Thanks for coming back for this final chat this week with Open Adoption Expert Lori Holden. (Parts 1 thru 4 are there to the left under “Recent Posts”.) I really hope you’ve enjoyed hearing someone else’s voice just above my own usual white noise for a change. (It’s funny. I didn’t become that annoying disruptive kid in the class until I was, like, forty.) After years of doing this buffoonery-filled blog, I decided I probably should occasionally provide useful information delivered to you by someone who knows what they’re talking about. I’ll be back to my buffoonery next week. Not like I was exactly Diane Sawyer this week.
LSF: So Lori, we left off yesterday talking about the birth father. Who ever hears anything about him? Is the birth father ever involved in the open adoption process? How often? Have you seen instances where only the birth father is involved? (Sorry… It’s a New Yorker thing & a Jewish thing… It’s not about them answering your questions. It’s about hearing yourself ask them. I’ll bet Barbara Walters has fought it every day of her life.)
LH: Sometimes the birth father’s involved from the very beginning, helping to choose the adoptive family, and sometimes he comes in later. I have not seen a birth father-only placement, but surely they exist on rare occasion. For all the reasons having openness with a birth mother is important, so is having openness with the birth father. Access to him can be very important as the child builds his identity, which typically happens in the tween/teen years. In the absence of contact, being able to talk about his birth father with his parents can be helpful.
LSF: So let me back up out of the way now. Lori H. has some other things that she wants to tell you about open adoption that I wasn’t swift enough to mention. (My words not hers. I know my limitations.) She will also explain why her book is far superior to others. (That’s why I’m here. Have you bought mine yet?)
LH: 1) While it’s largely understood why open adoption serves well the people living in it, this book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole also tells how to create and sustain one over the years as a child grows. It covers common open-adoption situations and how real families have navigated typical issues successfully. Like all useful parenting books, it provides the tools for parents (both adoptive and birth) to come to answers on their own, and it addresses challenges that might arise one day.
2) Our book was written for people involved in infant adoption, in international adoption, in foster adoption and even in donor sperm/egg/embryo situations — in any circumstance in which the result is a person whose biology and biography come from different sets of parents. Adoption professionals may also be interested in having this book available as a resource for clients, as it covers not just the initial stages of an adoption, but also the parenting stages we face over the long haul.
3) If we acknowledge that adoption creates a split between a person’s biology and his biography, we can then consciously choose ways to help our child heal that split through our own open-heartedness.
Lori Holden will present a free webinar for the Snowflake Embryo Adoption Awareness Program in March, and a workshop at the American Adoption Congress annual conference in Denver in April. Find her regularly at LavenderLuz.com. Lori does yoga and drinks red wine in Denver while raising her two now-teens with her husband.