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. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.
Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
A number of bloggers have written about their open adoption resolutions or hopes for the coming year, but Debbie gets credit for suggesting it as a roundtable topic. And a great suggestion it is! Open adoption is all about relationships, after all. Most every relationship can benefit from periodically taking a step back and thinking about emotional or practical changes we'd like to make as we care for others and ourselves.
Call them resolutions, commitments, changes, or choices--how will you be proactive in the area of open adoption in 2010?
Ginger @ Shattered Glass (first mom) - "I will acknowledge that for several reasons, life hurts right now. And with that, I will remember to be gentle with myself. I will set and maintain the boundaries that I need to protect myself while at the same time not taking my feelings out on those who are innocent."
Debbie @ Always and Forever (adoptive mom) - Five goals ranging from the practical (creating a travel fund for visits) to the deeply personal.
Paragraphein @ Paragraphein (first mom) - "The simple answer is that I have zero resolutions. Eight and a half years into this, I am finally beginning to get it through my thick skull that open adoption is not a project to be managed... So I guess, if I have a resolution, it’s this: to live in the moment. I will not vow to be proactive, nor to be inactive. I will simply vow to do my best to weigh multiple needs at any single point in time."
Dawn @ This Woman's Work (adoptive mom) - Dawn and Jenna take on a tiny (ha) project for 2010: writing Yours, Mine and Ours: How Openness is Changing Adoption in America about the realities of openness in foster-to-adopt, domestic infant adoption and international adoption.
Shelly @ She's everything that you've been hoping for... (first mom) - "I will do my best to be open and honest about my experiences as a birthmother. I've said it before and I will say it again - I'm not ashamed, it's not a secret, I am proud of him!"
Susiebook @ Endure for a Night (first mom) - "I will make very sure that I am not looking at futurekid as a replacement for my lost son—the one who isn’t Cricket, but who Cricket would have been."
A @ A+A Adopt a Baby (adoptive mom) - Four resolutions for a semi-open adoption, from practicing her daughter's adoption story to exploring what openness can mean as a family identity.
Andy @ Today's the Day! (adoptive mom, adoptee)- Two very different approaches to the two different adoptions in her life.
Heather Rainbow @ It's Always in the Undercurrents (first mom) - "I have been attempting to re-open my adoption, though I seem to have hit another brick wall. I think I am trying to do the literal impossible. My next idea, is to put my views out there about how open adoption can be fair, and how it isn't."
Spyderkl @ Evil Mommy (adoptive mom) - "I need to learn to let go. Just let go of the expectations that I had at the beginning. We can be a happy family with whoever wants to join us. I can’t control who decides to be a part of this and who doesn’t. I can’t, and I shouldn’t. All I can do is to keep the relationships that we have going, and keep the door open for whoever else can bring themselves to walk through."
Thanksgivingmom @ I Should Really Be Working (first mom) - "I’m going to really, really, really try to not be 'fine' – well, to not accept being 'fine' when I’m really not."
Rredhead @ Adoption.com Domestic Infant Adoption Blog (adoptive mom) - "I am also trying to get out of the realm of my experience, and learn more about the experiences of others.... I’m finding that some things I’ve thought were the way they were are really just that way because I think they are."
KatjaMichelle @ Therapy Is Expensive (first mom) - "So this year I’m going to not only buy cards I’m going to SEND them."
Lavender Luz @ Open Adoption Examiner (adoptive mom) - "Re-evaluate...Reach out...Find community...Broaden your horizons."
Shannan @ Joe and Sha Blog (adoptive mom) - "The best thing for me and my children this year is for me to be more open about our adoption in general, yet be less open about my children and their birthmoms' personal stories."
Jenna @ The Chronicles of Munchkin Land (first mom) - "I don’t imagine that I’ll make the entire world realize that open adoption a) isn’t bad, b) isn’t great, c) needs reform, just by doing these things [to promote broader awareness and acceptance] this year... But I’ll keep on doing what I do because I can’t imagine not doing what I do."
Jenni @ Confessions of a Mean Girl Turned Mommy (first mom) - "I will be proactive about open adoption by telling people the truth about open adoption: it is hard and sometimes it really hurts, but it can also be achingly beautiful;" and a commitment to become a doula who provides a safe postpartum space for placing moms.
Lavonne @ Eyes Wide Open (adoptive mom) is working toward direct communication with her daughter's first mom by eliminating their agency and its many restrictions.
Cynthia @ The Night Kitchen (adoptive mom) sets her mind to "exploring new ways to have an “open” adoption, even in the absence of contact" while committing "to not fall into apathy about the future, based on what exists in the present."
Sharon @ What Else Do We Need? (adoptive mom) shares the story of moving an adoption from closed to semi-open - "And I will hope that someday there are no At leasts left. That someday, when Matthew has a question about J., he can ask her. That someday, instead of showing him photos of J., he will know her."
Barely Sane @ You Never Get Over It (first mom) takes a risk for the openness she wants: "I am going to take that first step in reaching out to my son’s parents."
Leigh @ Sturdy Yet Fragile (first mom) hopes this is the year her daughter's adoption moves from semi-open to open: "Basically, if given the opportunity, my resolution for 2010 would be to gain the trust of her family as a person who is stable, loving and very serious about making a lifelong commitment to be there in her life."
SocialWrkr24/7 @ Eyes Opened Wider (social worker) plans to continue her advocacy for openness among "those who are entering into the world of adoption - biological families, adoptive families, and most importantly the children."
SJ @ From the Mind of a Bmom (first mom) decides to take the initiative with her son and his adoptive mom, in hopes of making a happy relationship even better.
And I (adoptive mom) take a break from analyzing relationships.