Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Open Adoption: Does It Ever Get Easier?

Does open adoption ever get easier?

Yes.

No.

Maybe.

Depends on what you mean by "easier".  At the beginning of Alvin (the dad), Melissa (the mom), Chloe (our sweet girl they are raising but I birthed) and I's open adoption relationship, it was really hard for me.  I desperately wanted to see Chloe as much as I could, but the sting of seeing her was so painful.  Ultimately, I decided the pain of seeing her was better than the pain of NOT seeing her, so we continued with regular visits.  Alvin and Melissa were (and continue to be) so very flexible and easy going.  Our relationship wasn't hard because of them.  It was hard because I was freshly grieving the loss of parenting my daughter.  And that just.plain.hurts.

Chloe is 9 years old now.  Over the years, the stingy-pain has subsided.  It doesn't physically pain me to see her.  In that sense, open adoption has gotten easier.  The new grief feelings have waned.  Time does have a way of healing wounds.

However, Chloe is 9 now.  Nine year olds have opinions.  Whereas in the past, my relationship with Chloe has primarily been a relationship with Melissa, now Chloe is interested in talking to me directly.  She's called me a few times on the phone.  I love that.  And it makes me nervous at the same time.  She wants to talk to me!  YAY!  What if she doesn't like me?!  Boo!  I feel like a middle schooler saying that, but hey, nobody likes to feel rejected. So this part of the open adoption relationship hasn't necessarily gotten easier.  Figuring out how to relate to your child that you gave birth to but are not raising?  There's no manual for that.  Nobody can tell you how it should go in your circumstances, taking into considerations the individual personalities involved.  Now that I think about it, no manual exists for more traditional parent-child relationships either.  Good, we're ALL flying blind here.  Perfect. :)

I'm about to move to another state.  This will be the first time since Chloe was born that we don't live nearby to one another.  That does not excite me.  Even though we don't see each other frequently, the comfort of knowing we CAN is reassuring to me.  We will have to navigate this upcoming change with a lot of grace, understanding, and honest communication.  I have high hopes we can do it.

the early years...

*linking up with Open Adoption Bloggers

1 comment:

chittisterchildren said...

My son wants to talk to his birthmom now that he's 7 (almost 8). I've wondered how his birthmom will feel about that as he asks some of the harder questions.
And you're right - great minds do think alike! :)