Category Archives: Very Important Posts

VIPs: Very Important Posts from February 2012

Very Important PostsBelow is a collection of posts from February that made me think long after I read them. Whether you are already acquainted with these writers or not, I encourage you to click over to see if these posts are meaningful to you, too.

The Internet at its best, entry 1: We see meanness and bullying all too often around the Internet. So when I find a story like this, I want to share it. Witness this group of women rallying around one of their own during a time of need. BernThis and 6 other bloggers made a video for their friend Ellie, who is battling Stage 4 cancer. Watch here or head to BernThis for more of the story.

Operation Spiritual Airlift from Heather King on Vimeo.

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The Internet at its best, entry 2: My friend MediaMum flew to her native Australia several times this year to be with her mom, Susan, during cancer treatments. When she let a group of her Colorado blogging friends know about her mum’s imminent passing, we mobilized to send Susan off in a wave of bright yellow, her favorite color. The result was this sunny and day-brightening #Yellow4Susan Pinterest display, courtesy more than 30 contributors.

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Jill, a birth mom who blogs at The Happiest Sad, has a fitting analogy about always being on the lookout for something that was lost to you, In her post Adoption is kind of like an Isuzu pickup, Jill says, I know I won’t see [the stolen Isuzu pickup], but I think I see it all the time. Because I don’t know what happened to it, and I don’t know where it is, and what if it’s out there somewhere and I miss if because I’m not vigilant enough? What if I stopped looking, and the next day it passed me in the street on my way to work? There is a gap in my knowledge of the Isuzu. That gap keeps me wondering…This is the benefit of openness. Roo will never have to be vigilant, on the lookout. She knows what I look like and who I am.

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In her post The “A” Word: Let’s Talk Abandonment, Rebecca from Life is Not a Pie compares abandonment to separation. Rebecca is both an adult adoptee and an adoptive mom, and she observes that, though having a highly stable childhood, she has a hard time expecting that anything will last. Is it adoption? The thing with adoption is that it can be difficult to tease out which parts are adoption-related and which parts are just life. Impermanence is part of living; the only constant, it has been said, is change.

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Lastly, former VIP LisaAnne loved a post at Enjoying the Small Things.  In the post Dance, writer Kelle attends a Valentine’s party for people with Down Syndrome, hosted by her local Civitan club. I had to find out why Kelle was at such a dance and I found the incredibly moving story of her daughter’s birth in which she shows and tells about her 2010 shocker of all shockers.

I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did. I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn’t have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn’t my baby and tried to take it in. And all I can remember of these moments is her face. I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over…she locked eyes with mine and stared…bore holes into my soul.

Love me. Love me. I’m not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

LisaAnne says that Kelle “has had to figure out how to go from a perfect family, to being a ‘perfect in its own way’ family. And I love that her world was turned upside down and she is figuring out how beautiful an upside down world really can be.”

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

VIPs: Very Important Posts from January 2012

Very Important PostsBelow is a collection of posts from January that made me think long after I read them. Whether you are already acquainted with these writers or not, I encourage you to click over to see if these posts are meaningful to you, too.

Adoption in the City has a post called An Untapped Resource that brings up a benefit to the child in an open adoption: the birth parent is in a position to offer insight into that child’s nature. I’ve heard from birth parents and adult adoptees who have talked about what it was like when the adoptee was a child growing up in a family that just didn’t “get” him. I wonder what would have happened if the birth parents were around, and the adoptive parents let them know what was going on.

In our open adoptions we have relied on our children’s birth parents to consult with us on possible “nature” traits and issues.And no, the blogger says, this is not co-parenting. A helpful post for adoptive parents who wonder if (or why) they should have more contact with birth parents.

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In Sharing Truths, The Maybe Baby shares her views about the adoptee memoir Found as an adult adoptee, a babyloss mama and a woman pursuing parenthood via surrogacy . The post itself is incredible in its insight: I believe there is a balance between recognizing and honoring origins and finding a space of love and acceptance in a family that is not genetically yours. These things can co-exist. I believe this. I HAVE to believe this.

And the discussion the post generated in the comment area among the blogger, the author and other book club tourists brought many to raw, raw places. Get the tissue box before you click over.

