Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My struggle

I haven't talked much about my adoption situation lately because I have been trying to process it.

You see, in November we found out that Brit's parents are expecting another child. 

Not only are they expecting, but they are far enough along to know that this child is another little boy. They didn't indicate to us when they are due, but from my experience with being pregnant that means they are at least half way through the pregnancy to be able to know the child's sex.

So doing the quick math, that means they will have 4 children ages 3 and younger when this newest addition is born.  Brit turns 3 in March, the twins are 15 months younger than her, and this latest child will likely be born in the next couple of months (if not sooner, we don't know).

Here is what is hard for me. 

When our daughter was 6 months old they actively pursued fertility treatments to get pregnant with the twins.  Our daughter was still an infant and they actively pursued fertility treatments to 'have a child of their own'.  This was not a surprise pregnancy like sometimes happens to families who have just adopted.  I completely understand surprise pregnancies.  I have had plenty of those in my lifetime.  This was actively pursuing pregnancy via fertility assistance with a newly adopted infant in your arms.

It is very hard for me to think that they were truly OK with being parents via adoption only.  The idea that they pursued fertility treatments so quickly after adopting blows my mind.

This most recent pregnancy was a surprise according to Brit's dad.  We know very little, because it was a one sentence announcement at the end of an email update. 

So our daughter will be growing up in a house that has 4 children who are all about the same age.  Our daughter will be the only one who does not look like them.  And let me tell you, she looks NOTHING like them.  She looks exactly like us.  We don't know much about her personality since we have only spent 4 hours total with her in the last two years.

She will be the only one of the 'quadruplets' who will be completely different.

The second part of this is probably going to sound bad.  But it's my blog and my thoughts.  They will now have 4 children with a father who is a teacher at a small school and a stay at home mom.  I can't help but think that will be a huge financial struggle.

We know.  We are raising 4 children of our own (plus a grown child who no longer lives in our home).  We know what it is like to have 4 children to feed, buy clothes for, enroll in sports, pay school fees, etc.  We are acutely aware how difficult that is.  And BF is an accountant/controller and I am a director of marketing.  We each make more individually than the father of our daughter.  Thankfully our children have a very charmed life where they need for nothing and barely want for anything either.  They all have their own bedrooms, gaming systems, personal electronic devices, are enrolled in competitive sports teams and basically have everything provided for them.  Thankfully they are very appreciative and seem grateful for the things they do have.  We are lucky to have 4 amazing boys who make us proud to be their parents.

So the child that we placed for adoption, so she could have a mom and dad who were married, will now grow up in a home where she is the only one who is different.  And it will be very apparent because all of her siblings are going to be just about her age.

It is so hard for me to process.

I pray about it alot.  And cry alot too.

I cannot forgive myself for what I have done to our daughter.  I placed her with a family who does not want an active and open relationship with us.  I placed her in a family where she will be the outsider.  All the while her birth family is still in tact, all growing up together.

She is not allowed to know who we are.  We don't even know if they speak our names to her.  She doesn't know us.

Even in the last email it was hard to swallow as we heard about how she met 'great uncle so and so' who was in town visiting and they had a great time getting to know each other over the holidays.  Yet, Brit has an entire family living 10 MINUTES from her, who she is not allowed interaction with.

We heard how she has play dates at friend's houses, yet she isn't allowed to play with her biological brothers.

It is so hard to understand how we are the only people that they actively KEEP Brit from knowing.

So I continue to try to process it all.  And I pray constantly that God will soften their hearts toward us and allow us to have an active and meaningful relationship with our daughter.  I want her to be able to know us, and to know how very much we love her and want to be a part of her life.




89 comments:

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Oh, Lisa. I can hardly express how difficult it is for me to read this. It triggers my own adoptee stuff, yes, but my heart also aches for you and for Brit. So sorry. Big hugs to you!!!!!

Kellie C said...

I am so sorry. It all seems so unfair.
I, too, struggle with how everyone is allowed a relationship with our granddaughter except for her mother and us. It is painful. She doesn't know our names or faces or anything.
I grieve for you and your family's loss.

3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Baby said...

I don't know what to say. I'm truly sorry about the affect this is having for you. I can only hope that having your little lady in their lives has made them crave another child to replicate how great she is.

I can't imagine being able to watch your little gal being raised by another family of which you had different expectations. It must be a mixed blessing to be able to watch from the outside.

I hope that you are able to find peace in the coming days, weeks and years.

Much love
Julia

I Was Anne said...

I can completely understand your feelings, Lisa. I would feel the same way in your shoes. I think so many people who read your blog wish they could have just five minutes with Brit's parents to understand what in the world they are thinking. As an adoptive mom in an open adoption, it just boggles my mind every time I read about them. I totally agree with you -- why can Brit spend time with great uncle so-and-so but not you all? I can't imagine how hard it must be for you given that so much is out of your control. I'm thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I am staggered and blown away at how selfish and cold these people are. WOW.

How they gloat that your daughter is going to meet 'great, so and so' but they won't allow her to know her own siblings who live so close? They will now have FOUR small children and still hoard your daughter from you; when they quite clearly were able to pursue fertility treatments and have their own. It is not like they will never know what having a biological child is like. This is what makes their selfish greediness even more astounding to me. That woman KNOWS what it is like to carry and give birth to a child. She KNOWS what it would be like not to have contact with or know her child (as you were promised), yet they do this to you and don't seem to bat an eyelash.

How well I understand your dilemma. The adoptive parents of my child had their own son a few years after they adopted mine and I am certain they continued with fertility treatments after they adopted my son. There is no doubt in my mind of it. They even named their own son the name I gave my son in the hospital. So nice of em, ya think? I lived only 15 minutes from them for years (unbeknownst to me) yet they never offered me any more visits with my son, aside from the ONE visit the agency required at a year. They stopped communicating with me altogether after only a few years.

I think there is some switch, some light that goes off in their heads when they get their hands on some other woman's infant that turns these people into something they probably don't even recognize. The selfish, cold greed is astonishing. All I know is it has made me see the absolute worst in humanity and my trust in human beings is sincerely lacking since I discovered what I allowed to happen to my son and to myself. I allowed the same type of people to make off with my child. I allowed myself to be conned and manipulated and I too have a hard time forgiving myself for it. It is a daily struggle.

My hope is that more and more people will read these stories and not allow the same thing to happen.

I am so sorry for you. Truly. I know exactly how you feel.

allthesunforyou said...

I have followed you for just a short time - I find your story fascinating and eye-opening to people like me who have no knowledge of adoption at all. Because of you (and others I read), I believe whole-heartedly in open adoptions now - when before - I would never have even thought about it.

So there you have it - I have no experience with adoption at all. But with that said, I just want to say that I am furious for you. No one should be adopting if they haven't shut the door on their infertility past. Most agencies won't even talk to a prospective family until they have exhausted their desires for a biological child (I know this because I did look into adoption when it was looking like we may not have biological children). What they did was WRONG in so many ways.

I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am so sorry that you gave your daughter to such a dishonest and disrespectful family. They pulled the wool over your eyes and they should be ashamed of themselves.

I fully understand your final point about the finances. I have ALWAYS said that there is no way I would allow my daughter to give her child to someone who could not give that child the life that WE could. To live this is unimagineable to me. There is nothing wrong with you stating your concerns - I would have the same concerns. I am just beside myself on your behalf.

Peace and love to you.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, your story absolutely breaks my heart. These people are the most selfish human beings I've ever heard of. It seems adoption was a quick fix to get them a baby they desperately wanted at that moment - but they are not OK with adoption. I don't think they are truly OK with it and love her unconditionally and that's probably why she spends so much time as you've mentioned before with her grandparents. I bet you money that they do not treat Brit the same as they do their own children. She know she's the outsider and she always will. I will pray for both of you because she will need help with all of this as she grows up.

