Roundtable #41: What Changed?

The newest OAR asks: 


Are you approaching openness differently in 2013? What experiences from the past year influenced you most?


Much of what I learned in 2012 is summed up here in this post. I knew, before 2012 came to a close, that my relationship with The Kiddo and his parents would look very different, thanks to the letter The Hubby wrote to them shortly before Christmas. I had no idea how they would respond, if they would, or if it would be a positive response. I had no idea if I’d be officially relinquishing myself to the shadows until The Kiddo turned 18,  or if it would be a big, giant step forward for all of us.

It made us define ourselves, where we stand, why were are standing there, and what we need from each other. That, of course, was a brilliant breakthrough for all of us.

You see, on New Years Day, The Kiddo’s Mom and I had a conversation that went on for hours. Neither of us planned or expected it. What came out of that conversation has set the theme of our openness for this coming year. We learned that we both have no idea how “to do this”. We learned that feelings have been hurt along the way, and that sometimes it’s hard to admit that you are the one who caused them, even if it was unknowingly. We spoke about our fears, about our concerns, about our hopes, and of course, about The Kiddo.

When we broached the topic of The Kiddo and I finally meeting, it was awkward. I’m sure she didn’t want to tell me no, and when she did, I decided to put on my brave face and ask why. Not to be biligerent, but to inquire why they felt not meeting me was in his best interest. When I asked if The Kiddo had inquired about meeting me, she told me he had.

So I did what I do best. I advocated. For him, not for me…well, maybe for us, to an extent.  I want to see him, I do, but I want him to know that his voice is important and what he wants is first and foremost in this relationship with all of us. Occasionally, we adults do know better, but sometimes, we protect our kids even when they don’t necessarily need protecting.  I don’t mean that as an insult to The Kiddo’s parents; sometimes it’s hard to do what could be the best thing for our children. We can be hesitant for our own reasons. Sometimes the hesitancy comes from fear of the unknown, it can come from insecurities, and it can come from the pressure of loved ones.

But his voice, what he wants, is most important to me.

After a bit of back and forth, we landed on the same resolution together. We decided that letters would be a great way to start, and before The Kiddo’s Mom even suggested it, I had been ready to type in the same idea. It’s honestly my idea of a great way to get to know each other, without the pressure of being in each other’s faces. That’s sort of how I am in my own life, I prefer the written word over face to face, especially in high intensity situations. What this gives him is the ability to have something tangible from me, that he can read over and over again. It allows the rest of us adults to continue discussing how he is reacting to the letters, and allow us to make a better suited choice for when it’s time to meet, face to face.

I know some will roll their eyes at this decision. I know some will say that The Kiddo’s parents are being unfair, but to me, for the first time in the entirety of knowing them, I feel as though we are actually communicating. The thing is, we’ve always been talking, on and off, but we’ve never really been that open and honest. This is suddenly allowing for us to state our needs, define where we are in this relationship, and actually be open to knowing each other more. Reality is, we have no idea if this is the right or wrong way to do things. We just know that we want to move forward, and this is our big baby step forward. We’re jumping in to more openness together.

Maybe it was the removal of the middle man, maybe it was the letter that my husband sent, maybe it was just the right time for us to finally move forward. Perhaps it was a combination of all those things, I don’t really know. What I do know, is 2013 is going to look much different for me than it did in 2012 when it comes to The Kiddo.

This year, I might actually get to see what a real open adoption truly looks like. This year, I get to see his writing, and read his thoughts. This year, I get to converse with my son, the same way I converse my readers on this blog, through writing, and that?

That is an amazing, wonderful, brilliant breakthrough for this adoption.


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