I’ve been avoiding discussions of the tough stuff for birth parents in open adoption and reunion for awhile. Why? Every now and then I need to turn my focus to more positive topics in order to survive. I’m now in a great place and able to look at the harder concepts of life for birth parents without fear of finding myself drowning in overwhelming emotion.
And so, for the next week or two (or three, if necessary), I’m going to tackle some tough subjects. I felt the need to start the discussion with a warning. Why? When I’m writing a series of positive posts, people complain that I’m ignoring the “realities” of adoption. When I write a series of posts that tackle subjects that can be perceived as negative, I’m accused of being that “bitter birth mother” that everyone complains about and even fears. I figure if I throw up a disclaimer before launching into this very necessary series of posts, I can direct all nay-sayers back to this post.
I am also writing this post hoping for some help. I know certain harder topics that I am going to tackle in this series, those topics that no one in the adoption world wants to consider, address or offer support to birth or adoptive families (or, you know, adoptees). Someone needs to and, well, it’s going to be me. What’s on my list thus far? Separation. Divorce (various forms). Remarriage. Severe Illness. Death. The process of search and reunion and finding any of these issues. The thing is: I know that there are other “big” issues, often involving the adoptive family, that aren’t discussed. Issues like the ones I’ve mentioned. I can’t think of them all. If you know of another big issue that needs some discussion time, please let me know. It’s time to step up and tackle these things. Pronto.
Finally, I’ll also be presenting at the National Adoption Conference on April 26, 2009, speaking on this very topic. My speech will be of a more personal nature, chronicling my journey as a birth mother through some of these very issues within our open adoption. After that speech, I’ll be sure to share the experience with you. If you feel like sharing any of your experiences with these topics with me prior to April 23rd (the date that my speech must be finalized as I’ll be gone all weekend), I would be grateful. (No names used, of course! Unless you want me to send traffic to your blog.)
It is not my intention to create a smear campaign for adoptive parents as I will also be discussing these issues in birth parents lives as well. It is my intention to give readers who are experiencing such issues a place to come and realize that they aren’t alone in their adoption journey’s detour. I was grateful to have a birth mother friend who had been through similar issues in the year prior to when I had to deal with various issues. If I had been forced to go through it alone, my healing and acceptance would have been harder to achieve.
In the end, life happens. To all of us. No family is exempt from the tougher issues in life. Adoptive families. Birth families. Everyday families. We’re all at risk for big, scary things. Ignoring those facts won’t make them go away. Dwelling on them, however, can cause problems as well. And so, a nice healthy look at issues with the reminder of the positive force we can have on our own lives is the full intent of this series. If you care to join me, I’d love to have you.