adoptive parenting · birth mother · open adoption · parenting

Heavy Hearted

I know it’s been forever since I posted. Like practically the whole month. So be gentle with me as I ease back into this world of blogging, as my heart is very sensitive right now.

I have so much on my heart and soul and mind to write about. There has been so much that has happened in the past nineteen days or so: drama. More drama. Vacation. Doctor’s visits. Illness. Injury. Home remodeling. Fits (mine and Little Man’s). No time. Lack of sleep. Teething.

But mostly what is on my heart right now is our lack, once again, of an open adoption.

Little Man’s birth mother is gone. I mean, we know where she is, but she has cut off all communication again, and she has made some choices that will make communicating with her for a while, and potentially in the future, almost impossible.

Open adoption is all the rage currently. It seems that everyone I know who is involved in adoption has an open adoption; the adoptees I know, the adoptive parents I know, the birth parents I know.

But my first job as Little Man’s mother is to protect him from harm: social, mental, physical, emotional. And at 15 months, I don’t believe he is susceptible to emotional harm from a relationship with his birth mother. But someday… in the future… if her life continues along this path… if she continues to say things and not follow through… he will be very susceptible to emotional harm.

So how does one make the decision?

It’s easy in a vacuum, with a lack of the complete picture, to make the blanket statement that open adoption is best for everyone. It’s even easy for you, the reader, to judge me by what I write, as you don’t have the complete picture, either. So you might even say that open adoption is always best for everyone.

But is it? Really, is it? Even if it brings harm and pain and sadness to multiple people? How is that “the best”?

And maybe I shouldn’t even be concerned about this at this point. Again, he’s only 15 months old. But it’s already heavy on my heart; someday I will be responsible for explaining to Little Man the circumstances surrounding his adoption and his relationship (or lack thereof) with his birth mother.

I hesitate to even post this. Not that I’m that popular or well read by others. But this is such a sensitive topic in the world of adoption. I don’t have any answers or anything profound… I just wonder, with a heavy heart, what will happen to my son someday.

10 thoughts on “Heavy Hearted

  1. I wonder the exact same things. Because I am a snooper in this area, I have been able to find out some general info about K's birthmom, but she wants NO contact, so of course we are honoring that. And I worry, the same as you, how that will shape K. Because no matter how I imagine telling it, there's just no “good” way to say, “Your birthmom doesn't really want to know you.” Even if I don't say it…that is the conclusion I would come to, if I were in her shoes. And it hurts me now to even think of her ever having that feeling…

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  2. You see, we have a close-to-perfect situation with R's birth family and it is STILL hard hard hard. I can't imagine how conflicted your heart must be in this instance. No judgment here. You do what is right for that special boy! (((HUGS!)))

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  3. This is such an interesting topic to me – with two adopted daughters of my own.

    And two very much completely closed adoptions.

    And in so many ways, I cannot fathom an open adoption at our house.

    I think it's perfectly natural to be concerned about this idea at every age. Adoption is different. It just is.

    I don't think we have the right answer – but I don't think there is one, exactly.

    It's that tension that you have to live in – and the real truth is, the really hard truth is, it is that very tension that we have to help our children to grow up to live within as well.

    And really, we will be serving them better if we are able to manage to teach them to live in grace and kindness in their very own tensions.

    How hard is that? 🙂

    I love that you are trying and thinking and sharing through this though.

    And that kind of love and honesty is all your son actually needs.

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  4. Like H, we have NO contact with the birthmom, which was her choice entirely. There's not a thing I can do about that, so I pray for her, and concentrate on Boy. Certainly he has enough issues that keep me busy.

    In your case, I think you have to lift this one up to God, and let Him do the worrying. You have to let LM's birthmom make the decision – you know you can't force it, so just take a deep breath, keep her in your thoughts and prayers, and always keep the door open. And perhaps a window or two.

    Hugs,
    –A

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  5. I'm sorry Rachel. : (

    Those are valid questions. I think “open” is always best in the sense that all the identifying information is readily available to the adoptee. So much is kept from the adpotee when adoption is closed — information about personal identity that most people just take for granted. So yes, in that sense, open IS best. It's the most fair and true thing for the person is adopted.

    I completely understand your concern for his little heart though. : ( I think adoption is hard either way, open or closed, you know? It's just tough stuff to deal with, and as parents it's hard to see our kids have to deal with that. I guess I'm just saying that while a closed adoption eliminates the difficulties of navigating relationships and the potential hurt that brings, there are other hurts that exist in their place.

    Prayers for you all as you work through this.

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  6. No need to hesitate, I am so glad you posted what is on your heart so we can pray and support you through this. I can't imagine how difficult this must be! I also can't imagine that anyone considering it wouldn't want the various perspectives on it in order to make a good decision for what works for them. I am so sorry to hear you are struggling right now. I have emailed you that I was your prayer buddy, but I am committed to continue praying for you and your family. you are a good mom, wanting to protect your son with your everything!

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  7. I think it's especially hard when they are this young to worry about these things. I worry Isabel will want to know who she looks like and I won't be able to show her, she doesn't look much like her birthmom.
    What I have to remember is that not all children want or need that information when they are older.
    Prayers for you.

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  8. I think those choices are always hard. My dad is barely involved in my life, and he's terrible about keeping promises or visiting when he says he will. I've grown up with that heartbreak and disappointment, but I don't want R to have his heart broken. I honestly try to keep my dad as a peripheral figure in R's life. I don't talk Grandpa up, I don't get R excited about seeing Grandpa or talking to him. R knows who Grandpa is, but he can take him or leave him at this point. And I'll keep it that way if it means less pain for my son.

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