About Me

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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Adoption Panel

The weekend after visiting with my daughter, I was part of a birthparent panel at a one-day training session on infant adoption.

I've never done anything like that before, and had no idea what to expect.  I had just flown back home the day before so I made the mistake of missing the morning session.  I don't think most of the afternoon panel members (adoptive parents, adoptees, and birthparents) went to the morning session, but I think it would have been very valuable.

The adoptive parents and adoptees went up first.  I listened carefully to their stories.  Lots of talk about openness, but none as open as mine.  The questions were the interesting part.  I listened carefully, noting which ones could be asked of the birthparents also and thinking about my answers.  I was started to get excited about speaking.

When we got up there, we were asked to give a brief description of our adoption situation.  I listened to some heavily grieving folks, and then it was my turn.  I did okay.  I was still on a high from having such a good visit so my biggest worry was that I made it seem too easy.  Those of you who have read this blog know I don't find it easy.  I know I made it seem like it though.  My husband told me later that I should have talked longer, but I didn't want to take up too much time, and I figured I'd get the chance to answer questions.

The other birthparents spoke.  I definitely didn't fit.  But we were all so different that we probably all felt that way.  

Then it was time for questions.  But there were none.  People are still awkward with birthparents.  It was so clear after we spoke. No questions, and then when it was over and we rejoined the crowd, a couple of people came up to me to than me, but most of the people just gave me a wary look.

I would do it again though.  And next time, I'll prepare ahead so I don't make it seem too easy.

The Rest of My Trip

The rest of the visit with my daughter couldn't quite match up to the first half, but it was still wonderful.  I was just so happy that I felt so good during this visit.

We got a slow start on Sunday, and they had invited another family over for dinner, so my daughter and I just played outside for the first part.  We all went grocery shopping together during which my daughter and I were sent on little missions.  While her mom got the food ready at home, my daughter and I went and got our nails done.  I've had mine done three times total in my life (I consider it too much of a luxury item to spend the money on it.), but my daughter is a pro.

The other couple and their daughter came over that evening.  My daughter ran off to play with her friend, and I stayed with the adults.  The mother clearly wasn't comfortable with me, but the father was decent.  Those situations are always so awkward, but I didn't feel nervous the way I used to.

On Monday, my daughter wanted me to go to her camp with her.  Looking back, I feel bad for not staying as long as she wanted to, but I had sunburn on my scalp and just wanted to get out of there.  Everyone at her camp was really nice to me.  It was the first time that my daughter hesitated about what to introduce me as.  In the past, she's been very open and excited about telling everyone I was her birthmother.  This time, when the camp counselor asked how to introduce me, my daughter thought about it before settling on the truth.  I don't know if some of the adults' discomfort is starting to show or if it's just an age thing.

Anyway, I had a fabulous time, and I can't wait until next year's visit.