Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Open Adoption Wish List

Heather at Production not Reproduction has posted the third forum for the Open Adoption Roundtable. This time we're to discuss our wish lists for our open adoptions.

I didn't participate in the last one, which was about the birth father. I've been kind of quiet about Colt's birth father because for 1) there's not a lot we know about him, but 2) there is a story there that we have to keep close for Colt's protection. I certainly wouldn't say he's a bad guy, because I don't know him and we didn't even find out his first name until recently. What I do know is that we are eternally grateful to him. One day I know Colt will be curious, so I hope we can find out more.

In the meantime, the personality traits we're seeing in Colt reflect so much of N, his birthmother: laid back, easy-going, generally happy, strong tolerance for pain, tough spirit. I hope some of it comes from us and the environment he's in...but we definitely don't look at him and wonder where he gets his sweet spirit from!

So, in the meantime what are my wish lists for this open adoption?

1) That we can build a healthy, perfect relationship with N. One that's easy, natural, and positive for everyone involved.

2) That N can accomplish all she dreamed for herself. So much of why she made the decision for an adoption plan was because she wanted more for her life than what being a single teen mom would provide. I pray that she can realize those dreams so that her decision will have meaning for her. I know Colt will be proud of her either way, but I sure hope it turns out like she hopes. I have this dream sometimes that we can attend her nursing school graduation and Colt is a little older and runs to hug her in her cap and gown. So when she sees him, and sees all she's accomplished she knows all that pain and hard work and tough decisions were worth it. I don't know if it will happen, but I pray about it a lot.

3) That Colt will always think of us as his parents. It's that selfish feeling that comes up for all adoptive parents. I want him to have a relationship with N, I want him to love and respect her and honor her. But at the end of the day I wish and hope that when he sees me he always sees me as Mommy.

4) That someday we can adopt a sibling for Colt, so that he doesn't have to put up with us by himself forever! And to have someone who knows this experience inside and out like he does.

5) That our experience changes the hearts and minds of people we touch. That everyone we know now knows someone who has adopted. In an open adoption. Not only lived through it, but waded through it gracefully. I pray we are the examples God wants us to be, that people look at us and see his perfect love and plan for bringing families together.

6) That no one ever refers to Colt as our "adopted son". That he's just our son. And this is something I need to work on. It's not that I throw that out there as a qualifier, I do it more because I love, love, love telling our story and talking about our agency and about N. But I know how fiercely protective I am of anyone referring to him as our "adopted son" as if he's any less our son because we adopted...therefore I need to protect our story a little more in everyday conversation. That's a strange line to have to walk.

7) That adoption is not weird, not a reason for therapy or endless behavioral excuses. That it's just part of Colt's birth story. That it's natural and positive and simply means he's surrounded by more love than he knows what to do with.

It's kind of an exhaustive wish list, but I'll work hard to make it happen!


Infertility is Hard said...

That is such a beautiful list. As someone who is starting the adoption process, I want all of these things too. The one that hit home to me the most is that you want people to see Colt as your son. . . not necessarily your adoptive son.

I remember watching Angelina Jolie on Larry King a couple years ago, and she gave a beautiful quote. I'm going to butcher it, but it said something like, "I have 4 children. 3 are adopted, and 1 is not. But I forget which is which." (Okay, butchered it, but you get the point. I love that because your love for your child is the same, regardless. Colt IS your son. :-D

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post - I love your list.

My mom has to pause and think which of her children is bio and which is adopted :P

Sammy said...

Jessica, I just love this post as it reflects my heart on so many levels. I think you have captured the essence of open adoption so well. Thank you for sharing xxx

RB said...

Great post. I hope that all of those things come true :) Thanks for your supportive comments on my blog. It is comforting to read other blogs (like yours!) and know that eventually if you hang on long enough, you do get to the other side.

Heather said...

Thanks for participating!

Anonymous said...

I love your list. It just shows what an amazing family Colt has been brought into. I love that you love N so much and that you care so much about her future, and Colt's relationship with her. You are so sweet and loving, there is no doubt in my mind that he will always love you as his mother.

Aubrey said...

Those are all excellent and just prove your devotion to Colt, his birth mom and your family's amazing story!! Colt is so privileged to grow up in such a loving and selfless family. And I know you guys feel equally privileged to be able to call Colt your son!!

These sound like our goals for our adoption, too. I like that you have them in writing!

Molly said...

Love this post. Sorry I am so late in reading it. It's wonderful though. One thing I have never thought about was whether or not our kids would see us at their parents...never even crossed my mind. There will be days they don't like us, but that has nothing to do with adoption. There were days I didn't like my parents either...and they are perfect parents if there is such a thing!

As I am reading the one about not wanting people to call him your adopted son, I so know that one. It makes me boil. Unfortunately now that you are going to have one bio kid it might bring it to the surface more. I have a friend though that adopted then had a bio could always talk to her to see how she handles that nasty comment. And btw, I usually don't say "bio kid" in conversation, but just wanting to talk about the issue that some people think there is a difference or that it should be noted.