Wednesday, November 24, 2010

help Him help you

When my husband and I were going through years of infertility trials, we kept it a secret.


When we started looking into adoption, we kept it a secret.


When we went to our adoption classes and found out that we needed the help of our family and friends to make our adoption happen, we panicked...



{mrs r. from therhouse asked me to blog about our pass along card story!  You can read the rest of it here.}


 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Power of Fear

I just wanted to list some of the fears that I experienced through out this whole process, in case there are people out there who think they are the only ones who feel this way. I ended up facing some of these fears and some of them, luckily, I never had to deal with:

* We'd never get chosen. (What if birth parents thought, er, realized we were too boring, dorky, churchy or "old"?)
* We'd be chosen or "matched," but we would experience a failed placement.
* I would jinx myself somehow if I bought any baby items before being chosen.
* Having to return baby stuff to the store after a failed placement.
* The people in our lives (either publicly or privately) would not support our decision to adopt or our decision to have an open adoption.
* We didn't bond with this child or our extended family didn't accept him/her.
* Our child wouldn't accept or recognize me as his/her mother.
* The birth father would not support the adoption.
* People would mistreat our birthmom because of her choice to place the baby for adoption.
* Misunderstandings between us and our birthmom.
* The baby dies. (!!)  And, what if the baby died between the time of placement and finalization?
* Other birthfamily members would take out their frustrations with the adoption on us.
* By mistake, we would somehow offend our birthmom.
* Our birthmom would be upset by a parenting choice we made or would be otherwise annoyed by us.
* Our birthmom would regret choosing us, or choosing adoption itself.
* Our birthmom would completely cut off contact and disappear after placement.
* The post-placement grief would get in the way of me being a good parent.
* The post-placement grief would never go away.
* Being stalked by unhappy birthfamily members, and then having to move or go into hiding.
* The birthfamily would take for granted our willingness to be open, and try to take advantage of us.
* Our birthmom would return to her "old ways."
* Letting bad experiences from this adoption negatively affect how we conduct our next adoption.
* Our next adoption will be much more difficult.
* People will say hurtful and inappropriate things about adoption to, or in front of, my child[ren].

And even though some of those fears were realized, I now understand that I'm strong enough to live through them. I've also learned that some of my worries (like us not bonding with our son, our son not recognizing me as his mother or the grief never going away) were unfounded time-wasters. But I also learned that some of those fears were necessary to experience, in order for me to become a better parent.

Also, writing them down somehow took away some of the "power" they had over me. I sure wasted a lot of time thinking about these things. Writing this post also helped me realize that I needed to practice exercising more faith, which is the opposite of fear. Hopefully next time we will be much more prepared for all of the complicated feelings that come with an adoption.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
~2 Timothy 1:7



Once I held my son for the first time, a lot of my fears dissolved (but then new ones cropped up). What were your adoption fears, and how did you overcome the power that they can have over you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest Blog: Divinely Appointed Friends

Corrine is an adoptive mom who is currently living in Colorado.  This is the story of how, even though she is a hopeful and waiting adoptive mom, she helped a birth mom find her baby's family.  Corrine's blog is www.brandonandcorrine.blogspot.com   You can contact her at brandonandcorrine@gmail.com.


I love the saying from CS Lewis : " You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."
This couldn't ring more true with the friendship i have with Jessica L.
Here's our Story...


We had just moved to Colorado 2 days prior. We attended the Adoption Training in Colorado before we even moved into our new house. It was wonderful and we were overjoyed that we were here finally and getting the process underway all at the same time. The 1st Sunday at church was Fast and Testimony Meeting. I bore my testimony and thanked those who watched my kids while we attended the adoption trainings.

After the meeting a sweet lady in the hall asked me if we had been selected alr
eady for placement. I told her no, not yet and she began to tell me that she knew someone looking into placing their unborn child for adoption . Her eyes welled up and she told me it was her daughter. I hugged her and she let it out and I told her "Well, God sure knew that i needed to be in this WARD for a reason. Regardless if she places or picks us, we are meant to be in each others' lives."

The following weekend came up and Renee (the woman in the hall) became ill so, we brought her over some dinner that night and met Jessica. We only talked for a few minutes but it was like meeting an old friend. The following week she was at her mom's again when we stopped by. We chatted some more and she told us about making an appt. with LDSFS and wanting to figure out what she should/ could do for this child.


We had her over for dinner with her family and talked about everything. I had the best feelings of love for her and her family. I always reinforced that "we are NOT your friends just b/c you might place". She knew that too. Her and my husband were like brother and sister and very silly together. Jessica has always felt like part of our family...


Then one day we met at a local park and went for a jaunt around it and she told me she had MADE UP HER MIND. She said " I'm 100% positive that I'm placing this baby. I know I cannot do it on my own- nor do I think it would be best for the child. I know someone else needs this baby more than I do right now! And if adoption families are anything like yours... I'm totally in!!!"



I was so excited that she made that choice and something inside me knew that this is why we were to be in her life. That night we searched profiles online together. She came across this family and they looked adorable and she pulls out this tiny folded paper with their names on it!  My Bishop told me a bit about this couple.

I could see her face gleam! But, Jessica is a very analytical person so, no rash decisions were made. I told her to talk to her case worker about learning more or meeting the couples she was interested in!

- In the meantime I was offering FREE photography to adoptive couples in the area. And the couple she saw on IAL (J&C), were scheduled to shoot updated pics for their profile about 5 weeks out from the time she saw them on the blog.-

So, a week or so passes and Jessica meets another family and she really liked them. They had adopted their 2 children and were awesome people. She called me after the meeting and I asked her how it went and she said "great but..." Then explained about her desire for a bit more openess than they were willing to have. So, it was something to think about.


I still had these feelings that we were divinely supposed to be in her life and I couldn't deny it! But one night while in the peace and quiet- I had the strongest
impression that " she is not your birth mom, she is meant for another family" I had such peace and reassurance that it would be alright and when our time is right it will happen.

So fast forward a week and J&C's pictures were scheduled but it was pouring down buckets so we scheduled for a later date. I asked Jessica how she was and we texted and talked all the time. And 2 weeks before she actually met J&C, I met their friend at a park and as I told J&C's friend about how I think Jessica could possibly pick them and I hoped she would- her friend and i got all choked up. I let a few tears out and was so happy that I was able to help her see how amazing adoptive families are.

The following Sunday, Renee (Jessica's Mom) and I chatted about J&C and she told me how she felt something special too for them.  (We cried of course while we talked of them.) And Jessica had still never met them, only chatted via email.

