Open Adoption Roundtable 2: Father’s Day

Installment 2 of Open Adoption Roundtable from Heather PNR.  Assignment in a nutshell:  Talk about the first/birth father of your child.

Hi there, S.–

You don’t know me, but I’m raising your son.  Heck, you may not really even know you have a son, but that’s something to sort out another day, I guess.  Despite that fact, I’m thinking about you on Father’s day, wanting to share some information, and wanting to get some, too.

Your little boy, Woob, is already three years old, and we couldn’t love anyone more…he is ALL. BOY. and keeps us on our toes.  He’s absolutely the funniest person I know, and he’s learning things faster than we can teach him.  He loves monster trucks and skateboards, swimming and climbing, jumping (~sigh~) and isn’t afraid to get dirty.  He can quote Bugs Bunny cartoons and has the ability to remember EVERYTHING, even when you think he wasn’t listening.  He feels his emotions so strongly that it tears out my heart sometimes.

Someday he’s going to want to know more about you, if not know you personally.  Honestly, I don’t know how to wade into those waters.  Feeling great about keeping an open adoption with his firstmom (making sure he knows her, knows he grew in her belly, all those things) I feel at a loss as to how to introduce you into that picture knowing so little about you.  Sure, we’ll cover the biology of the whole situation, but that seems so…empty.  Here’s what we do know:

  • your name
  • your age at the time Woob was concieved (oh, my, SOOO impossibly young!)
  • N’s feelings about you and your ability to handle the responsibilities of fatherhood for various reasons (not favorable)
  • that you had moved out of state for awhile and may have moved back (??)
  • what you look like as of last year.  N. gave us a few pictures of you to keep.  For maybe the first two years, he looked identical in our opinion, to N.  But man!  There are moments when he is the absolute spitting image of you.  As he grows into his adolescent years, I have a feeling he will begin to look more and more like you.  It is a blessing to get a glimpse of what he might look like as a young man.

And that’s it.  I’m sure for a lot of kids growing up in adoption, or their parents, that is more than they could ever dream of knowing, but as I see it from my little corner of the adoptive parent world, its simply not enough.  I want to know what sports you like, and if the two of you move the same when you walk.  I want to hear your voice and notice any similarities that might be there.  I want to know really how much information you had about this child, the choices you made, or the choices you weren’t given the opportunity to make.  I want to know if you ever have other kiddos out there–siblings to Woob, so that he can continue to have bio family after we’re long gone.  I want to know that you might be “around” if and when Woob needs to know more.  I want you to know that we’re “around” should you decide to be, and want to be a positive person in Woob’s life.

But until that might happen, please know that Woob’s everyday Daddy loves him beyond measure and is doing his very best to make sure he grows to be a kind, smart, and honorable man.

~Woob’s parents

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13 Comments

Filed under adoption, birthparents, open adoption

13 responses to “Open Adoption Roundtable 2: Father’s Day

  1. thanksgivingmom

    (PS I meant that paragraph instead of that post) 🙂

  2. thanksgivingmom

    Thank you for this post M. That post about all the things you want from/about Woob’s birthfather are incredibly touching….and incredibly heavy for me as I think about what those answers would be for Cupcake’s birthfather….and whether he’ll ever be there to share them.

  3. Funny this was the assignment, as I was thinking about the whole birthdad(s) thing this week myself. Talk about living in the shadows…..so many men do as birth/first fathers, either by choice, situation or other….

  4. Wow. I could have written much of that. It’s making me think right now about our little guy’s birthfather…

    I think I need to ponder and post about it myself… Thanks for sharing! I bet there are SO many others out there who are in similar situations.

  5. This is such a moving letter. Thank you for sharing it, M.

  6. Kim

    I didn’t know you could adopt a child without the father’s permission. I know that used to be the case but I assumed the laws had changed. Adoption reform really has a long way to go doesn’t it?

    • M.

      i think if the mother tells the attorney she doesn’t know who the father is, and they publish and whatever else they are reuired by law to do, then that’s that. I have a strong suspicion there are many lawyers who encourage the mother to keep it to herself to reduce complications…

      • thanksgivingmom

        There ABSOLUTELY are folks that encourage the mother to keep it to herself….not just lawyers, but social workers, even hospital staff!

  7. Thanks for sharing. I believe babies are still being placed without the birth fathers permission.

  8. Kim

    They publish a tiny weenie little ad in the back part of some newspaper though don’t they? And if the father doesn’t respond then the adoption goes ahead.

    In Australia the adoptions are state run, not profit based. It seems more ethical that way. Of course they were not always ethical but they have come a long way in the last fifteen or so years.

    • M.

      kim kim? HI! Haven’t “seen” you in awhile…

      You’re right, tiny ad, and our laws here have the putative father registry that no one knows about, and if there’s no one stepping forward by the end of the time frame, the adoption goes ahead.

  9. Rebecca

    I just came across your blog. I honestly think this is an answered prayer for me. I have only gotten this far in reading your posts from this post to present, but I wanted to leave a comment.

    I have laughed and cried at your posts that I’ve read so far…I am an adoptive mom in a semi open adoption. Our daughter’s birthmom lives out of state and I struggle so much with so many emotions and how to handle all the details of this.

    I know NO ONE who is an adoptive mom in a semi open adoption that I can confide in or relate to and sometimes that is very hard!!

    My family and friends only see things on their side of the emotions and make things worse for me sometimes rather than better on sorting through all the issues that come up (and that I know will come up for the rest of our lives…)

    She is soon to be two years old and I get knots in my stomach just thinking about explaining all of this to her and trying to protect her from any hurt or disappointment. It helps to read about your experiences and know that others are going through “unchartered waters” also…

    The agency we used gives so much support to the birth mothers and I think that is wonderful and needed but I told my husband I think sometimes it’s overlooked that adoptive mothers (and fathers) also need support.

    I went through a depression after we came home with our baby girl. What I thought would be the happiest time of my life, I was instead full of sadness and guilt for this beautiful baby not growing up with her biological parents. I had so many emotions to sort through and I just had no one to confide in or relate to all I was going through.

    Of course that all eventually passed and I love her so deeply and consider her MY daughter now but then new issues and circumstances come up and it’s just hard to know how it’s best to handle them.

    Her birthmother is graduating from college this Summer & we’re planning on going to the graduation which causes some anxiety since we’ve not seen her or her family in about a year…but I know it’s important for her that we come so we are going. And I know it will all be okay but not without it’s stressful times! 🙂

    THANK YOU for this blog. I will continue to read your posts all the way to the beginning but I just wanted to leave a comment now.

    Sorry this post is SO long. I just don’t have anyone I can talk to about these things and so again I’m really thankful for your blog!

    • M.

      Oh, Rebecca, thank you for your kind words. I think at times this blog has been a lifesaver for me as well, simply because when i started writing I entered into this incredible community of other mothers, both adoptive and firstmothers who are going through this thing called open adoption. I have made friendships that hopefully will last forever, with people who live untold miles away and they now know things about me that my n real life family/friends don’t. If you want to email me when you need someone to talk to, feel free and I can also point you to some other fantastic parents to read and learn from. I’m at zoobitydoo AT yahoo DOT com.

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