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 listed at Open Adoption Bloggers 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. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
Father’s Day is coming this week in many countries. Last month we took time to write about our thoughts around Mother’s Day; this month we turn to the fathers.
Write to someone else in the adoption constellation (someone specific or a general group). What do you want to say to them on Father’s Day?
Excerpts from the responses:
Lori Lavender Luz (adoptive mother) @ Write Mind Open Heart: “These are people who desperately WANT to be a mother or father. To join the parenting club at long last. To have the cards and commercials and 30% off sales apply to them. To bring into their lives what others are able to effortlessly. These are the outliers in your audience.”
Mommysquared (adoptive mother) @ Our Journey to Parenthood and the Years That Follow: “Each of these grandfathers has two granddaughters and to them like to us it doesn’t matter that our family was built through adoption … we are just family.”
Monika Zimmerman (first mother) @ Monika’s Musings: “To all those who believe that birth dads aren’t important and shouldn’t be given a say in relinquishment, I say phooey on you.”
KatjaMichelle (first mother) @ Therapy is Expensive: “I wish you’d (re)connect with your son. His eyes light up each time he learns more about you especially when similarities are reavealed. He needs more than second hand stories through the lens of an ex-girlfriend even if that ex-girlfriend is his mother. There is only so much good I can share with him about you and I refuse to share the bad.”
Danielle (first mother) @ Another Version of Mother: “His letter was honest, and vibrant. It was more then just a letter to market to me, it was a letter where I could see how deeply he loved his wife, which I knew would translate into unconditional love for The Kiddo.”
Racilous (first mother) @ Adoption in the City: “I know it’s not their fear of seeing his nature side – they comment regularly about his blue eyes, love of books, or the way he’s taken to water, all things they bring up because they know it in part comes from me. But they can’t get there with you, they haven’t met you, don’t know you and honestly don’t really trust you. You have a long uphill path to go to earn a place in their life. I know you aren’t always the first person to jump in when it comes to stepping up and doing the hard work, but seriously, he’s worth it.”
Jenna (first mother) @ The Chronicles of Munchkin Land: “I am sorry, however, that I made the decision to relinquish without you. I am sorry that I short-changed you as a partner. I am sorry I short-changed you as a father. I am sorry that I listened to other people, people with ulterior motives, instead of point-blank asking you, ‘What do you want to do?’”
CindyG (first mother) @ Another Crazy Christian: “I feel sad about it because I can’t join in with it, I have no real reason to buy a card or whatever. I mean, I could buy a card for Jacob, or Parker adoptive Dad, James, or even for my brother in law, Tyler, but the fact that I can’t buy one for my actual Dad.”
Sarah (adoptive mother) @ My Life–With Bugs, Brat, and Monster: “You were there the day I told you I was moving to Winnipeg. You sat and listened while I cried and explained that I needed to go spend time with my biological father–needed to understand him. You didn’t say anything. You didn’t say I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) go. You didn’t chastise me for being ‘stupid’ or leaving school a month before the school year ended.”
T (first mother) @ Workin’ with What I’ve Got: “I doubt you even remember my name. Before the adoption closed, when I used to call and say, ‘Hi, it’s Terri,’ you’d say ‘Who??’”
Thorn (adoptive mother) @ Mother Issues: “As with Mother’s Day, I don’t really have an open letter to write. I just want to find a way to tell Mara’s dad that we like having him in Mara’s life. We do that by showing up, dropping by with her. We’ve given him pictures of her and of them and pictures she’s drawn. We do that, unfortunately, by explaining to her when she’s upset about it that sometimes he doesn’t follow through on what he’s told her he will do and that this is one of the reasons she needed someone else to take care of her.”
Lynn (adoptive mother) @ Open Hearts, Open Minds: “Sometimes in life, you have to let your heart be your guide. Sometimes, you need to ignore the doubts and rise to new experiences. And if you do, you just might find yourself totally in love with being a Daddy to the most amazing little boy.”
I am (first father) @ Statistically Impossible: “I wish you could see that I am a father. I wish you didn’t pretend my son died. Though I’m not a father to him the way you were to me, he is my son.”
Amber (adoptive mother) @ Bumber’s Bumblings: “I’m here with the traditional “my husband is the best dad ever” post. He may not be the best dad in the world–since a lot of people have that claim, but he’s the best dad in the world for our son! He is living proof that you do not have to dna to be a daddy!”
Jay (adoptive mother) @ Two Women Blogging: “The hardest part of my adoption journey is listening to Eve when she talks about you. She asks why you don’t love her; she plots ways to travel to where she thinks you live and find a way to meet you. I am quite sure that as soon as we allow her to have a Facebook account, she will try to friend you, and I will have to figure out how to help her deal with what happens – what if you don’t respond at all? And what if you do, and you behave like the man I suspect you to be?”
Spyderkl (adoptive mother) @ Moms and Zombies: “I hope that, if we ever see each other again, that the scars from your past have healed. At least a little. Take care of yourself, guy. It’s not just a saying, you know. Happy Father’s Day.”
Karen (adoptive mother) @ Karen’s Adoption Journey: “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure he would ever love you as much as me. There seemed to be a distance between you. But you found your own ways to attach, not by night time snuggling and car kisses and letting him comb your hair — but in father/son ways.”
Rebecca Hawkes (adopted adult and adoptive mother) @ Love Is Not a Pie: “This is what the closed adoption system has bequeathed to me: a bunch of fragments that I try to piece together to create a picture of you. It is a distorted, unclear image but dear to me because it is all I have of you.”
Mama C (adoptive mother) @ Mama C and the Boys: “The absence of a “father” per se, is not the curse or deficit some might attribute to the children of the single mama. In fact in our home, it is quite the contrary. Neither Sam, nor Marcel have a dad. That is a fact. Both, have a biological father.”
Seriously (adoptive mother) @ Seriously?!: “Dear Birthfather, I am thinking of you today. I know that this adoption has been difficult for you. I’ll never forget the sadness in your eyes the day you left the hospital with Birthmom. I’ve watched you with your other girls, and I’ve watched you with Little Miss when we visit, and let me tell you…you are an amazing father.”
Robyn (adoptive mother) @ The Chittister Family: “We have never met you, though we did try. You said you wanted to meet us, we headed out, you changed your mind. You have never met Jackson. Again, you changed your mind and chose not to see him in the hospital. I think you felt that signing the TPR was like a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card. Since then, you have practically disappeared.”
Meg (adoptive mother) @ God Will Fill This Nest: “It’s a tricky emotional situation we are in, that our joy came out of two people’s choice to not raise their child. A choice that was in some ways made for them by rough, tough circumstance. Since we know his birth mom and can talk to her whenever, there is healing in that for both her and us as the years go on. But you are sort of this big question mark. I hope one day you will meet our son -your son too- and see the amazing little person he is. We are contributing to the personality, and God is contributing with His hand on him, but you contributed too.”
Roz (adoptive mother) @ Roztime: “He just seems natural, like he has parented them for their full eight/six/three years. I don’t know what I look like from the outside, so I take pride in what he looks like as a parent. I’m not lauding him because he’s a dad! who cares about their kids! wow! I bet he babysits them too! Rather, I’m saying he’s a fantastic parent, with his dad-hood secondary but important as well.”
About the author:
A mother by open adoption, Heather Schade is the founder and editor of Open Adoption Bloggers. She writes at Production, Not Reproduction.