So that week Jessica was supposed to meet them on Monday and we were going to go float the river on Thursday. So, I called Jessica on Wednesday and she told me that she hadn't met them yet but was meeting them tomorrow in the morning. I asked her if she wanted to float the river still and she said "Yeah, why not?!"

So Thursday morning came and she met up with me at noon on the river. She was grinning from ear to ear. She told me how much she liked them and how cool they were and so on. All along the slippery river turns, I kept waiting for her to tell me that 'They were the ones" But she didn't. She just said "I need to think about it over
the next 2 months and weigh out all the couples."  I kept reassuring her that we really were happy for whomever she chose. Finally at our late lunch we talked more and i broke down and asked " Didn't you feel something different with them than you have with us or the other couple?" She said "Honestly... YES!"

I about shot out of my seat with JOY and she said "but I still need to think about it" I said " Really-? If you feel so strongly for one couple and it feels right- the it's got to be them!!!" She finally said she didn't want to hurt our feelings but she KNEW it was to be them! And I finally told her that I knew weeks ago she wasn't to be our birth mom! She was a bit shocked and I told her Brandon knew too. He would say things like "When you meet the next birth mom- don't be trying to hook her up with other couples etc.." He was being a protector of my heart and emotions saying that- not a control freak b/c you all know how emotionally invested we all get with the expectant parents.



So, we were both excited that she KNEW and had found her couple. Then Jessica said a dreaded thing for an adoptive mother to hear " I think I will wait till 2 months to tell them though" I was totally not cool with that but was along for the ride so- whatever? A few hours later she shoots me a text and says she's going to tell them in 3 weeks. I said sure but i thought "If she felt it when they met, I bet they did too and how that wait would kind of be agonizing- but- it's her call."

The next day, I get an email from J&C following up on our profile photo shoot for the following day (a Saturday) and I was thrilled for them but dare not say a word.  I texted Jessica and told her that I was shooting them in a few hours and would happily put on my smile and pretend that I KNEW NOT what she told me:)


She called me back and said " I have been up all night- and kept thinking if they felt the connection that I did with them- why should i wait to tell them? So, let's surprise them at their photo session!"
I was flipping out excited and ready to put on my best acting face ever.

We shot c
alls back and forth to coincide this little plan to work flawlessly. J& C met in one parking lot of the Belleview Park and Jessica and I met in the other.
I took J&C to the said corner of the park and began to shoot them and tried to keep their eyes on me while Jessica bolted across the park. When I pulled my lens away from their faces- Jessica was there. And They were shocked!!! They hadn't talked to her since 2 days before, when they first met her!

Jessica says something like "Hey guys, sorry to surprise you so suddenly but, I just can't wait any longer. (they were sitting down still) " I know what I felt when I met you guys and I want you to know that I KNOW you two are to be the parents to my child. I choose you to adopt her!"


Of course I got all choked up snapped a picture and left them to take in the magnitude of the occasion. It was like a piece of Heaven
opened up for many of us that day.

I had perma-grin walking away from them b/c I am just so happy f
or all 3 people.  Since then, Jessica and I hang out almost weekly and J&C do all kinds of activities with FSA and some with her too! They are so prepared and have waited for 2.5 years and had 4 birth moms online try and scam them- all for emotional support too.

They are such a deserving couple and Jessica is such a strong willed woman, it makes me happy to see that they are getting such an amazing extended family with Jessica and her mom and a few others. I am so blessed by this experience and much has happened after this with our (Brandon's and my) involvement in the adoption world! (read our blog to find out more).

And I KNOW that God puts people in our lives, friends, associates, members or our community or churches to help us in areas that we need to be strengthened in. We both have learned from each other and I have gained an even greater testimony of birth parents! And even though she's not our birth mom, she truly will always be our forever friend because of this part of our lives. There is a reason you are where you are!

 
This rings the MOST true to me:
Ecclesiastes 3:1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
and again this :
" You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."

This couldn't be more true in the Adoption World! Thanks for having me share this!
-------



pictures: Jessica's Baby Bump,
J&C with Jessica when she announced "the News"
, Jess and couple at 8 months
Jessica with my husband Brandon- walking in the parade with us to advocate for Adoption- part of the CO chapter.
~Do not use these photos without the permission of Corrine.~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Be Yourself: Another Cardinal Rule

I've posted before about The Cardinal Rules of Open Adoption, which are things that we as adoptive couples shouldn't do with regards to our birth families.  Well, here is something that we shouldn't do to other adoptive couples (because it not only creates contention with other couples, it negatively impacts birth families too):

Never PlagiarizeBe honest and be yourself.  Never copy-and-paste blog posts without giving credit to the author.  (It's nice to get permission from the author to re-publish their stuff, nevertheless, give credit by linking back to the author's original blog post!)

And certainly (I never thought I'd have to say this) never ever copy-and-paste any part of another couple's birth parent letter, or any other part of their profile into your profile or blog. 

Birth parent letters, profiles and blogs should be individualized glimpses of who you are, and it would be hurtful and deceptive to potential birth parents and to Adoption itself to portray yourself as someone else.

Can you imagine the confusion and distrust that would occur to a potential birth mom who found two identical birth parent letters?  [News Flash:  Potential birth moms read lots of other adoption blogs and profiles.]

I've been plagiarized before, multiple times.  (I seeee you and what you've done!)  But it wasn't until I read on Facebook about another adoptive mom who had been plagiarized, and I saw others comment that they too, had their birth parent letter or blog copied by another couple, that I realized how big this problem might be.

The bottom line is, if you are hoping to adopt: be confident of who you are; be yourself.  A large portion of the waiting couples are a lot alike and have a lot in common (especially in the LDSFS world).  Why in the world would you want any part of your profile to be exactly like someone else's?  Don't be afraid to showcase what makes you different- how else will you stand out among the rest?

However, if that thought frightens you, and you're not comfortable showing potential birth parents who you really are, you probably shouldn't be adopting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WVC FSA Picnic

Annual West Valley FSA Picnic
When: Saturday September 11 2010 5:00 p.m.
Where: Hidden Valley Park
5430 So. 555 West, Murray

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cold Risotto

Today's guest blogger is Jill Elizabeth from The Happiest Sad.  She is a birth mom who has written for us in the past. I love her blog because she has a way with words and has so many good things to teach the world about adoption.


Today, I have a story for you. It's made-up but I think it's a good story. I promise there's a point to it. Here it goes. (My sincerest apologies if your name happens to be Susan. It's a lovely name.)

Once upon a time, a woman - let's call her Susan - went to a restaurant. Susan was very, very hungry. Some people might have thought she was stupid to go to a restaurant when most people cook for themselves, but that was Susan's business, not theirs, and for one reason or other, Susan was going to a restaurant for dinner.

