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