Monday, March 23, 2009

Children and Grieving

I have a confession. Bruce and I have sat through so many adoption classes and left them thinking they were full of a bunch of liberal mumbo jumbo. For the most part they would always advocate some kind of birth parent contact. It could be as simple as a letter on their birthday to being a part of the family. I want to protect my son so, I will not say a lot about our situation but, he got the raw end of the deal on an open adoption so, we were turned off. We still believe the child should be put first and it is not a given that openness is always best. I think if the adoptive family is going to make a commitment then for the sake of the well being of the child, the birth parent should make a commitment as well. They should not communicate when it is easy and drop off the face of the earth when they are ready to move on. Especially if the child is old enough to remember them. Why am I thinking through all of this now? It actually has nothing to do with Micah's adoption. We are not sure what is going to happen there, but we do trust that if she makes a commitment either way she will stick to it. I'm thinking through all of this because I have been approached numerous times recently with adoptive parents whose children are hitting that 7 to 9 year old range and realizing what it means to be adopted. The are grieving and trying to understand. It is heartbreaking to watch. They want to know what we did to help Isaac get through it. That is hard. The thing we have learned is the grieving process is cyclical. You think they are through it, but then they get to a point when it rares its head again. So, the question I have is this. Are the social workers correct? Is it better when their is healthy, responsible contact? You see, I have been doing a little observing. WE know several adoptive families. A lot of them have some sort of contact with the birth families. It seems as though those who do, even if it is just a letter once a year, are having an easier go at it. Now, I acknowledge I do not live in their homes and maybe they have a whole other list of issues. And maybe I just see the longing in my son's eyes when they talk about visits with or letters from their birth parents. Anyway, I am just thinking. Any opinions out there? I do not know how much of an adoption crowd I have, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

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