Susan's waitress was very friendly right off the bat. She made Susan feel welcome and kept her water glass full and took her order and promised it would be out shortly. Excited and, as I said, very hungry, Susan eagerly awaited her risotto. She was so hungry, she thought this risotto was going to be the best thing in the world. As she waited, she had visions of risotto dancing in her head and all she could think of was how happy she'd be once the waitress brought out her dish.

Some time passed, and suddenly the waitress was getting as crabby as Susan was. Finally, after half an hour or more, the waitress slammed down a dish of cold risotto and the bill and stalked away. Susan was stunned. And the risotto, in addition to being rather cold, was quite possibly the most disgusting dish of risotto ever served in the history of food.

Susan was, understandably, appalled. She complained to management. The manager was appalled as well, and tried to explain things. Shortly after Susan's order had been placed, the chef quit. The waitress received a phone call from her boyfriend, who dumped her - on the phone, and while she was at work! The manager assured Susan that her dinner was an exception, not the norm. This was a top-notch restaurant with a good reputation. He offered to comp the dinner and pushed a gift card at Susan in the hopes that she would give them another try and see that their restaurant was not as bad as all that.

But Susan was unable to get past her cold risotto experience. She told every person she knew about it. She blogged about what a horrible restaurant it was, and how no one should ever eat there. When people mentioned to her that they'd eaten there and had a lovely time, she railed at them that they must be stupid not to see what a terrible restaurant it was, and she harassed those people repeatedly and with great force about what a bad decision they'd made. She ridiculed them for their naiveté. She found their personal blogs and left numerous comments about what idiots they were to even consider eating at that restaurant again. In Susan's opinion, this restaurant should be closed down immediately and not allowed to open again until changes were made to ensure that no one would ever be served cold risotto again - in fact, they shouldn't even serve risotto. Susan decided to make it her life's work to speak out against the restaurant, and she couldn't understand why the whole world didn't join in her crusade.

Now, you're probably wondering why on earth I am blathering on about snippy Susan and her cold risotto. Susan sounds like a real piece of work, doesn't she? Because really, who could have such an ego as to assume that if they had a bad experience somewhere, no one else should even consider that place?

Let's change the subject for a second, and then I'll get back to Susan.

Sorry, that's a terrible segue. Here's a better one.



That is an awesome Segway.


Anyway.


I have a great experience with adoption. I think it's wonderful. I might not tell the entire world to eat at this restaurant called adoption, but if I knew someone was hungry and didn't know where to eat, I would certainly tell them to consider eating there. I would tell them about my experience so they would know that, even though it serves up the occasional dish of cold risotto, eating out isn't a hazardous thing. It can be, but it doesn't have to be.

But I have noticed that there are a number of Susans in the adoption world - on-line, in any case, and they are just as snippy and unyielding and very much against the institution that they feel wronged them so much. They got cold risotto. And that's not fair, and I won't argue that point. What I take exception to is these Susans (allow me to apologize if your name happens to be Susan) who go on-line and tell hungry people that they need to learn how to cook because restaurants are inherently wrong. I don't like hungry people being told they're going to get food poisoning if they eat out.

You know what? I can't stop these people. I know there are people out there for whom adoption has not been a good thing. I feel sorry for them. The things that have happened to some people are unfair, wrong, and shouldn't happen to anyone. But I get tired of them insisting that adoption is a bad thing, refusing to believe that it can be an amazing and wonderful thing, simply because it wasn't for them.

Adoption was the best thing in the world for my little Roo. It was the best thing in the world for my mother. And it was the best thing in the world for probably close to 100 little children I can think of just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are countless others for whom it was also the best. We're all happy with our risotto. We are proof that the restaurant isn't a bad place, that the risotto isn't always cold and that, just the opposite, it's frequently the best dish on the menu.

Susan's risotto was bad, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let her tell me that my risotto was a mistake and that I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life and that I "lost" my appetite to risotto.

For every horrible, traumatic, food-poisoning story you hear about adoption, there are probably ten thousand stories or the best dinner ever that no one ever tells. Cold risotto makes for good news. A cozy family meal interests no one.

Is adoption always the right, best, most wonderful thing in the world? Nope. Because it involves people, and people are imperfect. But I think each hungry person should be able to decide for him- or herself how best to have dinner.



Would you like to be a guest blogger?  Check out this link to see what we're looking for, and then contact us!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Staying Positive during The Finding Process: Stacey


 Guest blogger Stacey is a mother hoping to add to her family through adoption.  
This is her story of choosing adoption and staying positive during the finding process.

My husband Eric and I have been married for 6 years and have two beautiful little girls. About 2 years ago I started getting that baby hungry feeling again for the third time. My husband and I decided that it was time to extend our family yet again. I have been on medication since I had my little girl Devery (she is almost 3 now). We talked to my Dr. about what our next step would be just to find out that I can not get pregnant while on my medication. I was heart broken. Now what?

After about a month of talking to each other, family, and friends we decided that adoption would be the way. Eric called LDS Family Services in Oct. `09 and our process began. It took us 4 months and a lot of time to get all of our paper work finished and our profile up.February came and there it was. Our profile was up for the world to see.

First month goes by then the second month goes by and the third. The fourth comes and we have an e-mail from a birth parent. We were so excited and couldn't hold back calling our family. Weeks go by and the e-mails stop. Another month goes by. Month five and another e-mail from another set of birth parents and they want to meet us in two days. We are set and ready to go with such excitement.

Then we hear nothing. We call them and nothing. We e-mail and nothing. Here we are at month six and nothing.

Eric and I are so blessed to have the family that we do and are excited to meet our newest addition whenever that may be. Adoption is such a wonderful gift and we are excited to be a part of it.

 What do YOU do to stay positive during the finding process?  If you'd like to be a guest blogger, check out that link to see what we need from you and then email Amanda or Brittany (see upper right sidebar)!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Naivety, Reality and Balance

Until I experienced it myself, I don't think I fully understood what it meant to go through the entire adoption process. (From application to finalization.)

Of course, I quickly learned that it's more than just signing some forms, picking up your baby from the hospital and starting a new life as a new family.

An adoption placement brings to you and your spouse obvious feelings of gratitude, humility, joy, anticipation and pure love for each other, our Heavenly Father, birth parent[s] and of course, your new perfect baby.

But the world of post-placement in an open adoption can also be very, very complicated....  Please read the rest at Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birth Mother Love

I don't see how anyone who sees these photos can say that girls who choose adoption "don't love" their babies.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Would You Like to be a Guest Blogger?

