“I know how a birthmother feels,” a man told me once. “My nephew and I were really close, but one day my brother told me he got a new job on the other side of the country and they would be moving. I miss that kid so much.” I couldn’t believe my ears. This man honestly thought he could directly relate to a birthmother because his nephew moved across the country. Wow. The human mind is a funny thing. When we’re little kids, everything is new to us. We spend our days exploring new shapes, situations, and ideas. Our minds are constantly being filled with concepts that are completely brand new to us, which makes the whole experience of being on this crazy world an exciting adventure. Once we become adults, though… [more]
In my last post, Why Adoptive Parents Need to Slow Down, I stated that one danger in keeping our lives too busy is that it leads to isolation. For whatever reason, Western society has lost sight of the necessity of connecting with other people. For us adoptive parents, it is doubly important that we teach our children how to connect with other people because of the issues they will deal with as they process their adoption histories. Whether this involves processing feeling “abandoned” by being placed for adoption or coming to terms with prior abuse or neglect issues, our children need to learn how to connect with others so they will have a larger support network.
Much in Western society keeps us isolated from one another… [more]
Adoption is about families, all sorts of families. Family includes extended family. They may not be involved in the day to day parenting of your adopted child. But, parents/grandparents, brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, and cousins are also part of a family. Like it or not, their responses and reactions to your adoption and your adopted child have an impact on your family. Was/is your family supportive? If so, that’s great for everyone. And yet, you may find that even having a supportive family member doesn’t mean you won’t have sometimes awkward adjustments. A welcome adoption situation is still a change in family dynamic. What if you don’t have supportive family? How do you handle family who doesn’t seem to care at all either… [more]
It’s been my goal to make more Mommy friends. Being a Stay at home Mom can be isolating and friends are a must. I have been reflecting on my past friendships and why I’m no longer friends with certain people. I went to three different elementary schools, three different middle schools and two different high schools and moved at least 10 times during my childhood from the ages 5-18. What does that have to do with friends? Well I made friends but never kept the same friends due to moving so often. I knew after a while not to get close because I never knew when we would up and move. It was often that sudden, I would come home from school and… [more]
Many discussions have taken place about all of the “players” in an adopted child’s story. There are birth parents, adoptive parents, possibly foster parents. In the case of many of my children, there are even previous adoptive parents. There might be siblings in the birth family, siblings in the adopted family, and/or siblings in foster families. There may be many different sets of grandparents as well (or even going on to include aunts/uncles and cousins). Today, I was reminded of yet another person that might be involved in a child’s adoption story. I got a phone message from a lady in another state. She is an adoptive mother. Her adopted daughter is the birth sibling… [more]
Two girls, both Russian-born teenage adoptees have become friends through these blogs. These are two of the most amazing girls, older child adoptees, bent on now giving back to other children without families. I’ve been absolutely inspired by both of them. A month ago, Virginia wrote on the Russian Adoption blog about her meeting with a fascinating young woman named Katya. Let me remind you a bit about Virginia’s introduction and also include a little bit of new information: Katya is from Yekaterinburg, Russia. Her birth parents died when she was young; she was adopted at age 11 and is now 17. Two years after she came to the United States, she had already begun… [more]
I’m following up my two part Supporting a pre-adoptive parent Do's & Don’ts series. It was much easier coming up with the Do's for this series. I struggled with the Don’ts. I think it was hard coming up with don’ts because I truly believe most people mean well when offering support & advice. I don’t want it to seem as if you need to walk on egg shells around your adopting friends. I think its better to be supportive than quiet for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. I think the intentions are what matters. Don’t
- Compare adoption to pregnancy- comments like "at least you won't have stretch marks" are not helpful.
- Badger about the choice of adoption, path, country or
This is a two part series focused on helping you help the Friend or Family member in your life who is adopting. The process can take a long time and some people don’t know if they should say anything or do anything until it’s a sure thing. Many people did not show us support until we got our referral or after Trip #1. We could have used support long before the referral arrived. I do believe that some people just don’t know how to offer pre- adoptive parents support. For the Adoptive Parents to be… it’s a very real process from the start. The most frustrating thing is not getting any support, even if people ask a hundred times” hear anything yet”… [more]
Today I had lunch with a friend and colleague that I have not seen or talked to in several years. I hate it when I lose contact with a person whose friendship I value. Still, sometimes, it happens. The woman that I reconnected with today is one helluva clinical social worker and an adoptive mother of two boys whom she adopted as older children. She works with children with attachment issues. She and her twin sister are also adoptees, transracial adoptees. She has also experienced search and reunion with her biological family. THWACK! Do you hear that? That's the sound of me slapping my forehead. I should have tracked her down as soon as I started blogging for adoption.com so that I could pick her brain… [more]
I love, love, LOVE my in-laws! I don't know many married folks who can say that and mean it, but I really do. They are not intrusive, critical, or mean spirited in any way. You have never met a more supportive, loving, accepting bunch of folks. At least, that has been the pleasure of my experience with all of them. When we all get together the conversation is always positive, supportive, encouraging, and damn funny. They are eager to hear about what is going on with us, they are supportive of our new endeavors, and respectful of our hopes and dreams as a family. They don't gossip or pick or snipe at us or about other family members. Sure, there is the business of catching… [more]