This question comes at an interesting time for me. Something not unexpected, yet somehow still surprising, has happened in our open adoption experience. Elliot's birth mother has decided she is not interested in maintaining contact. This in and of itself is probably not that unusual. What makes our situation atypical is that we heard the news through Elliot's birth father, who remains committed to maintaining a relationship.
So, while we are not really planning on changing our approach to openness this year, it seems that our open adoption relationships will be changing.
Frankly, I feel some relief about finally having this out in the open. Tim and I were getting a bit weary of the last-minute cancellations and other behaviors that made us question Elliot's birth mother's interest in maintaining a relationship.
Perhaps I should be upset. After all, it's not what we agreed to more than three years ago. It's not what open adoption is supposed to be about. But honestly, I'm okay with her decision, although I would have preferred to have heard it directly from her. But, it is what it is. I would never try to force anyone to have a relationship they are not comfortable with...whatever the reason. I don't think anyone -- whether or not they are involved in an open adoption -- can choose what's best for someone else. And, I certainly can't pretend to understand what's going on in her mind, or why she's decided this is the best approach for her.
I know that relationships and people evolve over time. Maybe one day she'll change her mind; maybe she won't. If she decides not to be part of Elliot's life, we'll have to figure out how to explain to him why she isn't...especially if his birth father is. And, even if she decides she doesn't want to stay connected, I do hope she'll be available to Elliot later on if he feels he needs to contact her. But, since my baby is only three, we have some time to figure this out. And for now, we can concentrate on building a stronger relationship with Elliot's birth father, which I believe is what he also wants.
Has anyone out there had a similar experience with a birth parent who decided to cut off contact?
You can read more posts from the Open Adoption Roundtable at OpenAdoptionBloggers.com.