Saturday, October 19, 2013
Open Adoption: "Success", What Does That Mean to Me?
"Another Open Adoption Roundtable discussion 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?
Let's start with a dictionary definition of success: the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.
I would consider my open adoption relationship to be successful if three goals happened.
1) I have a personal, more positive than not relationship with Chloe. We see each other sometimes. We call sometimes. We know of, or know personally, each other's families.
2) I have a personal, more positive than not relationship with Chloe's parents, Alvin and Melissa. Hopefully this relationship contains mutual respect for one another. I respect and value Alvin and Melissa for parenting my daughter. They respect and value me for choosing life and enabling them to parent Chloe.
3) All of my kids have personal, hopefully positive, relationships with one another.
Where we stand right now, I think we are on our way to being successful, as I have defined it here. I have what I would consider a great relationship with Alvin and Melissa. Well, at least Melissa. Alvin and I don't interact much. I'm okay with that. I would wager he's fine with that too. :) No need for us to be bff's. (not that I don't WANT to interact with him, I simply mean we stay in touch through Melissa.) Melissa and I stay in regular contact. She is so kind to keep me updated on their family periodically. Chloe knows who I am. She calls me on occasion. Our relationship groundwork has been laid and will (hopefully) continue to grow. As far as my kids having relationships with one another, I think we'll get there. James is 2. Reese is 11 months. Chloe is 9. It's hard to have a real relationship with a 2 year old and almost-1-year-old!
I'd like to clarify that I don't think our relationship right now is unsuccessful according to my goals. I would describe it as in-progress. One day I'd love to hear Chloe and Melissa's answer to this writing prompt!
What about you? What do you think makes an adoption relationship a success?