Can you jump on a roundtable and a bandwagon at the same time? Well I just did.
Over at PNR the first of presumably many OA RoundTable Prompts has been posted:
…think back to who you were when open adoption first entered into your life. As with so many things in life, thinking about open adoption without having experienced it and actually living it out are two very different things. What do you know now that you wish you knew then? Has the reality of open adoption as it’s looked in your life matched your expectations? What one thing about open adoption would you tell your past self, if you could?
It doesn’t seem on the surface to be a difficult question. We all look at our pasts and have, “if only I’d known then” moments. In fact recently during my first adoption support group meeting while telling my story it was joked that I should write an adoption book called, “If I knew then…”. Not to mention that about a year ago, as part of a work related therapeutic type group I wrote a letter to my 17 year old self. But maybe there-in lies the problem. I have so many, “if only”s I can’t narrow it down.
Would I tell my 17 year old self to be more involved in the openness earlier on? It sounds like a good idea in hindsight. but would it have been a good thing in practice? I was not in an emotionally healthy place right after relinquishment. Perhaps if I’d been more involved from the beginning everything would have gone well, but perhaps we all needed to ease into our openness. To let it progress naturally. So no, thats not the bit of advice I’d give my then self.
I want to steal some wisdom from The Chronicles and tell my then self to get some counseling. Before, during, and after. However, the lack of success I’m having at getting my 25 year old self to get counseling doesn’t convince me my 17 year old self would be very open to the idea.
So then what would it be? What would be that one piece of advice? I want so badly to tell my 17 year old self to parent, but even typing that sentence triggers so much guilt I deleted it and re-typed it several times before deciding to let it stay. But that isn’t really about my OA because if I gave myself that advice I wouldn’t be in an OA. By the same token I suppose advice to room with my son, nurse, and bathe, and photograph him aren’t exactly OA related either.
So I guess this is the long way of saying, “I don’t know.” Which, in my defense is not how I thought I’d be ending this post just 5 minutes ago.