This month’s blogger interview is with adoptive mom Traathy, who writes about family life, infertility, and her family’s open adoption at Happily Ever After. She joined the OAB blogroll a little over a year ago and we’re excited to get to know her better today!
Tell us about yourself and your connection to open adoption.
My husband Angelo and I adopted our daughter Kylie, now almost one, at birth after having met our birth mother only once. We met after only 11 days prior to Kylie’s birth after having answered only one question that our birth mother relayed to our agency’s director to ask us when we got the call. The only thing that she wanted to know about us was if we were willing to be in an open adoption. We answered yes–having absolutely no idea how it would look, but determined to do what would be best for everyone involved.
As it turns out, our birth mother also had no idea what an open adoption really could look like and with a lot of work on all our sides since Kylie’s birth, we have developed a very familial relationship. We visit with her and her entire (like million) relatives regularly and have disclosed all aspects of our lives with each other. We visit at their homes, our home, and out and about the city we live in. This past Boxing Day was spent at our birth family’s home in what we hope will become an annual tradition. My husband and I immediately connected with all of them and we feel privileged to be a part of their family now too.
Now, is it all sunshine and rainbows? No, it’s a lot of work. We work hard to make sure that our entire family (Angelo’s, mine, and Kylie’s) all get time with her without compromising our own time with her. Organizing that is tough. There’s also working towards having all of our family members meet eventually, which is also tough because not everyone in our families understands (or agrees) with what open adoption entails. It’s a work in progress (Kylie’s first birthday at the end of January being the first test run) and we try to keep positive about it.
What has been the most unexpected or surprising aspect of open adoption so far?
Honestly, I still have moments where I can’t believe just how much I like our birth family. I know that sounds kind of silly but when you are approaching the prospect of an “open adoption” your head immediately goes to the negative and the “what if’s”. Surprisingly, we have made a connection with almost every family member we have met to date and also feel like we can totally be ourselves when we are around them.
I think the most unexpected aspect of adoption that I’ve encountered so far is the bi-racial part. I’m East Indian, my husband is Italian, and Kylie is a pure little Canadian mix of…really white! Navigating being a mom of a child of a different race has been interesting to say the least especially when she looks nothing like me but EXACTLY like my husband. How that worked out I have no idea!
How did you start blogging?
I started blogging almost two years ago when I found that I really couldn’t find anybody to talk to professionally about the recurrent pregnancy losses we had been through. I found myself online and my therapy started on my blog when I just wrote my heart out. From there, I was introduced to so many women who supported me through our journey and I can honestly say I don’t know where I would be without the knowledge and insight that came from them. My blog doesn’t really have a theme, I just write. Lately, it has been very open adoption/parenting focused and I’ve been lingering in a place of “wow, I’m really happy” and can’t think of a thing to write but it’s a great place to finally be.
What influence has the blogging/online world has on your family’s adoption?
I have met a ton of people through a local adoption meet-up that occurs in our city and recently have connected with lots of moms who previously struggled with recurrent loss and/or infertility and now have little ones the same age as Kylie through a website called PAIL. It’s amazing, you have this instant connection with them by way of commenting and supporting online and then when you finally meet–you skip the preliminaries and often get right to the friendship part of the relationship. I’ve found myself with a whole new group of friends at age 34 and it’s awesome.
If you could go back to the beginning of your adoption experience and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
I’d tell myself that it is going to be okay and you will be happy. I doubted the happy part for a long time. I’d also remind myself that as much as I want to have this great familial relationship, I have to remember that things can always change and I don’t have control over that. I’d also tell myself that our birthmother’s story is hers to live and I am not to judge it.
Pick a few favorites to share with us.
Favorite post from your blog: I’m only picking this one because I feel like it was the most honest post I’ve ever written. The last four sentences choke me up every time I look at Kylie.
Favorite non-adoption blog/online diversion: HA! I have a shopping problem. I LOVE bargain hunting craigslist, and bidding on Ebay. It used to be for furniture and decorating however, lately it’s been on adorable clothes for Kylie.
Favorite thing to do in your free time: I love the area we live in. There are trails everywhere and we are out every day (dog and baby despite the rain) walking in the woods.
Thank you so much to Traathy for answering our questions! You can check out past interviews with other bloggers from the Open Adoption Bloggers blogroll here. Have a blogger you’d like to see us interview? Let us know!
About the author:
A mother by open adoption, Heather Schade is the founder and editor of Open Adoption Bloggers. She writes at Production, Not Reproduction.