Anonymous said...

I'm the same person that commented above but I was thinking, do you think they keep you from her because they don't want you to see how much of a different relationship they have with her than they do their biological kids? Do you think they mistreat her and don't want you to know? I don't mean physically, but emotionally. And emotional abuse is just as bad, if not worse than physical abuse.

LisaAnne said...

To address the issue of neglect or abuse, I absolutely do not believe that she is neglected or mistreated. I truly believe they love her and treat her very well. They seem crazy about her. She is easy to love. She is smart and funny and very cute. Thankfully that is one thing I do not worry about.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that published so many times. My computer locked up and I hit publish several times. Ooops!

Anonymous said...

OK - that's good to know. I'm sorry I put that out that but it was just a thought I had. That's something that you won't have to worry about.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

I do believe they have good intentions, and probably have even convinced themselves that they are keeping things closed for _her_ sake, but they may not realize that many adult adoptees consider the "we are your (only) real family" approach to have been hugely harmful to us. It ultimately causes us to have to split ourselves in half, to choose between our adoptive fams and our true, full identity, which includes the bio fam. I _so_ hope they will be willing to open things up more as she gets older!

LisaAnne said...

No problem. Right now while Brit is young and cute, I think it is much easier to be crazy head over heels in love with her.

Now when they are all teenagers, that is when I expect it will get ugly.

I know, I have a houseful!

LisaAnne said...

Thank you for that insight Rebecca. I think you are spot on.

MommySquared said...

OH my friend, my heart breaks for you, for Brit for your family and for hers ... what they are missing, yhat they, most likely out of fear, not allow her to know and be loved by her whole family.

I cannot imagine your feelings, but along with you I am so upset.

How can these do this? To protect her? from what from loving more people? I understand it can be hard the concept of this ongoing relationship, but they allowed a relationship to blossom while you were expecting, what would change once the baby/child is here other than for all of you to love her?

I cannot imagine how she may feel when she is old enough to understand what has gone on with the fact that you all live so close ... it's heartbreaking to think how she will react ... but let's not get that far ahead ...

For you my friend, for your family and for Brit I hope and pray that 2013 means they will realize that family is family and not the enemy and go back to having a realationship with all of you ... that is what I want for you and other families suffering through the same ...

{{hugs}}

Christina B said...

Let me start by saying I strongly believe that you will get your time with your daughter. God will see fit that this precious baby know where she came from and the circumstances that surround that.

I started following your blog a couple months ago because my husband and I are currently on the adoption waiting list. I read your blog and found a true inside from a birth mother. My husband and I long for our first child together (he has one from a previous marriage). I do struggle with infertility and know it's impossible for me to conceive a child. From the time I first found this out (14 years ago) I knew I wanted to adopt.

My husband and I are wanting to pursue an open adoption with the birth mother of our child. Part of us wants to be selfish like the family your daughter is with. Part of us wants to hang on to the thought that this child God blesses us with will be OUR child. When you're faced with knowing you will never be able to bear a child of your own lots of thoughts go through your head. I've always known I'm supposed to be a mom. I try not to question the how's/when's/why's/etc., but at times it's just natural. While we want to be selfish at times we know that we want our child to know where he/she comes from. We want our child know his/her background and if the birth mother is willing we want our child to have that connection with her and her extended family.

It boggles my mind that this family your daughter is with does have so many biological children. I question why they wanted to adopt? Why they wanted to continue with biological children so quickly? And I wonder these things from a hopeful adopted mom viewpoint.

I pray that God will bring this family to realize just how much your little girl needs you in her life. Best wishes!

J said...

It's hard for me to integrate the idea that they love and adore Brit with the fact that they pursued fertility treatment so quickly.

If they loved and adored Brit so much, and treat/feel as though she's their daughter (with no qualifiers), then why pursue treatment so quickly? Why not adopt again? Fertility treatment is expensive, and since Brit's was a private adoption, I'm assuming their costs were relatively low.

It just seems like they must have felt having an adopted child is not as good as having a plain old biological child... and that's why I worry for Brit and Brit's self image and self worth.

theyalllived said...

Oh Lisa.

I was wondering if you would post about the pregnancy. You've been processing for a while now. You know how I feel...your heart is huge and Britt is going to know that love and is going to find comfort in your arms someday.

I will never understand how they can keep her from you. I think about our birth mother daily and touch base regularly because I can't fathom not being in touch. It just doesn't register why this has played out the way it has for you.

Lots of love Lisa. Lots.

Anonymous said...

You are not doing yourself any favors by posting such rude and slanderous comments on the internet.

LisaAnne said...

I would like to counter the 'rude and slanderous' statement just made here. From the feed of IP addresses that my blog keeps it is obvious you are someone close to my daughters adoptive parents.

I would be interested to know how sharing my feelings about my reaction to my daughters parents' pregnancy is considered rude or slanderous.

I have never called names or accused anyone of anything. I have spoken only the truth of what is the reality.

My daughter is being raised in a family as the only person not biologically related to them. Her parents nurtured a relationship with us prior to her birth and abandoned us after they adopted her.

We are good people. The kind of people who are kind and generous and our family feels betrayed. All of us. Myself, her father, our parents, our children and our extended families.

That is our reality. If that is rude then I suppose maybe we should look at the cause.

LisaAnne said...

And one more thing to anonymous. I am glad you are reading my blog. I hope it gives you insight into the pain and grief that we live with each day. And the hope we have for a future relationship with our daughter.

Anonymous said...

My prayer is that you no longer get yearly visits with their daughter.

wsbirthmom said...

Let me guess 'Anonymous' you're an 'adoptoraptor' as well? (That's the word many use to describe adoptive parents or HAPs/PAPs who are behaving badly such as yourself.) Go troll someone else's blog. Hateful, evil, non-empathetic and of course UNREASONABLE.


I think this quote I've posted below applies here as you just cannot fathom that these people did something very low down and dirty to this family (and are continuing to do it), who never had any intention of NOT having an OPEN ADOPTION with their daughter (and by that I mean ALL of their's).

One day Brit will know all of this. But the sad sad thing remains, she will have lost a lot of time with people who want nothing to do but love her. Heartless you are. Just heartless.

Here's the quote:
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the facade of pretence. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

― Adyashanti

KRT said...

Anonymous, your comments reveal a very dark, black, ugly soul. I sincerely hope that YOU are not the adoptive parents of this beautiful child. Frightening to think of you being close to her at all.

Mirah Riben said...

My heart aches for you. Someone asked how can they can love her and seek prgnanyc so soon. My question is what kind of love denies access to kin???

While it is true that you are expressing your feelings and have every right to do that...and you've been KIND not at all rude...you obviously represent a threat they are not comfortable with and if they habe spies reporting what you post and one has subtly "treatened" your yearly vists be stopped...I'd be cautious!

Sad, but better to be over cautious than sorry.

Cassi said...

Anon,

I find it disgusting that you would treat a mother who is struggling in such a way. Your choice of "their daughter" was obviously meant to inflict more pain upon someone who is already hurting.

Even in the hardest times she has shared on her blog, Lisa has always been kind and loving in what she says. She has never attacked anyone or tried to cause harm to a single person.

If you do have any connection with the Adoptive Parents, I can only hope they, too, would be disgusted by what you wrote here. Not only are you wishing pain on Lisa, but you are also wishing that very same pain on her daughter who has every right to know her first family and will never deserve anyone wishing otherwise.

Janine said...

I have pooped in here many time and started to type a response, but I just can't find the right words to express how I feel. I am very sorry, my heart aches not only for you but for Brit. I will continue to pray. Big hugs

Jennifer said...

Lisa,

Just checking in after a long holiday and see this, and that things have not changed for the better. I am so sad for you. I pray that these people can open up for everyone's sake--I hope things get better soon. I am still hopeful for you.

