Both Sides Now: Carolyn Savage on Pregnancy & Placing a Newborn

Carolyn Savage has one of the most chaotic family building stories you’ll ever hear. Now mom to 6 children, Carolyn was the perfect person to write the foreword to my book 7 years ago.

Why? Because as a book by and for both adoptive parents and birth parents, Carolyn was in the position of having experienced both sides of placing and receiving a baby —

— with a few twists and turns.

It was my pleasure and honor to catch up with Carolyn Savage in the latest episode of my podcast, Adoption: The Long View. Though she can’t technically be classified as either an adoptive mom or a birth mom, her family building story includes essential elements of both.

Carolyn and Sean Savage with the newborn they placed in the arms of another couple.

You may recall hearing Carolyn’s story in the news back in 2009 because of the stir it caused then, or in her book that came out a few years later, Inconceivable.

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Competing Forces: Centripetal In Here and Centrifugal Out There

There are two competing forces exerting pressure on me these days. Maybe you feel them, too.

Centripetal: Inward Toward Unity

Here’s a list of things in my life that tell me it’s possible — desirable! — to bring opposites together, to transcend beyond the duality of opposites.

competing forces in 2020
  • Yoga, which means the yoking of opposites. Such as inhale/exhale, inner/outer, masculine/feminine, upper/lower, right/left, front/back, root/rise, effort/ease, contraction/expansion.
    • I want to be both strong AND flexible, not one at the expense of the other.
  • DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is a “philosophical dialectical process of hypothesis and antithesis, followed by synthesis.” Through metacognition (mindfulness), I expand my thinking/believing/feeling to cover both poles, both opposites. Being able to do so can make me feel more whole.
    • I aim to love all parts of me, including the ugly ones I try to hide even from myself.
  • Open-hearted adoption. Over and over again I see that a BothAnd view serves all parties better than an Either/Or view, which splits the baby. The BothAnd concept goes not only for “real” parents, but also for the range of emotions anyone in an adoption has about adoption.
    • When I honor my children’s connections to their original family, it adds to my children without taking away from me. Also, I acknowledge that open-hearted adoption is really hard at times — as well as rewarding.
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Ashley Mitchell is in the Adoption Podcast House

Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to my new podcast, Adoption: The Long View. I so appreciate your feedback and comments and support. Keep ’em coming.

It’s a joy and a privilege to talk with people who are eager to explore the complexities of adoption and share their unique thoughts and perspectives.

Episode #2: Ashley Mitchell

This is why I’m so excited to unveil podcast episode #2. Joining me to talk about adoption from a birth mother perspective is Big Tough Girl Ashley Mitchell.

Ashley Mitchell on adoption podcast
Continue reading Ashley Mitchell is in the Adoption Podcast House

adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption