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Open Adoption Parenting: What I Hope My Children Say One Day

Open adoption bloggers met at the virtual roundtable to ponder these questions:

Imagine your child as an adult describing their open adoption experience. What do you hope they will be able to say about you? How did you view their other parents? In what ways did you support their relationship with them?

June 1, 2031

Dear Mom,

See? I waited until I was all grown up — 28! — to get married, have sex, and start a family. In that order.

But first I became self-sufficient in my chosen career. I married only because I wanted to (and because my partner is a wonderful person), not because I needed someone to take care of me.

Anyway, now that I’m a mom, I understand a little bit more about what it took to raise me. I want to tell you that I thank you for keeping Crystal and Joe in my life. Being with them always felt good, and I’m glad you didn’t feel threatened by the bond I have with them. It means the world to me that you love them, because that freed me to love them and to love myself.

Also, I appreciate that you let me talk about adoption stuff when I wanted to, but didn’t bring it up all the time. Even though you wrote about it ALL.THE.TIME.

If the sleepovers I had with Crystal and Tyler [birth brother] or with Joe and his family were hard for you, you never showed it. I have always felt fully connected to my birth family and, of course, fully connected to you and Daddy and Reed.

It hasn’t always been easy, having two sets of parents, but you made it as easy for me as you could. I love you so much for that. And for grounding me for only a week that time I took your car without permission on my way to work at the soup kitchen.

Love always,



June 1, 2031

Dear Mama,

I suspect that you often wondered if you were handling all this adoption stuff well. My sister’s birth parents were around in the early years and mine weren’t, and you worried if this was hurting me.

Sometimes it did.

But I never felt slighted. Crystal and Tyler and Joe and his family always included me. And then you found AJ and brought him into my life. Later, Michele resurfaced and told me my adoption story herself. It helped me to understand, even though sometimes it was hard.

Do you remember that day in the car? I told you I didn’t want to talk about my birth parents any more because it made me sad. I remember you told me that you wouldn’t bring it up again for awhile, but that if I ever wanted to talk about it with you I could. I appreciated that.

So even though it sometimes hurt, I am thankful that you sat with me during the times I was hurting. You didn’t minimize my feelings or gloss over them. And somehow I didn’t get stuck in the hurt.

It means a lot to me that you always spoke respectfully of Michele and AJ and that you provided contact with them when they were ready.

I love you, Mama. Thank you for always loving me so completely. I’ll be over on Sunday to mow your lawn.


Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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22 Responses

  1. I can’t even wrap my mind around what my children will say or be like one year from now, let alone 21!

    I hope that Tessa and Reed will appreciate all that you have continued to do for them, adoption-wise and far beyond.

  2. Lori, these letters are great and brought tears to my eyes, I hope you print them off and show them to the kids when they are grown up so that you can see how close to reality you were.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yep, we wide open adoptions are “wierd” by world standards, but we don’t let that stop us, do we?? LOL


  4. She’ll be a virgin til she’s 28 for sure, or at least in her heart she will be, cuz you deserve that. You’re amazing with this all. Really. Truly.

  5. Lori, I truly hope you get these letters (or some very similar to them) from Tessa and Reed when they grow up. Somehow, knowing what I know about you, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. You’re a great person and I think that definitely rubs off on your children.

  6. How cute…I like how all your hopes are rolled into the letters! Yeah, sure she’ll wait till 28 and follow the “order”. Oooh, and lawn-mowing, awesome. 😉

  7. see. ME…over here….laughing and crying at the same time.

    wow, I should really learn to read you on Sat mornings alone in the I can bawl *happy tears* and not have to exlplain my outbursts to people that I work with.

    this was beautiful..those letters…may they truly, truly , come true.

  8. It must sometimes feel like a fine balancing act but I think it is important for kids to enjoy the options if they are available. I’m sure they will love you all the more for it as they get older.
    PS – I’m over from Blog Gems

  9. I love this! I hope my children can say something similar someday. It inspires me to write my own letter to my kiddos about their biological parents and our reasons for our choices. Hmmmm, thanks for the food for thought… 🙂

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