I’m blessed to have several close friends of mine that represent the three different sides of the adoption triad- birthmother, adoptive mother, and child. I find that my conversations that I have with each of them have become more and more valuable as I travel my path as an adoptive mother.
A friend of mine is the adoptive mother of two little girls. She has fairly open relationships with both of her girls’ birthmothers, and we often talk about how that impacts their lives compared to the completely closed relationship we have with our son’s birth family. She has fairly regular contact with each birth mother, so is aware of lifestyle choices that are made.
As her oldest daughter is getting closer to an age where she would become more aware of what’s going on in her birth mothers life, my friend struggles with what information to pass on. Of course, you want your child to have a positive view point of their birthfamily, but what if you make it too nice and cozy? Are you then setting the situation up for a tween/teenager fight about wanting to go back to live with their birthparents, because they seem so great? Remember, I WAS that adoptive teenager who wanted anything except my parents house rules, even though I knew nothing about my birthmother, surely she HAD to be better then my parents.
It’s also difficult to filter out some of the not so great decisions that are made. I know that both of us have access to pictures/information of our children’s birth parents making less the wise decisions. In our case, there is drug use, unsafe decisions, and prescription drug abuse documented in an instagram account. I don’t plan on saving those pictures for Isaac, but those are the choices that are being made at this time, which depending on consequences, might come out eventually. I dug through both facebook accounts and instagram accounts trying to find pictures that I could save for when he was older to show him pictures of his birth family. While doing this, I struggled to find ones that I was comfortable with my future toddler and school age child seeing. There were very few that didn't have drugs or alcohol in them.
We understand that these are their own lives, and their own decisions, but my friend and I both agree; these decisions influence the amount of contact and type of information we are willing to share as our children grown up. In this age of technology and ‘connected-ness’, information is so readily available… but what if you aren’t comfortable with all that information?