We sometimes talk about a person being “full of himself” as if it were a bad thing. But really, who else would a person be full of? Watching a child become full of himself is a beautiful thing to behold, as witnessed by Judy Miller in her post Full. A found videotape led to several reclaimed memories for her son:
We watched those minutes together over and over that afternoon, my son temporarily filling up that place deep inside of him where ambiguous loss dwells, receiving affirmation that he was deeply loved and valued long before his adoption was finalized.
As an analogy to making sense of the adoption mosaic Rebecca invokes the Buddhist story of the blind men and the elephant in her post The Whole Elephant. There are pieces in addition to our own that make up the bigger, more complicated thing we call Adoption.
The adoption community is like this. We have different experiences and perspectives. We are adoptees who searched and had successful reunions and those who searched and experienced rejection … and we are those who choose not to search. We are adoptive parents who embrace and struggle with the complexity of adoption and those who connect only with joy and contribution. We are birth parents filled with rage and grief and those who are at peace with placement.
There are power in stories, both in the telling and the listening.
What would you do if your child’s birth parent asked to move in to your home temporarily? Anne writes about such a situation in her post Under One Roof:
So what is it like to like to have your daughter’s first mother live with you for five weeks? In some ways, it was oddly normal. There were many times when it felt no different than having a sister or close friend live with us. There were a lot of laughs. Can’t breathe kind of laughs. It was comfortable. It was really nice. Sometimes it was emotionally draining. Those who live it know that open adoption can be simple and complicated in the very same moment. There were nights when I cried by myself.
Click to read the ways in which the experience changes the bonds among Anne, Fiona and the daughter they both love, Lily, as well as how Anne dealt with the remarks of concerned friends and family members.
Maggie’s post is from March but it wasn’t brought to my intention until April. In a guest post from her daughter’s birth grandmother, Maggie gives space for Sharon to tell the thought process behind a family choosing to make an adoption plan from the point-of-view of the birth mom’s mom.
From Sharon, mom to Tarah who is birth mom to Georgia: Yes, Tarah could have taken care of a baby. I was a pediatric nurse and I taught all my daughters baby care. We loved babies at our house; we are the kind of people that carry everyone’s baby, we beg to babysit, we plan special things just for kids…..we love them. My girls knew how to change diapers, use bottles and how to rock and pat a fussy baby. But raising a child was different, they are only a baby for a short time…….and then they’re toddlers and grade school kids, and adolescents, and…….and…..and.
A Birth Family’s Story is from a viewpoint we don’t see very often in the adoption blogosphere.
Monika muses about a petition going around to make contract agreements in open adoptions legally binding. She and her commenters share their varied opinions on the subject. Monika says in her post Oh, The Legalities,
In my blog post about meeting Jim Gritter the other day, I mentioned that he believes open adoption should be based on hospitality and that he said, “Hospitality is the search for ‘we’ and not ‘I’.” I agree with him. Just as in any relationship all parties have to focus on “us” versus “me,” the same is especially true for an open adoption situation. It’s my personal opinion that making contact agreements legally enforceable does not make certain that people focus on other things but themselves. In fact I think the opposite is true. If I’m forced to do something then I’m going to be focused on what I have to do instead of how it might be benefiting the other person/people involved.
There was a surprise to me in Monkia’s post regarding just what entity enforces such a contract agreement. Who do you think it would be? Read to find out.
Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of May — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs.