To end 2011 Heather has chosen an prompt for the 33rd OAR that has us looking back at our open open adoption lessons from the year:
“What did you learn about open adoption in 2011?”
For me those lessons have been many, but I will try to summarize even though brevity is not my friend.
Lesson 1: I am not alone. I knew this before 2011 but I know it differently now. The adoption blogosphere is huge and can be wonderfully supportive but it can also feel lonely at times. Its hard to explain but it was kind of like yeah there are people out there somewhere who get it, who get me, but I’ll never really know them instead I’ll forever be surrounded by these people who don’t get me and don’t even try. That has changed. Starting with the PNW adoption blogger meet up SEA edition and then the PNW adoption blogger meet up PDX edition. Next came BlogHer’11 followed closely by Coordinators2 Opening Adoption Symposium.
I’ve had my friends inside my computer (and phone since that’s where I do most of my interneting these days) forever but even though they aren’t right around the corner (although some are) I feel like they are. I know they are just a tweet, text, email, or heaven forbid phone call away. And if it’s really necessary I’m sure there is a door step or two I could show up on.
Lesson 2: I have a voice and I need to use it. It’s been three months since the heart to heart between M and I where I admitted my fear that she and J would close the adoption despite having absolutely no indication that they’d ever do such a thing. I’m not going to say my fears are cured I have anxiety, a panic disorder, and am slightly neurotic (but in a totally lovable way). What I will say is that I am confident in my relationship with J&M and Kidlet because of that conversation. I increased my ability to trust with that conversation and I have a strong trust no one rule.
I’m trying this whole using my voice, having healthy mature adult conversations in other parts of my life as well, but since this is an OAR we’ll talk about that another time.