I have had enough varied experiences in my life that I generally know how to approach situations and handle them fairly well. I don’t claim to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I do reasonably well. Being a prospective adoptive parent in what (if nothing goes wrong in the meantime) will be an open adoption, however, is completely beyond my ken. I don’t have a clue what I should or shouldn’t be doing, but I know that I really, deeply do not want to screw this up.
Part of the problem is that we don’t live close to the other people involved. I can’t just swing by and say hello. I can text, which helps, and I do go down regularly, but if an appointment gets scheduled at the last minute, I can’t necessarily make it there.
I’ve been reading a lot about open adoption, and what I’ve read is that sometimes adoptive parents make promises they don’t end up keeping. We’re making promises and we will keep them. We are still not completely comfortable with open adoption, but we will do what we agree to do. I’m not willing to raise our child to adulthood, have him or her decide to track down his or her biological connections, and end up hating us for not keeping a promise we made before he or she was born. It isn’t fair to anyone to set that problem in motion. The promises we make, we keep, just as in other areas of our lives.
I enjoy cooking. People tend to like eating what I cook. I’m trying to use that as a bridge here. I bring bread or food when I go to visit. It’s the only way I can really express all of the mixed up feelings going on. I can provide this small thing, at least. I can bring good food, and in doing so perhaps help them be more comfortable with what must be a terrible decision to have to make. We will take good care of this child if we are able to bring her or him home.
I feel like I am trying to prove something, but I’m not sure what. I have not had the chance to just sit down and talk with the other people involved without having someone basically chaperoning the discussion. I am hoping to take Nyx for a visit soon, and if I can do that we’ll have time to sit and relax with no time pressure. I think that might help. It is hard to know what to say, though, or how the other people are feeling about us. We are doing everything we can to make this work, as are they, but I feel disconnected. I don’t know if what we are doing is helping the other people or not, making it easier or harder.
There is no guidebook for any of this. We’re trying to find our way in uncharted territory. We have another few months before any of this stabilizes into reality, and in the meantime it would be best if we could avoid upsetting anyone. When I have asked for help or guidance from the person who has experience in this area, the response has been, “Well, every adoption is different.” That is it. That is all of the help we are getting from that quarter. Not terribly useful.
I am a little bit of a control freak with no control over the biggest things going on in my life right now. I’m dealing with this by running, which keeps my stress level down, and working on the house. If this all falls apart, at least the house will be clean. I am trying to not get too wrapped up in anything. I am not very good at letting everything just flow by, but I am attempting to learn.
I suppose I’ll just have to keep feeling my way blindly through a confusing world and hope I don’t do anything exceptionally stupid.