I am the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers when it comes to open adoption, especially as no two situations are the same, but I believe open adoption from my own experience has benefited all the parties involved. My children know their birth mother, they know their birth grandmother and they have also met other biologic family members throughout the years. My children’s birth mother has also found comfort knowing where her children are, how they are doing and that they are happy.
A few months ago I did a guest post for “Or So She Says” about having “nights” with my children. The basic premise is that each of my children has a certain night that is assigned to them where we stay up late talking or just doing something fun. It is an opportunity to spend quality time one-on-one with my children. The reason I started doing this was because my children had a lot of questions about their birth mother and birth father. Because of the age differences between my children, I didn’t feel I could give everyone the same answer. My oldest son was adopted when he was 3 ½ so he knew his birth mother and grandmother and had a special relationship with them, so his questions were deeper and more probing. He was ready to hear more, so we started talking at bedtime about his birth mother and why he came to live with us or anything that he wanted to ask about.
My own theory is that by cultivating this open adoption relationship my children will experience fewer feelings of loss and abandonment. I also wanted my children to hear the facts from me as their mother, and not from someone else who might misrepresent the information.
Initiate conversations with your child.
(…Even about sex and sexuality.)
Create an open environment.
Communicate your own values.
Listen to your child.
Try to be honest.
Use everyday opportunities to talk.
Talk about it again. And, again.