The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and link to your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
I’m still thinking quite a bit about memories and the different ways we preserve them for the generations following us. I thought we’d try a memory-oriented prompt for this round. Feel free to interpret “first meeting” and make a connection to your adoption experience however you’d like.
Write about a first meeting.
Cricket was nearly six months old when I saw him with his moms for the first time since signing the adoption paperwork. He and his moms had come down for our wedding, but we decided that it might be wise to meet them—and let them meet my family—the day before. I spent the morning making an elaborate picnic lunch. When Mr. Book and I met the three of them at a park, Cricket was napping in his travel system; we were both a little surprised by how hard they worked to keep him asleep, rolling him in small, endless circles. Ruth and Nora were incredibly nervous. They seemed so obviously to be waiting for us to do something crazy that Mr. Book and I ended up feeling pretty detached from what was going on—we were careful to be noisily respectful of their parenthood, which eventually helped them to relax.
After lunch, the five of us went back to my parents’ house; my mother had met Cricket on the day he was born, but my sisters and father had never met him. None of them had met or spoken to Ruth or Nora. As soon as we stepped through the door, my mom grabbed Cricket—this was the first of a few weird moments with her, and I kept carefully correcting her. She referred to “Mommy” while clearly meaning me, and I pointed at Ruth; she offered to let someone else hold him, and I told her that she needed to consult with his mother before handing him around. It was awkward, but there were no major fireworks.
After the meeting, the Mister and I talked about how disappointed we were, although I don’t know that we ever used that word. “Wow, they sure thought we were going to do something crazy.” We sounded cynical; we were hurt. We had done what we were supposed to, however, and they were less anxious with us for the next couple of days.
I’m going to post some pictures of that visit next. If you’d like the password, just email and tell me who you are. If you have and I didn’t respond, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it! I may have missed the email or just meant to write something thoughtful and failed to do so in a timely fashion.