One of the distinctions we continually make on Adoption: The Long View is the difference between “open adoption” and “openness in adoption.” The former typically means having some sort of information about or contact with birth family, but the latter is more of an inside job – what’s going on inside us and the quality of the connection between us and our child.
How open are we as parents to dealing with adoption issues as they come up? How comfortable can we become during tough conversations with our child around their big feelings about their birth parents or about being adopted? To what degree are we acknowledging and addressing our own triggers around our child having another legitimate set of parents out there?
Some are wired for openness, yet many of us struggle to continually cultivate the inner clarity we need for the unique calling of adoptive parenting. To become the open kind of parent our adoptees need us to be, we have to work at it a little more, be intentional about increasing our capacity to be able to Be There and Go There with our kids.
Enter Maureen McCauley, a seasoned parent of four now adult adoptees. She is so seasoned, in fact, that she co-leads a Seasoned Parents group through an organization called Adoption Mosaic.
Maureen, mom-by-adoption to four now-adults, is also co-editor a new book called Lions Roaring Far from Home. By being privy to so many adoptee struggles in the book, as well as adoptive parent struggles in her work with Adoption Mosaic, you can be certain that Maureen is someone who can help us understand the dance between adoptee and adoptive parent as it relates to openness. When do we lead, and when do we follow?
About Maureen McCauley
Maureen McCauley’s professional background is in social and educational welfare advocacy, as former executive director of 3 nonprofits. She has facilitated and presented workshops in the US and Canada on adoption, anti-racism, and positive ageing. She is a writer and editor, including co-editor with two Ethiopian adoptees of a new book, Lions Roaring Far from Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees.
Maureen is a Certified Sage-ing Leader via Sage-ing International, and has a certificate as an End-of-Life Doula for Companion Pets, partnering with their humans. She has four now-adult children and two granddaughters, and lives in north Seattle.
Show Notes: Ep 408 with Maureen McCauley
- Website: Light of Day Stories
- Catapult article: How My Daughter’s Pregnancy Made Me Rethink Adoption
- Book: Lions Roaring Far from Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees
- Adoption Mosaic’s Seasoned Parents course (and others)
- NBC’s This Is Us
- Gotcha Day article
- Transcript of Ep 408
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Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Her second book, Standing Room Only: How to Be THAT Yoga Teacher is now available in paperback, and her third book, Adoption Unfiltered, is now available through your favorite bookseller!
Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.