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Most of the concerns we hear from birthparents' parents have to do with trying to understand what their role is--or should be-- when their son or daughter is participating in an open adoption. The birthgrandparents worry that if they are too encouraging, their child (the birthparent) may blame them afterwards for not shielding them from the grief and heartache that comes with the placement decision... or they feel guilty, thinking that they should offer to raise the grandchild themselves and spare their child the potential pain altogether... they worry about what the adopting couple may think of them, how the adoptive family may let the birthparent down if open adoption promises aren't kept after placement, and they have concerns about how open to be with other relatives and family members once the adoption is done-- do they put pictures of the adopted child (the birthgrandchild) out around the house with their others or hide them in a drawer? Oftentimes, birthgrandparents who didn't originally support the adoption plan come around in time, and then don't know how to mend fences and express an interest in the child's welfare without coming off as hypocritical. If their son or daughter doesn't bring up the adoption in conversation, they don't know how to ask about it.

One particularly good book is "My Child is a Parent" (authored by Mary Stephenson, if we've got the name right); it's one birthgrandmother's journey through her teenage daughter's adoption decision. She was not originally comfortable with the concept of openness, but over the years that followed, found it to be an enormous blessing in her life and the birthgrandchild's, particularly years later, after her own daughter (the birthmom) had married and then succumbed to cancer. Sad as this was, the ending was happy, because the open adoption plan helped both of the adoptee's families (birth and adoptive) to support her in this loss and to maintain a sense of connection despite her birthmother's death.

How about all of yous, out there? Are your child's birthgrandparents involved? What's worked best, in your experience? Any advice?  Input? Perspectives from all around the adoption triad?

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  • 9 months later...
Guest CJsProudParents

Don't know exactly where to post this question so hope this is okay... just wondering, what do most people (or adopted kids) out there call the birthgrandparents? Do you refer to them by their names? Or by some other title? (The word "birth-grand-parent" seems kind of long and impersonal but how else could you start to teach children who's who? in a way that makes sense to them but doesn't put off other relatives?)

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Just wondered if we have any birthgrandparents out there who originally became parents by adoption and wanted to share their story?

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  • 1 year later...

Ok... let's try a new angle. Birthparents: what was the nicest thing any of your relatives said or did to let you know they supported your adoption decision (beforehand or afterwards)?

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My mom totally surprised me.....when we found out I was pregnant (which was the scariest thing in the world to me at that time...I thought she was going to totally freak out on me), she told me she would support me in whatever decision I made - whatever I decided to do, she would be right there with me. And she was...I lived at the agency while I was pregnant (wasn't Abrazo as they weren't around wayyy back then!) and every Friday, she would come get me and bring me back every Sunday - for 4 straight months. She was my rock during that time and she never tried to push me into placing but she never tried to push me into parenting either - she somehow knew how to balance all that and what to say (which isn't exactly her strongpoint - she has a horrible habit of sticking her foot in her mouth - she speaks without thinking of how what she's saying could make someone feel). Anyway, my mom was awesome!

My middle sister was also very supportive and made me feel good about it - her son was only 10 at the time and she was totally open about me being pregnant and what I was going to do....I could see him and her and she was totally fine with it (my oldest sister wasn't so tolerant - she refused to let her children see me pregnant and never wanted them to know what was going on/what happened) so my middle sister's actions compensated a lot for how my other sister acted about it (my oldest sister was glad I was placing (or supportive of my decision), just didn't want her kiddos to see their Aunt Lisa pregnant at 18.

I think tolerance is a great thing for relatives to demonstrate - birthmothers are already experiencing enough shame and humility already - just being tolerant of the situation and non-judgemental and keeping some questions to yourself can do so much.

-Lisa

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  • 2 weeks later...

boo!! here i am again!! biggrin.gif

i can tell you that MY parents have been very supportive of Diana. i told my mother about a week after Diana told me, and she told my father a few weeks later. my mother would have supported termination, as i would have, if it had come to that. but God had other plans, and we are ALL so happy to know this child is going to a family that can/will love him as much as we do. when the Wilders come in (only 2 more days now!!!!), my folks will get to meet them, also, and are VERY excited about that!!!! my husband - Diana's step-father for the last 16 1/2 years - is.......what? he cares about her as if she were his bio daughter, but is afraid to 'become attatched' to this child. he is not ready to meet the APs yet. i think it will just take time, and Ashley has said that he can have all the time he needs - they will still be here for us. i love these people, and thank God for them every day!!!!!

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Robin,

We were SOOO excited to get to meet your husband even if for just a moment. He is a sweet man and we hope we will get to spend more time with him in the future. I can't even really imange what it is like for a daddy to watch his daughter go through this process. I know it would really be hard for my dad. WE love him and can't wait for a developing relationship with him as time goes on.

How are you feeling these days?

Love ya bunches and bunches!

AShley

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Well, hmmm.....The entire time I was pregnant with the triplets my mom and I talked every day. Even though my dad didn't want her talking to me about that, and to this day, she'll ask me about them when he isn't around.

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i'm baaaaaack!!!! biggrin.gif well, kinda. feel ALMOST human now, so maybe on the downhill slide wink.gif.

all i can say about Billy is he will either come to accept the way this is going to go, or he won't. we won't love him any less. he IS a wonderful person, but has always been very set in his ways. the great thing about life is that as long as your living it, you always have chances and choices.

Edited by TexasLeather
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i was re-reading these posts and saw the one where the child calls the BGM bee-gee - i think that's really cool!! all my others call me Gramma, but whatever little Tucker wants to call me is just peachy!!

Ashley & Ted, thank you for your willingness & patience with Billy. i know he'll come around once he sees that you're not going anywhere biggrin.gif i know he IS proud of the fact that there are such wonderful people as you who are willing to 'raise another's child'. he just has never been involved in anything like adoption, and is still pretty old-fashioned - even for someone who is as young as he is.

and Miss Elizabeth, what was your question again? LOL i always 'butt in' but can also be told to 'butt out' if needed.

Edited by TexasLeather
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  • 1 month later...
Anybody heard from Texas Leather?  I hope she's doing well.

35289[/snapback]

I remember Ashley Wilder saying Diana was without internet connection...I guess I assumed that meant her mom (Texas Leather) was without also. I'm sure Ashley could tell us more when she's over strep. sad.gif

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Hey there,

feeling much better- finally back to the land of the living... I had forgotten just how terrible strep makes you feel!

Anyway, Robin (TexasLeather) is doing fine. She was with Diana at the hospital all weekend so I heard her voice in the background a couple of times- I think cool.gif Susan was right- they do not have phone service or internet service any longer. All is well- just out of touch for now. Diana askes about the forumites frequently so I try to keep her up to date. I am sure she passes the info on the Robin. I will pass along that she has been asked about!

Ashley

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