In some ways living with a family created through open adoption is like making our way through uncharted waters. Open Adoption is approximately 30 years old, having started sometime in the 1980s. Before then families having adopted lived in secrecy sometimes not even sharing to the children that they were adopted. Today there are so many ways to view and live what open adoption is that everyone’s journey is different. In our immediate family there is no other family built through open adoption or adoption at all. Ours has its own pathway and we move forward with both of our daughters’ families that we have incorporated into ours. At the same time, we take along our families in our beliefs of how we want our daughters raised and how we want them known by all and loved by all.
We have met and know as friends other families also created with open adoptions. Their children are older than ours so we do have their experience to help us through our own family experiences; but yet we have our own experiences to help guide us onward …
At the time each of our girls turned 4, their respective birth fathers realized the importance of their knowing each other. Something we had hoped for and had always left the door open to the possibility of. In both cases, we had met and/or talked to each of these men during the adoption placement and then in each case both stepped out of the picture, although not completely. Both men accepted the information for our family blog where I post regular family events and pictures. This was a place they could anonymously watch their girls grow.
And so at the age of 4 our girls got to meet and begin their relationships with their birth fathers and siblings through this part of their family. Needless to say our family continues to grow with these families! Over this summer, we have been able to meet up with both of our girls’ birth fathers and their families. Both were amazing times spent together with fun, laughter, love and great memories!
Our girls are now 7 and 5 years old respectively. Both of our girls have ongoing in-person and loving relationships with both their birth mothers and birth fathers and parts of their extended families. As we have learned and continue to learn, these relationships have ebb and flow, but we relish in the fact that we are a family together! Our open adoption families are young so to speak and so our pathways is still in its early stages. What we do know so far is do not count anyone out from these relationships.