To mark Adoption Awareness Month, I have joined the Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project.
I interviewed Susie Book, a mother who placed her eldest son, Cricket, for adoption. Susie has two other sons whom she raises. She has an open adoption relationship with Cricket and his adoptive parents. Susie writes an adoption related blog, Endure for a Night, on which you can find her reciprocal interview with me.
Sarah: Why did you start blogging and what benefits has it had for you and / or your readers?
Susie: I started blogging because I badly needed a place to process my experiences. It has been enormously helpful for me in that way, but also in that it has connected me to some really wonderful people.
I can’t imagine what benefit it could have for readers. I do know that some adopted persons who have read the blog have found it painful.
Sarah: What are the pros and cons of open adoption for you as the biological mother of a child placed for adoption?
Susie: I am glad to know that he is alive. And if the sons I’m raising want contact, I’m glad that I will (knock on wood) be able to facilitate that.
As for cons: I don’t think there have been cons for me that wouldn’t be part of adoption, closed or open.
Sarah: Did you select your biological child’s adoptive parents? If so, why did you choose them over other prospective parents?
Susie: I did! They looked happy together in their photograph; they were religious without being part of a strongly dogmatic sect; they lived in a large city; they had enough money to comfortably support a child; and I liked the image of them that they presented to me.
Sarah: What are your worst fears about open adoption?
Susie: I sort of expect that at some point, perhaps during his adolescence, Cricket (my placed son) will express to me and probably all of us a great deal of rage. And I would completely understand, I think. I worry that Cricket will ask me questions that I don’t know how to answer in a fashion that would be appropriate for a child—my vague plan is to tell him either to ask his parents or to tell him that we can talk about it when he’s older, either of which I expect to go down like a lead balloon. And I worry that promises will be made to us and then not kept when my two younger boys are old enough to understand and be hurt by that.
Sarah: What have you learnt about yourself through your adoption experience?
Susie: That I shouldn’t have placed my son.
Sarah: If you could as honest as you wished with your child’s adoptive parents, without any negative consequences, what would you say?
Susie: I actually was that honest this summer; I told them that I was frustrated by their failure to keep their word to me. Certainly there are things I think and would never say, but I also don’t want to say them—I can’t imagine any good coming from my telling them, e.g., that I am angry that they deceived us (and possibly themselves) regarding the state of their relationship.
Sarah: How do you (or will you) explain the placement of your first child to your younger children?
Susie: That it was a terrible mistake made by someone in a crisis. That he will always be Ruth and Nora’s son, and part of their family, but that he is also Joey and Kit’s brother and part of our family. That I’m sorry about the ways in which this affects them—and all of it, really. That I miss Cricket every day, and that it’s okay if they miss him or if they don’t—that they have a right to their feelings, whatever those feelings are.
Click here for the Open Adoption Bloggers interview post.