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. The prompts are meant to be starting points--feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs--and leave a link to your post in the comments. Using a previously published post is perfectly fine; I'd appreciate it if you'd add a link back to the roundtable. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
The prompt and response roundup for this roundtable are from the fabulous Susiebook! She writes about open adoption, pregnancy after placement, and being a first mom to her one-year old son at Endure for a Night. If you're not reading her thoughtful, honest (and well written) blog already, I definitely recommend it.
We realize the prompt--about the things we hope never to share/never to hear in our open adoptions--might be a little awkward if you don't blog anonymously. We hope you'll still join in. You could write about something you thought you didn't want to share/have shared that ended up being said, and what that experience was like. Or you could leave an answer in the comments section here. (Please use the "Name/URL" option to comment--you can leave the URL box blank--so we don't have multiple Anonymous-es.)
Are there any things that you don’t want the other members of your triad to know—or that you don’t want to know about them? I’ve heard first mothers talk about not sharing their birth stories with adoptive parents because those are for the adoptees and for themselves only. I've also heard of adoptees concealing their reunions from adoptive parents so as not to cause them pain. What don’t you want shared in your adoptive relationships?
Dawn (adoptive mother) at This Woman's Work: "I have no desire to define Pennie’s adoption experience, ok? I said that and I mean that. But I do desire that Pennie know that she is one rocking woman and a fabulous mother and a survivor (not a victim) of her circumstances.... I also want her to know that regardless of how she feels about her surrender of Madison and my adoption of Madison that there are still things that were wrong."
Brandy (first mother and adopted adult) at Our Life in the Desert: "I guess, the basic answer is that I don’t talk about the bad stuff – or stuff that could be confused as bad. I find I’m not often honest about my feelings related to certain topics, like never getting pictures…"
JNBJourney (adoptive mother) at Our Story: "So far, we have been very reserved as our relationship is starting. I truly pray that as time passes, we will continue to grow our relationship and that we never encounter something we feel we need to not share with Dom’s BPs."
Cindy.psbm (first mother): "Anyways, the thing I currently wouldn't want my sons adoptive parents to really really know about would be that I do share some pictures of him on a private forum(for first/birthmoms only)and that I share about my frustrations about them there as well."
Jess (adoptive mother) at The Problem With Hope: "We share pretty much everything from our end...we've been honest with how I GOT pregnant (IVF) and why we were pursing both (cause we wanted both!) and we see them often enough that they know how we parent and what goes on around here."
I am (first father) at Statistically Impossible: "I don't want the other triad members to know how the adoption plan and current adoption relationship effected the relationships I have with my immediate family."
Andy (adopted adult and adoptive mother) at Today's the Day!: "For me the very first obvious thing that came to mind was coming out to Iris, my first mother. We had not been in 'reunion' very long, she had been very hesitant to have any contact with me at all and I wasn't sure how she would take to finding out that the little baby she placed for adoption had grown up to be a lesbian."
Spyderkl (adoptive mother) at Evil Mommy: "School Girl’s life before she met us is really none of my business. It sounds a little callous, and it’s a hard thing for me to say, but it’s not my story. It’s School Girl’s, and I hope she gets to hear it when she can truly understand and appreciate that story. All of it, from the day she was born to the day she was placed with us. But as her parent, it’s none of my business. I really don’t need to know."
Rredhead (adoptive mother) at Adoption.com: "There are things we don’t tell Jack. We will someday, when it’s age-appropriate, but he doesn’t know them now. I won’t tell anyone else before I tell Jack, so you don’t get to know either. These are things like why his birth father didn’t meet him – he knows that K didn’t meet him, but doesn’t know why that is."
Alyssa (adoptive mother) at A+A Adopt a Baby: "But there is a part of my story that sometimes I wish I could hide, and feel quite private about. It is the part where we sought medical help to get pregnant. I don't like to think about those experiences very much, and I struggle with feelings of regret that we even went there."
DrSpouse (prospective adoptive parent) at What Am I?: "We don't have our adoption yet but one of the things I've thought about a lot is how much to share with future children about our miscarriages. And if we have an open relationship with our child's biological parent(s) then this is something we'll need to share, or decide not to/how much to share with them. "
Thanksgivingmom (first mother) at I Should Really Be Working: "I suppose that I don’t really share any of the ugly parts with Dee. How hard it can be leading up to a visit, after a visit, in general. I do this not because I choose to keep that side from her, but more because I’ve taken her hints that she’s not into hearing about that."
Susiebook (first mother) at Endure for a Night: "Originally I planned to say that I don’t want Ruth and Nora to know that I regret placing Cricket, but I’m not actually sure that that’s true. I don’t want them to know if they don’t want to know, but I do kind of want them to know—more than that, I want them to want to know."
Sara (adoptive mother) at Unofficial Mom: "There aren't things I purposely hide from my daughter's birthparents. There are things, however, that I don't feel compelled to share."
Deathstar44 (adoptive mother) at A Woman My Age: "I’m not proud of the fact that we check out K’s birthmom’s social page from time to time to see how she’s doing; or more accurately, to find out if she’s told us one thing and she’s doing something completely different. Mind you, there’s a reason for the distrust."
Sarah Buttenwieser (adoptive mother) at Standing in the Shadows: "I don’t want to compromise the love and trust we share. At the same time, I want to put this idea into the world: that adoption comes with inherent challenges and inexorable sadness and huge gifts. I can’t do that without sharing the why of believing all this to be true."
Ginger (first mother) at Shattered Glass: "You can’t unbreak an egg. And so I’ve reaffirmed for myself why I should keep secrets secret. Keep my inner thoughts to myself. Here on the blog, it will do no harm. In the safety of the counselor’s office, I can feel free to say what’s on my mind, even if it’s jumbled. Beyond that, I should keep my big mouth shut. It’s safer."
Jenna (first mother) at The Chronicles of Munchkin Land: "But really, I’m otherwise an open book. My daughter’s mom knows things about me that most people do not. I trust her with my firstborn; surely I can trust her with my inner most secrets."
Heather (adoptive mother) at Production, Not Reproduction: "We all know that a relationship in which everyone just pretends everything is peachy keen is about as deep as a rain puddle, which is not what I want for our open adoptions."