Call me Karen said...

"My prayer is that you no longer get yearly visits with their daughter."

Spoken like a true "christian" hypocrite, probably of the adopter variety who did the exact same thing to the mother of the child they covet.

Newsflash. It is HER daughter. Look at her. She looks just like them.

How one could "pray" for the pain of another human being because they are jealous, threatened and possessive is proof positive of what kind of sick society we live in and is all that is wrong with domestic infant adoption.

My "prayer" is that people like you will cease to procure infants via fraud from their mothers and rightful clans, you SICK WITCH, and that many, many young women will read that comment and not lose their child to someone like you.

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
You are a good person. Continue what you're doing. Don't let these people keep you from getting your story out there. Good will and always does prevail. I pray for you daily. I'm not an adoptee, birth mom, adoptive mom, I just read blogs and stumbled on your blog from reading Heart Cries. (I live in Michigan!)and your blog has just drawn me in because you are such a kind, compassionate person. You are doing nothing wrong by having this blog. You are doing great things by getting your story out there.

amy said...

Fellow first-mom lurker jumping in to address "anonymous." I have been following Lisa's blog for awhile, but have not commented until now. Anonymous, please remember "what goes around, comes around." One day, the way Lisa's daughter's adoptive parents have treated Britt's original family may come back to haunt them. Besides being a first-mom, I am the daughter of an adoptee. If I ever learned that my adoptive grandparents treated my Mom's birthfamily with such cruelty and insensitivity, I can tell you it would have made quite a negative impact on my relationship with them, and I'm sure my Mom would feel much the same. The biological family is very much a part of who the adoptee is, and it might reflect negatively towards the adoptive parents in Britt's eyes.

I have an aunt and uncle who had 2 biological sons, adopted a little girl to make sure they got the daughter they wanted, then went on to have another biological daughter when the adopted daughter was not even a year old! My "bio" cousins reminded "Debbie" quite often that she was the adopted one, the odd one out. Children can be very cruel. Hopefully this will not be the case with Britt's adoptive siblings. It makes me sad that, while Britt's adoptive parents obviously value the "biological bond" by continuing to seek out pregnancies, they do not value the "biological bond" Lisa has with Britt, or Britt has with Lisa and her family. Makes no sense. It all seems very selfish and not about Britt's best interests at all.

Just my opinion. ((HUGS LISA))

ElaineP said...

Keep speaking YOUR truth! Don't let the people who benefit from adoption pressure you to whitewash your experience.

Adoption NEEDS to be the very last step when all other steps are exhausted. If possible the baby needs to stay with his/her mother. Anyone who writes a check for a baby or cashes the check have ulterior motives.

Anonymous said...

As both an adoptee and an adoptive mom my heart aches for you and Brit. I pray that her adoptive parents will change. But sadly, I don't think they will. Keep blogging! Keep telling your truth. Save everything. Every email, every letter, pictures of everything you send to little Brit. Someday she will want to know her truth and you are the only one that can give it to her.
I say that not in a vindictive way towards Brits parents, but one day Brit will have lots of questions. She will want/need to know if you cared, if you loved her, if you tried. Because they sure aren't going to tell her. Your words, your actions will fill her heart someday when she needs them the most.

LisaAnne said...

Thanks to all of you for the words of support and encouragement.

Yes, we keep everything. We take photos of every gift we send. We take pictures of every card we send and the message we wrote inside. We save every email. The ones we send to them and the ones her parents have sent us. Even pre-birth emails are in our file.

We want Brit to know that we tried so very hard to have a relationship with her from the very beginning. We want to be able to hand over to her all of the documentation of what we did to try to reach out to her parents for a relationship.

I will print and publish this blog in a book that I want her to read some day when she is an adult. I want her to know that we were always here and always wanted to be a part of her life.

As for speaking our truth, BF and I talked about that to a great extent last night and we plan to. We will however be as respectful as we can, because we do believe in treating others with the respect that we would expect in return.

That is why I do not call names or bad mouth here on the blog. As the Bible verse says "Do not sin in your anger". I will say, that is much harder to do than I wish it was.

But we know that we have a lifetime of relationship with Brit's parents. So we have to be willing to forgive and stay as positive as possible, because in the end, it is not about us, but about what is best for our daughter. And we want her to feel whole and not torn between two families.

*Peach* said...

Lisa, just seeing your precious pictures at the top of your blog makes me cry. I pray for you and your daughter to be together soon.

Rebecca said...

Lisa,

You and your family are on my heart and in my prayers constantly - as is Brit and her family. I just pray their hearts will soften and they will allow Brit a relationship with you. Your last comment here is just so perfect and hits the nail on the head. I love that you don't want her to be torn and are willing to forgive and do whatever necessary. I pray God's strength, peace and wisdom for you!

Loving Mother said...

Just my opinion. But I believe they keep her from knowing the family because they see how much she looks like them and they don't want her to know where she wouldn't be an outsider. Where she does look like the family.

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
I so enjoy your blog. You write so eloquently about your pain and your love for your daughter. I would hate it if you stopped posting. However, I have to say I'm worried that posts like these are going to further alienate Brit's parents. They might feel ashamed and angry and defensive, and decide to end the annual visits and monthly emails. They alone have the power over your relationship (or lack thereof) with Brit for the next 16 years. What if they end contact, move away, and badmouth you to Brit for the rest of her childhood and adolescence? Just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Ironic that you seem so concerned about them being able to afford more kids when your previous post about LP had you saying money doesn't matter it's all about love. Interesting.

LisaAnne said...

Most recent Anon (possibly the same that has been posting),

That is a very good point that you make. But I would counter that we specifically chose Brit's parents knowing what financial considerations were present. We had the option of choosing a wealthy family and distinctively chose Brit's parents because they were most like us. Average people, of average means, who wanted to raise a family.

We expected that Brit would likely not be an only child. So we are not appalled by the additional children. We were surprised and hurt that they pursued fertility treatments so very quickly after adoption. And those are simply our feelings. Right or wrong, that is how it made us feel.

We absolutely do not believe that she will not have the provisions she needs. She will. We know first hand that what our kids need most from us is our love and time. Which we provide plenty of. And we know, without question, that Brit's parents will always provide what she needs.

That financial inference was just a passing comment in that post. We don't think she will suffer, but we do believe that the next many years for their family will be difficult because raising kids is expensive and all of theirs are the same age, so there is no break between big expenses. (We also know that first hand having two children the exact same age ourselves.)

The greatest point of my post was that Brit is in a family where she is the only one who is not 'like' the rest of them, and instead of providing her access to us, the people from whom she came, and who also love her to the moon and back, they consciously choose to keep her from a relationship with us.

That was the greatest point to my post.

We want a relationship with our daughter. We want a relationship with her parents. We want to be an extended family.

reba alice said...

hi lisa,

i read your blog (have been following since close to the beginning) but i don't usually post much.

i get the feeling you are getting more upset as time goes by and your relationship with the birth family seems to be either stagnating or degenerating, depending on how you look at it--either way, it's not moving in the direction you and your family so want.

i truly believe that brit's adoptive parents are acting only in what they believe to be her best interests. just because they continued to attempt to help their family grow through fertility treatments post-adoption, doesn't necessarily mean they were in any way dissatisfied with being her parents. instead, it's possible they only wanted to give her a sibling, or more if they were lucky. when you're working with fertility, you do have to start early because often it takes so long to see any results (similar to adoption).

i can definitely see your point about brit's family's financial situation...4 small children with one working parent will be a lot! but especially given that their latest pregnancy was unplanned, you can't totally blame them for their newest family member's existence.

my heart breaks for you and your family when i read how heavily you all grieve for the loss of this little girl. i know it is hard not to take it personally when her adoptive parents tell you how they had her meet a special relative. but again, i do believe they are telling you these things to show you how much they adore brit, and how much a part of their family she is and always will be. yes, she arrived in a different manner than her siblings...but she will always be their daughter too. i hope focusing on how loved she is by both her adoptive family and by yours, from afar, will help ease some of the pain of separation over time. it must be beyond difficult to accept the control brit's adoptive parents have over the situation. but trying to gradually come to accept it will be a healthy thing in the long run for you, your family, and eventually brit as well.

best wishes for peace,
reba

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. I think your bdaughter's parents just wanted a large family and choose trying to have bios because they found adoption and its process too hard. I have heard many aparents say that the adoption process, and sometimes open adoption, is too hard and they would rather try to have bios or adopt internationally

In regards to your child's parents, they are the parents and if they were “threatened" by you they would not send pictures or have yearly visits. Maybe this is all they want to have for now?

