Last Sunday I celebrated my very first Mothers day. If at any other point in my life someone had asked me how I would imagine me celebrating Mothers Day if that day were to come, there's no way I could have predicted the answer: by myself in a bar in Singapore. Ok, it's not really as depressing as it sounds. I actually had a good day. I treated myself to sleeping in, reading, going to the gym, and then getting dressed up to take myself out to dinner. I chose to go to The Long Bar, one of Singapore's oldest and most famous bars that has seen the likes of Charlie Chaplin and other back in the day celebrities. I sat at a woven bamboo table under big leaf shaped fans, sipped on some cool white wine, munched on peanuts and threw the shells on the ground, and ordered a delicious seafood appetizer. I also brought along a notebook to start working on something that has been in my head for a while; a children's story about all of the adventures that Reed and I had together when I was pregnant with him. I enjoyed reflecting on my time with him, and thinking about being in Colorado, Thailand, Alaska, and North Carolina during my pregnancy made me smile.
I'm not going to elaborate too much on it, but I think I've been getting a better grasp on what it means to be Reed's mother. It seems like a simple concept, but in the world of adoption, it could mean so many things. As I've reflected and searched my heart, I've uncovered some insecurities I've had about being his mother, as though just because the law says I have no rights to him, that I have to be careful not to get too close to him or interfere with his family's life. I shared these thoughts more in depth with Bill and Maura, and I think all of us were surprised to learn they were there. Doug and Maura have never given me any kind of reason to doubt that they were in full support of my relationship with Reed, and have always been clear that they wanted me and Bill to have as much of a relationship with Reed and their whole family as we possibly could. Maybe it was from my own previous ideas about what adoption is that planted those thoughts in me, or maybe it's from a few conversations I've had with others who have suggested I need to step back and let Maura and Doug be able to parent Reed without having me in the way, and then I should re-surface in about a year or so. I've never agreed during those conversations, but I can't pretend that the thought didn't cross my mind when I was considering moving to Singapore.
I've always known that a traditional closed or even a semi-open adoption would not do for me, but I'm realizing that my ideas of openness are still tainted with ideas of what adoption has been in the past, or for other people. I'm finding hidden thoughts and attitudes that I didn't even realize I had that have told me that I have to be an outsider looking in on Reed's life. However, I'm also realizing more and more that I can erase those ideas, and follow what is right for our own situation, not what is dictated by the law or the past history of adoption. I also want to continue to uncover and face any thoughts and feelings I have towards the adoption, because I want nothing to get in the way of a wonderful relationship with my son and our new family.
Again, there is soooooooooo much more I could write about this, but I'm keeping it relatively short. I do want to give props to an interview I read on an open adoption website though, between an adoption worker and an anti-adoption adoptee blogger named Weaver. There were many things Weaver said that I didn't agree with, but her perspective as someone who is adopted and is now adamantly against it is what uncovered these hidden thoughts and attitudes I had in my heart. I'm thankful for everyone who has been able to share their adoption stories so we can all learn from each other.
A side note: I keep trying to add some links on to my page, such as the one with the interview, as well as some other bloggers who have experience with open adoption, but I'm having trouble with it. I think it's under the User Error category. Hopefully I'll be able to get it straightened out soon, but until then, a blog called Amstel Life has been particularly interesting for me to read, since it's from a young lady with a daughter who was adopted a few years ago. They seem to have a great open relationship, and it's been great for me to read about it.