Open Adoption Interview Project: Meet Lia

I signed up for Heather’s Open Adoption Interview Project again this year.  Oddly enough, she managed to match me up with a girl that I’m pretty sure I would be friends with outside of the adoption world. Our adoptions, however,  are very different, which made it fascinating to interview her because her openness is definitely not the norm.  Either way, Lia is a fabulous girl, and I think you’ll like her as much as I did. You can check out her interview with me, and find out what I would do in the Zombie Apocalypse (and other adoption stuff too).

1. Why did you decide to continue blogging? I noticed a post where you said your were finished, but you came back. Tell me what happened to make you want to quit, and why you decided to come back?
I quit blogging partly because people suck and are mean and I have a thin skin, but mostly because I realized I was searching for approval from strangers. I wanted to be told I was doing the right things, or how to fix what I was doing wrong, and you know what? I can’t get that from anybody else. Only Paul, Linda, Max Power, Danger and I can decide what does and doesn’t work for our family, and seeking external approval was getting dangerous. I came back to blogging because I felt much more secure in my situation, and felt like I was in a place to share and listen, as opposed to beg for help.
2. Did you ever figure out the OBC situation? I hope I didn’t miss that, but I think it’s such a big deal, and I get your issue with it. Did it ever get figured out?
The OBC never got figured out. It reads (and will likely always read) Baby Boy Razak, with the birth father listed as “unknown.” That fight was a hard one to concede. But Max Power said (correctly) that the piece of paper doesn’t matter, because he will always have us, and we can explain the gaffe if and when it comes to that. And I get a little giggle out of the fact that after all of our fighting over which last name that would go on his OBC (it ended up being Max Power’s, and not mine, which I was NOT pleased about) at the end of the day, he ended up being a Razak. So HA.
3. Why did you choose adoption? What drew you to it? Why did you end up changing your mind about openness?
Initially, I chose abortion, but I had a Juno moment and couldn’t go through with it. Parenting was never an option, so adoption was all that was left. None of it seemed real until I was holding him in my arms – that’s what changed my mind about openness. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would have any interest in him, if I would like him at all, or if I would want anything to do with his parents. I was very dissociated from my pregnancy. Of course, the moment they put him in my arms, almost everything changed. I still wasn’t ready to be a parent, but I knew in that moment that I never wanted to be in a world without Danger.
4. With the openness that you have, do you worry that it could end? It seems like you guys are building a family, but do you worry that it could change as Danger gets older?
Of course I worry that it could end, but that’s mostly just me being neurotic. I don’t think Paul or Linda would ever close the adoption or shut us out unless there were extraordinary circumstances (as in, if they felt we would be a danger to Danger). I do worry about Danger not wanting us in his life once he’s old enough to make the decision – but that’s years away, and I feel like we’re laying such good groundwork of love and affection that it’s rather unlikely. I’ve voiced my concerns about this to Linda in the past and she has shrugged it off, saying we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it but she doubts that we ever will.
5. I noticed that Paul and Linda changed Danger’s name, did this bother you at all? Did they consent with you before they changed it? What’s the story there?
I hazily remember a meeting at the agency before Danger was born where they asked us about his name, and Max Power and I saying we really didn’t care if they changed it. We said we wanted to name him on the OBC and they were fine with that, they said they had some old family name picked out but they weren’t married to the idea, but we liked the name they had so we were fine with that. They kept the name we gave him as a middle name, which was nice. I think I cared about the whole thing a lot more when the OBC blew up in my face, because Max Power and I put a lot of love and care and hard work into choosing the name we gave him. It was one of those things I clung to back when I thought it might be all he would ever have of me. Now I know better, so I care less.
6. Even with openness, do you still find it hard? I mean, as in, how do you cope with the grief that all mother’s experience in our position?
I drink. Heavily.
7.Would you recommend adoption to other women who are dealing with unexpected pregnancies? Why or why not?
Oh dear, I honestly don’t know. I wouldn’t ever recommend anything to a woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, but if she asked me for help and advice, I’d tell her my story. I know how atypical my open adoption is, and I would try to make that clear. If this hypothetical lady were already considering adoption, I would just press upon her how important it is to know her rights, or, more importantly, the lack thereof. I don’t think adoption is evil on its face, but a lot of agencies certainly are – I would just want to make sure (probably to a frantic and overly annoying degree) that she knows that a lot of people will say or do anything just to get her baby. We all know that, but it’s hard to understand when you’re pregnant and scared and awash in hormones, and people are promising you things.
8. If there was one Shakespeare quote that you would relate to Danger, and your relationship, or your experience with adoption, what is it and why?
It changes. For a long time it was:
“If I were mad, I would forget my son
Or madly think a babe of clots were he.
I am not mad, too well, too well I feel
the different plague of each calamity.”
That’s Constance, from King John, bemoaning the capture (and obvious imminent demise) of her son Arthur. I went around muttering that a lot in the weeks after placement. But now the grief has dissipated and all I have is love for him and our entire family. So, taken WILDLY out of context, the quote would have to be:
“I love you more than words can wield the matter
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor
As much as child e’er loved, or father found
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.”
Because it’s true. I love more than I can express. I love him overly much – which is why this is out of context, because this is Goneril’s quote to Lear when he demands to know from his daughters how much they love him and Reagan and Goneril VASTLY overdo it in order to flatter him. But it’s how I feel. I love him more than words can wield the matter.
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