I also think Brit will NOT hate her aparents because the fact remains, you could have raised her. It’s harsh but it’s the truth. You did not want to raise her but you could raise the others. I say this because I have met many adoptees who later found out they were "the only one given away" and were angry ( I would be too). See it from their prospective: "You could have raised me but you didn't want to, and you come to visit, and tell me the children you kept are my siblings but you couldn't raise me?"

I think Britt's parents are trying to balance a very difficult situation where their child will grown-up knowing that her birthparents had other children that they kept.

You have to see it from their prospective.

Call me Karen said...

@anonymous 4:04am

"I think Britt's parents are trying to balance a very difficult situation where their child will grown-up knowing that her birthparents had other children that they kept."

And these people did not know her reasons for THINKING why adoption may be best for her daughter when they were so gung-ho about an "open adoption?" So you are saying they are being so judgmental about her having other children now, AFTER the fact? Funny how so many adoptive parents change their tune, after the fact...

Of course they did and went right along with everything she said until they got their hands on her child then changed their tune. She is not the only one this has happened to, not by a long shot.

I think you are just trying to turn this around on this mother and telling her to blame herself, as so many of you are good at. So many of us know better...

Anonymous said...

John McCain once said "I have two adopted children and two biological children and I can't remember which is which." Not all adopted children become "outcasts". I know MANY families that have biological children that look NOTHING like their parents.

I also have to say that I'm concerned with your motives on why you want to put this blog in a book for Brit. Seems as if you are wanting Brit to read so she will turn against her adoptive parents making them sound horrible and evil.

LisaAnne said...

We photograph and document everything we send to Brit so we can show her we did what we could to reach out to her.

I keep this blog for many reasons.

The first reason is that writing is therapeutic for me. It has been a means for me to express my grief for the loss of a child through adoption. It has also provided an incredible support system to me of adoptive mothers, birth mothers and adoptees who have encouraged me and supported me through this very tough situation.

Secondly, I hope that my blog touches families so they can see the side of the birth family that is often not considered. And along with that, I hope my story makes expectant mothers who are considering adoption realize that the relationship that they think they have with their child's adoptive family prior to birth, can change into something very different when they take your child home. People who treat you like friends and family sometimes change. (Not always, many or my dear sweet adoptive mom friends are wonderful to the birth parents of their children, and I tell them all the time how wonderful I think they are for honoring their children by honoring their child's relationship with their birth family.)

And finally, I keep this blog so that I have the day to day stories that we can share with Brit some day so she can see how desperately we wanted a relationship with her. How we reached out to her parents and they told us that they felt it was not in her best interest to know us yet.

If allowing her to read that would turn her against them, then why would they say and do those things?

What I write here is what is happening in our adoption relationship. We are a birth family begging and longing for an openness with our daughter and her family. They do not feel that is in the best interest of their daughter. They have not told us why they feel that way, they simply say that they are not ready for her to have that kind of relationship with us.

So if I tell Brit that someday, will that turn her against them? I hope not. But I would also hope it would create dialog between Brit and her parents about what their reasoning was for keeping her from a relationship with all of us.

Honestly, we would love to know that ourselves right now.

I hope that one day this blog is insignificant to Brit because her parents change their stance and allow us to have an open and interactive relationship with Brit. Because when that happens, the story line will change.

Until then, this is all we have. We get our monthly emails from her parents and we pray that they do not discontinue annual visits.

But we know perfectly well that they hold all the cards and can do whatever they choose, for any reason they deem fit. We will always be the ones who just have to accept what they choose.

LisaAnne said...

And as for the John McCain comment, just because he can't remember which of his children are adopted and which are biological, doesn't mean that his children feel the same way.

Every child is different. I agree. Biological children can feel like they don't belong in their family of birth. But at least they know that is who they come from. Good, bad or otherwise.

Call me Karen said...

Seems as if you are wanting Brit to read so she will turn against her adoptive parents making them sound horrible and evil.

Why are you concerned with what another woman wants to do in regards to this blog for HER child? Why is that any of your business?

Making adoptive parents sound horrible and evil. Give me a break. Adoptive parents have 18 years to do that very thing to the natural parents and families of children they adopt. All this woman is doing is documenting with proof that she has never forgotten and wants to be in the life of her child, as promised by the adoptive parents. They are making themselves look horrible by their actions to her, all by themselves.

What are your motives for being so concerned about a mother and her child? Are you an adoptive parent?

Your comments about the difference between adoptive children and biological children aren't flying. How can their be no difference? I don't care if someone doesn't look just like their genetic mother and father, they still ARE. The DNA they carry is theirs, not the adoptive parents. Mothers carry the cells of their children in their bodies forever. Your pathetic attempt at denouncing that is disgusting.

Speaking of looking like one's natural families; both of my son's are my carbon copies. The son I lost to adoption and the one I did not. He looks nothing like his adoptive family. His adoptive mother can bleach her hair all she wants. He will never look like her. Ever.

Anonymous said...

"Making adoptive parents sound horrible and evil. Give me a break. Adoptive parents have 18 years to do that very thing to the natural parents and families of children they adopt. All this woman is doing is documenting with proof that she has never forgotten and wants to be in the life of her child, as promised by the adoptive parents. They are making themselves look horrible by their actions to her, all by themselves."

I can't agree-I posted before and I will say this again (not trying to be malicious). Lisa and her boyfriend signed papers releasing their responsibility of being parents, while choosing to raise the other children they kept.

If you were an adoptee would you try to reach out to them? Even if it was an open adoption (with visits), do you not think the child would still feel rejected-despite the bond they have with their loving aparents and family? I cannot fathom being an adoptee and my bfamily comes to visits but they didn't want to raise me? What can you ( bparent) tell the child? That you wanted to have a relationship with them BUT not as their parent?

As I stated before, Britt's parents, I believe, are trying to maintain contact but also looking out for the child when the real hard questions come- I can imagine it will be very painful to know that your bparents had older children that they kept.

Loving Mother said...

For Anonymous... Yes Brit will have questions. And she has the right to ask those questions, and receive answers. But the only people that can answer those questions are being kept away from her. And the adoptive parents are causing more questions, by not allowing Lisa and BF to answer questions.

Instead of worrying about why Lisa is writing this blog, and how it might make the adoptive parents look bad, why don't we focus on who this is supposed to really be about... Brit!

