Open Adoption, Open Heart

As I am sure most of you know I placed my daughter for adoption when I was 20.  I was contacted about hosting a guest post of a writer who has adopted his 2 children through open adoption.  I jumped at the chance to have a guest post on my blog as well as get the chance to read the book he has written.  I will have the review of the book up sometime next week after I have had the chance to sit down and read it.  Here is the guest post and please leave any comments or questions down below!

My wife and I are infertile. We don’t know why. The doctors and nurses can’t seem to give us any real answers about why we’ve been unable to have kids for our 8 years of trying, but here we are. No little ones carrying on our genes.

Infertility is a funny thing (if you’re willing to look at it that way). It seems to come with some invisible sign that only fertile friends can read. The sign, of course, reads- “Here I am without a baby. Please please please tell me how we can solve our infertile woes.” Cornered at church or at the supermarket, as soon as someone hears that we can’t have kids, it’s, “Well, you know what we did? We went on this all carrot and celery diet. And guess what! By Thursdays that week we were pregnant.”

Even more common is the ever popular, “My brother and his wife couldn’t get pregnant so they did such and such.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s annoying and all, but after a while we infertile people get to a point where we start to enjoy it. I absolutely love it when I get to say, “I’ve never heard that one before.” I fear some people may think I’m being rude by laughing at my own friends. I don’t mean to be rude. I really don’t. I’m just pointing out that some people are really funny and they don’t seem to see it. Here are a few of my favorites-

Woman should stand on her head after intercourse. Now, that one may actually have some scientific reasoning to it. I don’t know. I aint a doctor. Gravity is real, though, so who knows. That one is actually pretty popular to try, or some variation of it.

Rub ice cubes on your (fill in the blank here). I don’t leave that “fill in the blank” empty because I’m censoring myself. I leave it blank because I’ve heard just about every body part, male or female, in that blank spot. Whatever the body part, I always enjoy that one.

Try intercourse in the back seat of a car. Now, I have actually heard that one from real people, but the fact that I also saw that on The Simpsons when Apu was trying to get his wife pregnant should tell you something if you think it’s a good problem solver.

Have an affair. I haven’t heard that from any of my “friends” because they wouldn’t be my friends anymore if they suggested that, but I’ve heard other people say it was told to them. Idiocy.

Eat more (another fill in the blank). Spaghetti, or vegetables, or Mexican food, or B vitamins, or or or…

Again, I’m not trying to pick on people who give their input. I appreciate when my friends take the time to care- just know that I may be laughing at you behind your back if you tell me the reason I’m not able to get my wife pregnant is because I wear boxers instead of briefs- or the other way around.

Adoption is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and Open Adoption, Open Heart is our adoption story. It’s not simply a matter of filling out papers and waiting for a baby. It’s a process of building relationships- the birth parents are still in our lives. Infertility is still part of us, but it doesn’t define us. We are able to laugh at our problems because we are able to embrace our successes. Hooray for adoption, and hooray for those wonderful birth parents who helped make our dreams come true.

Author Bio

Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family movedaway from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.
Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.
Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for Adoption.com and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.
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My Open Adoption Thoughts

I haven’t written anything about adoption in awhile so  today I am going to talk about open adoption and why a totally open adoption isn’t for me.  If you don’t already know open adoption is defined:

Open adoption is an adoption in which the biological mother or parents and adoptive family know the identity of each other. In open adoption, the parental rights of biological parents are terminated, as they are in “closed adoptions” and the adoptive parents become the legal parents, yet the parties elect to remain in contact. Open adoption has become the norm in most states in the adoption of newborns.

Source: Wikipedia

At this point I would consider the adoption of my daughter to be semi open or even almost closed.  I get a card from them on Christmas and if during the year I want to an update I email them and ask for one and I am 100% okay with that.  I know that some people won’t understand why I am okay with so I am going to try and explain it as best as I can.

For the first year I got letters and pictures pretty regularly and to be honest every time I got pictures and a letter it brought back all of the emotions.  Once the letters and pictures stopped coming as regularly and now have pretty much stopped I have found been able to heal and stop living in the past.

Now that isn’t saying that I don’t think of her because I think of her every day but I feel that I am not stuck in the past.  In order for me to heal and get at the place I where I can now talk about it to anyone with out getting depressed I had to put everything that reminded me of her away.  I found that when I had her things out that I was dwelling on the pain and not living my life.

I am so glad that my adoption is how it is because it has allowed me to live my life and heal from the pain.  Now there are still times that it is hard for me but those times are few and far between anymore.

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