Authors Needed

logo-theme1Hey guys, I wanted to let you know about a project I am helping a friend with.  Russell Elkins, author of Open Adoption, Open Heart and Open Arms, was asked by Adoption.com to gather stories from domestic adoptive parents for a book they are putting together.  This book will feature about 25 chapters, each telling a story and giving one piece of advice about adoption that you would give someone just entering adoption.  Each author’s submission will be a stand alone chapter.  If this is something you’d be interested in doing, please see the criteria below:

  • Must be an adoptive parent or potential adoptive parent through domestic adoption.
  • The entry cannot have previously (or if selected, in the future) posted to any blog, article or book.
  • Must be approximately 1500 words.
  • Must lend “one piece of advice”.
  • Can submit using real name, pseudonym or anonymous.
  • Permission from anyone named in the submission, otherwise change names or use generic terms like “my son, birth mom, husband, wife” etc.
  • Due ASAP, we are behind schedule.

This is an unpaid project that will serve as an educational piece to help future adoptive families through Adoption.com.  Time is of the essence for this project.  It is behind schedule and we are looking for 5 additional entries to quickly complete this project.  Please email me your submissions to 1grewinmyheart@gmail.com

If you are interested in Russell’s books about adoption, please visit my book review’s page to see a description and a link to purchase his books.  Thanks!

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You are Sooooo Wonderful!

You are so wonderful!

Sarah Baker | November 05, 2013 | 11:04 AM

Since adopting our son, I find people say the strangest things. At least they are strange to me. While we are very open about the fact that Ezra is adopted and we want him to understand his roots, other people are making me learn to be more closed lip about it. I have come to only share our adoption story in certain platforms now. Not because I am ashamed or don’t want Ezra to know, but because people don’t understand adoption. It really depends on if I am in “educate” mode or “I’m a busy mom and don’t want to hear your comments” mode.

When someone says to me, “wow, where did he get his blonde hair?” Do I say, “His birth father was blonde as a child too”, or do I say “His dad”, or do I sarcastically say “Must have been the mailman.”? I don’t want Ezra to grow up thinking I am ashamed that he is adopted by avoiding the topic, but I also don’t want him to feel like I am always saying “well he’s adopted” either.

One thing I hear a lot when I do mention that he is adopted, is “Wow, you are so wonderful to have adopted.” Or “You are such an angel to adopt”. This is what gets me: I am not wonderful or an angel for adopting. I did not pluck an orphan out of the gutters of the street. I selfishly chose to expand my family through domestic infant adoption. I could have chosen foster care adoption or international orphan adoption, but I didn’t. I wanted my husband to experience having a baby since birth, since he missed that time of Isaac’s life. I wanted to know he would be called “daddy” not Joe by the next child. I wanted to experience the joys of a baby with him and with Isaac as a big brother. I wanted to have an attachment that felt like I was there from the start. I wanted to attempt breast feeding by inducing lactation.

So, when someone tells me I am so wonderful for adopting Ezra, do I smile and nod and give them thanks for the compliment or do I spout off like a crazy person telling them why I am the lucky one, not him? I want to educate people on adoption, but is there a time and place for that?

Continued Training

Continued Training

Sarah Baker | May 30, 2013 | 01:36 PM

Once your adopted child is home with you, the adoption doesn’t stop there. While your heart may love the child as if he is your own, the fact remains, that biologically he is not. As mothers we want to protect them. So when people ask me if I plan to tell Ezra that he is adopted, the answer is, “I already tell him”. Ok, so he’s not even 5 months old, but it’s never too early to start building his identity. An important part of who he is is that he is adopted and that he has more than one family that loves him.

Every family is different, but one thing we cannot do is be afraid to discuss with him where he came from and how he came to us. I would never want him to think his birth parents didn’t love him and that they “gave him away”. Can you imagine the pain that would cause a person going through life, feeling unwanted by someone so important? Obviously they love him; they chose life when the easy way “out” is readily available abortion. The worst thing I could do for myself would be to try to hide his story from him. He would resent me in the future. Kids have enough reasons to “hate” their parents as they get into their teens, I am not going to fuel that fire.

Not all adoptions are as open as mine, with having an ongoing relationship with the birth parents. But, if you are considering adoption, I really do encourage you to try to have an open adoption. Ezra’s birth mother initially wanted a closed adoption. We would know who she was, but she wasn’t sure she wanted contact after placement. She thought it would hurt too much. I told her how important I thought it was for both her and for him to remain in contact. I am glad she changed her mind. Information you can provide your child about his biological family will help him understand who he is and feel more confident in life. Parenting is hard enough when the child is biologically yours, but add adoption to the mix and you have a whole new set of things to think about. This is why continuing to learn about adoption is something I take very seriously. There will be questions I don’t think of. Problems I never heard about. Emotions I don’t know how to handle.

There are local support groups I have joined. I can connect with other adoptive families and hear what they are going through and share anything I may have going on. There are thousands of online resources with training, tutorials, guides, tips and social networking communities. There are books. There are counselors. Building a foundation of support is a good thing. It would be too easy to just forget that a child is adopted and keep on trucking along. But, in that child’s mind, he knows, he will fantasize about life with his birth family, he will have questions. Creating a Life Book for your child will be something he will cherish. It is a story about his life, not your adoption of him.

So, don’t be afraid. Do your research and keep learning. I think it’s much easier to address things if you see them coming than if you aren’t prepared.