Contact us! (See right sidebar).  In your submission, please include your:
  • First name
  • Blog or adoption profile link
  • Photo
  • Blog post text

We would love to hear about your personal experiences with:
  • Foster-to-adopt
  • International or domestic adoption
  • Trans-racial adoption
  • Open adoption 
  • Experiences as a birth parent (or their family members)
  • Experiences as an adoptee
  • Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) 
  • Getting "the call"
  • Meeting your birth mom for the 1st time (from the perspective of an adoptee or an adoptive couple)
  • Adoption Placement Day
  • Temple Sealing (to adopted child)
  • Infertility
  • Birth Parent Gift Ideas
  • Increased spiritual closeness with our Heavenly Father because of adoption
  • Coming to the decision to choose adoption
  • The finding process: staying positive, techniques you use to find potential birth parents, etc.
  • Find v. Wait
  • Dealing with a failed placement/adoption
  • Your family and friend's responses to your decision to choose adoption
  • Other experiences you've had with adoption
Please do not submit hopeful couple profiles or "spotlights."  (That's what our "Hoping to adopt" list on the left sidebar is for!) 
Contact us if you have any questions!

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Letting Go

    Earlier this month I wrote about the Cardinal Rules of open adoption and I mentioned that I learned about a few of them the hard way.  I just wanted to briefly talk about one of the rules that I broke.

    This is a photo of me, my husband, and our birth mom taken last fall
    Adoption photography by Tonja Day

    Throughout this adoption journey, I feel like I've transformed into The Mother Bear.  And as The Mother Bear, I felt so protective of our birth mom.  (Which ultimately lead me to break Rule #3.)

    For months and months I felt like it was my own personal responsibility to make sure she was right with the world.  It caused me to lose sleep and everything. The truth is, there is nothing I can do to make her feel better or feel differently.  (She even told me that herself.)

    Our relationship has evolved since placement, and I've resisted certain changes.  I resisted like crazy.  And that led to mistakes.  

    I learned that I need to let her be her and to let go of my self-imposed feelings of responsibility regarding her choices.

    If she needs to have space to do whatever it is she needs to do, I should be ok with that.  And I am ok with it... to a certain extent.  But I still miss her.

    I am learning to let go and it's difficult.  (Just so we're clear: I'm not letting go of her, I'm letting go of my anxiety which is caused by me wanting everything in her life to be ok.) I know she needs space so I now resist the urge to text her all the time.  I resist the urge to invite her on every little outing we go on.  I am also learning to resist the urge to take certain things personally.

    I guess the bottom line is, I'm learning.  I just pray she can be patient with me while I do it.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    The Cardinal Rules of Open Adoption

    I've been thinking about all the rules that we as adoptive couples should never break and I thought I would list some of them here (I'm sure there are probably more).  But in my opinion, they include:
    1. Never promise your birth mom, or other members of the birth family anything you can't (or won't) deliver.  If she/they ask you to do something you aren't comfortable with, then say that you aren't comfortable with it and come up with another solution.  Don't ever say yes to something just because you feel pressure to do so, because that will cause you major problems down the line. 
    2. Never go back on your word.  (Unless the safety of you and/or the baby would somehow be compromised.)  This kind of goes along with the first rule- If, before the baby was born, you told her she could come to the baby's blessing, live up to your word and invite her when the time comes. 
    3. Remember that it's not your responsibility to make sure your birth mom is perfectly fine with the adoption or any other aspect of her life.  Let her know that you love and accept her, and let her grieve and move forward in her own way.  Even if it's not the way you would like. 
    4. Don't allow yourself to feel that you are the cause of her grief that she will feel after placement.  You are not the cause of it; in fact, you as her baby's adoptive parent are part of the solution to it.
    5. Communicate with your birth mom.  It's a good idea to verify that you and she are on the same page with important issues.  Also, whenever possible, communicate directly with your birth mom (and not through a 3rd party).  Build your relationship by openly asking questions when issues come up and ask her to share her feelings.  This will eliminate a lot of problems and ultimately allow your open adoption to be an enjoyable experience.    
    6. If your birth mom is pulling away from you, don't pressure her into visits.  If you have a very close relationship, try letting her be in control of requesting visits.  Pressuring her into visits when she's not ready will do more harm than good. 
    I'm not saying that we've been perfect with regards to all of these rules (some of them, we learned about the hard way!) so I wanted to post them so other couples could kind of have a heads-up.

    Open adoption's #1 priority is to help your child have answers about his/her adoption.  This helps avoid or minimize any feelings of loss they may feel about their adoption.  Keeping at least some kind of contact is preferable, but obviously don't engage any birth family members if they are hostile about the adoption, and/or the safety of your child is in question.


    Open adoption is about trust and if you'll notice, all of those rules have to do with trust.  Show your birth mom she can trust you by telling her the truth and never going back on your word.  Trust her by letting her make her own choices with regards to her grieving process- even if that means she pulls away from you.

    An open adoption relationship between a birth mom and a couple is so fragile.  I don't think a lot of people realize how fragile they can be.  Protect and guard your relationship and work on strengthening it as often as you can.   Everyone will be a lot happier if you do.  Including you!

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Adoption Mythbusting

    by Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal

    Here are some more adoption myths.  (These were printed on a flyer that came with our orientation packet when we went to LDS Family Services for the first time.  I don't know how else to cite the origin.) Anyway, I think a lot of people out there hold on to these myths, so let's do some adoption mythbusting!

    • Children who are placed for adoption are not wanted by their birth parents.
    • Birth parents can come back and take away my adopted child.
    • Adopted children are more likely to have mental and emotional problems.
    • Adopted children should be spared the stigma of adoption by not telling them they are adopted until they are old enough to understand.
    • Adopted children and birth parents never get over the loss of separation from each other.
    • It is in the best interests of all parties that adoptions be completely closed.
    • Children should always be placed with families of the same ethnicity.
    • Only wealthy couples can adopt children.
    • Adoption cures infertility.


    Be sure to check out the links embedded in this post.  To read more adoption myths click here to read a list from ItsAboutLove.org, and click here to read a list of some of my own.

      Thursday, June 24, 2010

      Conversation Starters: Meeting your Birth Mom

      By Brittany of Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal
      (please do not re-publish any of this material on your blog)


      June 23rd was the first anniversary of the day we met our son's birth mom for the first time.  It was on a Tuesday afternoon that we met her at her LDS Family Services agency location (we go to a different location).  We met in a large room with couches and the meeting was between my husband and I, our birth mom, our 2 caseworkers and our birth mom's friend.  I really liked having the caseworkers there to help get things moving, but once we found a topic that we had in common, our conversation just took off!

