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.
Question: Lori, I am trying to wrap my head around this. How do we live out Both/And from a foster care adoption perspective? Our kids were taken from their birth parents for good reason. We have all the info, the original birth certificates, case files, all of that. But no contact with birth parents. And we have been advised not to for safety reasons (the caseworker made a point of me seeing one of the parents via a one way mirror so I would know if I ever ran into him to run the other way).
I want to give our kids this wholeness. The best we have been able to do is some contact with a paternal grandmother for one child. And we know the adoptive parents of the other child’s older siblings, but we have no control over contact. So far the other adoptive parents shy away from it because it is so upsetting for their kids. No matter what we do these folks will not be a part of their lives in the every day.
How can we have openness in our situation and not split our babies? —Jenny
Continue reading Trying to Wrap My Head Around This
Question: I just read your article and am an adoptive mom to a beautiful 10 month old boy named Quinton. We have a good relationship with the birth parents and have stayed connected though we reside across the country from them.
We tell almost everyone that Quinton is adopted, often because people exclaim how much he looks like both me and my husband. We feel no shame and only gratitude and pride in and for this beautiful child. But your article gave me pause — is this not my story to tell? Are you saying we should let him reveal that he was adopted to who he wants to rather than us telling them before he’s even ready to understand?
We believe so strongly in the concept of open adoption, that it is better for everyone involved if he grows up without a secret and knowing that we ALL made a loving choice for him to be raised by us.
But I see how this could be seen as me telling his story rather than my own. I mean, it is my story, too, but it certainly isn’t mine alone.
Continue reading Where is the Oversharing Line in Our Adoption Stories?