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

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 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

    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
    (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

    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!

    An Open Adoption Documentary

    Adoption Isn't Selfish

    Straight from a Birthmom...

    The Open Adoption Project via The R House