Ten years ago I attempted both a time warp and a mind meld when I tried to see how things looked from inside my children’s heads. I imagined, at the suggestion of a group called the Open Adoption Bloggers, what I’d like my grown children to say about the way I felt to them, adoption-wise, in 20 years. They were then 10 and 8 years old.
We are now halfway there, and my children are adults. Baby adults, but adults nonetheless. What were my open adoption goals then, and how well has our parenting aligned with them?
When I lead workshops or consult with adoptive families, I often ask parents to do this very same exercise, which is to imagine what their end zone looks like and feels like. I ask them to write this same letter, based on the prompt given to Open Adoption Bloggers all those years ago:
Imagine your child as an adult describing their open adoption experience. What do you hope they will be able to say about you? How did you view their other parents? In what ways did you support their relationship with them?
Perspective & Clarity
In writing this letter, parents not only practice seeing through their children’s eyes, but they also clarify what they want of their own parenting in the long run. (Aside: every single parent I’ve worked with wants an enduring, loving, connected relationship with their child over time, and they want their son or daughter to have everything they need to be happy and successful in their lives).
Continue reading Cringey! Midpoint of the Adoptive Parenting Feedback Loop
Hello, 30something woman on baby forums and infertility groups. May I call you Jessica? You don’t know me, but I was once where you were. I had finally met the man of my dreams, the guy I wanted to build a life with, the father of my future children. I felt so lucky!
Then after a few years of near-unbearable amounts of physical and emotional pain and expense, it became clear we could not make a baby. No way, no how. End of story. Not gonna happen. So WRONG. So unfair. So unlucky.
It was the most horrible thing I’d ever been through. It almost broke me. I was so deeply hurt. Angry. Jealous. Lost. Devastated. I couldn’t take much more. I wanted to be a mom. Was that so wrong? People do this effortlessly — even accidentally! — all the dang time.
Adopting After Infertility
Eventually, we set foot on the path of adoption. Surely after all we’d been through, the gods would bless us with an easy path. Surely we deserved something simple and doable. After all that bad luck, things had to even out, right? Please god, just bring us a baby. We will be the best parents ever. I promise promise promise.
Continue reading To the Woman Who Longs to Be a Mom and Who Says “I Want a Closed Adoption”
“The Downsides of Open Adoption” — an article by a content mill
There’s a new article on a site that churns out provocative content, a site that seems to value clicks over quality. The article is titled “The Downsides of Open Adoption,” and though you could easily google and find it, I ask you not to. I’m not going to link here because I don’t want to reward uninformed ideas packaged as link-bait.
But I will share some of the statements I find problematic.
Continue reading I Call Bull$hit