Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All About Love: An Adoptive Mother's Story

Hello All!

Here is our first post to kick off Adoption Month. It is from an adoptive parent, of two wonderful kids!

And the Greatest of these is LOVE.

It’s all about LOVE.

What is it that gives a frightened woman the courage to face family, friends, employer, co-workers and neighbors with the news of an unplanned pregnancy? LOVE

What is it that gives a mother the strength and courage to decide to find a family to adopt her child? LOVE

What is it that makes a couple reach out for that child and create a family? LOVE

It is as simple as that. A mother’s love for her unborn child gives her the strength and courage to seek out a loving couple and create with them a family. A couple, blessed with a deep love and faith in one another, accepts the greatest gift this mother can give. And all pledge to do the best they can for the child.  Love is a funny thing. The more you give, the more you get. Two women gave my husband and me the greatest gifts they had to give, a son and a daughter. We have tried hard to be worthy of their love and trust and have raised our children to be loving, considerate, disciplined young adults, each of whom is grateful for the ultimate gift made by these women.

-Thank you for sharing what adoption means to you. To me, it is too often that we forget what the core root of everything is, and how powerful of an impact love can have on so many people. What I like most about this response, is the ripple effect it illustrates. It helps highlight not only the realization of the love felt by all, but the power that comes with loving someone so deeply. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

National Adoption Month

Hello Everyone!

We hope that you enjoyed our posts during National Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. B and I acknowledge the strength of those women to share their stories, and offer our prayers for them and the children they lost. November is National Adoption month, and we will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate and recognize the amazing gift of adoption. During this month, we will have posts from adopted children, adoptive parents, a Q & A, as well as other adoption resources to help shed more light on the many layers of adoption. To kick us off, who better than President Obama, who made a public declaration yesterday in recognition of National Adoption Day, which is the Saturday before Thanksgiving (my personal favorite holiday). Please feel free to submit questions for our Q & A post, or any suggestions/ideas that you would like to see us discuss this month. Fingers crossed we get to celebrate National Adoption Day with Baby S next year. 

Presidential Proclamation --National Adoption Month, 2014

- - - - - - -
Every year, adoptive parents welcome tens of thousands of children and teenagers into supportive and loving families.
These mothers and fathers provide their sons and daughters with the security and stability of a safe environment and the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve their full potential.  During National Adoption Month, we honor those who have opened their hearts and their homes, and we recommit to supporting all children still in need of a place to call their own.

Over the past decade, more than 500,000 children have been adopted.  However, there are still too many children waiting to be part of an adoptive family.  This month -- on the Saturday before Thanksgiving -- we will observe the 15th annual National Adoption Day, a nationwide celebration that brings together policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to finalize thousands of adoptions and to raise awareness of those still in need of permanent homes.
To help ensure there is a permanent home for every child, my Administration is investing in programs to reduce the amount of time children in foster care wait for adoption and to educate adoptive families about the diverse needs of their children, helping ensure stability and permanency.  We are equipping State and local adoption organizations with tools to provide quality mental health services to children who need them, and -- because we know the importance of sibling relationships -- we are encouraging efforts to keep brothers and sisters together.  Additionally, last year I was proud to permanently extend the Adoption Tax Credit to provide relief to adoptive families.  By supporting policies that remove barriers to adoption, we give hope to children across America.  For all those who yearn for the comfort of family, we must continue our work to increase the opportunities for adoption and make sure all capable and loving caregivers have the ability to bring a child into their life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Throughout November, we recognize the thousands of parents and kids who have expanded their families to welcome a new child or sibling, as well as the professionals who offer guidance, resources, and counseling every day.  Let us reaffirm our commitment to provide all children with every chance to reach their dreams and realize their highest aspirations.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2014 as National Adoption Month.  I encourage all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need, and by supporting the families who care for them.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Taken from :

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Things I suck at:
  1. Hitting the high notes
  2. Doing cats eye make-up
  3. Having a full functioning heart
  4. Math
  5. Chemistry
  6. Having ovaries that work for IVF
  7. Playing the tuba
  8. Zumba
  9. Rhythmic gymnastics
  10. Being able to carry a baby 

Why am I able to talk about some of these, while others hide like the elephant in the room? Why is it OK to be bad at Zumba, but people feel it’s taboo to talk about infertility, the cure for Zumba is classes, the cure for infertility is not talking about it. Too often we worry about how our words will impact someone who is grieving, saying or doing the wrong thing that we tread around the issue. There is a song by one of my favorite bands (Train) called “Bruises” in it, the singer says.

These bruises 
Makes for better conversation
Loses the vibe that separates
It's good to let you in again
You're not alone in how you've been
Everybody loses-we all got bruises
We all got bruises.”

