I was having a conversation with a woman I barely know a few days ago, who has two adopted children, and birth families came up. I was pleased to hear that her children, who are almost teenagers, have relationships with their birthmothers. I started to say something and she said "Well obviously it's not a problem - I hold all the power."
I was too flabberghasted to speak. Here's what I would have said, had I been able to sort words out of the maelstrom in my head.
It's not about who has the power. No parent has power. It's about figuring out that we have no power, ever, anyone, and no matter how our children come to us, they can be taken away in an instant, or choose to walk away, and what we really need to do is be who we are meant to be in their lives, as long as we are able. And we need to step back and let the children who have come to us through adoption work out their own answers about the complicated emotional tangle that adoption can be, open or otherwise.
And pray for them. "Who do you love best?" is a question I as a mother would never ask, (and please God may it never even flip through my mind), but it is a question my children feel like they should have an answer to, and the last thing on earth they need is any sort of proprietary "you belong to me" baggage from either of the perceived contenders.
Don't love anybody best, baby. You don't owe me anything. Figure out how you feel and give yourself permission to feel it, and don't try to nail it down to words or put it in slots. And I will thank God, on a daily basis, that I get to be part of your journey.