Someone e-mailed me a question a few weeks ago and I've been sort of sitting on it since then, unsure of exactly how to answer it because I'm unsure of exactly what the point of the question was.
But I've been thinking about it, and I've got an idea or two about what I want to say, and so here it is.
The question (I've paraphrased):
Do you ever think that your blog might give birthmothers an unrealistic idea about openness and their relationship with their baby's adoptive parents? Or that potential adoptive parents might get wrong ideas about their birth mom's maturity and the relationship they might have?
My knee-jerk response is to be a bit defensive - understandably, in my opinion. My story and the people in it are all precious to me, and I turn into an angry mama bear if I feel like my adoption story is being criticized at all. Take exception to me and my personality and attitude if you want, but you'd just better leave P and M out of it.
But as I've thought about it, I think I can sort of see where this question is going. Mine is a happy adoption story. Maybe it seems too good to be true to people who have had unhappy adoption experiences. Of course, I think y'all know how I feel about people who let their bad experiences ruin things for the rest of us. But I thought, maybe the question-asker is in the pre-placement phase of adoption and isn't sure what to expect. I like that point of view better, and that's the one I will respectfully address here.
As I said, Roo's adoption story is a happy one. It started off as a happy sad, and now it's mostly a happy happy. This is my blog, and I tell the adoption story I know best. I've tried to emphasize that my story is just that: mine. I don't pretend to speak for anyone else, or set myself up as an example of how everyone's adoption should be. I'm not saying, this is how your adoption should be, or how it could be. I'm saying, this is how mine is - it's imperfect, but it works.
I'm acutely aware that my situation is what many would consider a best-case scenario. I know that a lot of people aren't as lucky as I am in that regard. But you know what? There are a lot of negative, angry adoption stories clogging the internet, and I feel like my happy story helps to balance them out.
Every adoption is different, because every person is different and they're going to relate to other people differently. My story - Roo's story - is the way it is because of who I am, and who P and M are. The only adoption in the world that is going to be like Roo's is ... well, Roo's. I do think that maybe my story is an example of the potential that there is in an open adoption and of the kind of growth and healing that openness can foster. If all the parties involved are mature and willing to communicate with each other and be honest, open adoption can be an amazing, wonderful thing.
But it depends on who you are, and where you are in life, and if you're willing to work for it. You get out of a relationship just what you put into it. I'm not going to say that my relationship with Roo's parents is perfect - far from it, with my lousy people skills! - but I do feel like it gets better as time passes. It is continually evolving, and I do feel like we're in a place where if anything needed to change or needed to be said, it could probably be changed or said. I think that's the important thing - not that we're at some level of openness that others perceive to be ideal, but that what we've got works for us, and that we're comfortable discussing things when we need to.
I'll say it again - my relationship with P and M is far from perfect. But no relationship is perfect! Not a single one. People are imperfect. I am an abysmal communicator, and I made mistakes early on in our relationship that I'd take back if I could. But we love each other. They are Roo's parents, and I love them. No matter what happens, I know that P and M love me, too, and most important, they love Roo. I'm not going to say that love conquers all, but it helps.
So, I guess the short answer (I'm no good at those) is that, no, I don't think it does. I'm going to credit my blog readers with being smart enough to know I'm just one person writing about one experience.