I am lounging on a beach attending a meeting in Florida as I queue up some posts. So as to not disturb my Vitamin D collecting efforts distract me during said meeting with thoughts of my blog, I bring you a guest post* by an adoptive dad.
Hal Kaufman is an adoptive father, frequent speaker on the topics of open adoption and adoption outreach, and the Founder of My Adoption Advisor. Through their training and support services, My Adoption Advisor will help hundreds of prospective adoptive families this year adopt more quickly.
Open adoption has brought many gifts to my life, not the least of which are my two wonderful children, but it is the gift of inspiration that I want to share with you today.
I remember first considering adoption and deciding that adopting internationally was the way to go. I was scared, frankly, of birth families and of the risks associated with domestic infant adoption. There are risks for all members of the triad, but my fear is what forced me to hold domestic adoption at arms length. At least that was the case until I heard for the first time some birth mothers speak on a panel at an adoption information series.
Awe. Respect. Love. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. These three words are the ones that came to my mind after listening to women speak about their unplanned pregnancies, the options they were considering, and the choices they finally made.
Now I am not so naïve as to think that all birth families — including the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and others — have experiences that are similar to the ones shared on that panel or even the ones shared by my children’s birth families. There are many stories out there, both more positive and certainly more negative. Nonetheless, birth families who freely make the choice with all of the information they can gather to permanently place in someone else’s care the child they love most in this world are incredibly inspirational to me.
My children’s birth families have inspired me in many ways – to be a better parent, less selfish, more sensitive to others, and to even change careers. In fact, the creation of my company, My Adoption Advisor, is the direct result of not only my experience with adoption in general, but also quite specifically my relationship with my children’s birth families.
I had spent five years in the consulting industry before accepting multiple roles in information technology and product development in a large medical technology company over the course of more than a decade. I was a big company guy leading performance improvements throughout a multi-billion dollar division. I had a comfortable, stable job that provided a nice salary. Things were good, but something was missing.
What I saw in the career choices made by my son’s birth father seemed like the opposite of my own choices. He lacked the job security and income that I enjoyed, but he had what I did not – a passion for his work. His eyes would light up whenever he talked about his work. It was as if “work” was not even the right word to use. His hobby and his career interests were one in the same. This harmony seemed to create feelings of happiness and satisfaction for him that I lacked.
So that is my unexpected inspiration. He inspired me to trade security for passion and I have never loved my “work” more. I built my family through adoption, but I also developed new relationships with people who would have otherwise not been in my life. I learned how to let my passion, instead of my resume, steer my career choices.
* The views and opinions of a guest writer are solely those of the guest writer.
Now, where’s that cabana boy with my mojito report on Q4 performance?