a message to adoptive parents thinking of closing adoption

I appreciated this adoptive parent’s candor.  This is a really good article!

“Adoptive Parents Don’t Love Their Children the Same Way Biological Parents Do”

This parent showed real courage to talk publicly about this, although, I will say that her assessment that her child’s biological parent’s relinquishment was rejection was unfair, but I can overlook that bit of ignorance and still embrace the message.  I will just say that, although relinquishment may have all of the appearances and consequences that color it like rejection, I have yet to meet a birthmother who has rejected her child, especially within her heart.  I have not yet met a birthmother who did not want her child.  I have only met the product of what desperate acts desperation can produce.

I knew it wasn’t all roses for the people who adopted my son.  Of course, in their yearly correspondence, they would never tell me anything but the sunny stuff, but, instinctively, I knew this was a lot of what they were operating around.  I knew that with every decision large or small, they were seeing my face, hearing my voice.  I was there, always somewhere, sometimes gnawing, nagging, sometimes just there in a benign sense.  I know that the reality of me has never gone away.  I know, because every decision I ever made was colored by their imprint.  Every thing I did was without the eyes they looked into every day – that came from me.  Even though I didn’t get to see those eyes, I couldn’t get away from the reality of them (nor did I want to).

For those scared individuals who choose to close adoptions after promising openness, this parent’s missive just goes to show that you can run, but you cannot hide.  Whatever you think you are running from is still there, not going anywhere, staring down your every move.  I’m not saying this to be negative.  These are just the facts, and that’s all.  Shutting the biological mother and/or father out doesn’t make it all go away and make you the perfect family.  It doesn’t make your child NOT the product of someone else, the product of another’s hopes and dreams.  And keeping your agreement doesn’t mean your adopted child will abandon you.  I’m sure you felt it the first time your child called you, “Mommy” or “Daddy,” and I’m sure it’s still there when you hear it every day: it’s no small thing.  All I’m saying is have just a little faith.  You had faith to go through this process of adopting and making the promise to keep the biological parents in the picture.  Keep the faith!  It’s better that your child doesn’t have to find out later on that you denied him or her access to something that is his or hers by birthright.  That’s a betrayal that WILL come back to haunt you eventually, so just do the right thing now.

Take it from someone who’s had to learn the hard way:  I know of no decision made based on an irrational fear of the unknown that ends well.  I also know of no facing down a fear that’s truly been regretted.

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7 thoughts on “a message to adoptive parents thinking of closing adoption

  1. My Dad always has said: eat the meat and spit out the bones. Not much in life is free of things we may not agree with but to not take anything good just because it may be difficult for us is beyond limiting, it’s debilitating. I salute your willingness to press on my friend…even better then knowledge is wisdom.

  2. Carol,

    Thank you. Thank you for blogging. Thank you for sharing yourself. Thank you for your comments on my writing. Most of all, thank you for being open to my experience and my truth. I can’t express how important that is and how good it feels.

    I have thought a lot about your words: “I will say that her assessment that her child’s biological parent’s relinquishment was rejection was unfair, but I can overlook that bit of ignorance and still embrace the message. I will just say that, although relinquishment may have all of the appearances and consequences that color it like rejection, I have yet to meet a birthmother who has rejected her child, especially within her heart. I have not yet met a birthmother who did not want her child. I have only met the product of what desperate acts desperation can produce.”

    I have learned much in the time since I wrote my book, and I now understand how my use of the word “rejection” may seem harsh and untrue. I’m sorry if it caused you pain. As I wrote in my book, I can only experience adoption from within my own skin, and my experience will always be different than yours, my children’s, their first families, and every other person’s. I will always be limited by my own perspective, and I am grateful for you and others who speak out. I know you don’t do it for me, but I benefit greatly, and so do my children.

    Wishing you peace,

    Sally

    • Sally, thank you for your gracious reply!

      To be fair, of course, there are birthmothers who do actually outright reject their children. I just have not personally met one yet – or at least I’ve not met one who will actually admit to it if they did.

      The biggest part of this blog has been about working through my pain, and I am 21 years into my adoption experience. I met with the adoptive parents frequently while pregnant so they would know me and know that my son’s adoption was not in any way about rejection. Therefore, thankfully, the word choice of rejection was not wounding to me personally. I mostly wrote that for the benefit of other potential birthmothers who might not quite be there yet. I do really appreciate, actually, that you read this and have considered another possibility. Thank you for that. Very much.

      I too have been learning a lot since deciding to write and be completely open and honest about my experience, which has been invaluable. Any time we can come to a better understanding of each other, I believe it is creating a better world for our children and for future generations.

      Thank you so very much for reaching out!!

      Carol 🙂

  3. you have a terrific blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my weblog? bkakadgcedeg

  4. I know this is an old post but I figured you should know that my now adult daughter didn’t care. She didn’t care about anything done to procure her for adoption nor the fact that her adopters closed the adoption. So for some adoptees, it is a nonissue.

    • Many things that many of us in the adoption triad (be it adoptee, birth parent, or adopters) feel we must tell ourselves that many aspects of adoption are a non-issue, we do by necessity. It’s how many of us survive…for a while, anyway. We tell ourselves whatever we have to in order to will ourselves to get out of bed and face life for just one more day, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and to try and lay our heads on our pillows at night with some semblance of peace.

  5. I have contact with hundreds of adoptees and sadly there are mothers who did not love or want their child. Those who think it comforts us to be told we were just make it more difficult. Honesty is always best. We never are free of our biological connections, when adopters learn to accept that we will be much better off. So will they.

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