Thursday, March 7, 2013

It is possible to love the whole family and not just the child

I have met some very amazing women since I became part of the adoption world.

Strong women.
Bold women.
Loving women.
Women willing to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of their children.

As you might guess, my favorite women (aside from my sisters in pain, birthmothers), are the mom's who get open adoption and why it is such a loving choice for their child.

Today, the first blog post I read is one that will stay with  me for a long time.  It was posted by my friend Brooke.  I was so glad to read it first thing.  It started my day right.

Choosing to Love More Than One

What Brooke doesn't tell you in this post is that she WORKS HARD to maintain this relationship with her child's first family.

I have watched Brooke reach out and be left waiting for a response for months.  Her daughters first family is sometimes hard to love.  But rather than give up, she LOVES HARD.

She doesn't give up.  It is not easy for her, but in the end, she has found that it is rewarding.  And her hope is that in the end, the person who will ultimately reap the benefit is their daughter.

Another blog I stopped by this morning also talks about loving a birthfamily, even when it hurts.  I love the honesty in this mom's posts about how sometimes it hurts her heart, but it's worth it.  I especially like one of her posts where she talks about how one of her child's birthfamily members has become one of her closest friends through this.

Tears of/and Joy

And as those who read my blog regularly know, this woman is one of my adoption world heroes.  She counsels prospective adoptive families about the beauty of open adoption. And boy does she live it!

Tell me how awesome her girls must feel knowing that at their house they count down the days until their birthmoms arrive for a visit.  What an example of unselfish love is this mother portraying!

Our journey to parenthood

When I look at the pictures on her blog and see her daughters curled up in the lap of their birthmother it makes me melt.

I wish we could get the world to realize that there are so many adopted children who would benefit from the fullness of open adoptions with their birthfamilies.  (Yes, I know there are some situations where it would be a complete detriment to the safety or well being of the child in the case of abuse or excessive addiction.)

But even beautiful relationships can come from adoptions that started as foster placements.  As displayed by the UBER AMAZING Rebecca Hawkes.  Her daughter's first mother had addiction issues that resulted in the removal of her children from her home.  Now Rebecca and her daughter's original mother work together to support women to parent.  And Ashley has the love of two moms.

Ashley's Moms

Open adoption is hard, because it is unselfish.

I am so glad that there are so many families who are willing to work through it, and in return they realize they have just opened themselves up to another family full of love.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Memorable quotes from this week

The trauma of what has gone down for our family this week has been great.  But what has been greater is the OUTPOURING of love and support.

Seriously.  You. People. Rock.

My heart is broken.  Yet you hold it together in your hands and tell me we can put it back together.

The amount of love and support has been AMAZING.  The private messages, the personal visits, the FB love.  All of it.  It makes me realize there is an entire community of people who love me, my family and who can appreciate the beauty of open adoption done well.

Thank you everyone.

But because I told myself I would not cry today if at all possible, I thought I would post some memorable quotes that have been said the last few days.  Some are funny, some are profound.  Some hurt.  But I think I am going to start keeping a log of quotes, because each of them means something to me.

Here we go...

"I think my toes are clausterphobic! I never wear closed toe shoes." -Brooke

"I swear to Mormon Jesus I will get in my car and come shank them." -Michelle (PS, This cracked me UP! And if someone thinks she is talking about them, don't worry, she live in Arizona and has no intentions of shanking anyone.  It was just an expression of love.)

"When relationships disintegrate, the devil is involved.  He wants nothing more than for relationships to go bad." -Pastor Rick (paraphrased, since I couldn't write fast enough as he preached.)

"I will treat others with kindness" -the main point I had to teach at Sunday School this week (yes, God is working on me!)

"I tried to put myself in the adoptive parent's shoes and see this from their perspective.  So I re-read your blog.  And I cried. I decided that if you were my daughter's birth mother, I wouldn't even hesitate, I would call you and say "How can we fix this?, Because I see how much you love our girl and how you are hurting." -Brooke

"It's no longer 'box wine' the classy term is 'Cardboardeaux'". -Cynthia

"This is one you can't do over. Forgive yourself and move forward as the fantastic woman you are.  A woman who would never harm anyone.  Trust who you are, let go of what you did." -Bob

"Moms survive everything." - Rick

"My dear sweet virtual friend. I didn't go to the mailbox until today. I found your card. You have no idea what it means to me to have connected with you. During everything you are going through, you still find time to remember others. One day, I hope the kindness and righteousness that we are trying to pass on to others will be returned, as will our children come back to us. Much ♥ my dear friend. ♥ Thank you. ♥" -Lynn

There are so many more that I am sure will come to mind as the week progresses.  But for now, these are the ones I can remember.

Thank you my friends.