      Every adoption is different, and some adoptive couples never meet their child's birth mother, but if the opportunity arises, here are some helpful conversation starters!  (Of course, the age of your birth mom will determine a lot of the questions, but here are a few to get you thinking):
      • How many brothers or sisters do you have?
      • Which movies are your favorite?
      • Where did you grow up?
      • Do you have pets?
      • Do you have a favorite actor?
      • What is your favorite food?
      • Do you have a hobby? Do you collect things?
      • Do you have college plans? 
      • What is your favorite book?
      • How have you been feeling? 
      • Do you get crazy pregnancy cravings?
      • What do you do in your free time?
      • Do you like outdoors activities?
      • What was/is your favorite class in school?
      Some topics may be sensitive, so be cautious about bringing up the following things (or let the birth mother or adoption caseworker bring them up):
      •  Details about her home life
      • Asking too many baby-related questions (focus on getting to know her)
      •  Prying for information about the birth father (he may have left her on bad terms, the pregnancy may be a result of a rape, he may be incarcerated, etc.)
       Remember that the purpose of the first meeting is to get to know each other, so try to relax and have fun!

      Saturday, June 12, 2010

      The Genetics of Adoption

      By Brittany of Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal



      When you have an adopted child, lots of people will want to tell you the following things:

      1. They know of a woman who got pregnant soon after adopting a child. (I know of several, too.)
      2. Your adopted child looks just like you and/or your spouse.(And then they'll give you other examples of people they know who adopted children who look just like them too.)
      3. Said physical "resemblance" is the proof that the baby was meant to be in your family. (I don't believe that, but that's for another blog post entirely.)
      I've had many many people tell me that Liam looks like Que.  I don't see it.  And at first I wondered if people were just telling me what they thought I wanted to hear. (If that's not why you told me that, I apologize, and please don't be offended.)

      But then I started to think about the notion of Liam having Que's eyes.




      And I agree.  No really.  I do.  



      Liam has Que's eyes.
      And I have photographic proof.


      And sometimes Liam even has his nose.


      Ah, the genetics of adoption.  :)
      Maybe I'll put that in his baby book.

      Thursday, May 27, 2010

      Beware of this Adoption Scammer


       Hopeful Adoptive Couples:  Please beware of this adoption scammer. She poses as a prospective birth mom (she is not pregnant) and has hurt a lot of people in the LDS adoption community.  Apparently she is on the prowl for new couples to victimize. Please spread the word about her so that she can't hurt anyone else. If she has contacted you, let your adoption caseworker and Lindsey of the r house know.

      To protect yourself, learn some of the red flags of an adoption scammer.  Check out this blog post by Brenda of Another Small Adventure.

      Monday, May 3, 2010

      Adoption Finalization

      by Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal


      On April 29th we were able to finalize our adoption!  Below is a photo of us with Judge Medley in his chambers following the proceeding.  What a great day!  (Now we can file for his birth certificate and his social security card!)


      Two days later we took him to the temple to be sealed.  What a wonderful experience it was to have our baby brought to us in the sealing room, dressed in white.  He was so good, too!  He was in such a good mood and looked so cute in his little white outfit.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house.  I will never forget how we felt that day, in the temple with him.

      photography by Nicole Baxter

      photography by Tonja Day

      Then later Saturday we had our open house reception where we displayed your pass along cards.  Thank you again!  We had a great time and are so grateful for all of our friends and family members who came to support us.



      Yesterday was Liam's baby blessing and was the last event in our wonderful celebrations.  Que and I bore our testimonies of the temple, families and of the atonement.  It was even more special to us because Liam's birth mother and other members of her family were there as well.  It was such a spiritual thing, I don't think a lot of people realize how spiritual adoption is!

      Maybe that's because it's about Love. :)

      Sunday, April 25, 2010

      Birth Mother's Day is coming!

      Birth Mother's Day is May 8th and it is coming up! Be sure to not forget that special birth mom in your life.  Tell her with flowers, a note, a text, or click here for other great gift ideas.

      There is also an Adoption Celebration Walk on Saturday, May 8th.  Meet at the Provo High School track at 10:00am.

      Oh, and as a matter of motherly pride, I must also tell you that my son Liam recently modeled for the r house couture.  :)  (see below) They have wonderful gifts that you could use for Birth Mother's Day as well! 


      Tuesday, April 20, 2010

      The Grieving Process

      By Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
      email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com

      Since grieving is a normal process that affects everyone involved in an adoption, I just wanted to post about the 5 stages of grief.  Not everyone grieves exactly according to this list of course, (some people skip steps, some don't have them at all, some go back and forth, etc.) but I think it's a good starting reference.

      (Sorry, I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. LOL  I just know that Que and I didn't realize grieving was normal for a couple facing infertility -and later, adoption- and it would have helped, had I known it was normal.)

      Anyway, Que and I have learned that the grieving process can begin to happen to a birth parent (and sometimes their family members) even before the baby is born and can, of course, last long after placement.  Grief can even strike on certain important dates or anniversaries, for example on the date of the adoption finalization, the temple sealing or the child's birthday.  Our adoption caseworker said she knows of a birth mom who grieves on every monthly anniversary of placement.  In our adoption classes, we also learned that birth moms can grieve about their adoption much in the same way a person would grieve the death of a loved one.

      To a different degree, some adoptive couples can experience grief and loss while dealing with infertility, and even after placement.  It's important to recognize that grieving is normal and that counseling should be seriously considered (especially for birth parents and even their family members). 

      The Five Stages Of Grief

      1. Denial and Isolation.
      2. Anger.
      3. Bargaining.
      4. Depression.
      5. Acceptance.
         
      PS: Here is another article on grief that was passed on to me.


        Monday, April 19, 2010

        Thank you for your pass along cards!

        I have been overwhelmed with responses to my plea for Pass Along Cards! It was wonderful!  Thank you so much for your quick responses. 

        I believe I will now have more than enough to set out for display during our open house.  Thank you again!

        Thursday, April 15, 2010

        Send Me Your Pass-Along Cards!


        Are you hoping to adopt? Send me your pass along cards! They will be set out for the taking during our Open House celebrating our temple sealing to our son.

         (I wanted to make those available for guests to take since pass along cards are how our baby's birth mom found us!)

        Email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com if you're interested and I will give you my address.  Thanks!
        **update** Thank you for your responses!  I now have more than enough cards to set out.  It's wonderful!

        Saturday, April 10, 2010

        Gift idea: Genealogy Book

        By Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com


        If you have an open adoption, this is not only a gift idea for a birth parent, it's also a gift idea for your child.  I wanted to be able to show Liam his genealogy sheets for both our family and his birth family.

