In the months before I gave birth, when my boyfriend and I were just getting to know the couple we had chosen, I was able to comprehend the coming exchange only on the most theoretical of levels, but it seemed like gentle math: Girl with child she can’t keep plus woman who wants but can’t have child; balance the equation, and both parties become whole again.
I had spent my entire life without a child, but I was newly born that night, too, and my old self disappeared. I could no longer imagine how a mother could give up a child and live. Adoption was not simple math; a new mother cannot know the value of the thing she subtracts. It is only through time — when my son turned 4, and I was 27; when he turned 6, and I was 29; when he turns 10 this year, and I am 33, and ready for children — that I begin to understand the magnitude of what I lost, and that it is growing.
It's a powerful example of why it's so hard to pin an open adoption with a single label of success or failure, good or bad. Go and read!- Open Adoption: Not So Simple Math by Amy Seek