see an anthology some day specifically about grandparents in open adoptions: reflections from first and adoptive grandparents as well as adoptees writing about their relationships with them. They each have their own unique challenges and opportunities in open adoption--that are different from the ones the parents face--and I believe it would be so valuable for them to find commonalities and possibilities in other grandparents' experiences.
In the meantime, here are my recommendations:
For grandparents--or anyone else--looking to understand more about the whys and whats of open adoption, an excellent primer is Making Room in Our Hearts by Micky Duxbury. Ms Duxbury is an adoptive parent who interviewed a ton of open adoption participants, many more than two decades into the adoptions. It's thorough, grounded, realistic but also decidedly optimistic. I wrote a little more about why I liked it a couple of years ago. If you're scoping out open adoption books, you'll likely see it recommended a lot because it's one of the (a) newest and (b) best currently available.
For extended family members who just can't grasp why open adoption can be a mixed bag of happiness and struggle for first parents ("Why should she be sad? The baby is so happy. And you still let her see him!"), I recommend Birthparent Grief by Brenda Romanchik, a first mom herself and longtime advocate of open and ethical adoption practices. It's a slip of a book, really a booklet or a extended pamphlet. It's written for first parents, but serves as a good window for the rest of us. Think of it as a distillation of the most insightful first parent blogs in your reader. It, as well as the other pocket guides in the series, can be useful for family who are having trouble seeing things from the first parents' perspective. It also gives insight into reasons first parents sometimes back away from contact, which can often be really hard for grandparents--who feel like they would hang the moon for their beloved grandchildren--to understand. Beth has copies of this set and speaks highly of them. Don't be put off by the 1997 vibe on the website. If you mail in the order form and a check, you really will get a book. (There is an excerpt here.)
Finally, we come to the extended family members who are completely convinced that open adoption is the most ridiculous idea in the history of adoption, ever. It pains me to do this, but in those cases I suggest the pink book. It is a crappy piece of outdated propaganda in which adoptees are always children, all the triad members are happy-dappy, and open adoption solves every possible problem. However, propaganda can be useful in extreme situations--like outspoken grandparents who won't shut up about how open adoption will ruin all your lives. The strategy here is to hit them hard with the positives and only the positives. I'm not above targeting the message to bring them into the fold, then fleshing out the nuances and realities after I've got them on our side. It's better than avoiding them for your kid's entire childhood.
There you have my recommendations for grandparents, from the reasonable to the starry-eyed to the belligerent. If anyone has come across some others that have been helpful for the extended family in your world, please do add them in the comments.
(And best wishes to you, DrSpouse, as you gear up for the "we're adopting" conversation! My mom is still embarrassed about what she blurted out five years ago...)