Sunday, November 27, 2011

I have not been very good about posting lately--using the excuse that we are so very busy.  We are so very busy, so it works, but if I'm going to be honest, our 'open' relationships in our 'open' adoptions were not being so 'open' and I had no idea what to think of it.  I was distraught and couldn't really post about something that really isn't my story to tell.  I want open.  And from what other people say, we are pretty darn open in our adoptions.  And then all of a sudden....it stopped.  No calls, no visits, no emails, no responses--from any of our birthmothers.  I was crushed.  I know they all have their own unique reasons and our ebbs and flows are not always ebbing and flowing in sync with each other.  We chose to set some boundaries that caused one ebb to crash--and crash hard.  Out of respect, I will keep the specifics private but the result of no contact was not the outcome we were intending to happen.  I will never give up when things don't go as planned, but I will not push something that somebody does not want.  I'm sure there was a lot of anger that needed work.  The reason the new boundary was set is not something my husband and I are going to change our minds on and I'm sure it is not easy to take.  It does not change my love for her and my desire to have a close relationship and I hope we can work through that.

Another relationship is just plain hampered by circumstance.  Lack of internet.  Lack of phone.  Living a little bit too far to be more help.  Every time we had something set up to get together, it seemed to fall through.  That intense feeling of being crushed over and over and over again....and quite honestly, I am on the easier end of it.  I see my babies everyday.  I can only imagine the intense emotions that our children's birthmothers experience on a day to day basis.  

Then, out of the blue...I got an email from one birthmother and on the same day, a phone call from another one.  The good Lord knew that I needed to hear from them.  We were able to sneak in a visit in our crazy schedule with one and we are still working on the other one.  It seems everyone has a bit much going on lately.  I do not take my time with any of my babies' first mommas for granted.  Not one bit.  Reality warns me that it could be the last time--or a long time before we see them or hear from them again.  I hope they all know that I am here for them.  I do have their back.  I will support them as best I can.  I will stand up for them.  I will figure out how to help them make their dreams come true.  I will have rules...just like any other person that truly loves them.  Oh how I love them.  I hope they always know that.  Even when it may seem like I don't.  Here are some photos of our last visit.  Enjoy!   


Cousins 


Sleepy time on the couch! :0)


Lovin' up our kiddos! 


One of my favorites!  Momma and daughter.


Jenay and her birthmother!  Don't they look EXACTLY alike?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OPEN ADOPTION BLOGGERS INTERVIEW PROJECT 2011

I know my blogging has been even more slim than the usual as of late.  I feel like this whole kindergarten thing is A LOT OF WORK!  I have no idea how I am going to handle first grade!  SO thankful that I am able to be at home allowing me a little leeway with procrastination if needed!  I am also currently in PILATES school to be certified to teach.  I am about 30 hours in to my 450 hours needed to sit for the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) exam.  It seemed so appropriate that I was randomly matched with MAMA2ROO over at Letters to a Birthmother.  She too has been experiencing 'life' and has had to prioritize other things and push blogging WAY DOWN on the list!  I think we are both okay with that-- for now anyway--but didn't want to miss out on the OPEN ADOPTION BLOGGERS INTERVIEW PROJECT.  She is an adoptive mother and has a six year old son.  We have both experienced the ebbs and flows of relationships with our children's birth families and have come terms that what is going on now is not what it will always be.  I encourage you to visit her blog to find out more about her story.  You can find my interview answers over at Letters to a Birthmother. (If it's not up yet, please try back as I am posting this early....and well, we both have been crazy busy.)   AND please link to Production Not Reproduction to find the complete list of all participants in this projects!  Happy reading and I all hope we learn a little something that we didn't think we already knew! :0)

Here are Mama2Roo's answers to my questions!


So, briefly, what has been happening in your life since your last blog post in June?  I didn't look at the dates at first thinking that you just posted that! haha!  I am guessing that you are now living in your new house.....If you are too busy to blog, there's got to be something exciting going on! :0)

My first thought when you asked this was "OMG, I haven't posted since JUNE??"  My second thought is "I have no idea."  Time just gets away somehow.  Everything and nothing has happened since June.  I am constantly surprised by how little time and energy is left at the end of each day.  I work full time, then by the time we cook, eat, play, homework, bathe, and put to bed, I AM DRAGGING and often asleep before 10.  We've been in the new house since mid-June, but with it being a new home, there's plenty to do with the yard, decorating, organizing, etc, and we still have the old house that is on the market.  That means we have TWO houses to maintain on some level.  Additionally, this has been the year of family illness.  My grandmothers have been playing musical hospital beds/rehab units for the past several months and I lost one grandma just a few weeks ago, so that's been time comsuming as well.  Other than that, we've been enjoying our new neighborhood/neighbors and the beautiful weather we've had (after the spring monsoons were over).  You might notice that I didn't mention anything in there about adoption, and that's mostly because not much has happened adoption-wise in our family.  There haven't been any visits in a VERY LONG TIME, which saddens me and frustrates me, though its partially our fault.  We (us and Woob's mom) just haven't been able to pull it together so that it works on both sides lately.