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I Was, then I Became is a post by The Adopted Ones that begins with a probate case. A man was relinquished by his birth mother in 1947 and died in 1996 without a will. He had never been adopted, never married or had children, and died without any legal relatives. He did have, however, biological relatives — his birth mother and his half-brother, who petitioned to be declared the man’s heirs. This case (and another) causes the author to ponder her own legally switched heritage: [it] demonstrates that we legally lose our biological history and that history includes our heritage both in adoption and probate laws. I became a person with an English ancestry when I was adopted. I lost my true ancestral heritage of the countries my ancestors immigrated from...It is easy to pretend my ancestors are English, I grew up with stories of my parents ancestors, but yet looking at myself I am not. I am a combination of two completely different countries, one who warred with England for what seems like generations if not centuries.

Surely we can find ways to honor and recognize biology as well as biography. What might that look like?

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The ever-brilliant Melissa from Stirrup Queens tells The Saddest Chapstick Story You Will Ever Read. After her daughter pushes out too much from her very first cherry Chapstick tube, Melissa writes of the deep weight of regret; that wish that you could have made a different choice, that you could rewind time and change one small decision so the future won’t happen.  Right now, it’s a chapstick, and one day it will be something slightly bigger and then slightly bigger and finally bigger still, and with each moment that we’re emotionally forced to drink from that well of regret, we choke on the knowledge that there was something small we could have done. Melissa goes on to show the relationship between small decisions and big consequences:  [I hoped] that this moment somehow acted as a vaccine against all the stupid decisions she’ll make in the future which will lead to regrets.  That somehow drinking from a deep well of regret over a broken chapstick will keep her from stepping on other small rocks in her path that will lead to future remorse.  That she’ll always use a condom.  She’ll never get in a car with someone drunk.  She’ll be late one day and miss a terrible accident; she’ll be early one day and meet the person she’s supposed to meet.

As a time-traveler myself, I love the idea of tugging on the small threads that make up the tapestry of one’s life to see how it’s all interconnected. What one thing that you do today could have huge ramifications years from now?

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

VIPs: Very Important Posts from December 2011

Very Important PostsBelow is a collection of posts from the past month that have made me think long after I read them.  You may already be acquainted with these writers; whether you are or not, I encourage you to click over to see if these posts are meaningful to you, too.

It Is What It Is makes a connection in Family Health History Checklist between the trauma her newly-contacted birth mother experienced when she placed decades ago and the trauma that the author experienced in a horrific accident at age 11 (warning: I missed much of my son’s basketball game one night because I made the mistake of opening her posts on my smartphone during a time out and then couldn’t put it down after the game resumed). Great insights on how trauma, whether from an car accident or the loss of a child, can stunt one’s emotional growth, and how therapy can jump start growth again.

And as a testament to the power of her storytelling, I’m spotlighting another post by It Is What It Is, 8 Minutes. It left my heart pounding and my adrenalin pumping. Losing a child — even for a moment or 8 — can turn a world upside down.

Jenn of Insert Bad Movie Title Here tells the importance of Honesty in adoption reunion on the site Lost Daughters. She explains how the reunion with her birth mom has not gone well, largely to them not being able to be honest with each other. This raw post will reinforce for anyone who chooses open adoption that NOT having to navigate reunion is a huge gift we give our children.

In The Knot of the Tree,  Angie of Still Life With Circles abides her grief, three years after the death of her newborn daughter, Lucia. She abides her healing, too: It feels like I can count my grief in rings. The years of famine and grief and withering mark me, gnarled and grey. I looked dead once, but I am green again. And her 4 year-old daughter Beezus has some wise words about her lost sister, too, that will make you want to hug a tree.

Sideshow Barb, who placed her son with adoptive parents 14 years ago, responds to the latest Open Adoption Roundtable post, What did you learn about OA in 2011?  She reveals how she finally feels whole after many years of brokenness, in which she compartmentalized her life around her son’s adoption. Finally, at 38, I discovered that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  My Jr High math teacher would be proud.  Aristotle, too.  And my therapist. It’s a wonderful state in which to begin her new year.

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