I added some new blogs to my Sites I Like section to the right. I found some fantastic blogs written by moms who've adopted -- they're smart, funny and real. One is Production, Not Reproduction and the writer of that one is inviting anyone who blogs about open adoption to join her blogroll. Hence, the pretty new button at the top of this page.
I've written a bit about adoption here, but not about open adoption. We do indeed have an open adoption -- open can mean anything from knowing the birth mother's name to having frequent visits with both birth parents. For us, it means that I know who Lauren's birth mother is (I know who her birth father is too, but that's a story for another day). We met her before she gave birth. We were in the hospital room with her within an hour after she gave birth. We hung out with her on and off for the two days she was in the hospital, even though our social worker yelled at us for doing that. We send her pictures whenever we get new ones of Lauren. And she's been to our house four or five times to visit.
The concept of open adoption tends to freak most people out. They think it's giving the birth parents too much power, or that it's unhealthy, or that the birth parents could "take away" the child. I wasn't sure exactly how I felt about it when we started the adoption process, but I have come to understand a few things -- that a child can never have too many people who love her. That Bret and I are the mom and dad and we call the shots -- if we ever think it's a bad idea for Lauren to see her birth mother, we won't allow it (thankfully this has not been the case). And, from my own experience I know that it's better to have things out in the open. My parents divorced when I was three, my mom remarried when I was five, and no one ever spoke of my birth father again. There were no visits, cards or phone calls. It was as if this part of my life was a dirty secret I was not to think about. But of course I did think about it. And thought there must be something wrong with me if no one would talk to me about it So I just want Lauren to know all about where and who she comes from -- it's her story, and the way we became a family is not a dirty secret.
I don't claim to have all the answers on open adoption. I don't know what the future holds as far as a relationship for Lauren with her birth family. But I will always be honest with her about the people and circumstances surrounding her birth, her family, our family.