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!

    An Open Adoption Documentary

    Adoption Isn't Selfish

    Straight from a Birthmom...

    The Open Adoption Project via The R House