October 10, 2011

My First Time

I had a hazy memory of writing about the first time I heard about open adoption before and I was right. Four years ago (before Marian!), I wrote:
I'm remembering the first time I heard about open adoption. T and I, freshly engaged, were visiting friends who had recently adopted. Over dessert in their living room, they told us the story of waiting and matching and being at their daughter's birth. It was a semi-open adoption and they lost touch with her first mother almost immediately after placement. I thought then that they had lucked out--they got to be there at the beginning of their daughter's life and didn't even have to bother with her birth mother after that. (My cheeks burn, remembering now.)

As I sat on their couch and sipped my coffee I had no idea that years later the thought of losing touch with my son's first parents like that would make my heart skip a beat.
I have such strong memories of that whole evening, from the shirt I was wearing to where we sat as our friends told their story. I remember my friend saying with such absolute joy, "I love adoption!" It all seemed so uncomplicated to me then, so neat and tidy. The way I saw it at that point: my friends were overjoyed to be parents, the little baby would grow up in an amazing family, her birth mom was apparently confident in her decision, and they'd always be able to tell their little girl how much her birth mom loved her because they had been able to meet her.

I really had no idea.

I understand folks who only see joy in adoption because that's all they've been exposed to. Because that used to be me. Being exposed to adoption's complexity and still insisting on only acknowledging the joy? That is harder for me to grasp.

Read other bloggers' recollections of learning about open adoption at the latest roundtable.

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