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]

Adoption: Whose Story Is It to Tell?

June 24th, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

children in doorwayWhile there remains little doubt in most people’s minds when it comes to whether or not a child ought to be told that she or he was adopted (the consensus points to a resounding yes!), whether or not others should be aware of the child’s adoption status may pose a conundrum. I recently had the pleasure of meeting several couples who completed their families through various types of adoptions, as part of an infertility retreat my husband and I attended.  One mom mentioned as part of her and her husband’s decision-making process that their child had some sort of special needs that needed to be taken into consideration when making the decision to accept the match.  However, what those needs were… [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]


March 6th, 2013
Categories: Adoptive Families

me and lilmanMy mom never really talked about the hard times she had with me as a kid, but there was one story I remembered hearing her tell another young lady who had adopted a child that always kind of stuck with me throughout the years. When I was three days old my parents came and picked me up. It was a pretty amazing story, they were expecting to get a daughter in a few months but had received a last minute call from the adoption worker saying that a young mom had chosen them as parents and that if willing they could come pick their son up the next day. This threw everything in to chaos. First off they were expecting a… [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]

Temporary Attachment Parenting

January 23rd, 2013
Categories: Bonding, Caretaking

babay carrierMy husband and I parented our foster daughter VV for 10 months, from the age of 6-16 months.  During this time, we had ongoing contact with VV’s family, especially her young mother.  It wasn’t clear whether or not we’d be able to adopt VV at first.  We assumed that we would until proven otherwise.  So in the meantime, we did what we could to form a proper attachment with our little girl. We were obligated to have VV in daycare during the week, but in the evenings and on the weekends, she was all ours.  Before she became too heavy, I loved to carry her in a baby carrier, especially when walking our two dogs.  It was like a never ending hug… [more]

From “Gooooal!” to “Bravo!”

November 21st, 2012

soccerRasmussen's are soccer players.  Whether you were born into our family or adopted in, that's what we do…or so I thought.  We have six kids, 3 bio, 3 adopted.  Our adopted kids are sandwiched in the middle with an older brother (13) and younger twin sisters (4).  We have two boys adopted from Ukraine (age 10, not bio brothers) and a daughter (9) adopted as a newborn (a domestic open adoption). Did you know that everyone does not like the same things?!?  Yes, I knew that was probable, bio or adopted, kids are all different.  I assumed a child with my DNA would be more likely drawn to the same activities that I was programmed to enjoy, and to some extent that is… [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]