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]

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]

Handling Those Fears About Your Adopted Child

October 19th, 2012

Adoption vs. Pregnancy: Two Ways to Build Your FamilyWhen an adopted child first comes into your home, the joy and excitement the little one brings is magical. There is nothing like that euphoria. You fall in love. However, when the child's health or behavioral challenges surface, an adoptive parent's imagination can easily drum up dark fears.   While a birth parent worries about the child's issues, as an adoptive parent, you may also worry about the issue plus the unknown or known history of the adoptee's background. You may even hear the haunting voice from a family or friend who was against your adoption, "Why adopt?  You don't know what that child has in her background." This is when you must stay strong. Separate the facts from fiction.  Your… [more]

Mercy Trails Ranch

November 15th, 2011

horsesF-E-A-R-L-E-S-S  Letters spelled out in splashes of bright paint across the soft brown sides of the little horse.   A four legged canvas for the word that she wanted to stay forefront in her mind as she thought back to her time at the Ranch.  Words attached to memories.  Memories that she tucked away like treasures to be brought out in times of struggle and darkness.  Memories that would give her the strength to break free. Those memories threatened to flood her even now, fresh on her mind, as she stepped back to admire her art.  The intimidation at the size of her partner for the week- how the little mare seemed so large that first day.  She remembered her uncertainty the first time… [more]

Telling The Truth

October 10th, 2011

planeIt was a beautiful day yesterday.  A treasure to enjoy before the cold weather sets in.  Early fall, the sun was shining, the leaves just starting to turn orange, red and yellow.  We ran around as a family; cleaning the garage, cheering at soccer games, friends stopped by, the boys looked for frogs and played wiffle ball in the backyard. In the afternoon, my husband piled as many boys as he could fit in his car and took them out to lunch. I took Eliza, my four year old in my car. She wanted McDonalds (sorry health nuts), or Old McDonalds, as she calls it, so we went to get her Happy Meal, and I got the requisite boring mom salad.  We… [more]

Single Parents–Part 1

April 19th, 2011

play_time_3There was a recent poll taken by the Pew Center for Research recently which dealt with changing trends in American families.  The questions asked to over 2,500 Americans had to do with trends in American families and whether the individuals who were polled considered various things to be good, bad, or of no consequence to society.  People were asked about a variety of different family arrangements: more mothers of young children working outside the home, more people of different races marrying, more gay and lesbian couples raising children, and more single women having children without a male partner to help raise them,..... The researchers called about a third of the respondents (31%) “accepters”--About half to two-thirds of this group say that these trends… [more]