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