Some changes to the blog

After much consideration, there will be changes to my blog.

This blog will remain, as will the majority of its history, with the exception of posts that are extremely personal to my adoption situation.

I will go through the blog throughout this week and start cleaning that up.

With that said, I will continue to blog my intimate and personal feelings elsewhere.

This blog will serve as a more public place for me to talk about adoption as a whole, and even my perspective on adoption as a birthmother.

I would love to allow you, my friends, to follow my new personal blog.  It is a 'by invitation only" blog and I will be vetting persons interested in joining.  If you are not an IRL friend, then I just ask you add either your blog or facebook page info when you ask to be invited to the blog, because I am specifically trying to avoid allowing those who are offended by my intimate feelings from reading about them.

The truth is, my feelings, and the feeling of my family will not go away.  They will also not be silenced.  They will however be silenced to those who cannot handle it.

So if you want to know the painful truth of what hurts our hearts, please follow along.

The truth of adoption needs to be told, even if it hurts.

You have all been so good to me so I hope you move over with me to the new place.

Send me an email at if you want an invite to the new blog.

Now for the work of cleaning all of this up.

Friday, March 1, 2013

She couldn't have said it better

This morning I was refreshed and encouraged to read an amazing blog post from an mom who has created a family through adoption.  This adoptive mother has amazing insight and maturity about what it takes to be an adoptive parent.  But more than anything, her philosophies go back to what it takes to be a good human being.  Respect and love for others.  Putting others needs above your own, particularly in the case of a child.

Here is the full blog post What makes a real family

I pulled out some of my favorite paragraphs from this blog post...

"we wanted an open ongoing relationship with our child’s birth family … not just for us, but for our child and what it would mean to them."

I love how they are specifically choosing a path that puts their daughters' needs first.

"Over the years I have met both in person and through cyberspace, many women who have made the loving decision to place a child born to them to be raised by another. 
But for these women the promises spoken or unspoken have been broken. The families that they met and chose to parent their child have walked away or at least closed the door just enough not allowing a relationship between the child and birth parents to grow and blossom.
 It is so sad to watch from a distance to see the affect this has on these individuals. And to think what will become of these children kept from their birth family not by their choosing. When they are older will the have to secretly seek out their birth family?"

That is just what my heart desires, the ability to have a relationship with our daughter that has the opportunity to grow and blossom as she grows and blossoms.

"We met many young people and adults who had been adopted in a system that did not allow an ongoing relationship after the child/baby’s placement. Those in charge thought it best for the birth mother/family and the child to not know each other for a variety of reasons. 
What did we hear from these people? How much a piece of them was missing … they loved the families they were raised in but somehow couldn’t find their whole selves … some were able to try and reach out to birth family with the help of their parents and some had to do it in secret because they knew their parents were afraid of what would happen when a reunion happened that choices might be made to love birth family more than the family they knew."

I hope our daughter never has to feel the conflict of wanting to be able to love her birth family,but feeling like she is betraying her adoptive family.  However, I am afraid that if we, the birth family, is specifically kept at a distance, the inference is that we are people that are not OK to love.  We are a threat to their family.  Which is absolutely not what we would ever plan to do.  We too want our daughter to feel whole and able to love anyone and everyone that she wants.

In families, we don't wait to let our children decide if they want to meet their grandparents or aunts and uncles.  We introduce them to their family members all along.  We encourage them to develop a relationship with those people, because they are family.  Then as adults, our children can decide how much contact they wish to continue to have with their extended families.  But we did our job as parents exposing them to their family who loves them.  It would seem ridiculous if I said to my sisters "We have decided to wait until our kids are old enough to decide for themselves whether or not they want to know you."  It would just seem illogical.  So I am so taken back when I hear adoptive parents who say that to birth families.

"And so it is with a heavy heart that I read or hear how an adoptive couple close the door just enough not to allow an in-person relationship between the child and their birth family. I have seen and heard the fear of adoptive and hopeful adoptive couples at conferences or in chance meetings. I don’t understand their fear … how can you turn your back on the family that chose you to be the parents of their child? How can you close the door to your child and not allow them to know all of their family?"

Like the author, I just cannot understand this.  We were good enough to be your friends prior to relinquishment, but now that we have entrusted our child with you, we are no longer the kind of people you want our daughter to know?...

"As we are learning as our children grow from babies, they begin to understand more and more of their story when you talk about it (and hopefully you are sharing with them their story of their life). There will be questions of why this or why that? 
You will see the strong physical resemblance of your child to their birth family … relish in it! 
 Our daughters now 6 and 4 years old brighten and smile when you share with each of them some action they’ve done or said that resembles their birth mother or father. Don’t steal this from your child it will help make them whole!"