You have been blogging for a really long time.  It appears to have started out as letters to your son's birthmother and has slowly evolved.  Your posts have become less frequent this past year too (like mine).  Why do you think that has happened?  Have the reasons that you started to blog changed and what are your hopes for blogging in the future?  What were your first visions of open adoption?  Do you think you have grown away from your first visions of open adoption?


When I started blogging, it was basically me just sending my feelings out there.  We didn't know Woob's mom, N.,  aside from the time we'd spent together in the hospital over two days, and didn't know if we'd ever have a relationship with her.  She didn't really know how to wrap her mind around openness and I believe she was influenced by her mom and agency on keeping the adoption closed.  That was a hard time.  I found as I started to write that there were other people out there with some common experiences and they were finding me and joining with me and entering into the conversation.  Slowly, the conversation on the blog was less towards N., but with my new friends in adoption who "got it" unlike many in my real life who didn't.  And I was reading their blogs and learning so  much from those that came before me.  And feeling less alone.   It became a conversation with adult adoptees, first mothers and other mothers through adoption.  A few months later, we actually did begin a relationship with Woob's mom, so there was lots to be said about that, lots of feelings, and for some readers, it was a look into what open adoption could be, or they could commiserate or offer support or whatever.  Since I was able to have "real" conversations with N., I had less need to write the "letters."  Also, when adoption was so new, all these things I was feeling were so intense.  Now that Woob is going on six, I've chilled a little.  I see more ebb and flow, and have learned just because we might be a little out of sync now, that doesn't mean that is how things will be forever.  Many of my bloggy friends have gone on to either abandon their blogs, or we keep our connections more on facebook, so I'm not physically "there" on wordpress like before.  Our families have changed to "families," not just "adoptive families".  The blog is not something I really attend to the way I'd like, but I'm hesitant to get rid of it, because it has been such an important thing in my life.
My first visions of open adoption I think were pretty realistic (in my mind).  I don't remember having the common huge fears of "what if Woobs family is a bunch of ax murdering drug addicts". My biggest fears were, "what if they don't like us" and "what if Woob NEVER knows his family??".  Thankfully, I don't believe any of those fears have panned out.  I do worry now mostly that our relationship might fade, and he won't have the relationship with his sisters and mom if we don't keep at it over time.
I have read a few posts about the ebbs and flows of relationship contact with your son's birthmother and his sisters.  What part of the ebb and flow do you see your relationship being right at this moment?  How often do you have contact with her?  How far apart do you live from one another?  How is Woob in the processing part of what open adoption is?  Do you have contact with any other birth family members? 

Unfortunately, we're in a bit of an ebb.  We "see" each other through facebook (best invention ever!!), and she can keep an eye on our happenings and photos even when she's not able to initiate anything else.  We share occasional phone calls, but its been about a month since we spoke.  We are about 2 hours away, which seems not far, but sometimes it might as well be a million.  If their cars on on the fritz, they just can't get here.  We've got family illness, and they have some serious family illness things going on as well.  We offer to go there, but I think there are reasons on their end they'd rather come here now and then.  Since Woob was one, we've seen each other about twice a year.  Which is WAAY less than I'd like, but it is what it is.
I think Woob is really aware as much as he can be...he knows his birth story and who is who on mom's side.  He absolutely glows around his first family and enjoys time spent with them--always has.  We know N.'s husband and parents as well, though have had much more contact with her dad.  Woob misses them and talks about them, and still has the childhood happiness that surrounds his story, yet he at times voices sadness that we're not all together.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twin Syndrome

Even though my kiddos all come from completely different gene pools, they have an incredible bond.  So incredible that I often say that Jakob and Jada have 'twin syndrome'.   Genetics is amazing to me.  I believe that my kids will be a lot like their birth parents.  Knowing all of their first mothers already proves this to be a fact (in my opinion).  I seriously think they have their momma's personalities.  They also all look like them too!  I often notice how much children look like their mothers and their fathers when we are out and about.  Maybe it's because my kids don't look anything like me.  :0)  Maybe it's just because I find genetics to be simply amazing.  I wonder if there have ever been any studies on 'twin syndrome' with adopted siblings.  I think it would be fascinating.  I know they have studies on artificial twining...but Jakob and Jada are 2 1/2 years apart.  I am still in awe when I see my kids together....




And here is my third beauty.  She fits right in.  Jakob and Jada both adore her to no end.  I could not be any more blessed to have children that love each other as much as they do.....and then the screaming will start! haha!  I hope they love each other this much forever.  I know I will.