        What I did was fill out genealogy sheets with our ancestry information and Liam's name (and I gave a copy to his birth mom to keep) and then I gave her 2 sets of blank sheets for her to fill in the birth family's information.  One set is for her to keep and one to give back to me to put in our family history book.  (I also got from my friend Michelle, this wonderful baby book that is especially for adopted children.  On the last page it has 2 family trees, one for the adoptive family and one for the birth family.)

        I hope one day Liam will enjoy having both sets of information!

        Click here to start your own family history search!

        Wednesday, April 7, 2010

        Your Adoption is Unique

        by Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com
        (please do not copy & paste this post onto your own blog)

        Because of all of the different circumstances that surround an adoption, no two adoptions are exactly alike.  Some people try to [negatively] compare an adoption that happened 30+ years ago (or even 10 years ago) to one that is happening today.  Comparing those are like comparing apples and oranges.

        When people say negative comments (ie: "All adoptions are bad." or "Mine was a bad experience, so yours will be too."), you should use that opportunity to educate them about your adoption.

        When people try to tell us that our adoption will turn out badly- just like another one they know of, sometimes I will say something like "I am not [the name of the person they're talking about], so the outcome will not be the same.  We all have different circumstances and we all deal with things in different ways." 

        Here are some of the many variables that make each adoption unique.  These factors also shape the perspective people have about adoption:

        • Where you fit in the adoption triad (big factor!)
        • The year the adoption happened  (big factor!)
        • Open or Closed Adoption (big factor!)
        • How the adopted child was raised (big factor!)
        • Level and degree of openness between the adoptive family and the birth family
        • International Adoption
        • Domestic Adoption
        • Interstate Adoption (ICPC)
        • Same-state Adoption
        • Trans-racial Adoption
        • Special Needs Adoption
        • Foster-to-Adopt
        • Infant Adoption
        • Adoption of an older child
        • Adoption of a sibling group
        • Adoption of a child to an unmarried parent
        • Adoption of a family member (i.e.: step-parent adoption or adoption of extended family member, etc.)
        • State laws regarding parental relinquishment, placement of the child and finalization of the adoption
        • Wait time that the adoptive family endured before placement
        • Some adoptive couples have been scammed or have experienced failed placement(s)
        • Adoptive Parent application process
        • Counseling
        • How everyone in the adoption triad dealt with the grief
        • The distance between where the birth parents live from the adoptive family
        • Health of the adopted child
        • Birth mother's reason(s) for choosing adoption
        • Birth mother's reason(s) and criteria for choosing her baby's adoptive family (how did she tell them?)
        • The age of the birth parents at the time of the adoption
        • Involvement of the birth father
        • Involvement of the birth mother
        • The amount of adoption education/counseling that the adoptive family has received
        • Contact and openness the adoptive couple experiences with the birth family before placement
        • The age of the child when he/she was adopted
        • Support of family members of the ones directly involved in an adoption
        • The circumstances surrounding the actual placement of the child (was it at the hospital, home or agency?  Were the birth parents involved or was it done by state or agency workers?)
        • The child's contact and relationship with the birth family
        • The adoptive couple's contact and relationship with the birth family
        • In later years, did the adopted child initiate unwanted contact with a birth parent or vice versa?
        • Involvement of extended members of the birth family with the adoptive family 
        • If there was a contested adoption
        • Use of the internet, pass along cards or other tools in the "finding process"
        • Use of an adoption agency (each agency is different)
        • Competency and experience of adoption caseworkers involved
        • Use of an attorney only (in lieu of an agency)
        All of these factors make it nearly impossible to compare adoptions (especially in a negative way).  And I hope, because of that, people will learn to put aside their own issues and celebrate when good things come of an adoption.  Even if it's not their own.

        Friday, April 2, 2010

        Answering Questions about Open Adoption

        By Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com


        A reader, who along with her spouse are considering adoption as a way to build their family, asked me this question regarding my previous post about open adoption, and specifically regarding this statement I made: "Open adoption is not:  confusing to the child, co-parenting, only for the benefit of the birth mom." 

        She asked:
        "I just wonder if you could explain more about what it's really like and how those 'nots' do or don't work? I had wondered with Brie being so involved with Liam if it would be confusing in future for him, or be something like her possibly trying to take him away from you, and how this would benefit you and Que and not just Brie...I'm just curious to know more about what it's really like."

         My son Liam and his birth mom, Brie (during a visit last month)


        I love answering questions! Thanks!  Ok, I'm going to go through these one at a time and paraphrase the questions:

        Will the contact with Brie be confusing for Liam?  The only way I can explain our situation is to liken it to an aunt or uncle coming over to visit you.  You know they're related to you, you know they love you, but you also know they're not your mom or dad. Liam will obviously know that we are his mom and dad.  He will also know who Brie is, he will call her by her first name and he'll grow up knowing his adoption story.  This arrangement works because Brie is respectful of our role as parents to him and we are respectful of her role as birth mother.  Meaning she's not coming over to parent Liam, she's just coming for a visit.  And she doesn't see us as being like "foster care" for Liam; taking care of him until she feels she's ready to do it herself, she sees us as his permanent parents.  I hope that makes sense.  (This is what I mean when I say that open adoption is not "co-parenting.")

        Would seeing Liam all the time make Brie want to take Liam back? Can Brie take Liam from you?    From what I understand, (birth moms out there, tell me if I'm wrong) most birth mothers who can see that their child is happy in their adoptive family tend to be so much more at ease with the adoption. I don't mean to speak for Brie, but I do know no one forced her to choose adoption, and she has told us that she knows Liam "was meant for [us], he just had to come a different way."  She trusted us to raise him and is happy that he's with us, even though I'm sure it was/is devastating for her to deal with the grief of his adoption. As for the legal aspects of it, in Utah once parental rights have been terminated, they can't be reinstated.  (And Brie knew that.)  The legal parental rights of both of Liam's birth parents were terminated shortly after his birth.

        How does open adoption benefit the adoptive parents?  This may sound weird, but for us it reinforces that Liam was meant for us.  There is a special bond between an adoptive couple and a birth mom; you are just so connected.  It's like she becomes part of your family.  I've previously blogged about how adoptive couples can even grieve alongside their birth mom.  I love her like a sister and would walk through fire for Brie, seriously.  We are very protective of her and it boils my blood to hear when people mistreat her.  Just cutting off all contact with her forever would have been so devastating to me and Que. We know that the circumstances of our contact may change over the passage of time, but like an aunt or cousin, we hope and believe that we will always be in touch with her somehow.  Open adoption with her is also a benefit for me as a mother because it brings me comfort to know that my son will have his adoption questions answered.  He'll never have to wonder what she looks like, why she chose adoption, if she loves him, etc.


        Is there anything else you wanted to know? 
        I now have a Formspring account- click here (or see the sidebar) and feel free to ask!

