I want to tell you a little about what living in an open adoption is like.
Yesterday morning, I talked to Jen (my son's adoptive mom) on Google Chat for awhile. She had just finished uploading some pictures and a video of Ian on his blog, so I immediately popped over to check them out. So cute! I love looking at pictures of Ian, he is SUCH a ham, I can't even tell you. Jen and I were laughing at some of the ridiculous things he had said recently.
I went on vacation recently to New York City, and while I was there, I first mailed them a postcard, and later I mailed Ian a little package with a note and a 'I love NYC' t-shirt. Jen told me that when they got the postcard, he grabbed it and ran full-speed to his bedroom, where he asked his mom to hang it on his wall. When they got my package, he did the same thing with the note, so they're now both tucked in a frame on his wall. And she said he's WILD about the t-shirt, she doesn't have the heart to tell him it's too big!! (I have to confess...I was SO worried about the size, because I had no idea what size shirt he wears!!)
Jen and I talked about ice cream, and I told her about my awesome date on the Fourth of July. We talked about writing about about TV shows and how we both despise video games. We talked about Ian's habits and his growing ability to spell and shared some brief opinions on pre-school.
We don't have long conversations like that all the time, but it's great when we do. When we don't, I keep up with them via Jen's and Ian's blogs. Obviously, I'm a blogger. So is Jen. This has worked out perfectly for us.
Here's the thing. Open adoptions are an individual relationship. They're a unique relationship, but it's still a shared committment between people, just like any other friends and family. The bond, instead of being shared genes or shared circumstances, is the even greater bond of shared interest in a child.
If you're in an open adoption, or thinking about an open adoption, it really is up to you, and that other person or people, exactly what kind of relationship you want to have. Maybe you're the phone call type, and that's how you like to keep in touch. Or letters, or emails, or whatever. You can make it work for you.
But in any case, open adoption is really about love. It's about maintaining an open relationship with the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. It's about that child growing up knowing that he or she is loved by a LOT of people. It's about healing and life for everyone.
I live an open adoption every day. Two, in fact--my son's, and my own. I text my birthdad all the time, just to say hi, I love you, how's it going? And the same with Jen. When Ian gets older, maybe we'll have a similar relationship, it's really up to him. But he'll always know that I love him! He doesn't have much of a choice about that one. =)