The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.
Publish your response during the next two weeks–linking back here so we can all find one other–and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
For this round Lori of Weebles Wobblog reached back through time to a post I wrote lo these many months ago after spending an afternoon with my daughter’s first mom. In it, I wondered aloud if there was a common definition of a successful open adoption. Is it even possible to define, given the myriad factors involved? Here’s how Lori poses the question:
If there’s one thing we all might agree on, it’s that we’d like our open adoptions to be successful. But what does “success” mean to you, when speaking about open adoption? Do you think it may mean something else to the others in your triad?
Adoptive mom Jess of The Problem With Hope says that for her success is all about support.
First mom Katy at Bearclaw Mohawk shares that her primary concern will always be that her son is happy.
Adoptive mom A from A+A Adopt a Baby: “The big answer for A+A is this – our (semi)open adoption, like our parenting, will be a success if we make choices and choose paths that center on what is best for J’s development as a whole person.”
Adoptive mom Lavonne at Eyes Wide Open focuses on emotional health and stability for each triad member.
Adoptive mom Lori of Weebles Wobblog takes a stab at answering her own question: “Success requires the parents in an OA to see through the eyes of the others in the triad, and then conducting themselves compassionately.”
Adoptive mom and adopted adult Andy at Today’s the Day!: “For me, the success of an Open Adoption lies in how well the needs, wants and desires of the adoptee are being met. After all, adoption is supposed to be about them (us), right?”
Social worker SocialWrkr24/7 from Eyes Opened Wider tackles the sensitive topic of openness in foster care adoption, and what success looks like when contact is inappropriate or impossible.
Adoptive mom Meghann at the Adoption.com Open Adoption Blog hopes for a relationship that feels natural, normal and right to everyone involved.
Adoptive mom Mama Bear of offmymind.but from my heart emphasizes the importance of respect and communication.
Pre-adoptive parent Eva of Egg Drop Post writes about her hopes and fears around open adoption, and the differences in her comfort level and that of the partner. “I guess success, then, would achieved once we adopt and are able to navigate all of the murky waters adeptly so that all of the parties involved feel satisfied.”
Adoptive mom Robyn at the Adoption.com Domestic Infant Adoption Blog: “I define success in open adoption by how much therapy Jack needs when he’s older. The less he needs, the more successful it’s been.”
Adoptive mom Dia at Rancho Chico writes about why it’s been so important to her to work toward successful open adoptions after adopting from foster care.
First mom Ginger at Shattered Glass suggests that success isn’t found in everything always going smoothly, but in navigating the difficulties with mutual respect.
First mom Thanksgivingmom of I Should Really Be Working talks about always striving to go beyond the bare minimum in an open adoption relationship.
First mom Brown from Coming Clean: Confessions of a Secret Birthmom shares how something as simple as connecting on Facebook made all the difference in their open adoption.
First mom Jenni at Confessions of a Mean Girl Turned Mommy defines success not only in terms of family interactions, but also how she sees herself and her interactions with the rest of the world.
Adoptee Lynne offers a definition of success that is balanced between the adoptee, birth parents and adoptive parents.
Adoptive mom Dawn at This Woman’s Work expands the definition of open adoption–and thus the possibility of successful openness–beyond its traditional boundaries.
Adoptive mom Sarah of Standing in the Shadows hopes that openness offers her daughter a means of healing the fissures of adoption.