Regardless of how Lisa blogs, our how the adoptive parents act, this is a girl that will grow into a woman that has questions. Questions that she will need answers to. It would be much easier for her to ask those questions comfortably and get the answers she is looking for if she has an open relationship with Lisa and BF. I don't understand the logic being used by the adoptive parents.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

"Didn't want to raise me" is a loaded phrase, and a big assumption. I had to wait until I was an adult to hear my biological mother say that her relinquishment of me was not about "not wanting" me; it was about not being able to envision (at the time of my birth) a way to parent me. Later she had a different understanding, but by then it was too late. This is one of the big problems with adoption; a mother makes a decision when she is vulnerable and uncertain of how to proceed (whether because of youth or because of a temporary life destabilization, as in Lisa's case, fresh from divorce and not yet having clarity on how her life would play out), before the child is even born in most cases, but the "solution" is permanent. One of the things that I love about open adoption is that children don't have to speculate about how the original parent feels based on assumptions like "she gave me up." Children in adoptions that have true openness can ask questions as they go along, and get the reassurance they need. In my opinion (and of course, I speak just for myself, not all adoptees), it's not the relinquishment itself that is the biggest problem; it's the fear about the "why" of the relinquishment. "She/They didn't love/want me." An adoptive parent can say "she loved you and made the best decision for you," but many of us don't quite buy it from them. We need to hear it from our original mothers' mouths; we need to see the love in their eyes. This is what many of us seek when we search in reunion, and sadly, many don't find it because the old closed system broke our mothers, too. But Britt would see the love in Lisa's, BF's, and her brother's eyes with every visit! Don't underestimate the power of that! Anonymous has asked what a bparent can say. Well, they can't say anything if they don't get to see the child or communicate with her, which leads to those assumptions. But if they have a relationship they can say (as my daughter's biological mother said to her), "Sweetie, I _always_ loved you. I always wanted you. It was _never_ about that." My daughter understood that; it was in fact, EXACTLY what she needed to hear, just as my bmother's words were for me. Lisa, I love that you are recording your love for her in letters, etc. You really do understand exactly what she will need, and I'm sorry that you can't give it to her sooner, but I really to believe it will be hugely valuable to her someday.
The other thing that was difficult for me about my adoptive experience was the pressure to live "as if born to" my adoptive family. Back then, people thought it was best to ignore the adoptee's difference, to pretend it didn't exist. But the biological family was a part of me, even though I had never met them. Ignoring that whole aspect of MYSELF tore me apart.

Adoptee said...

This situation stinks to high heaven. That's why you shouldn't give your children away. That baby girl is in for a world of hurt no matter how this sordid drama plays out. Mothers, keep your babies!!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca:

Please with all due respect-I think you’re in denial. NO child would understand how a parent can keep one but not the other. And even with visits, do you think its like pouring more salt in the wound? How can you expect a child to understand how a mother would not fight tooth and nail to keep her child and not split-up siblings? I’m sorry, but I believe the child possibly might not even care about a relationship with Lisa and her boyfriend because they signed the papers to release the responsibility of raising her.

Loving Mother said...

Anonymous, with all due respect, don't you think that is a choice for Brit to make? How can people treat adoptees this way? They have a right to know their story, their family, their truth. Yet the whole world seems to think they know what is best for someone else and make those decisions for them. Another sad point in adoption.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Anonymous -- Yes, I can understand that it would seem impossible to you that a child could understand something that is incomprehensible to you yourself, even after so many of us have tried to make it comprehensible. And I'm sure that it seems entirely insane to you that I don't embrace your viewpoint, but I don't. You are absolutely certain that Britt will interpret her relinquishment in the way that you imagine, whereas I, from my viewpoint and experience, find it equally impossible to imagine that she will. So it seems we are at an impasse. Neither one of us is likely to persuade the the other, so I guess I will go to bed.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Loving Mother -- You rock! Thank you so much for saying that! Yes, even as a child, I had to deal with this -- people telling me what my experience of adoption _should_ be ... making assumptions about what my best interests were. Most of those assumptions were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

I hope that as Brit gets older, her adoptive parents will be able to let her take the lead, and to create a safe space for her to express her feelings about adoption, _whatever_ they turn out to be. In that case, all of our speculation about what she will her or won't feel will be irrelevant. She will have her own voice!
http://www.rebeccahawkes.com/2011/09/are-you-attuned-adoptive-parent.html

Rebecca Hawkes said...

I also hope that someday, as an adult, Brit will have her own version of thelostdaughters.com, a place for her to connect with other adoptees and to tell her own story, whatever it turns out to be!

Lola K. said...

Lisa - I sincerely hope that Brit's parents are able to open up to you and your family and allow Brit to make the decision herself without any interference on thier part on how to define your relationship with her.
I am incredulous that any person would somehow feel that Lisa does not have the right to question Brit's adoptive family out of pure concern. One of the reasons I hate the euphmism "make an adoption plan" anyone above the age of 10 knows that despite the best planning, thinga go awry. Lisa obviously had a specific "plan" in mind for her daughter and I'm certain the agnecy or lawyer she went through encourged the idea that it was entirely possible to "plan" a perfect life for her child. Isn't that supposed to be the appeal? Unfortnately, there is not enough emphasis on the fact that things don't always work out as planned. Lisa, best to you and yours!

Loving Mother said...

Rebecca, I am sorry you had to deal with that. I have this insight or whatever you want to call it because right now my 17 year old son is being "protected" from me, while at the same time these "protectors" are telling me he "cries like a baby" wanting to know "why I gave up on him" so many times. Yet it is in their opinion that he forget about me, and their "love" can heal him from what I have done in their eyes. One day soon, I will answer my sons questions.

Ashley Bauman said...

Thinking of you and wishing I could wave a magic wand for you.

Tina said...

I would never want my adopted daughter to feel her birth mom " didnt want to raise her". That is simply not true. She did what she felt God called her to do. Lisa has her act together and is raising boys and helps her little princess. She made a decision that felt right at the time and things changed and is no longer the decision she would have chose. brit WILL know lisa that u love her and wanted her. Hugs to u.

MommySquared said...

Dear Anonymous 8:15 PM,
It is obvious to me that your understanding of an ongoing family relationship does not exist. I am a mom through adoption and I can say that my daughters do not act or feel like salt is added to a wound when we spend time with their families our family. I cannot understand your statements that appear to come without any experience but that of fear...there is nothing to fear with knowing and having a family relationship with your child's family ... were you kept from knowing and loving your extended family? Did someone wait till you were 18 to decide if you could know and love an aunt? an uncle? a grandparent? in essence not allowing any relationship with birth family is just like that really.

Our girls are 6 and 4 young yet but all they know is that we are ALL family they understand enough who they were born too but what they know is the love them and their family loves them back!

It is time that when promises are made by the adults in this type of situation that they are followed through. It's not really about our feelings it's about what our children need all of them they need to know their family, they need to love their family ALL of them.

I saw a post about adopting from other countries, you see there still are birthparents and children still seek them out in their heart or in a search. It is a human instinct to know where you come from, who you look like and to see the answer of why you didn't raise me?

I don't try to judge but you are!

I think it's time we all realize our fears are not going to protect our children because their desires to know who they are will supercede anything we may hold back from them ...

I echo Rebecca's comments as well ... the best thing we can all do is support Lisa's family through this time as they seek a relationship we should support Brit's family so the fear of the unknown relationship is overcome and they can be comfortable about having family in their life, this is what would be best for Brit!

Jeannette said...

I had a long response written out and blogger ate it.

So first Brit has 2 very real sets of parents. Having a relationship with one does not diminish the relationship with the other. The sooner the adopters figure this out the better for Brit.

Lisa has never insulted, put down, or attacked Brit's other parents on any post. She talks about her hurt and her pain but never in a way that paints the adopters as evil. It is not okay to tell mothers to go to hell and shut up just because we have pain. Losing a child to adoption is painful. Losing a child because of a temporary problems is horrid. Thinking that you are making plans and goals for your child and seen them ripped apart is awful. Seeing the decision you make affect all of your children and watching them cry is horiffic. Writing about the pain is not. Writing about the pain actually helps. Promised an open adoption and watching it close is horrid.

I'm sorry but an open adoption is supposed to be about a relationship. Would you consider someone a friend if you got once a month emails, and then saw them once a year for a couple of hours but you only live 10 minutes apart? Would you consider that a relationship? Open adoption is supposed to be about 2 sets of parents coming together for a child. Open adoption is supposed to be about love. I hear the love in your blog. I hear the love for both Brit and for her parents.

