Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit Backlash: Not Our Best Day

In general, I tend to paint a pretty rosy picture of open adoption on this blog. That's because my experience really has been mostly positive. Adoption isn't all roses and sunshine -- it involves grieving and loss -- but the openness part, for me, has been rewarding.

So, in the spirit of honesty, I want to share that we have struggled today. Or at least, I have struggled. I've written previously about visit backlash, the period following a visit with the biological family in which the adoptive family deals with the fallout, but it's something we haven't personally experienced in a long while. Until today.

We had a visit this weekend that stirred up some things in Ashley. She's processing, and, unfortunately for me, a big part of that processing has involved distancing herself from me. Ouch.

I understand that visit backlash is part of the process. I know that it's temporary and it's something you walk through with your child. We've gotten through it before, and we will get through it this time. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

Open adoption isn't about easy. I've been lucky; as an adoptive parent I've found that it has had many benefits for me. But that isn't why I do it. I do it because it benefits my child. It may be hard to see it in this moment, but I know that it does. What's happening now isn't about me. She's making sense of things. She's finding her way. And though she may seem to be pushing me away, she actually needs me, and my commitment to this process, now more than ever.


4 comments:

  1. Rebecca this is a beautiful reminder to all parents that parenting in a loving, respectful way isn't always a day at the beach. I can't begin to imagine all that your little one has to deal with or process. And since families are connected, when one member is having a tough time all members are effected. I'm sending you all warm thoughts and prayers.

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  2. I love the honesty. Life is complicated and so often people only talk about the one aspect that they want to portray.

    Rarely is it all one. Happy sprinkled with sad. Good days with bad.

    I like that you are being real about how sometimes, even with the best of intentions, people, their actions and emotions all get in the way of what should be a good thing.

    -LisaAnne

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  3. Thank you for sharing this, we too have had to support each of our girls after visits and they are only 5 and 3 years old so their backlash comes without their full understanding. Like you we wanted open adoption for our children and we understand their will be ups and downs on the emotional scale, we have communicated and shared with each of our daughter's birth mothers that the girls feel loss too which they never suspected ... being there for all to support these emotions is all about this lifelong journey!

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  4. Thanks everyone! Today is a better day.

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