Thursday, 23 July 2015

Perfect day for an openness visit

Yesterday was the perfect day at the park with the former foster parents and social worker of 3 of our children.  We are back on the mainland for more testing at the hospital which brought us closer to the foster parents and social worker so we all met at a local park for an afternoon visit.  It had been a while since we have been able to get together in person, but have had ongoing telephone and email contact, so they were all very surprised at the changes in the children.  The youngest 2 were placed at 1 and 2 years old and neither were walking or talking and their sister was 4 years old.  The social worker has only seen pictures in the last 3 years and the foster parents see them about once per year.  All 3 kids were very busy at the park playing with their siblings and the children the foster parents brought along.  Nobody could believe how big the kids have gotten and didn't recognize 2 out of the 3 of them.

I think openness is so important for kids and families that have been effected by adoption but sometimes finding appropriate individuals for relationships can be a challenge.  For these particular kids they have never had a relationship with their birth parents and that currently isn't a viable relationship, so it's important that they continue their relationship with their foster parents.  We feel by keeping these relationships it gives them a connection to their past, that has made them who they are today.  These relationships will be continued so as they age they will have a connection to their past and people to answer any questions they may have.  We also try and cultivate new appropriate relationships with birth family or extended birth family so the kids can know as much about themselves as possible.  With our various children we have all different types of openness relationships.  Some are fully open relationships, others are more discrete relationships, for a couple we set up a private email address just for them to contact us (with no personal information) and others our contact is in the form of letters and pictures through a third party.  Some of our openness arrangements are written agreements and others are just friendly arrangements.  We have relationships with birth parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, foster parents, foster parents family and social workers depending on what works for the various situations.

Having children, that have now grown to adults, with similar openness arrangements I can honestly say that most have grown up with a strong sense of themselves and don't feel like anything is missing.  Do you have openness arrangements with your childrens birth family?  How do they work for your family?

No comments:

Post a Comment