Category Archives: Very Important Posts

VIPs: Very Important Posts from June 2012

Very Important PostsA post at Patheos reveals how one mother moved from the letter of an open adoption agreement to the true spirit of open adoption. You can see how the woman’s perspective shifts from her own to her child’s.

Jenni Levy explains in My Daughter Has Two Mothers how Emma brought her birth mom into their lives:

We always figured that someday, some far-in-the-future-day, Emma would join the conversation. But here was our kid, our bright, affectionate, talented kid, telling us very clearly that someday needed to be now. We stalled for a long time, until one night she looked up from her pillow and said “Mommy, you keep telling me we’re going to meet Kim, but you never do anything about it.

Click to read what Jenni did about it.

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Harriet addresses the Nature/Nuture debate with her post, Nurturing My Child’s Nature.

There is an obvious randomness in adoption whereby a child winds up with a family that wasn’t biologically anticipated. I’ve heard from adoptees who felt they didn’t fit with their family…While I feel strongly that we are a good fit with Theo, these sentiments struck a tiny chord inside me, one that says, pay attention to the signs and signals that my son is offering. Don’t try to mould him in my  image.

I have been aware of this raising my children — have I had fewer expectations than I would have if I’d had a biological connection to my children?

I wonder, though, if I were an adopted person, would I find this freeing and liberating? Or might that lack of expectation be bothersome, a void?

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Mom Colored Glasses featured an interview featuring two women in one open adoption. Ash (birth mom)  and Amber (adoptive mom at Bumber’s Bumblings) speak of their individual fears both before and after placement.

Ash says about her before-placement emotions:

But the reality is that the decision to place your own child, who you love more than anything, in a family besides your own is so unbelievably hard. Once it’s done all I want, and other birthmoms want, is for the plan we have for our child to succeed in being a supportive and loving family unit. Why would we go out of our way and sacrifice so much to ruin it?

Amber shares her post-placement fear:

I was concerned about sending pictures with us in them.  I thought it would make you sad.  One time, I snuck a picture of Nate & B together in the email.  That was the only picture you talked about in your reply.  It made you so happy to see them bonding.  That’s when I realized that this is really what you wanted for his life and it wouldn’t hurt you to see pictures of us with him.

Click through to read the secret fears that first parents and adoptive parents have at different points of the adoption journey.

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Rebecca writes of her emotional evolution as an adoptee in Don’t Be Frightened By My Anger, My Grief, or Even My Love — It Only Means That I’m Awake.

Now I allow myself to feel it all: the whole crazy mixture. I don’t know any other way to be at peace with what happened to me other than to walk through the emotions – all of the emotions.

Listening to adult adoptees talk about being adopted feels like a good way to prepare me to listen to my own children as they evolve.

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Finally, from Modern Mommy Magic, I direct you to the Top 10 Reasons why Open Adoption is Better. Prompted by The Today Show clip, Ashley says Open and closed adoption isn’t about what is good for the parents! It’s about what is best for the child… just like all parenting decisions should be.

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Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of July — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs. Thanks to those who alerted me to some of the posts highlighted here.

VIPs: Very Important Posts from May 2012

Very Important PostsAkin to law enforcement’s unbroken “chain of custody,” we humans have an innate desire to know our history. ALL of our history, including, as one writer points out, any time between one’s birth parents and one’s adoptive parents.

Amanda had a mother in between her two moms. In her Letter to My Foster Mother, Amanda says:

Dear Foster Mother: Having my adoption documentation and being able to talk to my two other mothers has enabled me to form a complete picture, not reliant on an institution in the middle, of what the first chapter of my life really was.

But it’s not a complete picture; not really.  You’re missing.  The first four-and-a-half-months of my life are missing.

When was my first smile?  When was my first laugh?

An incredible post well worth the click-over.

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It’s not surprising that during the month in which Mother’s Day falls, a second letter to a mother caught my eye.

Terri writes (in a letter written in February but on my radar just recently) A Letter to the Mother I’ve Never Known. In it we are privy to the feelings behind an adoption search and hopeful reunion:

I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been looking for you, wishing and hoping I might answer the questions, finish the puzzle, gain some understanding. The kind women who are helping with my search assure me you would want to be found, that birth mothers often don’t search themselves because they were told they had no right to, or because they fear rejection.

I fervently hope they are right. My letter isn’t intend to hurt you, invade your privacy or stir up trouble. I just desperately want to introduce myself, get to know you.

And me.

As Terri reaches back in time to her birth mother, she includes photos of her growing up years. May Patricia Clark find that post.

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My kids want to see a certain summer blockbuster. I’m glad I read Avengers: Why is Making Fun of Adoption Still A-OK? first. Triona, an adult adoptee, asks about a line in which Loki’s badness is explained  thusly: “He’s adopted.”

Why is this joke acceptable? Why did the audience laugh? Why didn’t they rise up in HULK SMASH anger like I wanted to and scream, “Hey! That’s not funny!”

The line, reportedly the funniest in the whole movie, disturbs me, too. And makes me wonder what are adoptive parents to do — take their kids, not take their kids, talk about the offense beforehand, talk about it afterwards? And say what? Maximize it? Minimize it? Write to the movie studio?

Read Triona’s thoughts about  this textbook example of bad blood. Your thoughts?

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What if, in order to meet someone who was related to you and important to you, you had to go through a disinterested third party.  In Why I Oppose Confidential Intermediaries, Susan enumerates reasons why using an intermediary to make contact within a closed adoption is not only wrong but also ineffective.

My history and my identity belong to me, and these things should never have been taken from me in the first place.  As an adult, I very much disliked placing my personal affairs into the hands of an unknown party whose competence I had no way of judging.

and

It is unfair and unethical for two parties to sign a lifelong, binding contract over a third party who had no say in the matter.

Susan offers six other reasons why the intermediary system is dysfunctional, discriminatory and suspect.

The bad news? The Intermediary was not successful in setting up a meeting with Susan’s birth mother. The good news? Susan was. Of course! She has a vested interest in making it work. An intermediary doesn’t. A fascinating perspective.

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KatjaMichelle had a tweet co-opted by an adoption agency, which used her words for its own purposes, not passing along the deeper, richer texture. She fills you in at The Importance of Context.

I know that twitter isn’t Vegas.

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Be on the lookout for what you consider Very Important Posts during the month of June — I’d love to know your nominations for the next edition of VIPs.