So….we did eventually get in touch with S. And she’s great. Very easy to talk with, mature, and articulate. She lives on the other side of the country and is due in mid-September. Most significantly, she checked out our web site and is very interested in placing with us.
Sounds like an easy match, right? Not so much.
She doesn’t want any contact after birth. She is very adamant that she knows it would be too difficult for her. She is not interested in photos or updates or anything.
And to make it more complicated, there would be no contact with the birthfather or his family either. Plus, she has another child – who would be our child’s (half?)sibling – with whom we would also not have contact.
We know, from our research and conversations with current triad members, that relationships in adoption - like in all of life - change. Often, those that start open, end up closing. Or those that start closed, end up opening.
But we cannot count on that.
I had a great conversation with an a-mom earlier this week. When I shared our dilemma with her, she said that initially, her birthfamily said they wanted no contact too, but that the relationship they built during the match forged the trust and appreciation she believes actually made it possible for them to place their child. She is convinced that if they hadn’t had a lot of contact before the baby was born and if the family hadn’t been convinced that they would continue to have contact, ultimately they would not have been able to give their baby up.
I also talked with a dear, long-time friend who's followed our path with great empathy and support. She sounded kind of astonished when I told her we were struggling with the decision about whether to match. She knows how long and how desperately we’ve wanted a child. And she’s married to a very normal, well-adjusted good guy who was adopted and has no more than a faint curiosity about his birthfamily. Couldn’t we have a healthy child without openness? M. and I agree that we probably could.
M. and I have had to re-evaluate – and re-re-evaluate – our commitment to openness. We know it is unlikely we’ll find a situation that is “ideal.” Is lack of openness one of the things we are willing to be flexible about? How important is it going into a situation agreeing that openness is the best thing for everyone involved, especially the child?
This morning I called our counselor and told her that we have decided to pass on this situation.
I feel sad.
I feel sad that we won’t be parents in September. I feel sad that S. will have to go through the difficult process of finding a family for her child again. And I feel sad for a child that will most likely be raised without knowing her or her relatives.
This was a very difficult decision, but it is the right one for us.
(Going through another six months without any additional contacts would, I know, really test that conviction, so please, please, please….)