Below is a collection of posts from January that made me think long after I read them. Whether you are already acquainted with these writers or not, I encourage you to click over to see if these posts are meaningful to you, too.
Adoption in the City has a post called An Untapped Resource that brings up a benefit to the child in an open adoption: the birth parent is in a position to offer insight into that child’s nature. I’ve heard from birth parents and adult adoptees who have talked about what it was like when the adoptee was a child growing up in a family that just didn’t “get” him. I wonder what would have happened if the birth parents were around, and the adoptive parents let them know what was going on.
In our open adoptions we have relied on our children’s birth parents to consult with us on possible “nature” traits and issues.And no, the blogger says, this is not co-parenting. A helpful post for adoptive parents who wonder if (or why) they should have more contact with birth parents.
In Sharing Truths, The Maybe Baby shares her views about the adoptee memoir Found as an adult adoptee, a babyloss mama and a woman pursuing parenthood via surrogacy . The post itself is incredible in its insight: I believe there is a balance between recognizing and honoring origins and finding a space of love and acceptance in a family that is not genetically yours. These things can co-exist. I believe this. I HAVE to believe this.
And the discussion the post generated in the comment area among the blogger, the author and other book club tourists brought many to raw, raw places. Get the tissue box before you click over.
I Was, then I Became is a post by The Adopted Ones that begins with a probate case. A man was relinquished by his birth mother in 1947 and died in 1996 without a will. He had never been adopted, never married or had children, and died without any legal relatives. He did have, however, biological relatives — his birth mother and his half-brother, who petitioned to be declared the man’s heirs. This case (and another) causes the author to ponder her own legally switched heritage: [it] demonstrates that we legally lose our biological history and that history includes our heritage both in adoption and probate laws. I became a person with an English ancestry when I was adopted. I lost my true ancestral heritage of the countries my ancestors immigrated from...It is easy to pretend my ancestors are English, I grew up with stories of my parents ancestors, but yet looking at myself I am not. I am a combination of two completely different countries, one who warred with England for what seems like generations if not centuries.
Surely we can find ways to honor and recognize biology as well as biography. What might that look like?
The ever-brilliant Melissa from Stirrup Queens tells The Saddest Chapstick Story You Will Ever Read. After her daughter pushes out too much from her very first cherry Chapstick tube, Melissa writes of the deep weight of regret; that wish that you could have made a different choice, that you could rewind time and change one small decision so the future won’t happen. Right now, it’s a chapstick, and one day it will be something slightly bigger and then slightly bigger and finally bigger still, and with each moment that we’re emotionally forced to drink from that well of regret, we choke on the knowledge that there was something small we could have done. Melissa goes on to show the relationship between small decisions and big consequences: [I hoped] that this moment somehow acted as a vaccine against all the stupid decisions she’ll make in the future which will lead to regrets. That somehow drinking from a deep well of regret over a broken chapstick will keep her from stepping on other small rocks in her path that will lead to future remorse. That she’ll always use a condom. She’ll never get in a car with someone drunk. She’ll be late one day and miss a terrible accident; she’ll be early one day and meet the person she’s supposed to meet.
As a time-traveler myself, I love the idea of tugging on the small threads that make up the tapestry of one’s life to see how it’s all interconnected. What one thing that you do today could have huge ramifications years from now?
Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of January — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs.