The adoption process is not for the faint of heart. It requires big things of ordinary people. Running that gauntlet caused me to develop three new abilities, each which would eventually come in handy years later.
Lesson 1: Calm the Chatter
The Wait. I found all the doing of the adoption process to be the easy part. Get those fingerprints. Write those essays. Clean the house and host the homestudy appointments. Attend the classes and work up that adoption profile.
But when all the doing was over, the harder part started: doing nothing. Just waiting. Just sitting with all that anxiety over all the unknowns. Would it happen? How would it happen? Would something go wrong? How many things could go wrong? LET ME ENVISION ALL OF THEM.
My frantic mind, locked on a goal, got really good at conceiving of every possible thing that could go awry, monkey-chatter taking over as I moved through my days.
Continue reading 3 Things I Learned from the Adoption Process
I wonder if you might consider outsourcing responses to questions you get about adoption. It’s evident from your previous misguided advice that you are sometimes out of your element adoption-wise. Let me get readers up to speed on this latest request for adoption advice.
Dear Abby: Should We Let Birth Grandparents In?
Uncertain Down South said that she and her husband met their daughter’s birth parents briefly in the hospital at the time of her birth, but the birth parents wanted no further contact. Continue reading More Mucked Up Adoption Advice from Dear Abby
Question: Everyone says that adoption is different now than it was in previous eras.
Is it really? Is it actually different for adoptees? Even with open adoptions, the adoptee will still have to process all it means to be adopted. Are the adoptive parents really ready and willing to do this alongside their son or daughter?
I see posts from adoptive parents that show they can’t or don’t want to deal with issues of rejection or low self-esteem or the whys of adoption. They don’t say that, of course. Instead I see them congratulate themselves for helping their child stop feeling those feelings, but it seems to me that they’re really stopping the child from expressing those feelings.
The adoptee’s needs cannot be met when adoption is hyped as solely a positive event. Until parents treat it as a neutral fact of how they build their family, and until they deal with their own stuff and acknowledge the complexity of adoption, the adoptee experience is not much changed.
Really. Tell me how adoption is different these days.
Continue reading Is Adoption Today Really Better than Before?
My book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, turns 3 this week. It came out originally in hardcover, followed by a paperback version last year, and, per my publisher, will soon be available as an audiobook. My little creation spread its wings and is still flying.
If I trace it back, my book has its roots in being publicly ridiculed. I explained in a recent interview on MileHighMamas.com, excerpted below.