So I was reading another one of Amy's blogs (http://amstel-life.blogspot.com/) and it is so funny because I would be one of the people who reads her open adoption story and wants to keep learning more and more from their experiences. Here are a few things she posted that apply to my situation and some of my thoughts to them...
1) If you are a prospective birthmother, choose an adoptive couple/family who you could see yourself having a strong relationship with many years down the road. Choose people with similar interests, values, and morals as your own. You're going to have to do a ton of research, but get to know as much as humanly possible about each other before the actual adoption. The more couples you interview, the better chance you have of finding a perfect match for you. If you're not comfortable with an agency, ask family, friends, and co-workers if they know anyone who is looking to adopt. Sometimes, the best match can come from someone who knows someone who knows someone. In fact, that's how we met each other!
I completely agree with this! Now I was fortunate enough to find a family in three profiles (even though theirs was the first one I looked at). I told the adoption agency what I wanted in a family; Family Oriented, Pet Lovers, Down to Earth and wait...Pet LOVERS! LOL. (Yeah I said that twice but it was a huge thing I wanted). I read through B & T's profile and it just hit me, they were perfect! They were so similar to me it was just crazy! I even had my parents and my sister read their profile and they all said "Do you think they could just adopt you too?" Haha, the whole point to that was how much in common I had with them. It has made things so comfortable for all of us.
3) As your relationship continues to develop, start asking more personal questions. Eventually, you should ask each other every question you can think of under the sun. Nothing should be off-limits to talk about. Some things we thought to ask each other included: -Are you ever going to try adopting again?-Do you anticipate having to move away? -How will you discipline you children?-What type of life insurance, college fund, etc. will you set up? -Should something happen to you both, who will take custody?-Will you both be working, or will De be a stay-at-home mom?-How often do you anticipate we will be able to visit Deanna?-How will you tell Deanna about her adoption?-Will we see Deanna less as she gets older?-May we speak to your family and friends to ask them some questions about you?-And the list goes on....
T and I have been very open with each other. We haven't really gotten around to this in particular but we are slowly but surely opening up about our lives and I hope that will continue and one day we will have all these questions asked and answered between all of us.
7) After the birth, learning the boundaries of open adoption will be difficult at first. You can talk about what to expect until you turn blue, but everything after the birth is a whole 'nother story! You'll learn as you go, but as long as you continue to communicate and be honest with each other, things should start to come together eventually. I can't stress enough how important communication is in open adoption. Since our open adoption was very open, sometimes I had a hard time saying no to visiting. After a long day of class, sometimes I felt guilty for saying no to stopping by to see De and Deanna. There were times I just needed to take a break and be alone. I learned to take care of myself first and to visit only when I felt emotionally ready. And that made our visits so much better.
I completely agree with this! I believe that communication is very important in this area and I also agree on the fact that after the baby is born it is hard to figure out where the boundaries are and if there are ways to have an even more open adoption without stepping on anyones toes. I mean for example, when I was first looking at families I wanted it to be pretty closed, just pictures every once in a while. The longer I was pregnant the more contact I kind of wanted. Then when I got to know B & T I wanted even more openness. Now we are at pictures ever 3 months for the first year, pictures every 6 months after that, we talk on the phone every once in awhile...about once a month, and we've now taken up e-mailing each other almost once a week. We also have a plan to do visitations once a year, we'll see if that increases sometime in the future or if we just keep it at once a year. Again, communication is key! :-)
Amy also went on to say to share your story if it is possible just to help others in their journey's...I've already been doing that and I'm so happy to be able to do that! I mean this is not only a way to get out my feelings, it's a way to show another open adoption story to the world as well as it will be something that Ashden can look back at and read and see what was going on, on my end during this whole experience. :-)
That's it for today...ready to watch Supernatural and then take a bath...