The journey to parenthood and even into parenting can be a difficult road. You may be left feeling defeated, unworthy, unfit or just plain stressed. In this uplifting book by adoptive mothers Rachel Garlinghouse and Madeleine Melcher, a weekly devotional and short story provide you with an encouraging example of how to think on the bright side.
The book is designed to be a quick and easy read, but with thought-provoking samples and questions in each short chapter. You can chose to read straight through or select topics that you may feel drawn to based on your situation that day or week. With topics like Acceptance, Contentment, Courage, Doubt, Forgiveness, Heartache, Joy, Loss, Reassurance, Struggle, Uncertainty, and Worry, there are many emotions we all feel that are covered in the book.
Are 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.
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.
“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.
It is really easy to get caught up in our own pity party when we face infertility or have set backs in adoption. We see women getting pregnant on accident, we stop watching the news because we can’t handle watching stories about abused children, we lash out at family members who are expecting a baby or complain about their kids being bad, and we cry at the sight of pregnant strangers in the grocery store. Experiencing that grief makes us desperate and sometimes with desperation we lack reasoning skills.
Adoption is an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own, but then factor in the reasons you may have come to adoption; infertility, health, relationship status, sexuality, etc, and you may have extra emotions tied to the adoption journey. While I have seen this many times lately in the adoption forums I go to, I am not going to claim I too wasn’t guilty of all the emotions that this entry is about.
Adoption isn’t easy for the expecting mother who made an adoption plan to place her child. She is doing it for her own reasons. She may struggle every day with her decision. She may feel guilt that she cannot provide her child with the life she wants. She may change her mind every day in the things she wants her child to have. She may waiver on what she wants out of the adoption relationship. But, let’s face it, it is her child. It is her decision. We have to just be willing recipients of the child with open arms. And we need to know when it’s time to walk away from a match that is not going to work.
I know it’s really hard to do, but keep in mind this isn’t about what you are or are not deserving of… but it is about her and HER child. (Of course you deserve a child, it just might not be her child!) This is a super stressful situation for you when she begins questioning things in her adoption plan or her match with you. I experienced a disrupted match because the expecting mom second guessed all her choices when it came to us. We were matched very early on and as our friendship grew, so did her need to know things about me on a personal level and on a parenting level. When an expecting mom chooses and adoptive family, she often romanticizes a life she envisions for her child as well as her future in your and her child’s life. I could not live up to her expectations and the match dissolved. It was devastating. The expecting mother may be freaking out and the emotions she is going through are no less valid than yours. Even if she is second guessing some of the choices. She may have people in her other ear telling her she should have picked a stay at home mom or someone that lives closer or in a bigger house. It my experience, the earlier in the pregnancy that she makes decisions, it seems the closer the time gets those decision start to waiver. (Obviously this isn’t the case for every early match.) I would much rather have a woman come to me with adoption as her choice and feel fully at peace, than trying to make the match happen because she thinks she’ll eventually be OK with it.
It’s really scary for us adoptive parents to go through, but we just have to accept what God gives us and remember that it isn’t another woman’s job to make us mothers. She is giving us to her child… not her child to us.
One of the things that has recently been on my mind is celebrating something called “Gotcha Day”. While I think this often pertains to children from international or foster care adoptions, it is becoming more and more a thing to celebrate in the adoption community by all (or more) adoptive families. In my understanding, the celebration started because in some situations the exact birthdate is unknown for the child and a celebration of when the child came into their family became the day to give gifts and celebrate their child’s life. The new “holiday” has evolved and taken on this name “Gotcha Day”. It is commonly celebrated by gifts, special treats, trips to the zoo or other outings by many more adoptive families than the origins intended. This is where it seems to confuse and confound me.
The term in itself, “Gotcha Day”, while I think it is intended to be a funny little play on words that kids understand, I think it also stoops to sound like our children are commodities. Like celebrating the day I bought my first house or got my first car. I know not all my adoptive parent friends see it that way, I apologize if this post offends you. I just don’t understand the logic behind celebrating this day. Granted, my adoption was a domestic infant adoption. I “got” my son the day he was born. I “got” to hold him in my arms seconds after his birth. I “got” to spend the days at the hospital with his birth family and we all rejoiced his entrance to the world as we ALL loved him dearly. I “got” to bring him home when he was released from the hospital. I “got” to formally give him our last name 6 months later in a formal court hearing when our adoption was finalized. While I put the word “got” in quotations… the key to each of those sentences is actually the word “I”.
I was the one who benefited from “getting” Ezra. I gained a child. He lost the parents he had known from the womb. They lost him. Celebrating “getting” him and calling it “Gotcha Day” seems to belittle the loss that surrounds adoption to me. While Joe and I may always smile and acknowledge the day we brought him home from the hospital and how surreal it was and we will also always smile at the thought of him being forever “ours” after that emotional day in court. That celebration will not be as our new property, but that we welcomed a child into our home to love, raise and be our own. I see him no different than our biological son. I didn’t “get” Isaac. He was born into the world and he was mine, a human being to love and cherish forever. Not to mention, for Isaac, would it be fair if Ezra got essentially two birthdays (a Birthday and a Gotcha Day), while Isaac only got one?
The idea of parenting an adoptive child is to raise him as my own, while recognizing he WILL have differences that need addressed as he gets older and has questions. But, for me to single him out and celebrate his being adopted, seems to me, to be insensitive. While other parents may argue it makes their children feel special to have a day dedicated to them, I worry about the implications it will have on them as they get older and may see the day as pointing out their non-biological ties to the family they are raised in.
So, if I feel so inclined to celebrate a Gotcha Day, I’ll do so with my pets. For my son, we’ll find other ways to celebrate his life and our family together.
Today, I have two amazing sons. Isaac is 11 and Ezra is 4 months. The only difference, other than their age, is one is biological and one is adopted. I recently heard someone say they have four children; two are adopted, but they forget which two. I can relate to that. Ezra is indeed MINE. I see him no different than the child I gave birth to 11 years ago. After so many years of trying for a second child, I see him like a little miracle, but I don’t look at him and think he’s any less my child because I didn’t conceive and carry him.
Our adoption journey started 5+ years ago. Before we even began trying for a second child, we talked about adoption as an option since I had a very difficult pregnancy and dangerous delivery with Isaac. We decided to start trying to conceive anyhow. Each month I excitedly waited to see if I would be pregnant. The pharmacy must have loved seeing me coming to buy out their department of pregnancy tests and ovulation trackers on a regular basis. After a few years of trying we had doctors run tests and found out we were both near infertile and it would be a slim chance for us to ever conceive. Even IVF was ruled out. We turned back to adoption.
After much research on adoption agencies, cost, waiting time, infant verses child, etc. we were overwhelmed and put it on the back burner, but it never left our mind… so we started saving and bought a larger home so we would find motivation to expand our family. Eventually growing our family became an obsession and seeing pregnant women and babies caused us depression. We knew adoption was what we needed for our family to grow. We took the plunge in early 2012 and signed up with an Ohio agency out of Yellow Springs.