5 Ways to Maintain a Relationship with Your Child’s Birth Parent Struggling with Addiction – Adoption.com

addictionPublished 6/10/15

Addiction is a complicated disease that doesn’t discriminate based on race, class, education, or age. Before drug addiction plagued my family, it was something I didn’t quite understand. I knew alcohol and tobacco were addictive. I even had heard of addictive personality traits and addictions to activities like gambling or shopping. But the drug addiction of today is an epidemic that isn’t getting better. Depending on the substance a person is addicted to, detox can be dangerous, and treatment and recovery can be near-impossible. I recently lost my big brother to heroin addiction. It is through that loss, and helping another family member through the same addiction, that I have realized just how difficult it is to love a person suffering from addiction.

Maintaining a relationship with an addict is challenging and frustrating. Loving someone unconditionally does not mean you have to love their disease. It does not mean you have to condone their habit. It does not mean you have to pick up their messes. Here are some ways I have learned to focus on the relationship while also recognizing the addiction. If you are struggling to maintain a relationship with your child’s birth parent because they suffer from addiction, hopefully these tips will help you.

For the list of ways to support and understand addiction, please continue reading at adoption.com.

Letting Them Down: An Adoptive Parent’s Worst Fear – Adoption.com

letting-them-down-an-adoptive-parents-worst-fearPublished 6/5/15

A lump. A giant, hard, non-moving lump. I stepped out of the shower and nervously called for my husband to come to the bathroom. He walked in and immediately said, “What’s wrong?”  Apparently the lack of color in my face told the whole story.

I said, “Feel this. Is there something there? Tell me it’s all in my head.” His face soon matched mine and his response was, “Call your doctor; it’s not in your head.” A trip to the doctor confirmed the mass and got me sent in for an immediate mammogram and sonogram.  At 35 years old, what was happening? The “C word” was running through my head….

To continue reading about my biggest fear as an adoptive parent, click here to visit adoption.com.

Top 5 Male Health Issues that Affect Fertility – Adoption.com

malePublished 6/4/15

When I met my husband, I had previously been married and had one biological son from that marriage. I had my male son young, before I knew the extent of my own infertility. My pregnancy was plagued with many challenges, and delivery made it clear that it may be unsafe or maybe even impossible for me to have more children, male or female. I thought it was only fair to share that information with my future husband early in our courtship. He seemed okay with the news and was quick to say we could adopt one day if we got to that point in our relationship.

We were soon married and years went by and our desire to build a family grew. Our desire to have another child became stronger than I had ever imagined. I began to feel the pain of letting my husband down because I may not be able to give him a biological child. Although adoption was still very much on the table, the fear of all the unknowns, including the cost associated with it, prevented us from quickly moving forward. So we spent a few years trying to conceive. I had been diagnosed with several things that limited my chances to become pregnant, but we had a sliver of hope. Finally our doctor decided to test my husband as well. The testing concluded that he, too, was suffering from infertility. If he was ever deeply hurt by that news, it went quietly. He took the news in stride, and we focused solely on adoption.

Like my husband, many men suffer from infertility. In order for a male to do his part in baby-making, the production of sperm is necessary. The movement of the male sperm into the semen is essential. The quantity and quality of male sperm is important. Many things play a role in sperm production and movement. Is male infertility something that has brought you to adoption?

Here is a list of the top causes of male infertility: Click to read the rest of the story at adoption.com

I Want to Adopt. Now What?

Published 5/26/15 on adoption.com

i-want-to-adopt.1Are you hoping to grow your family through adoption? You have decided to adopt, but now what? Where does a person start?  It can be overwhelming, but very exciting! There are many different avenues for adoption, the three main categories being private domestic adoption; international adoption; and public/foster adoption. Determining which of these routes is best suited for you and your family is the first place to start. Once you have determined the type of adoption you wish to pursue, there are a few tips that will help you get things moving.

Follow through to adoption.com to read more about each category and other areas you will want to consider while you select the right type of adoption for your family.

Statistics: Is Teen Pregnancy on the Rise?

Published 5/15/15 on Adoption.com

teen-pregnancy1Whether it is education, easier access to birth control, or the level of acceptance and communication in our society, we have seen a steady decline in teen pregnancy.

Thirty-six years ago, I was born to a teen mother.  My grandparents were extremely supportive of her—disappointed, of course, but they made it clear they would support her in raising me or if she chose adoption. They also made it clear that abortion was not an option, to which my mom was very relieved.

Click through to see more about the statistics of teen pregnancy and more on my personal story at adoption.com.

Top 10 Questions to Ask an Agency if You are Pregnant and Considering Adoption

ask if pregnant Published 5/11/15 on adoption.com Choosing to place your child for adoption is an enormous decision that you surely won’t take lightly. Are you considering making an adoption plan? If you are, these ten tips will help you select the right adoption agency for you. Having a good agency to work with will help your journey go a lot smoother. Emotional support as well as help along the way and in the future is a vital part of the process. Are you considering making an adoption plan?

Read this list of things to ask an adoption agency before committing to them. Follow the link to adoption.com for more information.

Top 8 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your Multicultural Family

Published May 5, 2015 Adoption.com

cinco“The Battle of Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.” (Mexonline.com)

Learning the history of Cinco de Mayo is important so misconceptions aren’t passed along to the next generation. Did you already know what the Cinco de Mayo holiday was or did you just enjoy tacos and margaritas with friends each year? If your child is adopted from Mexico or of Mexican descent, learning the true meaning of the holiday can help them have pride in their heritage. Encourage your entire family to celebrate your child’s heritage and embrace the culture.

Here are some ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your family. Follow to Adoption.com for the rest of the story.

Guide to Avoiding Adoption Scams – Adoption.com

imagesLuckily adoption scams are rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. With the Internet, it seems that adoption scams are easier to pull off, making them more and more common. While you shouldn’t let the fear of a scam stop you from proceeding in your adoption journey, you should be aware of, and on the lookout for, a few key indicators.

For a full list of things to be on the watch for or what you should do if you find yourself in this situation read the rest of the story at adoption.com.

Almost My Daughter – Adoption.com

ExactlyWhereWeShouldBeThis 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.

7 Considerations for Communicating with Your Birth Child – Adoption.com

Protecting our children from unnecessary confusion by setting boundaries with birth parents.

CommunicatingWithYourBirthChildOpen 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.