The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.
Here is Open Adoption Roundtable Writing Prompt #8:
Write about a blogger (or bloggers) who influenced your real-life open adoption and how. It might be someone who became an offline friend who supports and challenges you. Or a writer who makes you uncomfortable, but gets you thinking. Maybe a blogger who doesn't even know you are reading. Tell us about them and how they've affected you.
Okay, this is me now, Amstel, Stellie, The Amster, Amsters, Ames, Amiss, Maxima, Amakiss, what have you. I decided to jump in on this Open Adoption Roundtable writing prompt because I've enjoyed reading the responses of some of the previous Open Adoption Roundtables. They definitely make for some great discussion. Okay, so a blogger who has influenced me....hmmmm. This one's tough. I can't say that there has been just one blogger who has influenced me. I am pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people who are blogging about adoption in general. Whether it be birthmoms, adoptive parents, adoptees, or families considering adoption, the stories about adoption on the Internet are plentiful (okay, you're right, I just wanted to find a way to use the word plentiful), interesting, and unique. I have been influenced by every single adoption story that I have read.
I think I have been most influenced, however, by bloggers who have a negative view of adoption. Bloggers who are opposed to adoption (natural family advocates) have influenced be because I never heard of any person who was opposed to adoption before. I thought everyone would embrace my decision with open arms and realize that it was in fact a selfless act, not a selfish one. After reading some comments from natural family advocates, I began to question my own decision. Am I selfish? Is Deanna going to hate me forever? Is she going to have psychological issues, anxiety, depression, etc. as she gets older as a result of the adoption? When I read more into these natural family advocates' blogs, I have to admit that I actually considered the "what ifs" alot more. I thought about a worst case scenario of Deanna growing to resent me as she gets older, and I began to wonder if this could turn out to be a real scenario.
Then I turned back to the reason I chose open adoption for Deanna in the first place -- my faith. Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have relied on God to help me through this difficult open adoption journey. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. When I was in the hospital, signing the adoption papers, I made a deal with God. I told Him that I would follow through with the adoption, as I believe He asked me to do all along, if He could promise that I would not regret my decision. Ever faithful, He has not let me down.
I am thankful that there are so many different blogs out there about adoption because each one I come across educates me more about the decision I have made. I love learning other people's perspectives, regardless of whether they are pro-adoption or not. Each day, I learn something new about adoption, and I love that. I am so thankful for bloggers with positive adoption stories to share, such as Heart Cries, the story of two Rebekas, Stephanie Jinelle's Journey, Andee Leigh, and The Story of A Girl. These blogs carry me through when I'm having a tough day. The Story of A Girl is a huge pick-me-up--because this young woman, who was raped in her own apartment and got pregnant, ultimately chose to carry her baby and place her in an adoption with a wonderful family. She started Birth Mom Missions in an effort to "provide much needed (and often overlooked) service to women who have placed their child for adoption. They offer guidance before, after, and during the adoption process to all women who ask, regardless of their choices made." You can't tell me that's not courageous.
While I'm definitely influenced by positive adoption stories by bloggers, I have been most influenced by those bloggers who oppose adoption because they have forced me to look deeper into my decision and to really come to terms with the "what ifs." Make no mistake, these bloggers have not changed my mind about open adoption. I still believe that open adoption has the potential to benefit so many people, including the adoptee, and I still believe, despite the negative stories, that Deanna will thank both Robbie and I someday for the difficult decision that we made. The negative comments I receive often force me to think harder about other peoples' perspectives, to become more accepting of all views, and most importantly, to reaffirm my belief that I did the best thing I could for Deanna by choosing open adoption and placing her with Don and De. There is absolutely no argument I have read that has changed the way I feel about open adoption.
"Once we give our hearts to Christ, believing and trusting in Him alone for salvation, God says we become part of His family-not through the natural process of human conception, but through adoption. "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption). And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15). Similarly, bringing a person into a family by means of adoption is done by choice and out of love. "His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure" (Ephesians 1:5). As God adopts those who receive Christ as Savior into His spiritual family, so should we all prayerfully consider adopting children into our physical families."
-What does the Bible say about adoption?