November is actually National Adoption Month.
To kick of the month, the Today Show shared this open adoption story. It’s a very heartwarming story depicting a family who seem to be in the dream open adoption: adoptive family wants complete transparency, birth families are very involved, loving, child feels close to birth mom, everyone adores and respects each other, etc., etc.
I certainly don’t begrudge the family. But it does paint a rosy, idealistic and almost simplistic picture of open adoption which I would expect very few families to be able to fully achieve.
As I wrote about a few days ago, we have a very good relationship with our birth mom. Yet it’s terribly complicated and always evolving. I certainly hope we could evolve to something as seemingly effortless as shown in this Today Show segment. But, at four and a half minutes long, the tv segment can hardly go deeply enough to show any kind of complexity.
Despite my concern that the segment is simplistic, I appreciate that it went out there and that it was shared on such a mainstream program as the Today Show. There are two takeaways I think are most powerful and encouraging:
- The adoptive mom in the story says they were, “very hesitant with the idea of having secrets in a family.” I myself would flip that and say that what we do want in our family and in our open adoption is transparency and honesty. That is a very big reason we chose to do an open adoption.
- The family in the clip is portrayed as just that, a family, including the birth family. This is how we’re trying to approach our still evolving relationships with the birth mom and her family. Not that we’re Lilli’s adoptive family and they are Lilli’s birth family, but that we are all part of one family connected by this beautiful child.
Would love to hear other thoughts about the Today Show segment. Does this help or hurt the movement toward openness in adoption?