Social Networking and Adoption: 6 Things to Think About

Published on Adoption.com 8/25/15

Social-Networking-and-Adoption-6-Things-to-Think-AboutOver 2 billion of the 7 billion people worldwide use social media. Of all Internet users, 47% are on Facebook. The likelihood of the members of your adoption relationship being a part of social media is high. So how can social networking and adoption work together successfully?

Navigating relationships in adoption doesn’t have to be difficult, but social media can sometimes muddy the waters if used poorly. Social media can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you proceed. From prior to your match, throughout your match, and into your adoption relationship, social media can play a vital role in communication, but boundaries may need to be established and privacy and respect given so the relationship can grow naturally and not feel forced or intrusive.

So how do you know what is appropriate for social media and what isn’t? You can start with this list of tips to think about on 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.

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.

Today I Cried For You – Adoption.com

AdopteeStoryHealingAs adoptive parents, when we enter our journey, we have the end goal in mind of becoming parents. When children are adopted at birth or a very young age, we may not even consider that being adopted could one day cause them pain. The voices of adults who were adopted help me prepare myself for how to help my son grow stronger and hopefully cope with any pain he feels. I encourage adoptive parents to keep learning. To keep listening. To keep loving.

Aandra’s powerful story of healing and a poem she wrote for her birth mother is a must read. Click here to read her story on adoption.com.

The Word Adopt – Adoption.com

adoption-definition-4-840x4201-300x150It seems to be a common theme for me lately to catch myself over-analyzing everything to do with adoption. When I don’t, and then see other adoptive parents upset about something, I ask myself, “Should I join in and be upset, too?” I wonder, “Am I missing something here?”

The word adopt seems to be a trigger for adoptive parents when used in situations other than the adoption of a child into a forever family.  In this article, I address the reasons why we are not the only people who get to use this word.  We did not coin the term.  Just like many words in the English language, this one has many definitions.  Click here to read the full story on adoption.com.

Mommy Wars Are Real – Adoption.com

adoption educationParents are all too familiar with the phenomena called Mommy Wars. I was watching a Disney movie called Zapped with my older son the other day, and the main character accused her boy crush of pretending to be competitive with other boys in order to be friends with them. He turned the tables on her and said that girls pretend to be friends in order to be competitive. How many of us are guilty of that? We have the choices between organic or regular, formula or breast milk, stay-at-home or working mom, public or private school, and the list goes on and on. Every day people compete with one another in so many areas of life. Parenting is no exception. How far can we take it?

In the adoption community, just like anywhere else, people are often in competition.  How can we support one another and learn to not compare our adoption to the adoptions other people have?  Click here to continue reading the article at adoption.com.

Adoption Is…

I am so blessed to have such a huge support network of other adoptive parents.  So when I reached out to them, telling them I’d love to share the beauty of adoption through pictures of our children and quotes that touch our hearts, I got a great response!  Thank you everyone who sent me pictures and quotes!

0 Ezra

1 Oliver And Amelia

2 Suzy

3 MaryRae

4 Ezra

5 Patricia

6 Adria

7 Candice

8 Jessica

9 Andi

10 Eithen

11 Thresa

12 Julianne

12 Julie

13 Christina

13 Jessica

14 Ezra

Spreading My Wings

adoptionI am sooooo excited!  A few months ago, I was asked to be a part of an ebook that adoption.com is publishing.  It is a collection of short stories from adoptive parents about advice they can give or lessons they have learned in their adoption process.  Each chapter is a story from a different adoptive parent.  I can’t wait til it is released! (Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it is. Stay Tuned.)

Anyhow, they are almost done with editing and formatting the book and the editor of adoption.com wrote to me with an update and asked me to join adoption.com as a Staff Writer (Storyteller).  Their reach between adoption.com and adoption.org is over 2.5 million monthly viewers! That’s a lot of eyes!  I will be writing a short piece every week on adoption.  It will include personal accounts, navigating adoption, tips, pictures and advice.  They will be thought provoking, educational, touch on real world news, celebrity adoptions, etc.

I am so excited about this opportunity and I hope you will check me out on adoption.com soon!

PS. Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going anywhere, I am just adding this gig to my adoption advocating!  I’ll still be writing for Cincinnati Parent and Indy’s Child too.

book banner

 

Did You Feel Adoption Guilt?

guiltAdoptions come with complex emotions.  One of those emotions that most birth parents and many adoptive feel is guilt.  I think it is completely understandable (yet unnecessary) for a birth parent to feel guilt.  They may feel guilty for making the adoption plan, for not being in a better place in their life, to wanting more for their child and themselves.  But, at the same time, it is my hope that they also see the all the positives of why they are making that choice.  It can come as a surprise when people outside of adoption learn that adoptive parents may also suffer from feelings of guilt.

Guilt is a loaded word.  The definition of guilt to many people is that you have done something “wrong”.  However, I think these people are just looking at the word guilt differently.  While some may use the term “guilty” to describe the feelings they have for feeling joy with their adopted child, other words could easily be used in its place.  Empathy, Compassion, Appreciation, Affinity, Pity, Sympathy, etc.  It really is about the person feeling the emotion and to what degree they perceive the situation.  Some people just tend to beat themselves up more than others.  Some people rely on the good in a situation to thrive or survive through it. (Some people just lack understanding and feel entitled.  Let’s hope none of my readers are of that variety.)

When we were in the process of adopting, I went through a variety of emotions.  Guilt was one of them.  Guilt came in many forms:  Guilt that I couldn’t provide my husband with a biological child (or that I wasn’t sure I even wanted to).  Guilt that I wanted to adopt a newborn.  Guilt that I questioned my ability to parent outside my race.  Guilt that I was going to “sell” myself as someone with more resources for parenting a child, to an expecting mother.  Guilt that I would get to be called “mommy” by a child she loved so much.  Guilt that I would experience all the firsts.  Guilt that I would never understand how tough her decision was.  Guilt that I may not be a perfect parent either.

While Ezra’s birth mother is an incredibly strong woman, I know this hasn’t been easy for her.  She seems at peace and very proud of Ezra as well as her decision, but still, I am sure there are times that she wishes she could have parented him instead of placing him for adoption.  Ezra’s birth father has always shown more emotion when it comes to the struggles he faces with adoption.  He has always been extremely kind to us and never showed us any resentment.  He is always smiling when we are together and he is very affectionate toward Ezra.  These things just show me how much he cares.  Watching the yearning in his eyes gives me guilt.  It gives me guilt to know that we have the ability to give “more” and because of that we were chosen to parent their child.  It is very normal to celebrate success, but when it contributes to someone else’s pain it is more guilt producing.

Guilt in adoption hopefully fades with time as the open adoption relationship blossoms into a healthy, loving extension of your family. Understanding that these people chose you to parent their perfect little creation is something you should not feel guilt over.  But just because it is OK to not feel guilt, does not mean it is OK to feel indifferent or not want to help ease their pain.  Sharing an open adoption and open communication is good for all members of the adoption triad.  However, if you allow guilt to consume you, you may begin to suffer in other areas and your child will also suffer.

Have you experienced any of these emotions?