Whether you are considering adoption for yourself or would like to debunk some common adoption myths for friends and family, we are here to help you! Adoption can be a scary topic, especially as things have changed with how adoptions work now verses 20+ years ago. Built on fear and lack of knowledge, myths and misconceptions form. Horror stories told through the grape vine become distorted versions of the truth, and that is all people cling to. So let’s set the record straight on some of the most common myths in the adoption world. Open your mind and put your fears to rest. We won’t sugar coat the truth, but rather inform you so you can make the best decision for your family and educate your friends and extended family along your journey.
This time of year always gets to me a little more than other times. The daughter we thought would be ours is turning two. When we officially started our adoption journey, we met a young lady who was very early in her pregnancy. We chatted a little on Facebook, as she found me through our adoption page. Since we were working with an agency in our state and she was in another state, I honestly never thought anything would come of our conversations in the form of an adoption match being made; we just talked about her situation. After talking awhile, she expressed her wish that we could be the parents of her unborn child. We began educating ourselves on the possibilities and what we would need to do since our agency only worked with people in our state. We soon drove to meet her and her boyfriend and immediately hit it off with them. We got along great and had so many similar interests!
It is a difficult journey when you are faced with a match that falls through, but time does heal and now I look back and know we are all exactly where we should be. To read more about the way I feel about our failed match and what lead us to adopting our son, Ezra, click here to read the rest of the article on adoption.com.
Protecting our children from unnecessary confusion by setting boundaries with birth parents.
Open adoptions can be full of complex emotions. I have heard of many of different types of open adoption relationships. Some are smooth sailing while many have bumps in the road. “Boundaries” is a familiar topic when adoptive parents get together and discuss issues that arise in their relationship with their child’s first family. Most of us adoptive parents don’t like to set rules because we feel so honored to have this child entrusted to us. But when you look at boundaries as rule setting, you can set yourself up for failure. Instead, boundaries should be viewed as a method for maintaining a healthy relationship. Just as my family knows not to call too early in the morning or too late at night unless it’s an emergency, birth parents should know the limits of what we strive for to maintain normalcy. Setting the boundaries with the people in our lives means we can live comfortably, avoid unnecessary surprises, and not be annoyed because we didn’t let people know how we’d like our family to work.
Navigating an open adoption and the surprising emotions that come along with it mean that sometimes we say things before thinking. Communicating with the child as well as with each other is so important. To find out some tips on how to best communicate with your child placed for adoption, follow this link to adoption.com for more. You will find tips with communicating with the child, but that when in doubt having a conversation with the adoptive parents is always a good idea too. Together you can make sure the child’s best interests are always put first.
The words people use aren’t always appropriate, but it doesn’t make them bad.
“Where is her real mom?” or “Why did his real mom give him up?” Sometimes the things people say to us make us cringe. We get defensive and sometimes fire back the answer with the intent to offend or belittle the person asking. We react because it causes us pain. It attacks that soft spot of infertility that not having biological children left many of us with. It may reopen a wound we thought had closed. We fear it may confuse our child. We worry about how the words of others will affect the emotions of our little ones. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. While that little rhyme might not always be true, we do have power to decide what we allow to hurt us.
One thing I have learned, and maybe it’s thanks to many friends in the adoption groups I am involved in, is that I don’t have to take everything personally. To read more about why I don’t think words are always meant or used with ill intentions? Follow this link to adoption.com to understand why I personally have used the word “real” many times in talking about biological family members.
Here are some ideas to consider while thinking of Christmas presents for your child’s birth family.
What are some of your favorite homemade gifts your kids have made for their birth parents or extended family members?
With the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, making sure your child’s birth family isn’t left out can sometimes be a challenge. Open adoption is a beautiful blessing, but can sometimes add extra stress to the holidays. I am a giver. My personality has a hard time saying no to anyone, so I often feel very much overwhelmed and then run down after the holidays because I don’t want to disappoint anyone or miss any special events. My husband and I both have parents that divorced and remarried, adding even more family to each side. We each have two sides with separate traditions to incorporate into each holiday. I too was married once before and share a son with my first husband. Then add in open adoption and it’s another branch of our family.
We have become good at creative celebrations. We are so lucky that new traditions have begun forming as the next generation adds new dynamics. We have been able to extend the holidays to alternative dates in order to accommodate everyone.
It was a brisk afternoon, and we had just returned from the outlet mall where we had bought the boys new gym shoes. Our youngest son, Ezra, was running around the yard and chasing after a football. As I fondly watched on, snapping a few adorable pictures on my phone, one of my first thoughts was to share a photo with his birth mom. I remembered she had recently asked if he has started to run yet, so I switched over to video and recorded a short clip of him running across the yard. Her response was quick and full of joy. “Look at him run. I love it. It almost looks like he’s been running and walking for years!” I typed back “He’s a pro!” and her next message was when it hit me… she said “I’m so proud.”