Below is a collection of posts from the past month 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.
In her post Left Unsaid, Luna of Life From Here addresses the question: where does one person’s story end and the other begin? Some parts of a story are easy to tell: [Telling], her birth story is easy. It’s beautiful and because we were there I can tell her about the love in that room when she entered the world. (Of course I hope Kaye will share her own version with Jaye, one day.)
Other parts, not so much: How to tell about other facets of her story that could have resulted in a very different outcome? What about the reasons Kaye chose to place rather than parent? What about the extended relative who wanted to parent? Or how we had to terminate her biological father’s rights because he didn’t show up. How do you share that information? Do you share it?
This last part caught me. In our efforts to share our stories without infringing on others’ we are left to paint an incomplete picture: It’s not that I want to portray adoption as shiny and perfect by avoiding the negative. Yet I know that leaving out the tough parts could convey a distorted image. Adoption is so complex.
Click to read in its entirety. Luna gives us a reminder that relationships in a post may be more nuanced than they appear.
Speaking of stories, Harriet at See Theo Run inspired Luna’s post (above)with hers, Talking About Difficult Information: What I learned from the story is that sugarcoating our children’s beginnings does not serve them well in the long run. If you know something about your child’s history that is uncomfortable, at some point, you need to tell them, so they can grieve it, accept it, and move from there.
Not only are adoptive parents responsible for caretaking their child’s story with the outside world, but they must also navigate how to best reveal the story — warts and all — to the child himself. Harriet addresses how to balance revealing the whole truth with a parent’s urge to shield and protect.
Monika has a list of 10 Things I Love About Open Adoption. Her entries are fine examples of And Thinking — her birth daughter claims and is claimed by her biological parents AND her biographical parents. And Thinking is a step toward healing from the Either/Or Thinking that was so pervasive during the closed adoption era.
Witness #7: Mack will be able to take all of her nature and all of their nurture and combine it. The best of two worlds, so to speak.
It’s a wonderful list.
In Can Love Be Shared? a mom observes her 5 ½ year old daughter figure out the properties of love after a visit with her birth mother:
Here we are, Ally at 5-1/2 years old, living in an open adoption and she is wondering if she can show and share her love with her birthmother, Cristina, and would it be okay with me? I never realized she would be torn … we have our own love for Cristina and a strong relationship that we have developed and didn’t realize that in her way she may feel she has to choose one over the other when we are all together?
It’s a beautiful moment of understanding and open-heartedness between a mom and a daughter.
Lastly, at the Huffington Post, Lisa Belkin muses in Are You My Mother? The Changing Norms of Adoption and Donation whether we should apply what we’ve learned about openness in adoption to the arena of egg, sperm and embryo donation. A blogger on Babble‘s StrollerDerby said, “The child’s parents would be the people who raised and nurtured her, who got up in the night to care for her when she had a nightmare and struggled with her homework night after night. It’s not the birth that makes me a mom, and it certainly isn’t the ability to produce a healthy egg. It’s everything that comes after.”
And Lisa responds: But isn’t that the same argument in favor of closed adoption for all these years? That it is not the genetics, but the actual parenting, that makes a parent? And haven’t the decades taught us that it is, in fact, a mixture of both? Yes, adoptive parents are the child’s parents. But biological parents are not secrets to be buried, but building blocks to be embraced.
I did something I’d never done before — left a comment on HuffPo.
Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of April — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs.