If there is such a thing as a favorite word mine would be Open. It carries special meaning for me. Not that I’m anxious to have open-heart surgery, open up a can of worms or even an open-face sandwich. But think of an open-house, an open mind or that Open sign on a store-front. I have two personal reasons for embracing the word.
When my youngest daughter was born deaf my wife and I set about to teach her how to lip-read and speak. We were guided in creating situations in which Janice was urged to say the word, open, to make the world move for her, to make it her own. We confronted her with boxes, drawers, lids and doors…anything that would lift at her saying the word as in Open Sesame. Open became her first word and a portal to the hearing world.
Years later when my eldest daughter, Shari, sought to adopt children I was so pleased that she went the route of Open Adoption. The concept of Open Adoption enabled me, as a grand-parent, to enjoy an extended family beyond anything I’d imagined. Shari went on to become executive director of the agency which operates in Oregon and Washington. They now also facilitate adoptions nationwide including many same-sex couples. Here is the link.......... Www.openadopt.org/open-
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Faith, the birth-mother of my grandson, Gabriel, over the years. Though we are separated by many miles Peggy and I have joined her for Thanksgiving dinner as well as other shared experiences. I hope, someday, to meet my grand-daughter, Adrienne’s birth parents as well….another opening, another show.
Open in all its dimensions suggests inclusion, and a welcoming. One knows it is right because open arms feel better than clenched ones. It’s a joining, a bringing together without needless walls or secrets. As in the case of my deaf daughter, an open adoption is a way for a child to make a life of his/her own. Children enter a world of transparency with the option of a wide reach of half-brothers and sisters in loving relationships.