Meme: 8 Random Facts

I’ve been tagged by Furrow.

The rules:
Let others know who tagged you.
Tell 8 random facts about yourself.
When you’re tagged, post these rules and 8RF about yourself.
Tag 8 other people.

My 8 Random Facts:

  • I have lived 8 time zones to the east of home (Syria) and 8 time zones to the west of home (Japan). Like those 8s.
  • I proposed to Roger. At a Bronco game. On the DiamondVision scoreboard.
  • I have never had a PBJ sandwich.
  • I played the piccolo in high school.
  • I would go to great lengths for a really good mojito.
  • I was told by a ski instructor my first time out that I had “rubber knees.” The nickname stuck (the comment was overheard by a member of the church group) and it took me two decades to get back on skis.
  • When I was a Brownie, I won a baking contest for a recipe called, “Rickety Uncle.”
  • I can usually guess the time within about 5 minutes.

So, if you’re reading and you haven’t already blogged 8 Random Facts, consider yourself tagged. Comment here when you post your own.

Seek first to understand

Here’s a follow-up post to The World’s Shortest Play.

My hope is that some of the pain in Adoption World could be healed if people with a nemesis could really imagine walking in the shoes of their nemesis.

I’m on boards that are exclusively for adoptive parents, and it’s disappointing how little compassion and respect there is for firstparents (on occasion). I’m aware that there are boards for birth parents who (occasionally) express disdain and disrespect for adoptive parents. And adult adoptees also have their private places to vent about parents of all sorts.

These entrenched perspectives just dig people in further to their misery. And some people dig that, thrive on that, get their raison d’être from that.

But for others who want to move through, the only lasting way, I believe, is to see the Other as a reflection of Self.

Our adoption situations were pretty clash-free (but check with me in a few years as the third part of my plane grows more expressive).

Yet I have experienced such “reflections of self” in other areas. When I am triggered by someone/something, I must have that trait within me to be triggered. Here are some non-adoption examples:

  • I quit a job in a politically-charged environment because I worked for a woman who constantly made me choose between loyalty to her and truth/integrity. She reflected myself back to me as a person who sometimes operates from fear, and will manipulate and connive because she thinks that’s the only way to get what she wants/needs.
  • I got mad at my massage therapist for not honoring a two-fer package I bought from her. I should also thank her for showing me a part of myself that fears for lack of money.
  • On the positive side, I see in my mom immense empathy and compassion. I must have at least a small dose of that in me to acknowledge it in her.
  • I see in Tessa an independent spirit who knows herself well and doesn’t budge much. The independent in me recognizes the independent in her..

St Francis of Assisi (and Stephen Covey) said, “may I seek to understand, rather than to be understood.” It seems to me that the people who hurt the most focus more on the latter. My biggest breakthroughs have occurred when I really WORK the former.

Do you have an example of seeing from the viewpoint of a one-time nemesis? Or of someone you admire?

Best Practices in Ethical Adoptions, part 2

In a recent post, I mused about what makes for an ethical adoption. I promised then to follow up with a post from a cross-triad discussion board.

When I posted this draft on this discussion board, I asked for help from other members to flesh it out. After all, I am just a tiny piece in the adoption mosaic. There were a few people who posted some suggestions, but I was surprised at the otherwise roaring silence from this historically clamorous group. Could it be that the loudest complainers would rather wail than work on issues? Ahhh, that’s for another post.

So, throwing it out once again, here is a working draft…feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

Ethics in Infant Adoption
Who we are: An online community representing

  • Adoptive parents
  • Birth/first parents
  • Adult adoptees

Our guiding principle: Since there are competing interests among members of the triad, we seek balance among these competing interest so that all parts of the triad are respected in fundamental ways.

Our goals:

  • Compassion and empathy among members of the triad.
  • Elimination of adoption coercion. Just as coercing a partner into marriage is void of integrity and not conducive to long-lasting relationship health, so is coercion in adoption. We recognize that coercive language and practices are harmful to all parties involved in adoption (first parents, adoptees and adoptive parents).
  • Prosecution of adoption scammers.
  • Education of the general public about the true faces of first parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees.
  • Adherence to Best Practices in adoption by agencies and other adoption professionals.
  • Integrity — integrating truth and informed choice in language, intentions and actions.
  • A uniform and reasonable period between birth and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)
  • Access for adult adoptees to their original birth certificates. Such information on one’s own DNA is a fundamental right which affects one’s physical, emotional and mental health.

Best practices:
First parents

  • People in crisis pregnancies are considered “expectant parents” or simply “parents” until TPR is signed. Only after this occurs do they become birth or first parents.
  • Expectant parents considering adoption are presented with resources for parenting (WIC, etc).
  • Appropriate counseling helps people in crisis pregnancies to accurately envision both avenues open to them: parenting (and all available resources) and adoption.
  • An expectant mother considering adoption is given the opportunity to be paired with a first mother mentor, someone who has been through the process herself. This mentor serves as a volunteer. This community maintains a list of qualified (i.e. not having an adoption agenda) first parent volunteers.
  • Agency/professional provides ongoing grief counseling for up to two years after placement.

Adoptees
It is acknowledged that adoption is a loss for the child, a tribal severance from one’s clan. Adoption must be freely chosen by expectant parents, only when they deem it is a better option than parenting, taking into account issues of safety, security, finances, familial relationships, desire to parent, and other pertinent factors.

Pre-adoptive parents

  • No less than 1/3 of the total cost is due after placement.
  • Agency/professional supplies accurate statistics on number of placements, number of waiting couples, average wait times, and reclamations during a recent time period.
  • Agency/professional discourages matches prior to six weeks before due date.
  • Agency/professional provides grief counseling to pre-adoptive parents who have experienced infertility.

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So now what? If you see there is a problem, want to be part of a solution?

adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption