Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #22

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.



One year ago many of us answered the question, "How will you be proactive in the area of open adoption in 2010?"

If you participated in the January 2010 discussion, revisit your post and give us the one-year-later update.

And whether or not you participated last year, tell us about your open adoption hopes or commitments in 2011.

I ended up doing the exact opposite of my 2 adoption-resolutions that I made last year! You can read them here.

Liam’s adoption – I had planned on backing off and waiting for “K” to reach out to us. I would still send regular updates, but with a “the door is open when you are ready” approach. That all changed in the fall when Liam asked us to contact her and tell her that HE wanted contact. He even dictated his own one line letter to her so that she would know that it was coming from him. It was a hard letter to write, but I got through it and mailed it out. I even sent it registered mail so that she would have to sign for it and we could track it. She picked it up from the post office the day after it was delivered. And then the waiting started.

That was the beginning of November and we have not heard anything at all from her. Part of the letter said “If you don’t feel that you can committee to a relationship right now, we would like to ask you to at least send Liam a letter letting him know this. We can help him through whatever the outcome might be, but only if we know what that is. The unknown is so much harder, especially for an 8 year old.” I really hoped that this would at least encourage her to tell us to go pound sand and leave her alone if that is what she wants.

Liam asks every now and then if we have heard from her. I am very honest with him, even though it is so, so hard! Eventually we will have to have the discussion that we are probably never going to hear from her, but that we will continue to send her updates and that we have all of her contact information and that when he is older he can reach out to her again.

My adoption – my plan had been to tell Iris that I wanted more contact and to make some attempt at finding my father’s children so that I could know my ½ siblings. Somehow the year went by and I did practically nothing. I’m still torn on forcing contact with Iris, as it may well backfire and she just cuts off all contact. But at the same time, how is that any different then what I have right now? I still check the obits every day to see if she’s died, and after having not heard from her for more than a year I had a friend call the house pretending to be a telemarketer just to see if she still lived there and was still alive. (she does and she is)

I did spend some time on Ancestor’s.com trying to see if I could find any information on my father with the limited tid-bits that Iris has dropped over the years (his first name, the name of one of his daughter’s, the approx date he died). There were a couple of possible matches, but even then I didn’t really know what to do with that info. I have a suspicion that Iris and my father worked together, and that he may have been the boss, but the first names don’t match – not that what Iris told me couldn’t be wrong, in an attempt to further hide the truth. It’s a family owned company, currently being run by a son. Part of me wants to just call up and ask! But the fear of rejection and the potential risk of ruining someone’s life with news that their father had an affair for 40 years, keeps me from picking up the phone.

So my 2010 resolutions didn’t quite work out how I had planned. I’m not making any specific adoption-related resolutions for this year, but will continue to take things as they come and hope for the best!
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