Tuesday, March 18, 2008


So, as you've probably figured out by now, if you know anything about adoption, we are going to have an open adoption. What does this mean?
  • We will meet the birth parents, be on a first-name basis with them, and will be able to establish a relationship with them (mutually-agreed upon, of course)
  • We will tell Clio that she is adopted starting the day she is born, so that she grows up knowing the word and is not freaked out by the idea (at least no more so than is inevitable for any adopted kid)
  • We will emphasize to Clio that she has two sets of parents and that any one of the four of us is not a better or lesser person than the others for the different roles they play in her life.

What does this NOT mean?

  • We will not become close friends with the birth parents (i.e. hanging out every weekend) because it would be too hard/weird for everyone
  • They will not drop in at our house anytime they want to see Clio
  • They do not have the right to come take Clio back whenever they want to (at least not after she is born and the paperwork is signed at court)

From what we know so far (before actually meeting the birth parents), Clio's birth father is not interested in contact with Clio but is willing to allow her to come meet him someday when she's a teenager (if she wants to). Clio's birth mother has requested that we send her photos of Clio as she is growing up, and although she hasn't asked for letters, I'm sure we will be including letters to her along with those photos (and letters from Clio when she's old enough). I'm imagining that I'll probably send some photos once a month for the first year and then a couple of times a year after that (perhaps school portraits eventually, and a family photo at Christmas).

I'll have a better idea of what kind of relationship we'll have once we meet the birth parents next week, but there is a chance that we will communicate via e-mail or phone, hopefully even in person, while Clio is still in utero.

J and I learned about open adoption through some books recommended to us by our adoption counselor:

Dear Birthmother
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent’s Guide

After reading these books, we are convinced that open adoption is the best choice for everyone involved, and we are grateful that the birth parents agree. It is fabulous to have complete medical and social histories for the parents and to have pictures to share with Clio someday.

On a side note, it is windy but pleasant in New Orleans today. Last night we enjoyed a St. Patrick's Day parade in the French Quarter, which was a lot of fun since I hadn't been at a parade like that since I was 13. It is very interesting that the beads they throw now are almost all the big, long strands that used to be such a treasure when I was here for Mardi Gras. Back then, most of the beads were the short, wimpy ones and the heavy, long strands were more rare and special. And no, I didn't flash anyone. :)


  1. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to following your story. Love the Greek-themed nicknames.

  2. I'm here from Deanna.

    Congrats! I know you must be going through a lot right now.

    I've been in an open adoption for nearly 7 years. I have become good friends with DD's firstmom (in fact, together we teach a class on how to have a successful open adoption) and, of course, we exchanged addresses.

    Wishing you and your child's firstparents an easy road time forging your relationship.


  3. Hi Lori, thanks for the good wishes, it's great to meet someone else who's been through what I'm about to go through. It's cool to hear that you actually teach classes with the birthmom/firstmom (pardon me that I don't know all of the lingo yet).

    I guess I should have clarified that I didn't mean I wouldn't give my address to the birthmom; I just meant that she wouldn't be dropping in whenever she wanted to, or have formal "visitation rights." I should have phrased it better, so I'll go back and change it. I've had a few people ask me about it, so I thought it would be good to clear up any misconceptions.

    Anyhow, thanks again!


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