            It takes a great deal of courage to be able to face your fears. To be able to openly state what scares you. Recently, I confronted one of my biggest fears. The painstaking anxiety that came with it, as well as the pain I felt having to open old wounds again, is nothing that words can describe. I think the reason people don’t talk about the heavy issues, is because it hurts so much before it starts to get better. First you have to process, but then you have to feel it all again to begin to heal. Confronting my fears, allowed me to revisit some deep bruises, bruises caused by both my failures, as well as ones caused by others. Once it was all over though, I felt lighter. It brought me a sense of closure, and I felt complete. My point is sometimes talking about the pain can help us recover. The recovery isn’t over night, but it’s gradual. You won’t notice it a day later, or even a week later, but you will feel different, at least I did.

October is a big month for women. It’s breast cancer awareness month, domestic violence awareness month, and infant and pregnancy loss awareness month.  In my opinion October should be dubbed, the month of women, or, more accurately, the month of survivors. October represents overcoming obstacles, celebrating strength, and coming together to overcome any struggle. Here is the reality, and I am sorry if this offends, but only one of the things October recognizes is talked about. The other two are taboo, or result in some severe judgment. Because of this, people shy away from sharing their stories. I have not been in abusive relationships, but I know people who have, and I have seen the power and courage it took for them to walk away.  

I have never lost and infant, but I know people who have, and I have seen how it devastates them, and I know that it forever changes them.  For this month, I ask that you turn away from our story and read the story of others, check out, for their guest writer series on infant and pregnancy loss. Read to learn more, read to start the movement to talk about the elephant in the room, to encourage others to share their stories, to show their bruises, so we can all begin to heal, together.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fear Factor Episode 4

I will preface this post by saying two things. First, I am immensely proud of B for putting this out there, as I know this topic scares him, and was very difficult for him to discuss. Second, I found through my research that most (if not all) adoptive couples experience this fear as well. I would even venture to guess that it is one of the most common fears that people experience overall. I would even venture to say that it's not specific to adoption. It is the fear of bonding with a baby. With that being said, B's gonna take it to the bridge (JT style).

As L's slightly weird introduction stated, my biggest fear with adoption is the issue of attachment (or bonding with the baby). I've had numerous discussions with L about it. When I first mentioned it to her, she told me that I was being ridiculous (in so many words). At one point, she stated that we had two adopted dogs, and I was attached them, so how was a baby different? At our first adoption meeting, she asked the social worker, if many people were scared of feeling bonded with the baby. The social worker told her that almost everyone has that fear. I think this eased L's fears more than mine. 

The reality of the situation is that this baby will be a stranger, and I have no idea what I am doing. What if they don't like me? What if I don't feel that paternal bond wash over me when the baby is placed in my arms? This isn't to say that I don't want a baby, or to be a Dad. It just means that I'm scared that this infant will reject me. 

As I stated in my other post, we don't have the nine months to prepare for this baby, so I will be thrown into fatherhood, and so far my only plan is to sing "Sweet Child O' Mine" to the baby on the car ride home. What if they hate the sound of my voice? What if my face makes them cry? What if they hate "Sweet Child O' Mine?" The bottom line is I am terrified of not feeling that instant click everyone talks about, simply because of biology. There are thousands of articles out there about bonding, and I know L is pouring over them, so I will be prepared to try, and I will try everyday, but what if I don't succeed? My fear, much like L's is not resolved, and won't be until that little guy (or gal) is hanging out crib side. 

L's note: In spite of my efforts to reassure B, I know this is a very real fear for him, and several others. The important thing to note is that blood is the smallest part of what makes someone a parent. I know that B has much insecurity in this regard, but I also know that they will all wash away when that pinkish/grayish bundle of love is looking up at him. Thinking about that moment, makes my heart so full it could burst. He's going to be an awesome Dad. There are so many ways to bond with your baby (even if you are the biological parent). Check out some tips for bonding here:

*update-shortly after this posted, someone shared this with me. I think it fits perfectly. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fear Factor Episode 3

It’s taken me some time to figure out how to write this post, seeing as how this fear is actually based on something optimistic. What optimistic point is that? Getting a baby. This may seem contradictory from my last post, in regards to failed placement, but another one of my big fears with adoption is not being enough. One of the up and coming trends (if you can call it that) in adoption is the concept of an open adoption. This however, is usually a misnomer. Open adoption is not a thing, but rather a mindset of how open you as an adoptive parent will be with the birth parent(s) after placement. In the dark ages, adoptions were mainly closed, with records sealed off somewhere, and a child may never know about where they came from. Now, people have embraced this new idea that we need to nurture the adoptive child as a whole, and allow them information about their birth parents, provided both parties are willing and able to share that with the child in question. I understand the psychology behind this, and recognize the impact it would have on any adoptive child, but that does not mean it doesn’t scare me.

