Yesterday I spoke at an adoption support group with A, D, and G. A started the evening by making sure everyone within a 1/4 mile radius knew she was there, then spent a good hour happily on my lap while everyone spoke. I love that kid.
I loved having the opportunity to speak about the joys of open adoption. My goal was to ease the fears of prospective adoptive parents and show them how great it could be, and I had some kind people tell me after that I had done just that for them.
For me, open adoption has been amazing for many reasons. I'm not cut off from my daughter. I still suffer the loss of parenting her, but I get to see her grow first-hand. I get to regularly look her in her eyes and tell her how much I love her (and see the smile that always follows that!). It has eased my grief more than words could express. A seems to have benefited as well. She was got hear her parent's voices before she was born, get to know them in the hospital before going home with them, see me frequently to know she wasn't abandoned, and gets to hear constantly how loved she is. But she still knows who Mom is. D&G said that they love the open adoption mainly for A- for the reasons I just stated. They love that she has so much love in her life from me and my family. D loves having a sister to talk to in this craziness- someone she can vent to when she's tired, someone who completely gets her fear during things like waiting to hear if A had a metabolic disorder when everyone else seems not stressed at all. She loves having A's family medical history a text or call away and getting to hear that I had colic, or frequent spit up, or was just a fussy baby even though I was happy and healthy to know that nothing is wrong with A. We also both love our relationship- even outside of A, the three of us are family. I love D&G dearly and we all feel that our lives are better with this friendship in them.
That's not to say that this doesn't come without struggles. I know D and I both struggle with some jealousy about the other getting to do and be things we can't. The level of openness we have shoves those insecurities and hurts in our faces, but it makes us deal with it and so far it seems to get easier with time. In the end. it's worth every bit of hurt to build this amazing family and support system for A, the whole reason we got into this in the first place.