Feeling Abandoned

January 13th, 2014

bench I often wonder if my kids do or will eventually feel abandoned.  Many books and professionals have lead us to believe that some children who are adopted will feel a sense of abandonment through their life.  Some question, "Why did my birth mother not want me? or "What was wrong with me?"  As my son gets older, I wonder if some of his insecurities have to do with him being adopted.  When he was a baby he did not like being left alone at any time.  He did not even like it when we were not in the same room.  I know children can have these behaviors even if they are not adopted, but does being adopted intensify these feelings?  My son is… [more]

Relating to Other People’s Kids

October 8th, 2013

childrenMaybe years of failed adoption attempts have jaded me.  I never attached much meaning to whether or not my future children would be genetically related to me or not.  I just wanted the opportunity to be someone’s mommy, and to share that with my husband and have him be their daddy.  In fact, I used to get a bit too invested in the lives of other people’s children.  I was one of those people I now cringe about, dishing out unsolicited parenting advice, often heavily peppered with judgment.  My poor sister-in-law was the first to experience this when my niece was born 9 years ago.  In preparation for my graduate thesis, I researched parenting magazines, and so in spite of not… [more]

Connecting Together

October 6th, 2013

3832156682_3ac3f3c5da_q My husband and I adopted a child from foster care earlier this year. She has been leaving in our home for over a year now. We have all grown closer together as a family over the past year. We love our child very much but at times we do not connect. I think back to when my husband and I met 12 years ago, we had to form a connection. I remember thinking when my husband and I was dating that he was a nice person but I didn't think that I wanted anything serious with him. We both laugh as we talk about that now as we could not imagine our lives without each other but that took time and… [more]

Parents are Parents, Not Adoptive Parents

September 5th, 2013

shirtI don't know if Rick and Teresa Kaepernick are mad but I'm mad for them.  They are the parents of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  If you watch ESPN or almost any of the other sports outlets, you know that Colin is adopted.  You know this because every story about Colin that mentions his parents refer to them as his adoptive parents.  It's unnecessary.  They are his parents.  No adjective needed. Best known as an underrated high school player with only one college scholarship offer who, in his second year in the NFL, set the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game before leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.  As the spotlight shines brighter with Colin's… [more]

No Contact

August 15th, 2013

memoriesMy son is four, almost five now.  When he was younger we would talk to him about adoption.  He did not ask much about his birthparents.  We would show him a picture of his birth family and tell him his birth story.  It was not until we started the process with adopting our daughter that he started getting more curious.  He was able to meet our daughter's birth mom and play with her other daughter.  Of course this brought up many questions about his birth mom.  The first year we would send pictures and letters to our son's birth mom.  We never heard back from her.  After about a year we lost all contact with her.  Trying to explain this to my son… [more]

Keep It Simple

July 26th, 2013

puppyThe other night while I was putting my four year old son to bed he asked, "Was Sandy, our dog,  a baby?"  Yes, she was.  "Did she grow in her birth mommy's tummy?"  Yes she did.  "Why does she not live with her?"  I explained to him that a lot of dogs get adopted when they are puppies and their owners become their mommy and daddy.  I had a feeling I knew where this was leading.  The next question he asked was, "Does my birth mommy know my name?" As my son gets older and starts to understand more about his story, he will just ask questions out of the blue.  I never know what is going to come out.  This particular… [more]

Telling Others about the Adoption

May 17th, 2013

secretWho’s job is it to tell people our child’s adoption story?  Is there even such a thing as a right to know when it comes to a person’s adoption status?  Of course the child herself or himself has a right to know, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  What about the child’s relatives?  Friends of the family?  Parents’ coworkers? There are situations when it is abundantly clear that an adoption took place.  The parents may have needed to take a lot of time off work for travel, or a group of people see the mother on a regular basis and go from seeing her slim one day and with a baby the next, or the parents look nothing like their adopted child. … [more]

“You ARE the Father!”

April 9th, 2013

paternity testMaury Povich’s talk show focuses on  what is apparently a TV staple nowadays – paternity testing.  The usual story blatantly screams of loose morals, lax judgment, or both, and builds up to the paternity reveal.  Sometimes, the man in question turns out to have indeed fathered the woman’s baby.  The crowd yells in unison as Maury confidently pronounces, “You ARE the father!”  Often times, this comes after the man adamantly denied the possibility, and now the woman feels vindicated and a physical altercation between the two is not unheard of. Other times, the crowd gasps when Maury announces, “You are NOT the father!”  Here, the woman generally begins to cry, maybe even runs off stage, realizing that someone else, someone she had… [more]

Adoption Experiences… Tastes Like Chicken?

February 18th, 2013

3243220364_105f083561_qCraig is one of my better friends and stops by all the time. He stays well informed about everything happening with my family and we often talked freely about the goings-on in our life. So when my wife and I adopted our son he was one of the first to stop by for a visit. We sat across the living room from one another talking about the different aspects of adoption—specifically about the things we hadn’t anticipated. We were talking about what it was like to be full-time parents while someone else, living somewhere completely separate, also carried a title of “parent”. It was something unique to get used to; a concept we needed to adjust our minds to. I had been… [more]

Not My Child’s Only Parents

January 28th, 2013

heartsMost adoptive parents dread the thought of being seen as “not real parents” to their adoptive children.  The pendulum seems to swing in the opposite directions out of adoptive parents’ fears, minimizing the role of the birth parents with the use of the qualifier (“birth” or “biological”, etc.), while at the same time taking offense at similar qualifiers with their own title ("adoptive" parent instead of just "parent").  Is there a better way? If we stop thinking of the title “parents” as being strictly limited to a certain definition, we are able to accurately represent all parties.  In my own life (I was not adopted), I have several people in my life with the title “parent”.  My mom and dad, of course, but… [more]