Heather has posted our next challenge and let me tell you, it IS a challenge.
How has open adoption changed you? In what ways are you different because the presence of open adoption in your life?
This is a timely topic for me because Kidlet’s birthday had triggered similar thoughts. 8 years have passed since Kidlet was born and it feels like just yesterday, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. I have changed a lot since then, in some ways i don’t even recognize the me i was then. But it is hard to know which changes are influenced by relinquishment and open adoption, which are due to other aspects of my life, and which are merely the result of growing up.
Not necessarily adoption related but definately Kidlet related is my commitment to my education and career. So many times I’ve felt like giving up, but I have to keep going. I must keep going, because I want him to be able to be proud of me. I don’t want his birth mom to be the stereotypical loser birth mom.
On the other hand after placement I started drinking. So much for not wanting to be the stereotype, but everyone kept tellling me “if you parent you won’t be able to drink or party”. I didn’t drink or party prior to getting pregnant but since it was such a “good” reason to place I decided to give it try. I didn’t like the taste of alcohol at first but I kept at it. Maybe I would have developed this trait anyway, I can’t say for sure, but what I can say is that I tried really hard to become a partier because it’s what I was supposed to be.
Adoption has made me indecisive. I went into OA pretty blind and took what information people gave me at face value. As I saw it I only had one option. Now as I learn about open adoption and the other choices I did have but didn’t know about. I’m learning about the rights I had. The choices I could have made. The questions I should have asked. And it’s too late. For me, it has turned out alright. But for so many people I “know” it hasn’t turned out even remotely alright, and I know that without warning it could go from alright to horrid. And even though I love and trust Kidlet’s parents that scares me. And I never want to be this powerless again. And I never want to not have options again.
So now I research EVERYTHING to death. I make sure that I set myself up for as many options as possible. Case in point. I am less than a year away from completeing my MSW. At graduation I will also have a certificate in School Social Work. I am also applying to PhD programs (and am researching, researching, researching various ones before i finalize the list). I am also researching social work jobs overseas and across the US. See when I graduate I want the option to do school social work, I want the option to go on to get my PhD, I want the option to relocate, I want OPTIONS. And no matter how much research I do into any of these options I’m scared it wont be enough. I’m scared that when all is said and done I’m going to make the wrong choice. I know I’ll eventually have to choose, but until then I’ll do a bit more research.
Head over to Production Not Reproduction to check out blurbs from and links to other blogs on the OA Roundtable #5 topic