I started this blog to write about my experience of open adoption. It could still have been defined as open at the time although it had already disappointed my own expectations of what "openness" meant. And after that devastating letter six years ago, and the aftermath that followed, it would be better described as a closed adoption.
Gradually those feelings and that pain shrank into the corners of my mind. The drama of Miriam's birth, the subsequent disintegration of my marriage, and my own post-divorce rumspringa took up all of my emotional resources. And now, I hardly think of E at all. I have moved far enough away from the pain of her loss that I have to do some quick math in my head to remember how old she is (13 on Thursday). By some people's definition this would make me a success story. I have enjoyed a few years of peace. I have taken a vacation from the pain. This is the luxury a closed adoption can afford.
Events of this past year, while having absolutely nothing to do with her, have made me revisit the lessons open adoption taught me. "I am leaning toward letting the door close. I have my own mental health to think of. I don't want to be bent into shapes that fit around their insecurities, I don't want that responsibility on my shoulders anymore." Reopening that wound led to the irritation of other wounds. Her age, also, makes me wonder whether now might be a time when she needs her first mother. And for the first time in three years, I'm considering contacting her. Nothing intrusive, just a birthday card. Something to tell her, yes, I'm still here. I'm still listening. I haven't forgotten.