Anonymous - If you know so much about adoption how does having biological and adopted children in the same family affect adoptees? How does shutting down your child's mother affect the adoptee? What does it tell the adoptee when her own mother is left out? What does it tell the adoptee when her siblings are left out?

Lisa - did you have any idea that they were going to do infertility treatments immediately after adopting? Was this ever discussed or was it with held from you?

BTW - If there is no relationshup in adoption and they give you a monthly letter and barely even see you it is no better than a closed or semi-closed adoption.

Anonymous said...

"“Anonymous - If you know so much How does shutting down your child's mother affect the adoptee? What does it tell the adoptee when her own mother is left out? What does it tell the adoptee when her siblings are left out?"

Lisa did that when she signed those papers. She did not want to parent another child. She purposely split-up siblings-how can you blame the aparents for something Lisa did on her own free will? Adoption is adoption-it’s not an alternative to parenting or a joint custody agreement.

From what I recall, Lisa and the aparents never spoke about visits or keeping in contact. The aparents do send pictures and updates and have yearly visits- which I think is good considering….
I understand where Lisa is coming from: she and the aparents were “friends”. However, ( and I am not excusing their behavior) things change, and people change, and they are communicating with Lisa( just not at her pace).

Rebecca Hawkes said...

The repeated emphasis on Lisa signing the papers is almost laughable to me. That the big, twisted joke of my own life. My mother's signing of papers did not end her connection to me, nor mine to her. The suppression of my original birth certificate did not end it. Thirty years of separation did not end it (though that part did cause both of us pain). Adoption (and especially closed adoption) is a cultural institution that does not reflect the way many adoptees continue to feel about our original families. Yes, Lisa made a choice and I have never heard her deny responsibility, though I see her express grief and regret. But I and many others here are trying to turn the focus to Brit and what she needs. She needs genetic mirroring (and if you grew up with biological relatives, don't try to tell me this is isn't important -- you don't know what it is like to live without it); she needs to know who she is and where she came from; she needs connection not separation. When adoptees of the old closed system talk about our struggles, these are the things we often focus on. Open adoption may not be perfect, but it is less harsh than the attempt to completely severe the child from her origins. I don't blame my adoptive parents for keeping me separated from my bfam, for not finding a way for me to have what _only_ they could give me in addition to what my adoptive family offered, because the closed system was there was in my day. The research supporting the benefits of openness for the child was not available to them. But if I had grown up to find out that they had purposely kept me from a mother who wanted a relationship and reached out to try to create one, kept me from siblings, from my original father -- I can only imagine but "rage" is the first word that comes to mind. Anger and hurt. As it was, my amother helped me to reconnect with my bmother when the time came for me to do so as an adult, and I feel a warmth toward my amom when I think of that. I see this in my adaughter too. Her bond with me and with my husband _strengthened_ as we began to facilitate more visits with her first mom. I do believe that Brit's parents have her best interest at heart. I just wish they could see what so many us who are living open adoption today understand -- how profoundly it contributes to the child's well-being.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Lisa created the original separation, but the aparents are keeping it alive and widening it. And it doesn't have to be that way. We can't change what Lisa and BF did. If they could, they would, but that moment is past. The aparents are making choices in the present day.

Jeannette said...

Anonymous - since Rebecca is an adoptee and has lived adoption we should listen to her and her voice. Genetic mirroring is important.

When you sign away your rights but are told by the agency about "open adoption" it gives you a glimmer of hope. You think you are doing the best thing. Giving your child everything a moom and dad who are married but still giving the child yourself. Yes Lisa signed away her rights that is true. She initiated the act of seperating her children. But the adopters are continuing it. They are making sure that Brit is excluded from her family. They are building a rift between siblings.

If Brit ever finds out she was seperated like this after Lisa(her mom) asked for more visits and communication you will see one angry person. She might be angry with Lisa or her a-parents. I cannot say. Even if she does not tell her a-parents the hurt will stil be there.

Watching my nieces who grew up with out there dad (not adopted but without half of their family) there has been anger and hurt. They do not take it out on their mom or dad but they are still hurt they have abandonment issues. How can Brit be any different really? She is growing up without half of her family?

Isn't adoption about putting the child first? sn't adoption supposed to be about love? Isn't it a selfless act? We can't have it both ways. Either it is about the child or it is not.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca and Jeannette:

Have you ever thought this is all the aparents want for now? That they are trying to maintain communication with Lisa while being a family? They do send pictures/updates and have yearly visits. Moreover, we don't know if the child will like having visits as they grow older. I would be upset, as an adoptee, to be forced to have visit with my bfamily knowing that my bparents kept their other kids, but not me! It’s like forcing me to have a relationship with them despite the fact they did not want to raise me- which I believe can traumatize a person ( i.e. you come to visit but so what). We don't know if the child will benefit from having visits or not (because of this complex situation). She may resent Lisa or she may not, we don’t know. But we do know they are sending letters/pictures and have visits, which is more than what others have.

I feel for Lisa because they started out with open communication and now it has diminished but as I have said before, things change when a child is born-people get busy and now that they have more children, it will become busier-it’s call life as a family.

Lisa,

I wish you the best.

Call me Karen said...

@anonymous above me....

"things change when a child is born-people get busy and now that they have more children, it will become busier-it’s call life as a family."

It's called, don't make promises to someone you have no intentions of keeping, just to ensure you get her infant from her.

Lisa and her family have a "life" too, as many natural mothers do, but that would not stop them from doing anything they could to see and spend time with their child, as promised by the adopters. There is no excuse for such cold hearted treachery. None.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

I agree with "anonymous" that no child should be forced to have visitation with a parent against their will, but a child-centered arrangement starts with visitation, openness, and true relationship. If the a-parents have met the b-parents with warmth and openness and communicated acceptance to the child regarding the child's feelings for the b-family, whatever they may be, and the child expresses reluctance or hesitation regarding the visits, then yes, certainly the a-parents should respond accordingly. But projecting a lot of assumptions onto the child from the start is a very different matter. I do understand that the current arrangement is what best suits the a-parents, but raising an adopted child is very different from raising a biological child. You can't just plunk the child down in a new family and pretend they are no different than as if they were born into it; that's what the old system tried to do and it was a _complete failure_. I understand that Brit's parents are well-meaning, but I see them adhering to old ways that have already proven disastrous.
I have a busy life, too, but I will never be too busy for my daughter's bio fam. They are a part of _her_, and so they will always be prioritized in our life. It's true that when life get's busy many things fall by the wayside, but family is family. I wish people would understand that when they adopt a child they do not bring a single child into their lives; the child comes with a network of pre-established connections, whether acknowledged or not. The old system is a lie and does not acknowledge the child's true situation. It is an attempt to force a false reality onto the child because it is what is convenient for others. And this is precisely what so many adoptees of my generation are so angry about. I really wish that people would not adopt at all if they are not willing and able to take on the the complex and difficult job -- the "sacred task," to quote Martha Crawford LCSW -- of adoptive parenting.

MommySquared said...

Rebecca & Jeannette I agree and let me add a few points as a mom through adoption with children who have loving family relationships with all of their family ~it is NORMAL they know no other way ... there is no resistance to spending time with their family whether it is in our home or we meet at their home or wherever.

Both of our girls have siblings through a birth parent and they know them some better than others because of geography. Yes there will be questions of why am I living with you and they are living with them, yes they will be hard questions, but you know what we know that and the best part is the adults in the situation are available to talk and share about the hard decisions that came at the time of their birth with them directly. We as the raising parents are ready to share what we know and have already started to get some questions about it from our 6 and 4 year olds.

