Sipping coffee my pre-dawn musings were reflecting on what informs us of who a person truly is deep inside. That set off a cascade of ruminations which culminated with a distinctly unsettled feeling about the adoptees growing up in what passes as an open adoption these days.
My ruminations drew on my relationships, what made each of them what they were, what they weren’t. Of course, similar likes and mindsets were important; but the consistency of time spent together over decades seemed equally important to the depth and fulness of the relationship and the value I placed on it. Further reflection yielded the realization that both similarities and quality time spent together are needed to instinctively know how the other would react, feel, deal with whatever was happening around them. That, the fulness of knowledge also guided me in how I think, react, more in confirming I’m on solid ground and not missing relevant considerations,and comfort in knowing we were similar minded.
I came away another acute awareness that the lack of quality time spent over a lifetime leaves you with empty spaces of who that person is. How I am only now, more than a decade later, beginning to instinctively know how my aunt by birth would instinctively react and feel. That I have so many empty spaces that will never be filled about who and what type of person each member of my family of birth is. That loss is weighing heavily on me, a loss I can’t mitigate, nor fix, it just is.
That loss could be mitigated in an open adoption; but is it in most is the question I’m left pondering. Looking around at what passes for openness today, my guess is that most adoptees growing up today will have many empty spaces in their relationships in their family birth. Relationships that should be full enough that they’d know instinctively how that person would react and feel about whatever challenge or event they were dealing with, but likely won’t.