Friday, June 25, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable #17

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 part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list 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--feel free to adapt or expand on them.
More of the Roundtable

I'm new to the roundtable notion, but here goes nothing:

The question at hand, courtesy of Susiebook, is what I wouldn't like to tell the other members of my adoption triad? Or what would I rather not know about them?

Unfortunately this is just a wee bit awkward as a fellow member of my adoption triad is also a blogger. However I think I can honestly answer the question without saying everything that I'm trying to keep private. In short I'll be talking around what I'd rather they not know.

Honestly there's only one thing that comes to mind when pondering this question. I consider my family. I don't want the other triad members to know how the adoption plan and current adoption relationship effected the relationships I have with my immediate family. I won't get into the gory details in part because I don't remember enough of them to be accurate. Here's the basics:

Be sure to keep in mind this is a reductum absurdum.

My family never spent much time listening to me. It wasn't until my brothers (I'm the youngest of three) moved out of the house/state together that I had much of a voice. My parents said they never felt like they got a chance to know me before that happened. I was 17 at the time. By most accounts they were a bit late. Remembering that I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that no one believed me when I consistently affirmed my desire never to parent.  Needless to say they were dumbfounded when Athena and I told them we were looking into adoption for Festus.

The following nine months were the most tumultuous of my life. Unfortunately Athena was already six weeks pregnant at that time. It wasn't the pregnancy that was difficult. It was my family. Both my brothers and parents did their best to support us through the process. That meant pretending nothing was going on. It became clear our conversations and actions weren't being taken at face value shortly after Festus was born and went home with Ms Scarlet and Prof Plum. My family chose that as the appropriate time to ask why Festus hadn't been placed with one of my brothers.

I'm already getting more specific than I meant to. The point being my relationships with my family will never be the same. There has been a lot of healing in the pursuant year, but they'll never be the same. The unbridled confidence in the trust and support of my family is gone. I love them. I'm enjoying spending time with them again. They are not the comrades I thought they were. They don't "have my back" as it were.

That's what I don't want my triad to know. I don't want them to know the growth I underwent in the adoption rent me away from my family. I don't want them to know how lonely I feel. I don't want them to know the sense of hurt, disgust, and bewilderment I carry. I don't want them to know because secretly I want my triad to like my family. If my triad likes my family then maybe I got it all wrong. I want to be wrong about them. I want the last two years to be a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications gone horribly wrong. If I'm wrong they didn't hurt me and they didn't ignore me. If I'm wrong they listened to me.

More of the Roundtable


  1. it's so sad how many expectant parents are not supported in their decisions by their families. it causes so much added stress and torment.

    I'm sorry you didn't have that support, but I think it's wonderful that you still hope they will have a positive relationship with your triad. this is a great contribution to the roundtable.

  2. I read this and could only sigh. I'll be answering the question myself later. As we have both discussed, the triad is a completely unique relationship. It is totally different than anything else you may ever encounter.

    Thankfully my family was beyond thrilled. Pie is not the first adoption. It was no big deal. My husbands family, on the other, does not understand or even condone adoption. They think a child should stay with its biological family. They frequently ask about Pie's real family...that word again. In fact, the only reason they acknowledge Pie is because she could pass as white. They will not discuss Pie's African American biodad. They are ridiculous hicks.

    It has sadly taken some of the sheen off things for my husband. And I continue to be stunned that people can't mind their own damn business and can't seem to figure out that occasionally the people involved in a situation know it better than an outsider does.

  3. I think you're a good writer.
    I think you bring a voice to the blogosphere that is not often heard (that of a birthfather as well as your reasons for relinquishing & placing).
    I think your posts so far are really interesting.
    I am glad you joined the roundtable so I (and others) could find you.
    I would love to hear from Athena.

  4. I came to your blog from the roundtable, too. I wanted to add to what Diana said, that it is great to hear a man's perspective, particularly bearing in mind everything you've said about birth fathers in adoption. Maybe you are starting something to get that voice heard? I've heard really unethical things about trying to ignore the bfather to make an adoption smoother. It is wrong on so many levels, not least in that it deprives the child of that part of their heritage. As an adoptive mom, I'm sad for my son that I don't have anything much to tell him about his birth father (he abandoned DS's bmom when she got pregnant and hasn't wanted any contact since).


What do you think? I'm curious.