        Monday, March 29, 2010

        Is Your Family Uncomfortable with Your Open Adoption?

        by Brittany from Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com
        (please don't copy & paste this blog post onto your blog)

        Que, me and our son's birthmom (standing)

        The term "open adoption" can sound so scary to someone who has never encountered it before.  (It frightened me... until I learned about it.)  Be patient with family members or friends who may be giving you negative feedback or unsolicited "advice."  As someone who has endured negative responses to our decision to have an open adoption, I know being patient with that kind of treatment is not an easy thing to do. 

        Interference from friends or family members only complicates things and can create contention.  And if you're like us, we only wanted our friends and family to trust our judgment and be excited about this baby!

        I suggest telling them specific reasons why you chose open adoption.  Then ask them what their specific issues are with the situation and then answer any questions they have.  Refer them to blogs of people who have an open adoption so that they can see how theirs works for them.

        Talk to them about how having an "open adoption" can mean different things to different people.  (Who knows what they personally think it is.)  Explain to them that some couples only send an update letter and a few photos once a year, some might be open at first, with an agreement with the birth parent(s) to slowly close it over time, whereas other adoptive couples might be so open that they invite their birth moms to babysit or to come along on family vacations. It's all up to the couple.

        If you want, you can talk to your friends or family members about what open adoption is and isn't.

        Open adoption is not:  confusing to the child, co-parenting, only for the benefit of the birth mom. 

         Open adoption is about: Love, trust, communication, respect for each other's role in the child's life, the sharing of information.

        My point is, try to help them understand that the adoptive couple makes this choice, (sometimes along with the birth family), and that requires focus on what is best for the child, an understanding of the circumstances, patience and an open mind.  They may think you have been coerced into agreeing to it, and showing them that you have a plan and that you have some knowledge about how it works can help calm their fears. 

        Also stress that you know what is best for your family, and you would like them to trust you to make that decision.  Adoptive couples have gone through so much already: dealing with infertility, miscarriages and the adoption process makes one feel like they have no control over their own life.  Some of us just hope that people around us will stand by us when we do get to make a decision, even if it's something they themselves don't fully understand.

        Thursday, March 25, 2010

        Advice for Waiting Couples (from a Birth Mom)

        The following is by Jill Elizabeth.  Jill is a birth mom who placed her daughter last fall, after parenting for 9 weeks.  She has a wonderful blog called "The Happiest Sad" and wrote this post for couples who are hoping to adopt.  ("Roo" is her daughter's nickname, "P&M" refer to her adoptive couple.) 
        Re-published with permission

        I first started this blog as a record for Roo. I wanted her to know where she came from, how she came to be with her family, and what sort of person her birth mom was.

        It's grown since then. I would have figured I'd hear from birth moms about my blog. I've heard from more adoptive couples than anything, which has been great. I've gained a new perspective and a better appreciation of couples who adopt.

        I would never presume to speak for every birth mom or potential birth mom out there. I only speak for myself. But, that said, I am a birth mom (and I have birth mom friends). I went through the process of looking at couple profiles and trying to choose parents for my baby. I saw a lot of profiles that were very well done ... and some that were a turn-off. No couple's profile or blog should be a turn-off! No couple sets out to make themselves unappealing. But it happens sometimes because they simply don't know what to say - or what not to say. As such, I offer the following suggestions (for blogs, profiles, meetings with potential birth moms, and relationships with your child’s birth mom).

        Meetings and Relationships
        -Don’t make promises you won’t/can’t keep – forever. When in doubt, don’t promise. In that vein, don’t start something you can’t keep up. As in business, it’s best to underpromise and overdeliver.

        -Remember, when planning for openness, that things will be very different once placement is done. Your feelings about contact and/or the relationship will likely change. This is why it’s best to avoid overpromising.

        -When in doubt, err on the side of too much contact with the birth mom. There almost can’t be too many pictures or updates or input or visits. The birth mom will let you know if you need to back off. Just because something may hurt a birth mom (baby shower, court date, sealing, etc) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer her the chance to be there. Not being invited can hurt worse.

        -Be open and honest to a fault – COMMUNICATE. Don’t ever let communication between you and your birth mom get awkward or stressful. Love her and trust her enough to be honest, open and communicative. (P and M excel at this, which I love.)

        -Remember, when you’re going to meet with a potential birth mom, that she is as nervous as you are. Gifts are nice, but she’s not going to expect it, and if you do want to bring her something, keep it inexpensive and neutral. Flowers are good. You don’t want her to feel like you’re plying her with gifts to get her to choose you.

        -Relax. Don’t try to sell yourself or be pressuring. Just get to know her for her, not for her baby. If you happen to have the exact same tastes and views as she does, great. But don’t pretend you do to try to get her to like you. Be yourselves.

        -For the love of all that is good and decent, don’t refer to her pregnancy as “unwanted.” Unplanned does not mean unwanted. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that birth moms choose adoption out of love, not because they don’t want their babies.

        -Pray every night for your birth mother, whether you’ve met her yet or not. Pray before you meet with a potential birth mom. Follow the Spirit. Don’t let your desire to be parents override your feelings. If a situation isn’t right, you’ll know. Remember, you’re not just looking for A baby, you’re looking for YOUR baby.

        -Don’t take it personally if you meet with a potential birth mother – even if you meet more than once, and e-mail and talk – and she doesn’t choose you. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you or that you’ve done anything wrong. The couples I met with but didn’t choose couldn’t have made a better impression on me. They just weren’t my baby’s family.

        For Blogs and/or Profiles
        -Proofread, please. You don’t have to be the world’s best writers or even have a knack for spelling. But when you’ve typed “ans” instead of “and” and not fixed it, it just looks lazy. Not every birth mom is going to be as picky as I was, but the first thing I noticed about P and M’s profile (after their picture) is that it didn’t contain any glaring errors. I appreciated that.

        -If you’ve adopted before, mention what things are like with that birth mom – how open is the adoption? If you’ve got pictures of her with your child, that’s awesome. Post them! Birth moms want to know that they won’t be dumped after placement.

        -Speaking of pictures, please please please have some nice ones taken for your profile. They don’t have to be glamour shots, and you don’t need to be Photoshopped, but do try to look your best. Be yourself and have fun in your pictures, but birth moms don’t want to see your his-and-hers “white trash” Halloween costumes.

        -Do you enjoy hunting and fishing? Good for you, and go ahead and mention it. Maybe your birth mom does, too. But maybe she doesn’t. And she might find your blog a bit off-putting if it contains multiple pictures of bloody, entrail-strewn deer carcasses or slimy large-mouth bass. I’m going to put high-risk activities in this category, too. If you enjoy 4-wheeling, that’s fine. But please don’t post pictures of the gory flesh wound on your back from the last time you crashed. A birth mom wants to feel that her baby will be safe and protected, and that the baby’s parents will live long lives, unmarred by any sort of horrible accident or disfigurement.

