1. In one of your posts, I read that your adoption would have opened a lot more slowly had it not been for your child's birth mother. Mind if I ask what it is that she said to move towards openness so quickly?
I don't know if it was anything she said, exactly. It was more what she did. When I brought my 2 month update to our agency (which was almost immediately after we were placed - long story), there was a packet of stuff from M. A high school graduation announcement, some pictures from when Anabel was in the hospital that had her whole family and S (her first father), and her last name, address and phone number. After that it was a matter of fighting what our social worker was saying, what our extended family was saying, and my own insecurities as a parent. Also moving from supervised to unsupervised visits, which happened fairly quickly.
2. If I'm doing the math correctly, your daughter is almost 10 years old. Has the dynamic of your visits with her birth mom changed over the years? If so, how?
Oh hell yes. :D We spend a lot more time hanging back and letting them have their time together than when she was younger. It's a lot more relaxed than our visits used to be, which is good. When Anabel was younger, there was a lot more visiting with the adults than now.
3. On that note, how has your daughters curiousness and/or questions about adoption evolved over the years?
Anabel's a lot more comfortable with adoption than she had been. She does ask some questions that are difficult for us to answer; such as why she was placed (we really don't know that one, although I can guess now that I know M's family better), her birth story, why she doesn't have visits with S. I've always encouraged her to talk to M, because she has those answers. At least all but the last one.
She also brings up other kids at her school who are adopted. She's had the choice to talk about her adoption or not when she's on her own, and has had since she was in kindergarten. She did have the dreaded "family tree" assignment in 1st grade. I spoke to her teacher about it and learned that her mother (teacher's) was adopted as well. Her teacher also mentioned that she would let the kids choose whether or not they wanted to share their trees with the class. I was proud that Anabel decided she would share with her class. She said that her teacher didn't allow questions from the class for anybody's tree, which was fine by me.
4. Are any other members of your family adopted?
A few members of my family are adopted. My mother is an only child, so all of our "cousins" were her first cousins. I think 3 of her cousins adopted children; 2 were adopted as infants, 1 was adopted from foster care when she was...4? I think it was 4. There was also a kinship adoption in her family as well, back in the 1920s or '30s.
5. I read in another post that you are not surprised that your daughter is a wonderful writer, because her birth mom is a very good writer. In your experience, do your daughter's hobbies seem to reflect more on her "nature" or her "nurture" (from you and your family)?
I think most of her hobbies and interests are "nature". She's an amazing writer like M, she's musical like the majority of M's family, she's really good at math like M and S. Pretty much the only things she's gotten from Keith and I are knitting and crocheting and video gaming.
I learned a lot more than I thought I would from this interview project! Karen's answer to my last question has me very intrigued (as you know, I wrote one of my research/reflection papers on nature vs. nurture this semester, and I included some of my daughter's adoption story within it) and even more excited to see my little girl's ever-developing personality as she grows.
It was nice to "meet" you, Karen!
To read more interviews, check out the list of interviewers & interviewees at Production Not Reproduction.