I was ask to participate in a book tour of Open Adoption, Open Heart. I found the book to be a good read and it was hard to put it down. I am not going to give my personal opionion about the book in general when it comes to it being an adoption story.
Here is the author's guest post.
We feel like it is our job to load up our kids’ tool box- to do our best to make sure they have the tools they will need for the future. My wife and I went through a lot of crazy things, legal and emotional, while we were going through our adoptions. A lot of things we did for our own benefit and a lot of things were done for the benefit of the birth parents. Everything we did was for the benefit of our children. If we didn’t think it would benefit them, we wouldn’t have done it.
My children are still pretty young. Open Adoption, Open Heart is the story of our first adoption (the story of our second adoption will be out in a few months). It tells about our journey while developing the relationships of an open adoption, starting with our infertility struggles up through one year after our adoption took place. It was important for me to wait a year to write the book because the birth and placement of the child into our home is just a piece of the story- a piece in the middle, not the end.
Open adoption is a broad term that means there is still contact between the biological parents and the adoptive family. In some cases, like with ours, there is a lot of contact. We talk to our son’s birth mom a few times a week and share photos constantly. With our daughter’s birth mom, she has asked for a little more space than that, so we talk to her once every few weeks, and send pictures when she requests them. Contact with our daughter’s birth dad is about the same.
Right now is the time we’re paving the roads. One of our kids is 2 ½ and the other is just 17 months behind. They’re still too young to really comprehend what’s going on. When their birth parents come to visit, I can see that they know of the intense love shown to them- more than just our friends show them, but I don’t think they grasp the difference between that love and the love of, say,their aunts and uncles. We’re working on that, though. We have pictures of their birth parents on their bedroom walls. We take time to explain it to them. They don’t understand yet, but someday it will make sense.
We’re paving those roads, flattening out the bumps the best we can. Someday the time will come when we hand the keys over to the kids. Someday it will be for them to decide what that relationship will be. If they want less contact than what we’ve established, we will be ready to accept that. If they want more contact that what we’ve established, we’ll be ready for that too. The pathway between their biological family and their adopted family will be paved the best we can for when that time comes.
We love their biological families dearly. We love them for whom they are and they love us. Our children will no doubt see that love and our hope is that they’ll respond in kind. Their history is not one of abandonment, but is of love. They’ll have access firsthand to seeing that’s true. Hooray for birth parents. Hooray for open adoption.