        -If you waited several years after marriage before trying to conceive, keep it to yourself. I’m REALLY not proud of this, but there are a few profiles that mentioned that and my knee-jerk reaction was, “Well, you should have considered your fertility ten years ago when you were young and ‘enjoying it just being the two of us’ and travelling the world and building up your careers!” Whether you did or not is your business, and it’s not my place to judge (although obviously that didn’t stop me). But you might want to keep it to yourself.

        -Blog! Update at least monthly, too. If you haven’t updated in 10 months, a birth mom might wonder if you’re no longer hoping to adopt, or if you’ve dropped off the face of the earth. You might feel like you have nothing to say. Make something up. Are you wondering how “Lost” is going to end? What did you think of the latest Twilight movie? Blog about it. A blog is a great chance to really be yourselves and show potential birth moms what your lives are like and what great parents you would be.

        And Finally …
        Try to anticipate what kinds of questions a birth mom might ask. What would you want to know about a couple if you were in her place? Here’s a messy, random list of some things you might want to mention.

        -Will she be a stay-at-home-mom?
        -Do you have any family traditions you hope to carry on?
        -Do you have a nursery set up (are you ready, right now, for a baby)?
        -Do you have any pets?
        -Any plans to move in the next 10 years?
        -Do you attend the temple regularly? What are your church callings? Do you have Family Home Evening every Monday night?
        -Do you have immediate and/or extended family living in the area? (Roo has tons of family nearby, and I love it.)
        -Besides infertility, have you overcome any other hardships/adversity? What did it/they teach you?
        -Do you have any experience with adoption? Do you know anyone who has adopted, or anyone who was adopted?
        -What would adopting a child mean to you? You can’t oversell how precious a child would be, although you'll want to avoid sounding desperate, as though your lives are empty and worthless because you aren't parents yet.

        Overall, be yourselves. You don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to take any of the advice I've given. Odds are, your child's birth mother will love you anyway, warts and all.

        Monday, March 22, 2010

        Updating the Hoping to Adopt List

        I went through the list and deleted your name IF:

        1) your links were dead (including itsaboutlove.org and parentprofile links),
        2) your blog was stale (hadn't been updated in over a year),
        3) your blog stated you had recently been chosen by a birth mother or had adopted.

        Please look over the list- if I have made a mistake (or if you are new and would like me to add your adoption blog or adoption profile link) you can email me (Brittany) at queandbrittany@yahoo.com or Amanda at wishes4happiness@gmail.com.

        PS: If you have recently been chosen or have been placed with a child and would like to be showcased as a Success Story, please email us!  We love to be inspired by adoption success!

        Saturday, March 20, 2010

        Adoption Books

        By Brittany of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com

        Here are some cute adoption-related books that I've been interested in buying (although I already have the Michael McLean book). 


        From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours by Michael McLean
        (it comes with a CD)


        I Wished for You by Marianne Richmond


        God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren


        Blog post idea:  Are there any LDS (fiction or non-fiction) books on adoption that you like? (They don't have to be children's books.) 

        [To post a comment, click on the title of this blog post and then scroll down.  I don't know what's going on with blogger, but that's the only way they're showing up right now.  Sorry.] 

        Thursday, March 11, 2010

        You are Not Alone (Speaking to Sisters Hoping to Adopt)

        by Amanda (wishes4happiness at gmail dot com)

        I am feeling prompted to write about how alone you can feel when you are unable to have children the "usual" way. I remember those nights when I would cry because I felt like my prayers weren't being answered. I felt like a miracle should just happen and I would be pregnant. That didn't happen. Instead I was inspired to start looking at different adoption agencies and pray more. Finally we made the decision to look at Foster Care. Everything felt right.

        When we went to classes there were so many other couples there. It was about that time that I started blogging. I think it was the best thing to happen to me at that time. Reading other's blogs about infertility really helped. Others were able to put into words the exact way that I was feeling.

        One of my biggest fears going into adoption was "What if I'm rejected?"

        These feelings came all too easy because of our education and income.

        When we were accepted by Foster Care I decided to make this website. It made me feel more at peace and added to the feeling of not being alone. When I see so many of your profiles it tells me that you are people who have gone through a lot of the same feelings I have. It tells me that I am not alone in my feelings. It tells me that while I see so many sisters at church announcing their second or third child, I have my sisters here who have walked in my shoes. I have my sisters here who know how hard it can be to go to a baby shower and want to run for the door. I have my sisters here who may just end up in a mood for a few days when they find out yet another friend or family member is pregnant. We are not alone here.

        There are many blogs and profiles in the sidebar here. If you ever feel alone just go through the sidebar to see that you are not.

        Friday, March 5, 2010

        Adoption doesn't cure Infertility

        By Brittany, of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal
        email me at queandbrittany@yahoo.com

        I remember during our adoption orientation in 2007, the myth of "adoption cures infertility" was brought up. In my mind I kind of got hung up on that because I guess I thought that once we added children to our family, those uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy, frustration, anger, grief and loss would just go away.

        And yes, it is true that since beginning the adoption process I have healed a lot, (I was actually OK at church last Mother's Day, and that was even before we met our son's birth mom). I can now go down the baby isle at the store, I can even go to baby showers now without the threat of a panic attack. But there are still times where those old [crappy] feelings crop up.

        For me, sometimes it catches me off guard, like when I bought a baby book for Liam. I started filling it out with the normal information (weight and length at birth, etc.) and then I came across things like "Some people say I inherited these qualities from my mommy and daddy: _________." I just sat there and stared at the page. It was just kind of a reminder that our situation was different. I love that adoption is part of who Liam is, but it brought up that familiar hurt... you know, that sometimes I wish that I could have given birth to Liam.  (And of course, I consider Liam to be my son; he just came to our family a different way.)

        When stuff like that happens, I have to remember to just take a step back and think of how blessed we've been. The good news is, for me, the bitterness of infertility has faded over time. Even though adoption has not cured those feelings, I think I have learned how to deal with it a little bit better.

        And who knows, maybe Liam will "inherit" Que's love for camping and hunting, or my love for books. I'll just have to wait a little longer to fill out that page of his baby book. And that's ok. :)

        [To post a comment, click on the title of this blog post and then scroll down.  I don't know what's going on with blogger, but that's the only way they're showing up right now.  Sorry.]

        An Open Adoption Documentary

        Adoption Isn't Selfish

        Straight from a Birthmom...

        The Open Adoption Project via The R House