These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Month: March 2013

Open Adoption Roundtable #45: Time

Here’s my response to the new writing prompt on the Open Adoption Roundtable Blog. 

The topic is “Time.”

There are so many interpretations for this vague prompt, but I suppose that’s meant to inspire a greater diversity of responses. My first thought was about the passing of time. I placed my son in an open adoption 25 years ago this October, so time is certainly on my side when it comes to this perspective.

But this weekend I attended a wedding, which led me down a different train of thought. Hold on for this one – the wedding was for my son’s birthfather’s sister (his biological aunt). My son, his parents and his brother all flew out east to attend the big celebration. My husband and I were invited as well. We drove five hours with our girls for the big day. My parents met us there too and stayed at the hotel with us so they could watch our girls and also visit with my son and his family.

While we were all enjoying a leisurely breakfast prior to the wedding, I was struck at the expertise with which my son’s parents allocate their time. In fact, they’ve always been this way. They’re always mindful of reaching out to everyone and making every moment count. They know that time during these visits is limited and so they make every effort to spend one on one time with every single one of us. Not an easy feat! But they do it with the greatest of ease.  And for that, I’m very grateful.

I remember back in 1989 – one year following the adoption of my son. His parents made a trip out east (to where I lived at the time) without their children (my son and his older brother). They had a commitment in New England, but wanted to make time to meet up with all of us. I remember that trip so vividly, even though it was for just one day. We packed so much in! We had a lovely breakfast at the home of my son’s birthfather. Indeed, this was the very first time that everyone was meeting one another in person – with the exception of my mother, who had been with me on placement day in California, one year earlier. There was a bit of nervousness from the birthfather’s side of the family. He chose to not be part of the day for reasons that took me years to understand. However, his parents and two sisters embraced my son and his family wholeheartedly. As did my father and my sister.

After breakfast, we rode the subway in to Boston. We walked through the Public Gardens. We went to the Cheers bar. We walked the Freedom Trail. And all the while, my son’s parents never stood next to each other. Instead, they took turns walking with each one of us. Talking, walking and blending our families together. Spending time talking with each of us.

They were mindful of their time then and they are still to this day. Whenever we all get together – which is once or twice a year – it’s not forced or rushed. Rather, it’s enjoyable. And it makes our time together that much more precious.

Open Adoption Roundtable #45: Time

Here’s my response to the new writing prompt on the Open Adoption Roundtable Blog. 

The topic is “Time.”

There are so many interpretations for this vague prompt, but I suppose that’s meant to inspire a greater diversity of responses. My first thought was about the passing of time. I placed my son in an open adoption 25 years ago this October, so time is certainly on my side when it comes to this perspective.

But this weekend I attended a wedding, which led me down a different train of thought. Hold on for this one – the wedding was for my son’s birthfather’s sister (his biological aunt). My son, his parents and his brother all flew out east to attend the big celebration. My husband and I were invited as well. We drove five hours with our girls for the big day. My parents met us there too and stayed at the hotel with us so they could watch our girls and also visit with my son and his family.

While we were all enjoying a leisurely breakfast prior to the wedding, I was struck at the expertise with which my son’s parents allocate their time. In fact, they’ve always been this way. They’re always mindful of reaching out to everyone and making every moment count. They know that time during these visits is limited and so they make every effort to spend one on one time with every single one of us. Not an easy feat! But they do it with the greatest of ease.  And for that, I’m very grateful.

I remember back in 1989 – one year following the adoption of my son. His parents made a trip out east (to where I lived at the time) without their children (my son and his older brother). They had a commitment in New England, but wanted to make time to meet up with all of us. I remember that trip so vividly, even though it was for just one day. We packed so much in! We had a lovely breakfast at the home of my son’s birthfather. Indeed, this was the very first time that everyone was meeting one another in person – with the exception of my mother, who had been with me on placement day in California, one year earlier. There was a bit of nervousness from the birthfather’s side of the family. He chose to not be part of the day for reasons that took me years to understand. However, his parents and two sisters embraced my son and his family wholeheartedly. As did my father and my sister.

After breakfast, we rode the subway in to Boston. We walked through the Public Gardens. We went to the Cheers bar. We walked the Freedom Trail. And all the while, my son’s parents never stood next to each other. Instead, they took turns walking with each one of us. Talking, walking and blending our families together. Spending time talking with each of us.

They were mindful of their time then and they are still to this day. Whenever we all get together – which is once or twice a year – it’s not forced or rushed. Rather, it’s enjoyable. And it makes our time together that much more precious.

Open Adoption Roundtable #44 “What Does Openness Mean To You?”

I was introduced to the Open Adoption Roundtable through another blog I follow  and I’m so glad. I think writing on these topics will be healing for me. Even after all these years.

The current topic is: “What Does Openness Mean To You?”

I placed my son in an open adoption in 1988, so yes I’m in my early 40s right now.

I live on the east coast and my son and his family live on the west coast. Almost a year to the day of his placement, I decided to fly to California for a visit. Fortunately, his family – his mom, in particular – was completely fine with the idea and genuinely excited I was coming.

We met for lunch at a local McDonald’s where I sat next to my son in his booster seat. He smiled and cooed and showed me all of his french fries one by one. After lunch, we went to a local park. It was a huge grassy area with a lovely pond with ducks swimming around. She had brought a bag of bread for him to toss to the ducks…

Her older son (also adopted) was with us too. And he needed to use the restroom. Without hesitating, she stood up and asked me so sweetly if I would mind watching him while she took her older boy to the bathroom. She left her keys. She left her purse. She left her sonmy son.

I was barely 19 at the time, but even I knew this was a big deal. I remember feeling the love she had for him and also for me. I remember hearing the gratitude in her voice that was not overbearing or over the top, but more appreciative and humble. This moment has been a pivotal one in my healing. I think of it often. I remember the slew of emotions I felt on his placement day a year earlier – sorrow, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, all mixed with profound love for my son. I had felt so rejected by my family at the time and yet, she never judged me. She never made me feel like a kid who had done something wrong. She never made me feel bad about myself. In fact, just the opposite. She made me realize the great strength in my choice.She is the most amazing person I know. And yet, on that day, she made me feel like I was pretty amazing.

Our open adoption has been overwhelmingly positive and rewarding these last 25 years, as our family includes his birthfather’s family too, my husband and daughters, my parents and sister and extended family. My son is grown and on his own now and he’s the most spectacular human being on the planet (along with my two young daughters!). I have such pride in him. And although I have experienced times of overwhelming sadness, I’ve come to realize it’s all part of the grieving process.

But on that one summer day in 1989 – and probably without any premeditation – she single-handedly set the tone for the next 25 years. In that park, two women shared a bond of trust, motherhood, friendship, love and openness. And for that, I’ll always be grateful.

That Day

You know that day when it’s still winter and chilly, but the sun is out? You can feel the warmth trying to make itself known. You can actually smell spring in the air.

Yesterday was that day for me. My girls and I were walking to the bus stop in the morning and we heard the birds chirping a concerto. The sun shone so brightly, it reflected off the school bus windows causing a fierce glare. I love mornings like this. It’s like I want to inhale all the goodness and fresh air.

Fall is really my favorite season, but there’s something about spring when it first comes. It’s a fresh start. A time to start new things, form new habits, and get ready for new colors in your life. That probably sounded weird but I’m totally ready for spring to come. Birds, trees, flowers, playing at the park. Yup, I’m ready.

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