The problem here is you cannot hide from normal curiosity of a child. We have talked with our children about how we became a family since they were born ... my husband created original songs for each girl about who they are and how we became a family and who is their family. We say our prayers and give thanks for the family and the choices others made to help us become a family. We talk to our girls about who they were born to who they look like and how we all love them all of us together. Our girls have had this as part of their lives forever. They know their whole family in fact birthfathers have rejoined our family just recently and you know what our girls did? Welcomed them with open arms and love because we did too!

The piece here that is missing is what the affects of witholding will be for Brit. I believe her parents are not being malicious just fearful, fearful to allow their daughter to love her family in its entirety.

My husband and I had the benefit of information, education and community as we built our family a community of other families just like ours. It is not something overnight you can say yes yes this is how I will have my family. But the understanding of a relationship built by adults for the benefit of the child they all love is what makes it real ...

Rebecca Hawkes said...

MommySquared wrote, "my husband created original songs for each girl about who they are and how we became a family and who is their family." I love this!
As you know, my daughter also has a relationship with the sibs being raised in the bio fam. Lots of people expressed all kinds of concern about this. Wouldn't she be "devastated" that they were being raised bmom when she wasn't? Uh, no. Her instant response to learning about first brother was "when can I meet him?" She did actually experience some negativity when she learned that her mother was pregnant with the youngest sib, but she was able talk through all of her emotions with me prior to the birth. And then she met her baby brother, in the hospital, the day after his birth and fell in love. They are so close now ... and absolutely adorable together. Anonymous will say this is a different situation because the sibs were born later, but it's actually not so different. A certain amount of jealousy is normal in all sib relationships, but it's something that can be worked through, and is better approached openly than ignored or avoided. It's certainly no reason to avoid relationship. I'm so glad we didn't let fear get in our way of it. Our lives, and our daughter's life, would be so much less rich if we had!

Rebecca Hawkes said...

"I HATE going to that place where they all adore me and shower me with undivided attention," said no child ever. Seriously, the "uniqueness" of Brit's situation does not change this. Children can feel love. They can tell when people like having them around. The abstractness of "giving away" and "wanting vs. not wanting" is something that will come up for her; yes, of course, she will have questions, but those questions can be addressed in loving, supportive conversation by both sets of parents. And it is much better that they be so addresses! Children ARE capable of understanding that circumstances change over time. My daughter understands it; MommySquared's daughter's understand it. It's actually not that difficult of a concept to understand at all when combined with actual evidence of present-day evidence of love, affection, and a desire for relationship and connection. In the absence of that, yes, one might feel rejected. But it is actually very difficult for a child to feel rejected by someone who is embracing them warmly in the present moment, showering them with love; our brains don't work that way. An adoptee who grew up in the closed system and was never able to process feelings of rejection as they matured might reach adulthood so scarred by the experience that they could not let the love in, even if the bparent greeted them warmly in reunion. Yes, that does happen. But it is a completely different situation from Brit's.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Or, I should say, it is a completely different situation from what Brit's situation would be if her a-family were to adopt a true spirit of openness.

Pardon all they typos in my previous comments. Typing quickly.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca:

What you wrote is an assumption of what may happen or how the child may feel (which is the same thing you wrote in your rebuttal to me and my opinion.

The bottom line, I think, is that everyone is basing the situation on how his or her child/children have reacted to being adopted. Each child is different and there is no guarantee that Lisa's child will want to know her (even if there were visits)!

What we do know is the child's parents are in contact with Lisa but not at the level Lisa wants it to be( I get and respect how she feels. However, we have to remember, Lisa is not the parent-and the aparents are doing the best they can (for now) despite not having any agreement about visits or updates in the past.

What I think I am "hearing" is Lisa's feelings/desires should supersede the aparents, but that not how it is in adoption ( nor should it be).

This conversation,and comments, should serve as an example to expectant mothers (in particularly those who have children already) that adoption is not foster care, co-parenting or an alternative to parenting. There is no guarantee that your children will see each other as siblings (they will have different parents, be raised in a different home, with different morals and values). Nor is there any guarantee that your child and/or aparents will want to have a relationship with you.

Lisa,out of curiosity, what kind of relationship did you envision with your achild?


Once again, I wish you the best

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Thank you for the chance to clarify. I can see I did not make myself clear. I intended to speculate on what children in general are capable of understanding, and I told my story, as I believe MommySquared did, as a way of illustrating how well open adoption can work. I actually don't believe that any of us can know exactly what Brit will feel about her bfam, afam, or her adoptedness, but we do know that most adoptees experience a range of complex emotions throughout their lives. The old closed adoption system has already been proven inadequate in terms of how adoptees process all of this. Semi-open is not a significant improvement; it's token openness without a true spirit of openness. But from all that I have experienced and read, truly open adoptions do seem to be the best option in terms of helping the adopted child process their feelings about adoptedness, _whatever_ those feelings may be. The child grows up knowing they can be open and ask questions, and the can look to all of their parents to help them make sense of things. In the acceptance of the bio fam by the adoptive fam, they experience a fuller acceptance of themselves.

You (anonymous) wrote: "There is no guarantee that your children will see each other as siblings (they will have different parents, be raised in a different home, with different morals and values). Nor is there any guarantee that your child and/or aparents will want to have a relationship with you." In this I am absolutely in agreement with you! Though I support openness when adoption does happen (and frequent contact unless safety prohibits), I am not an adoption cheerleader. In most cases, I believe it is preferable for the child to be raised in the biological family if at all possible.

But open up your Yellow Pages to Adoption and tell me what you see. In mine I find a whole bunch of warm and fuzzy ads promising expectant moms (or "birthmoms" as they are called in the ads) that they can pick "whatever level of contact they want." That's how adoption is sold by the agencies when they are trying to get a hold of the babies. But you are absolutely right -- open adoption contracts are rarely enforceable. And yes, Lisa's story is a good warning to other mothers who might be considering adoption, assuming openness is part of the plan.

And of course, that's one of the reasons she tells her story.

Loving Mother said...

Thank you Anonymous! This is exactly what expectant mothers need to know. I am glad we found something we can agree on. There are NO guarantees in adoption!

Mothers pay attention! They can promise you the world, give you nothing, and there is no recourse. Because as Anonymous so bluntly put it.... you are not the parent any more after that paper is signed. There are some wonderful adoptive parents out there. And there are some that will stoop to any level to get "their baby!"

Anonymous said...

"Mothers pay attention! They can promise you the world, give you nothing, and there is no recourse. Because as Anonymous so bluntly put it.... you are not the parent any more after that paper is signed. There are some wonderful adoptive parents out there. And there are some that will stoop to any level to get "their baby!"

Loving Mother:

I think you’re misinterpreting what I wrote. My main point was: open adoption is not co-parenting, foster care or a joint custody agreement( which I believe many bmoms think it is). You are giving-up your responsibilities/rights as a parent, and if you have other children, there is no guarantee that the child you place and the child/children you kept will see each other as siblings.

In short, raise your child! Also, as I have stated before, Lisa and the aparents DID NOT discuss visits in the past- and they do send updates and have visits, so how are they being deceitful and "stooping to any level to get a child" ?

Loving Mother said...

