Open adoption: Head and Heart

August 22, 2009

in Adoptee, Adoption, Open Adoption

I’m taking a seat at the Open Adoption Roundtable, where the assignment this session is:

Write about how open adoption has changed you.

For most of my life, through school and college and dating and TTC and infertility, I was mostly guided by my head. I learned early on the surest way out of any problem was to study it, analyze it, work it, contemplate it.

I was pretty successful with this method. I earned several degrees, didn’t marry several Mr Wrongs, and navigated several medical interventions — all with the power of my intellect (not as colossal as I make it sound, and there weren’t THAT many Mr Wrongs down on one knee).

But adoption required me to take my Data model (sensible, information-based) and add the Deanna Troi model (sensitive, compassion-based).

Adoption and, more specifically, OPEN adoption, is something I couldn’t think my way through. I couldn’t study my way through or weigh my options through or test my way through with a #2 pencil.

I had to FEEL my way through.

Open adoption has engendered a huge shift in how I move through life. From Day 1 with Tessa’s firstmom, Crystal, I have had opportunities to choose between what feels right and what makes sense (in cases where they are at odds).

Pulling another organ into service for decision-making and leadership has had an added benefit: parenting itself requires the involvement of one’s heart as well as one’s head. I can’t think my way through Reed’s fight with his BFF. I can’t think my way through one of Tessa’s tantrums (no thinking occurs for either of us during one of those). Book learning only goes so far.

It’s not that I turn OFF my intellect, but that I also tune into my heart for answers.

Living from my heart requires me to just. be. present. Abiding in a situation and with the people in it. Being open to insight, inspiration and intuition.

Which I can add to intellect.

Open adoption has brought me more deeply into thinking/feeling. I used both my head and heart to navigate Tessa’s reunion with her firstdad, Joe, and am using both methods currently to help Reed with some questions he’s begun to ask about his firstparents.

I’m not saying that all problems are easily solved because I’ve got such massive brainpower and a huge, unerring heart. I make lots and lots of mistakes every single day, and some are whoppers.

I’m saying that open adoption requires that I see things from the perspectives of the others involved, that I understand the effects of my actions on them, and that I use both my head and heart as I move through life.

It’s been a worthwhile change.

***

Click over to Production, Not Reproduction to see what others have to say. And if you’re in an open adoption, feel free to contribute your own moment.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

“Living from my heart requires me to just. be. present. Abiding in a situation and with the people in it. Being open to insight, inspiration and intuition.”…absolutely BRILLIANT!

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Sunny April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

*clapping*

As always, I just love when you talk about open adoption. So enlightening! You are an inspiration.

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luna April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

this is a most wonderful response. I lurve it, especially this part:

“Living from my heart requires me to just. be. present. Abiding in a situation and with the people in it. Being open to insight, inspiration and intuition.”

just an incredible way to be, as a mother and a person. thanks for illuminating.

btw, I’d love to hear more about R’s Qs…

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Your post really hits home for me. I used to live my life mostly by what made sense intellectually.

I am now able to tune into my feelings and intuitive hits, blend them with my thoughts and then move forward.

It doesn’t always guarantee complete success, but it does help me to stay grounded as I approach changes and decisions in my life.

Thanks for your deep insights.

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Jamie April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

You give great insight on how to be a great mom.

Wonderful post!

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chicklet April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Yea, what those other chicks wrote about it being a great post – as always:-)

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Your post really hits home for me. I used to live my life mostly by what made sense intellectually.

I am now able to tune into my feelings and intuitive hits, blend them with my thoughts and then move forward.

It doesn’t always guarantee complete success, but it does help me to stay grounded as I approach changes and decisions in my life.

Thanks for your deep insights.

Reply

Karen April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Great post. A lot of what you wrote resonanted with my own experience.

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

I enjoy any metaphor based on Star Trek: TNG.

Especially ones that are carefully crafted and well-lived.

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excavator April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Great post, Luz. Thanks.

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Great post. I think a lot of times it’s more difficult to slow down and just be. Or to think from someone elses perspective. I always enjoy your posts about open adoption.

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Geochick April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

What a great post – I think I’m slowly starting learn that lesson which is kind of like fighting myself at the moment. I’m too used to navigating w/ my head!

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becomingwhole April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

amazing post.

Thank you for this.

Just being–so important.

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

I have to love a post that has Star Trek characters in it.

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Kristin April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Wow. So insightful AND heart-felt. I need to tuck it away and use it – when open adoption gets scary or uncomfortable – as a reminder to overly analytical me about the value in “just feeling.” Thank you for sharing this.

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Alana April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

What a wonderful and insightful post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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Waiting In Sunshine April 7, 2010 at 5:56 am

HUGE HGUE HUGE Star Trek fan! In fact, just 2 weeks ago, as a surpirse at my brother’s wedding, we did a Groom’s Cake of the Starship Enterprise! Loving this post, and also bc I believe in EVERYthing you say about open adoption. I have to get DH on board, but I’m with ya…

Sunshine
http://waitinginsunshine.typepad.com/blog/

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