Saturday, June 16, 2012

Open Adoption Roundtable #39: Fathers' Day

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 listed at Open Adoption Bloggers 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–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.

Write to someone else in the adoption constellation (someone specific or a general group). What do you want to say to them on Father’s Day?

To my Father,

I have much to be thankful to you for. But this Fathers' Day my thoughts on our relationship are melancholy. I wish you could see me as the man I am today. There is little I want more than for our relationship to be vital and current, both in the events of our lives and in our development as men. I wish you could respect me as a father.

The choice I made with Athena to place our son with another family was difficult for you. I know that to be true because it was difficult for everyone. All adoptions are difficult. But that's the only reason I know it was hard for you. You never told me how you felt, never shared your experience. It felt like you withdrew because of our decision and the way we went about it. I know we placed you in a precarious position. I'm sorry for that. But I also know how I felt. I was angry, sad, and felt very alone. Through out the course of the adoption process my family was not my ally. Still, nearly three years later, we don't talk about it.

I wish you would ask how your first grandson is. He's talking, running, developing a mile a minute, and he doesn't know you. I wish I could show you all the pictures I take of him and all the pictures Ms Scarlet sends me. But either it is too uncomfortable to look at, or you truly don't care. I wish my son could have you as a grandfather. When you play and coo over my nephew, just months younger than my son, I see what a great grandfather you are. I want that for Festus. I want that for myself. I want to feel that I'm still your son. I want to feel that either of us is important enough to seek, to call after, to pursue a real relationship with.

I wish you could see that I am a father. I wish you didn't pretend my son died. Though I'm not a father to him the way you were to me, he is my son.

Happy Fathers' Day dad.

I hope next year, we can both celebrate.


  1. Nicely written with honesty and respect. A lot of my family pretended as if my daughter died and some still won't speak of her but I am guilty too for not being the most forthcoming with information when it comes to reunions since I didn't choose adoption I do have some fears and some issues of just not wanting to share her.

  2. I am sorry to hear that your relationship with your father isn't where you would like it to be. I know that this day must be challenging for you and I appreciate you sharing your story. Happy Fathers Day and I join you in your hope that next year things are different for you, your father, and your son.

  3. so sad that he doesn't wish to participate, but even more so that he hasn't been able to support you. I too hope some day things will be different for all of you.


What do you think? I'm curious.