Letter Writer: We adopted a baby boy almost a year ago. Initially, Bianca (birth mother) wanted a closed adoption, but a week after the Charlie was born, she changed her mind to an open one. We thought we were up for that, but in our first year, it feels like our son’s birth mom wants too much.
At first our relationship was mostly by text — Bianca would constantly ask me for pictures, and when I didn’t respond immediately, she would text again asking for more. I had to draw some boundaries and say I would update her with pictures once a week.
That soon became too much, especially when things got busy for me with my seasonal work. I had to switch to updating her with a longer update over email once a month, but still encouraged her to text me anytime and that we weren’t backing out of our agreement.
There’s more, but first, help us understand why she is being so intense.
Hi, Carla. Thanks for writing. Take a deep breath and prepare to be OK being uncomfortable. I’m going to ask you to be willing to stretch yourself and shift your perspective.
Rant: I’m frustrated that these questions still come up (and surprised because my readers are adoption-savvy, so I start thinking everyone is). Who is preparing adoptive parents for adoption telling? And who should be preparing them? What can we do for the current and next generation of adoptees to help them own their story from their very beginning?
But time alone doesn’t mean all adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents have gotten the message of dealing in truth and openness. The adoption professionals who are launching these moms and dads into the world of adoptive parenting are not, as a group, doing a good-enough job preparing their paying clients to parent with openness and disclosure (there are definitely some exceptions).
When it comes to adoption, I tend to go by feel and Dawn Davenport prefers to go by data. *
Dawn founded Creating A Family, a rich resource for those impacted by infertility and those interested in adoption and other family-building methods. Its Facebook community is cross-triad, which means the group tends to keep itself in check more intentionally than groups made up of only adoptive parents or only first parents or only adoptees.