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.
Whether you have children in your home or not, it is hard to miss the fact that it is back-to-school time. School brings with it a whole host of things which can be made more complex when adoption is involved, from family tree assignments to meeting new teachers to simple milestones like sharing of first-day-of-school photos. How has adoption come to the forefront for you when it comes to school?
Write about open adoption and school.
Here is the HTML code for the Roundtable button up above, if you’d like to use it:
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Excerpts from the responses:
Racilous (first parent) @ Adoption in the City: “The result is that J has never referred to me as his Mommy in front of me, and hasn’t to M&P (they talk about how I’m his Mom but he refers to me by my first name), but in school he has found a place where he feels comfortable to talk about it. I am not certain why, maybe because he is worried about his Dads reactions, maybe because in school he knows his story is his own and isn’t anyone else’s as well, or maybe it’s because the topic of Mommy’s are brought up there in a way he wants to participate so he brings up me. I don’t know, but I am glad M&P were open about our openness, that they talked about it and encouraged the teachers to talk about it.”
Momo (adoptive parent) @ Momosapien: “When I think back to the beginning of Pre-K, the start of LB’s full day school experience, I remember being asked to bring in a family photo to post in the classroom. We took in a studio photo we had taken the previous year when visiting LB’s First Mom for the first time. In the photo, LB is pictured with all three of her parents.”
TTABaby (adoptive parent) @ Our Family’s Fingerprints: “This year the paperwork was much easier. This year we are legally her parents. She knows the names of her birth siblings so I included it in case she talks about them. Her medical history of her time in the NICU is well behind us (though I never included her stay in the NICU on her daycare paperwork). Her Hep C status is negative. I’m not sure if I’m getting better at this Adoptive Mama stuff or if the questions were really easier this year.”
Robyn (adoptive parent) @ The Chittister Family: “While he was at preschool, but when he was a bit older, Jackson was talking about his brother again. This time, one of the kids insisted that he didn’t have a brother. After all, the kid had been to school with Jackson for 3 years and had never seen this brother. Because the teachers knew his story, they were able to back Jackson up and say something like, “Yes, Jackson does have a brother, but that brother doesn’t live with him.””
Rebecca (adoptive parent, adopted adult) @ Sea Glass & Other Fragments: “The main thing I want to share is that I have frequent conversations with Erica (my daughter’s biological mother) about our daughter’s academic life. Erica is able to provide me with important insights because her learning style is similar to that of our daughter. If our adoption lacked the level of openness that makes our conversations possible, I firmly believe that I would be less effective at guiding and supporting my daughter in school.”
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.