Coming up with a comfortable and enjoyable location for open adoption visits can sometimes be challenging. Whether you are still working on building a relationship or you fit together like an old pair of shoes, you still want the visits to be in places that you have fun, can enjoy good conversation, and see the children in action. Some adoptive families and birth families live very close while many others live far apart. No matter what the distance, picking a location that everyone will enjoy can add stress to the day. I have compiled some of our favorite locations to get together during our open adoption visits to help take some of the planning off your plate.
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….
Gone are the days when etiquette was black and white. There is no formal code written on when it is most appropriate to hold a baby shower. There used to be so many rules on who could host, when it could be hosted, what gifts should be bought, food served, games played, etc. But times have changed, and so have the rules for adoption baby showers. There was a day and age where adoption itself was hush-hush, so adoption showers were unheard-of. If a shower was thrown for a mother via adoption, it was almost always small, indiscreet, and after placement. But why? Why should adoptions, which are so common, not be celebrated?
Many women do not want a baby shower prior to placement, but many women do. How should friends and family decide when to throw an adoption baby shower for the expecting couple? To read more about adoption baby showers, click to read the rest at adoption.com.
For Open Adoption Education and a great community for support, visit our page Heart For Open Adoption to join the discussions.
Sitting in the rocking chair with my son on my lap, I read to him from a book. This isn’t an ordinary book, however. This is a Lifebook; a book all about him. This book begins with pictures and the story of his birth parents and gives child sensitive information regarding their path to creating an adoption plan. There are many reasons birth parents come to the decision to place their child for adoption. In some situations a child may be adopted at an older age or go through foster care. Whatever the reason, a Lifebook is a a historical book about your child.
It was an unusually warm January day in 2013. The expectant mother and I had grown quite close in the short time we had known each other. She had a bad case of bronchitis. As a result, she was not getting much sleep and growing dehydrated. Her amniotic fluid was decreasing, so we were going to the hospital every few days for a non-stress test and fluid check. We had our overnight bags packed, anticipating that one of these visits would result in the big day coming a few weeks early. That day was The Day. We called our spouses so they could meet us there. Things were about to get moving. Good thing she and I grabbed lunch on our way!
“Gotcha Day” can come with many emotions for people on all sides of the triad. From the term “gotcha” symbolizing an object to be gotten or the way you say “gotcha” when you scare or trick someone, to just not wanting to celebrate something that could have been emotionally devastating for others in the triad. Click here to see why our family doesn’t celebrate Gotcha Day on adoption.com.
Adoption comes with complex emotions. Often, the emotions are consuming and misunderstood. One of the emotions that a lot of adoptive parents unexpectedly find themselves feeling is guilt. It can come as a surprise if you find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with emotions that you translate as guilt after you have adopted. It is not uncommon to feel adoption guilt…
It is normal to feel a wide variety of emotions while adopting. The emotions can change minute to minute, day to day or year to year. Being empathetic to the other members, while keeping things in perspective only help us learn and grow. To read the full article, visit adoption.com.
Being so involved in the adoption community, it’s natural that I get a lot of inquiries from friends and random people seeking help in beginning their adoption journey. One of the things I have to often remind myself is that I was once in their shoes. In today’s adoption climate, open adoption is the norm. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in the early stages of adoption knows about open adoption or is immediately comfortable with the idea…
Learning about adoption was overwhelming for me. You are not alone in feeling that way! Looking for an adoption agency is not any exception. In our journey we contacted at least half a dozen agencies and read countless articles online trying to figure out where to start and what to expect. We were not just in distress about how long we had been trying for a baby, but then we learned that we could have anywhere from days to several years on the “waiting list” for a baby, too. Factor in the cost associated with agency adoption, and we were bewildered. We had no idea how to select the best adoption agency that would meet our needs. Looking at the fact that there are tons of adoption agencies that can put on a great advertising front, but operate very unethically, we were scared we would be out time and money that we wouldn’t be able to ever get back and could potentially stop us from adopting if we suffered any loss.
While there are many other things, including the gut feelings you get when talking to them, these are a great starting point for fielding your options. For the rest of this article, please click here to read it at Adoption.com.
Some people may think that closing an open adoption is okay. They may think that promising an open adoption is just a means to becoming parents and that closing it has no effect on the child. After all, closed adoptions used to be the norm, and open adoption agreements often aren’t even legally enforceable. I often hear people state that they would only close the adoption if the environment for an open adoption became unhealthy. And while I too am guilty of making this statement, I think the phrase “closing the adoption” needs to be looked at closer.
Here are some ways to look at your open adoption and get through the struggles that may be plaguing your relationship with the birth family before just writing off the relationship with them. To read the rest of the article, please click here to visit Adoption.com.
1. You are so wonderful.
2. That is so wonderful.
Or some variation of the two. Maybe something like “Oh, God bless you. You are such an angel to adopt. He is a lucky boy!” What? I mean What?
I wrote a short blog about this last year and I have been thinking about expanding on it for some time now, as I see other adoptive parents encountering the same thing. Then I learned about the “Orphan Crisis” and that some church congregations or sects of people are actually patting themselves on the back for adopting. These people are fertile and have been blessed with biological children and adopt because they feel they need to save an orphan. So where are they finding these orphans? Sure some people, like Angelina Jolie spend time in other countries on movies or doing missionary work and learn about the problems that plague the area and fall in love with a sweet child they decide they’d like to adopt. This is not the case for most though. People are not plucking malnourished, homeless kids off the streets and bringing them home. They are adopting infants and going through agencies that people that just want children also go through.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that people with biological children can’t adopt. I have a biological son! So that surely isn’t what I am saying. I am also not saying that saying “God called me to adopt” is not a valid reason for expanding your family through adoption. What I am saying is, don’t talk about “saving your child” and bragging about how terrible his life was and how you are his savior. All “do you want a cookie?” or “pat yourself on the back” mentality stuff. We don’t adopt children to make ourselves feel like we did a good deed. We adopt them to make them part of our family. If you want to do a good deed, send money and food or volunteer. I am sure the child feels so great being made to feel like they owe their parents instead of just being loved by their parents. (sarcasm) Some kids really do come from bad situations and wanting to help them is not a bad thing. But, be honest with yourself and don’t make them feel like every step may lead them back to the original status.
The Orphan Crisis has nothing to do with domestic infant adoptions. Some articles I read stated how domestic infant adoptions are on the decline and they must figure out a way to change that. Seriously? Yes, I adopted a domestic infant, but do I wish to separate more children from their first mothers? Do I wish to use coercion tactics to get more women to make an adoption plan? No and NO!
Let me make this clear, To the first statement that people often say to me: I am not wonderful. I do not work with orphans, I am not a social worker or a missionary, I am not scooping up children without homes. I adopted because I wanted a child. My son wasn’t saved by me. He would have been just fine had his birth mother chosen to parent. He would have been adopted by someone else if I wasn’t there to adopt him.
Secondly, it is not wonderful to adopt. It is stressful, expensive, heart wrenching, confusing and time consuming. Then add in how my son will cope with his identity and emotions and he navigates life. Or how about the the loss he and his birth parents feel every day?
What part of any of it other than ME getting to be this boys mommy is wonderful?
What have you experienced and how do you handle it?