No one ever sat with me and said,
“filling the crib is not going to cure your infertility,
it’s not going to fill the hole in your heart.”
I thought that if I just filled the crib, if I became a mom,
I wouldn’t have any more grief and loss.
And now I often tell others:
If you’re adopting that child to heal your heart,
that’s a pretty dang big job to put on a baby.
— Rebecca Vahle, adoptive mom,
Angel in Adoption®,
hospital-based adoption liaison (the first in the country),
and champion of HR3690 —
Walking with Hundreds & Talking with Thousands
In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Rebecca Vahle shares stories of adoption and parenting from multiple — and I mean MULTIPLE — perspectives. She has an uncommon experience both deep and wide, as she’s walked and talked these difficult paths with hundreds of patients and thousands of healthcare professionals. Rebecca is now actively involved in a bipartisan bill, now working its way through Congress. It’s a pro-education bill that can improve adoption in so many ways and for so many affected. She explains how this new bill would bring standardization and a focus on ethics while housing it in the realm of healthcare. Continue reading Improve Adoption Now: Rebecca Vahle on the Intersection of Unplanned Pregnancy & Infertility
You tell a small lie or you keep the truth out of something, and your intention is to go back and tell the truth. But then you forget, or you get comfortable in that missing truth part, and it just gets bigger and grows.
And so it was this energy that was accumulating. Nobody was saying anything about until I was like,
“I can’t do this anymore. I have to tell him.”
— Clemencia Deleon, birth mom in a kinship adoption —
Imagine you are 18 years old and parenting a 4 month old boy, a path you don’t feel prepared for or supported in at all. You have an older half-brother; he and his wife have been struggling to conceive. You end up placing your baby with them in what is agreed to be an open adoption.
But in practice, it’s not open. Sure you have contact at family get-togethers. You get to see him. But years later, his parents have declined to tell him that he was adopted and that you are his birth mom. As he grows older, you are pressed to either stay complicit with this lie of omission, or spill the beans without their permission.
In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Clemencia Deleon tells her story of a kinship adoption gone wrong, her quest for emotional intelligence over the years, her moment of truth in finding her voice, and lessons learned to share with you. Continue reading Clemencia Deleon: Truth-Telling & Emotional Intelligence in a Kinship Adoption
I’ve been always told that it was a gray market adoption. — Sara Easterly, adoptee, author, daughter, mom
I never really knew what that meant.
When the entire approach to a societal issue is steeped in shame and secrecy, we end up with lots of opaque-ish words like fog and gray market — and worse. When it comes to adoption, if you start scrounging around in a thesaurus you can find even shadier words like dirty and impenetrable, words that sometimes apply to policies and practices.
Many adoptees and first parents, especially those from the Baby Scoop Era, can attest to this opacity and to problems that germinate in darkness. People then either suffer in the dark or find their way into the light — or maybe both.
Sara Easterly is one who did both. She has been coming out of the adoption fog for years, and now carries a flashlight to help others living in adoption. Her insights are especially helpful for adoptive parents to hear.
I’m excited to say that Sara is the latest guest on my podcast, Adoption: The Long View. Continue reading Sara Easterly on Coming Out of the Adoption Fog