If there could be a mantra for open adoption, it would be, "Go with the flow." Our contact and relationship with Matthew's placing family continues to ebb and flow. Every time we think we have things arranged in a way that works for everyone, something changes. Sometimes we're in regular contact. Other times, we're not in contact at all. Other times, it's in between. Sometimes we're in relationship, and sometimes, we're just in contact. Now is one of those in-between times.
To be honest, the constant ebbing and flowing is difficult for my personality, which thrives on consistency. Thankfully, I think we all have reached a place in our journey where we can be honest with each other's family about what we need, what we think, etc. Most recently, the placing parents contacted us to say that they needed less contact with us in order to manage their own journey. So, we adjust. Maybe one day they'll want something different. Maybe they won't. Maybe our expectations will change, too. Like I said, ebb and flow. Since none of us has been here before, none of us knows what to expect before we get to each step in our journeys. Parenting is already a huge faith-grower for a control-freak, but adding open adoption to the mix just makes the control freak's head explode sometimes. I'm grateful for the honesty we can maintain between our families. It didn't happen without help. Last summer, we had a 3 hour phone mediation with Nightlight, where we were all able to ultimately get on the same page. But nothing about open adoption is easy. Everyone involved has to open their heart up and allow the child's best interests to set the course.
If you're in an open adoption, remember that you chose it because you decided it was the best plan for the child involved. The adults get to choose their situations. The children do not. It's up to the adults to lay aside preferences, opinions, and plans in favor of preserving the triad in a manner that is ultimately respectful of everyone, but especially the child. If you're finding yourself in a place of confusion, or uncertainty, or change, take heart. It's the nature of things in this kind of world. You are not alone, and nothing is necessarily wrong. This is likely, new for everyone involved in your situation, so take on a heart of grace and forbearance, because everyone is learning the ropes. In embryo adoption, everyone in the world is still learning the ropes. Combine new territory with fleshly hearts that can struggle, and you have a recipe for disaster...or beauty. At the end of the day, what matters is to love everyone involved. Love the other parents in your triad. Love the child. Above all, love the God Who brought your two families together. That kind of love is beautiful. It's the kind of love that led to your triad in the first place, and in the end, the love and ministry of that triad to everyone involved and to Heavenly Father is far more important than any little details in the meantime.
Blessings, dear ones! It's worth it! Press on!