What do I mean by not being enough? What I mean is this, what if when B and I get a baby, and they feel some disconnect from us, or feel only half full because they are adopted. I don’t want my child to not know who they are as a person, because where they came from is hidden from them, but at the same time, it terrifies me to think about “sharing” my baby. We’ve all seen the T.V. specials where a child reunites with their birth parents, tears are shed, and both parties start making up for lost time.

What happens to the adoptive parents during all of this? I don’t want to be forgotten, I want to be enough for my child, where they can have a relationship with the person who gave them life, but not have that take away from our relationship as mother and child. I can’t get the images out of my head, of a birth mother being at my child’s wedding as the Mother of the Bride, or my baby spending Christmas with their other family instead of ours.

Logically, I know this is good, emotionally it scares me because what if the baby forms a bond with their birth mother and then decides they don’t need me any more, that I can’t give them any more? That my love isn’t enough? The fact that I could make it so far and have a baby to call me own, only to fail, sucks. I’m reading up on bonding, I’m learning about the idea of open adoptions, and I know that I will have control over contact, but I will not have control over my child’s free will. It’s a double edged sword, contact, because I will be able to give my child something they need to understand themselves in a deeper way, but I am putting myself out there to be hurt.  I don’t want my relationship with my child to fall to the wayside because they think the grass is greener, nor do I want to feel like I’m a second choice or second best Mom.

I know that allowing some openness in our adoption will help our child, and most adoptive parents have fears about open adoptions. Thankfully, most parents say their fears are lessened as they go through the process. Until these fears are minimized, they are very much part of the adoption process. Welcome to my new rock and hard place. Tune in next week for B's second Fear Factor Edition.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fear Factor Episode 2

Hello All,

In keeping with our Fear Factor theme, I am happy to introduce this weeks post to you all. The best part? It's from my better half! Take it away B!

"Only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Good ole FDR. All good papers start with a quote right? I thought I would try and borrow from my high school English days. L is writer, not me, so I apologize for the lack of creativity and writing ability in my post. I guess the fear of Japanese invasion during WWII is a little different then the fear of adoption. Thankfully WWII is over, unfortunately, our adoption process is just beginning. One of my biggest fears in pursuing adoption is not being prepared.

Most couples have nine (ish) months to get ready for a baby. Me? I might just wake up one day to a phone call telling me to come pick up our baby. I would probably think I was dreaming at first, and then fall back asleep thinking that I'd gotten up and was on my way to the hospital. You laugh, but it's happened before. One time when L and I were dating, she asked me to close a window at night, and I swore up and down that I did it. In reality I hadn't even left the bed. When we get the call L will be the one to make sure I stay awake, because she won't be composed enough to drive. My guess is that she will have a list, but I don't know what to bring. What if we don't have everything? You can't go buy things if it's super later at night. The anxiety will be very high that day. Thankfully, the law doesn't allow you to take your child home for 72 hours, so we can get ourselves together a little bit. Then there is always the chance that they may not sign over their rights, so we will have to wait to buy stuff until we know the baby is ours to take home.

It's not just being prepared with all of the materials you need for a brand new baby. It's also not being prepared mentally. In the course of answering the phone, I will go from B, feeder of the animals (who usually remind me if I forget) to being responsible for a baby that I am afraid I will break if I touch it. On top of all that, this baby won't know me. It hasn't heard my voice for the past nine months. It hasn't met me yet. What do I wear? Is it casual, formal, work casual, semi-formal? What if I over dress, will the baby think I'm some stuck up loser? What if the baby cries when I hold it, and my voice can't soothe it, because it's just a sound to them? 

Although, some of this is just normal fear of a new parent, it's different with adoption. There is the added element of the unknown, and of jinxing it by trying to be prepared. If you prep too early, and it falls through, there is a constant reminder of your loss. The reason being unprepared scares me so much is that I am a creature of habit, and love staying in my comfort zone. I don't order different dishes when I go out to eat; I do my hair the same way everyday. It's what I know, and it's what I am used to. Change takes time and planning. This change will come over night, and my comfort zone will be forced to expand quicker than it ever has. All of my routines and habits will be altered by one ring. Remember, some adoptive parents don't find out they have been matched with a birth mother until she is in labor, so there is a possibility that we won't even know the due date. The fact that I could wake up one morning, eat my cereal and go to work, then come home as a Dad, scares me, because how can I become a parent in just nine hours?

Even though, a lot of adoption is out of our control, I know that we can prepare for what we have control over, and that L and I will be good parents. Whenever that phone rings, it will be life changing, but changing for the better.