No, I did not not misinterpret anything you wrote, I don't believe. You are exactly right, it isn't any of those things. And that is exactly what expectant moms do need to know. I don't know everything about the situation with Lisa and Brit. I'm sure you don't either. Who knows what they discussed besides her and the adoptive parents? None of us, for sure. But I'll tell you what I do know. Adoption is none of those things because that baby is now "their baby" with one mommy and one daddy. And that's how they want it. If you love your child enough and feel secure enough in their love for you, there would be no qualms in a more open arrangement. I have that by the way. I know it's possible and can work. My 16 year old son calls us both mom. He spends time at my house any time he wants. We call each other mom. My raised kids and him call each other brother and sister. I take him to school, and pick him up at times. They are comfortable because me and his other mom are comfortable. I do know that if I only saw someone once a year for a couple of hours, and they were not my family, I wouldn't really care to see them. And if Brit is raised that way, she will do one of 2 things. She will get mad at her adoptive parents if they refuse to give more time, or she will lose interest in seeing Lisa at all. My guess is they are hoping for the latter. I do believe that open adoption can be a beautiful thing. But not like this one is going. Sure, Lisa sees pictures and gets an email once a month, and a visit once a year. And that is MUCH BETTER than some mothers get. But it still leaves a lot to be desired. My situation is idyllic, and I know a lot of people couldn't pull it off. But in my opinion, that is adoption the way it should be. It is about the fact that it took 4 of us to make him who he is today. Me and his father for creating him. His adoptive parents for raising him the best they could. And he is a great young man. With 4 parents, and 6 siblings between the 2 families that make up his immediate family.

Anonymous said...

I believe I know who anon is. Exactly the same syntax/points/and focus as other posts that have appeared on birthparent blogs for several years. If so, I've watched many people attempt to reason with this person and it always has come back to the signing of papers. It doesn't matter what a mother was told or what prospective adoptive parents said prior to the adoption. If it is this person, the signed paper (no matter what engendered the signing) tends to be the end point.

Another Anon

Anonymous said...

And, yes, if it's who I think it is, she is an adoptive parent who sometimes pretends to be an adoptee. I'm remaining anonymous for self protection.

Loving Mother said...

Thank you remaining Anonymous. :) I don't know who she is. And I have already figured out that you can't "teach" her anything about adoption, because she doesn't want to know. I am using this opportunity on Lisa's blog to educate expectant mothers and offer support to Lisa. I figure the more she talks, the more expectant moms will understand how SOME adoptive people still think. "you signed the paper, you're not mom."

Anonymous said...

Yes, if it's who I think it is, she spends her time harassing birthparents on their blogs ever since closing an open adoption based on some events that occurred in her home that had nothing to do with the birthparents.

mtsteed said...

Lisa, my heart breaks for you, but I thank you for sharing your story so eloquently. As far as the anonymous poster is concerned (who does indded sound suspiciously like a well-known adopter troll who preys on BM blogs), I am growing weary of her suppositions about how adopted people feel. I am an adopted adult and a mother of loss (in a sealed, coercive Catholic adoption in 1978). I am, thankfully, reunited with both my natural mum in Ireland as well as my daughter, now 34. But it was not without the scrapes and bumps of scaling mountain-high walls of secrecy and lies.

Please stop speaking as if you understand what we go through, anon. Considering that most relinquishment paperwork is signed while mothers are still under the influence of natal medications (including lactation supressants), post-partum depression and any number of other mitigating conditions, it's a wonder any adoption contract would hold up in law. And agencies do a woefully poor job of explaining what exactly "open" adoption is, how it's not legally enforceable in any but a few states, and what the long-term effects of loss are. So spare us your discourse on Lisa's "making a choice." Society grants us precious few choices, most of which aren't presented to us at time of relinquishment, and it certainly doesn't allow us to grieve the children we lost. So pandering here is a waste of time and isn't contributing anything to the conversation. Find someplace else to troll.

The rest of us will go on appreciating Lisa's words and hope that one day they *can* be shared with Brit.

Anonymous said...

This anonymous posting situation is the sickest thing I've ever witnessed. I'm fairly certain I know who this person is as well. When there is a long thread of comments on a birthparent blog, especially with regard to openness, she is usually there starting it. I could link you to her comments on other birthparent blogs reaching years back. Adoptive parents have tried to reason with her. Adoptees have tried to reason with her. Birthparents have tried to reason with her. She speaks for others. Tells others they're bitter or in denial or ignorant if they do not agree with her. What a sad, sorry life to stay up around the clock preying on birthparents on their blogs. Her behavior is pathological and beyond any reason. Once she gets discovered on a comment section, she often says she "gives up" trying to educate those who disagree with her. But she always eventually returns. Often, she then begins contacting the blogger or others who have commented via email. She tends toward the passive aggressive. She has been caught in lies. She tells others what they should and should not believe and feel and think. When she has no other argument left she cites the signed paper. I hope that other birthparents who read your blog will consider this source if their blogs are also targeted. Nobody who wished someone well would behave this way. It's ill and I'm sorry, Lisa, that you've had to deal with it on top of your sorrow.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I am trying to go back and read your past posts and see if you and the adoptive family outlined what your expectations were for each other somewhere, because right now I'm confused. Everybody above seemes unequivocaly on your side so there must have been a big shift in behavior.

I am contemplating adoption at some point in my future so I want to make sure I'm seeing everything. I also intend on starting graduate school in the fall and will be working in the family courts. This is going to be my stuff. I want to make sure I get it.

I probably follow a dozen or so adoption blogs, about 75% from adoptive families and 25% from adoptive moms and have for more than 4 years. Long term following.

As I've gone back and read more and more and more of your posts and especially this one, it just sounds like you are really in the midst of your grief still for this child and haven't accepted that she is a part of a new family yet.

Yes, you are her "family" but you are her family of origin, not the family she will be raised in. It's different, and she needs to bond and be cohesive with the family she will be raised in- so she knows NO DIFFERENCE. That physical difference you mentioned- that needs to not exist and not matter. Not to them, not to you, not to anyone. And in order for that to happen, they might need some distance. You want to pull closer because you miss her. But that might not be what is best for her. This is her family. These are her parents. That doesn't mean you aren't important or valued; you gave her life, you are invaluable. But in a different way. This uncle, this extended family she has- This IS her family. I don't think it's selfish. I think it's pivotal. I think this is the challenge in adopting to a family so nearby. You had an expectation of more intimacy, and they need space in order to establish the intimacy within their own family.

I don't think there's anything wrong with having children close in age, or not having lots of money. It doesn't mean you won't have a lovely, happy wonderful life.

You trusted them to place your child with them, and you have to trust them that they will raise her to be a wonderful child. You have to step back from the judgements because you don't really know what goes on in their house, you can only guess, and yes, that is because they are limiting information, but they are doing that to protect themselves- from your judgement.

Keep venting... Talk to a counselor in addition to your birth mom support groups. If this is a case of them totally misrepresenting the type of adoption you would have, that is really unfortunate, and not fair. But, trust she is going to be okay. She gets to have siblings close in age to her, lots of playmates, she gets to be the PRINCESS forever! She has the privilege of being the oldest and leading the pack. She will have a stay at home mom and she is going to boss those boys around like nobody's business and it will be wonderful, I know it.

I hope things keep getting better.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Dear Emily,
You're take on the matter reflects beliefs that are commonly accepted among adoptive and pre-adoptive parents and many in the broader society. But for many adoptees and original parents the reality is very different. We do not stop being connected to each other simply because a piece of paper has been signed and because a societal construct says we are no longer related. That's the big lie of adoption: that the socially-created new family undoes the old one. It doesn't. But it does cause a great deal of pain to those of us who are forced to exist within this ill-fitting construct. You wrote "That physical difference you mentioned- that needs to not exist and not matter." It does exist! It does matter! It matters to the adoptee. Please add blogs by adult adoptees to you reading list. Here are a few to start with: http://www.adopteerestoration.com/
http://www.declassifiedadoptee.com/
http://www.laura-dennis.com/
There are many more good ones (and I apologize to everyone I've left out but I need to run)

LisaAnne said...

Perfectly stated Rebecca.

Emily I do hope you continue to educate yourself on the beauty of OPEN adoption. The fullness it creates for the adoptee.

If you read through my blog you will find many fine examples.

Please, please, please educate yourself before you speak on behalf of what is best for adoptees.

Wishing you the best in your research.

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Thank you, Lisa! Yes, I meant to say something about open adoption, but I was interrupted by awakening family members and didn't manage to finish (or proofread - egad!) my comments. :-)