Navigating our open adoption

I am having a really hard time writing our “dear birthparent letter” this time around. It was hard the first time, but is even more difficult now. You would think having a first draft would help, but I don’t think the letter that was on our first profile really applies anymore. For one, we need to talk about our life with our son and who we are as parents. Thinking about our life now, that first letter seemed pretty abstract about what we “thought” we would be like as parents. I don’t think we have completely changed who we are as people, it’s just much different to think theoretically what life with a child would be like and what in practice you actually do. I mean, you know your life will change but can’t really fathom what that means until it is here.

The other reason I’m having a really hard time writing this letter is that we need to address (at least in broad terms) the type of openness we are looking for. And here’s where it gets even harder.  Right now we have a semi-open, fully disclosed adoption. That means we know the full names of our son’s first parents and they know ours. But, our only real contact with them is by email about once a month. This is pretty consistent with what his first mom wanted, even as we were open to more contact. The problem is that I don’t know how to think about the type of openness we will have in a second adoption given where we are with the first one.

The thing is, even though we initially wanted more contact, if I am honest, I am pretty happy with where we are.  I have started some things to make adoption and his birthfamily part of our conversations–such as reading children books with an adoption theme and including pictures of his birthfamily in a little flip photo album that we use to show him pictures of other out of town photo albums. But even with those things, it doesn’t feel like his birthfamily is a daily part of our lives. Of course, that is easy for me to say since my son isn’t vocal enough yet to give his opinion on that! And that’s really the hard part for me. I wonder all the time if we are doing the right thing by him in terms of how we interact with his birthfamily.

And then I wonder if we need to have a similar level of openness with our second child’s birthfamily. Would it create problems if there were big differences in how we interact with their families?


One thought on “Navigating our open adoption

  1. We faced similar things – our relationship with our daughter’s birth family is pretty good: some in person visits, email, Facebook, etc. However the birth mom of our son and youngest daughter does not want much (if any) contact. This made me worry that our kids would have different experiences with openness that may cause issues down the road.

    While in Florida for our son’s placement, we had the opportunity to spend some time with our daughter’s birth family. To our surprise, they treated our son with the same love and affection they show our daughter. In short, they completely adopted him into their family too.

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