I have already posted about the break down in communication and the grief cycle and how we are all flawed people just trying to do our best at this new part of our lives so, I wont repeat myself. But, with all that in mind, let's pretend, we are having good communication with our birth parents or with the adoptive parents and we are feeling open enough with them and we plan our appointments to visit etc. so generally, things are good.
SO, what's left after that? Placement is over, a year or so has passed and you are left with 2 pretty good relationships that are revolved around a child and the adoption, in many cases. This is where things can go one of 2 ways- either the relationship can get strained, people can move apart from each other OR the relationships can evolve into so much more and get stronger, more unity and love can grow. Or the relationship can become one note or not move in either direction, which is technically- another formed of strained/ weakening.
SO, what can WE as Humans in this situation do?
And How can My Open Adoption get better than what it is?
( this may not be advice for every situation but, if both parties are not on drugs or mentally unstable, it's pretty surefire)
Well, We CAN DO:
-LET GO OF FEAR of the Unknown, Irrational fears and such in this relationship and start
WORKING OUT OF LOVE instead.
I've heard things like " I think I am asking them to see the baby too much so I am just going to pull away and it's crushing me, b/c I won't hear from them for weeks and I'm wondering if they are just done with me." And this " Our kids birth mom just disappeared and we had a great relationship all before the pregnancy, I wish she would reach out or confide in me like she used to."
Apparently, there was a HUGE breakdown in communication. It happens. We get busy, life changes come up and we forget. It sucks but, Surprise! YOU are like every person on the face of the Earth!
So, LOOK at this relationship with your birth parents or adoptive couples as one you TREASURE above all other friends/family. DO make it a priority in your life. These people have a huge part of your heart and are worth more than Gold and Diamonds. Do not let a weird Text throw you off or into a tailspin- PICK UP the phone and call or visit in person as soon as possible.
-HELP them to see that you treasure them by, making time for them, sending a sweet note or message, even if you are having a busy day and ALWAYS be Vulnerable and True. Be YOU and say- " I'm having a rough day and I want to talk soon, I just need a few hours " or something like that. Tell them the good and the tough news. Include each other in your prayers and thoughts.
The Universe and your busy lives will always be pulling you apart and it's Your job to stay attached- not just for the Future benefit of your child but, B/c God ( or the universe what ever you believe) Brought you together for a reason.
You see, our relationships ( or anything for that matter) GET BETTER BECAUSE WE PUT ENERGY AND FOCUS AND LOVE INTO THEM! otherwise, they will die!
It's like a Plant, if you give it water and sunlight and good soil, it will grow- if you hide it in a closet with no water or sunlight, it will get as much out of the soil as it can before it withers up and dies!
SO, That is how it can get better- NUTURE your relationships.
Do not let things go unsaid that need to be expressed and shared. LISTEN before you rush to be Heard. Set parameters if needed, to help you to respect each other and your opinions. Agree to disagree on some things and for heaven sakes, be a SUPPORT to one another.
If your life is Chaos- leave it at the door on visits. If your life is good, do not overshare and rub it in when wounds may still be fresh. If you are wondering how much info is enough to share, Just ASK!
DO NOT :
-Create a false picture in your mind of what your friendship should look like or COMPARE it to Others. Each relationship is unique and it's unfair to do to yourself and them.
-Overshare when it's not necessary- the last thing you want to do is sit around worrying about things outside of your control b/c you love that person so much.
- Text when you are mad or upset! Be slow to anger and don't just spit fire when maybe no harm was truly meant.
-Don't look at the other as " she is doing/did what I could not." Or stay in your own pity party for what is out for your control now. Focus on what Is in your control and send lots of love and good energy to them.
- Tear the other person down- in private or publicly. Bridges should not have to be burned in most cases. This can cause the most severe damage. Words can be "quick and sharp as a two edged sword"!
IF you can Be Real, True and Honest, have a relationship full of LOVE and a Great Friendship! Your relationship in open Adoption can look and be AMAZING....
Like taking vacations together, walking on the beach, hiking through the mountains together, sitting on the porch overlooking the sunset and talking about things that matter to one another.
Or planning dinners together and nights out with just the Mommas or Dads! You can have Holidays traditions you create together- like Easter celebrations, cookie decorating, a annual picture session.
You can plan Birth Parent dates with your kiddo and the BP's. You can be in their Weddings, baby showers, Graduations, children's lives and involved and assimilated as Real Family members b/c YOU ARE! You just happened to be a GRAFTED BRANCH of One Another's Family Trees!
I have been making more of an effort for my extended family to Understand that our Adopted Families ( birth families) are a HUGE part of our lives and that They too can enjoy the amazing people who are such a precious part of Us!
|Grandma Tammy( Gavin's birth grandma) myself|
and Gavin on the ferry to Coronado
We just had a Big Round Trip Visit with all the Grandmas, birth grandmas and birth grandpas, birth
mom , Kara and Birth dad, and Dustin and Tammy W. got to meet my cousins and their families, my uncle, my dad and step mom, my aunt, my brothers and their families, my nephews and meet Kara's mom and dad too! It was pretty FUN and special in so many ways than I could have ever imagined!
Open Adoption can Really Look like A HUGE Outpouring of Love for You, Your family, their family and Everyone involved! It Can be LOADS of laughs and fun, mingled with happy tears and milestones. It Can Really be So much more than one could ever really imagine- IF You treasure one another and keep your relationships Nurtured with Love!