All posts by Lori Holden

Lori Holden blogs at and is the author of the highly-acclaimed guide, "The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption." She lives in Denver with her husband and two teenagers; hence, she is fond of yoga and red wine.

Birth Fathers…Are You Out There?

On this Fathers’ Day weekend, I’m thinking about two gentlemen in particular.

where are birth fathers?

Our children have access to their birth mothers. We feel it’s what is best for them. And besides, we like Crystal and Michele. A lot.

The reasons we welcome Crystal and Michele in our lives:

  • to alleviate the rumored Primal Wound of adoption
  • to have access to medical information
  • so that our children will never have to wonder
  • so that our children will never have to search
  • so that our children will never have to begin a relationship with someone who is both a stranger and yet intimately necessary to their lives.

All these reasons also stand for birth fathers, yet we have no contact with either.

Tessa’s birth father is, according to Crystal, a wild card. He can be incredibly sweet and sensitive, or extremely manipulative and angry. Through the agency, we have invited him to introduce himself to us through letters, which could progress to telephone calls and maybe even visits, as his personality and intentions become clear. We have yet to get a response.

Reed’s birth father is just absent. Michele let us know about two years ago that he wanted our email address, and we wait to hear from him. He has moved out of state and may not know how to begin a relationship with us.

Even though the idea of a birth father is much more abstract than a birth mother, our children have begun to ask about the two male names we include in our nightly prayers. I ask that we soon have either faces to go with the names, or the guidance to answer the questions.



Lori Holden's book coverLori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, blogs from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life.


Tami and Gino before Guillain-Barre

[Image no longer available.]

I got permission to post a photo of Tami and Gino before Guillain-Barre. The picture on the left is of them in 2000. The picture on the right is them 12 weeks later, after a Body-for-Life challenge. They actually have managed to stay in great shape over the long haul, due to a complete change of eating and activity habits.

Tami is staying fit running after her son. Gino is staying focused on regaining what he’s lost during the illness’s run.

Tami and Gino have counseled other people wanting to bring wellness into their lives. You can find a lot of good information on their website at Start Today Fitness.

I’m so proud of my sister and her husband! Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Gino’s home from rehab!

You know from this post that my brother-in-law, Gino, was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in February. What started as numbness in his hands and feet turned into full-body paralysis over the course of a few days. He was in intensive care for several weeks as machines kept his body functioning.

He’s spent the last three months in rehab, learning again to speak, eat, move. (An aside: Gino and I have watched 2+ seasons of Six Feet Under during the nights that I sat with him — we’re addicted. Not sure how we’re going to work in this f-bomb-dropping show anymore, with our kids being around.)

Well, they kicked Gino out of rehab yesterday — he’s well enough to come home! Friends contributed countless hours to making Gino and Tami’s home wheelchair accessible. We hope his muscle functions continue to progress and that the wheelchair is soon discarded in favor of leg power.

So Tami is now nurse (giving meds), therapist (working what needs work) and tech (getting Gino from bed to chair to car, etc). On top of taking care of Gino, she will continue to take care of their adorable 2-year old son.

Tami’s glad, I think, to be finished with the long drive to the hospital that she made sometimes twice a day. She’s glad, too, to have both her boys in one home (they’d turned the hospital room into a home away from home).

But the idea of being the primary caretaker is daunting. I am so proud of how my sister has remained positive and energetic throughout this ordeal, an ordeal that might have broken a lesser person. Both she and Gino are inspirational as anti-victims — never once did either ask “why did this happen to us?” They just kept the faith and moved forward.

Right back into their home.

Mojito Friday and shameless plug

Had that adoption profile out there awhile? Not sure why you’re being passed over? Tired of waiting?

Periodically, I offer a do-it-yourself adoption profile makeover workshop through Colorado Free University, and there’s one coming up soon.

  • Date: June 25 (Monday)
  • Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Tuition: $24/single or $39 couple (slightly more for non CFU members)
  • Offered again: September 8 (Saturday), 10 am – noon

If you live near Denver, visit Colorado Free University for information or to register.

P.S. Belly on up for your Friday cyber-mojito. With or without fresh lime?