Big Decisions

I am fascinated with how people choose an adoptive family when they go forward with an adoption.  I can debate about decisions to the point of paralysis – I'm just sitting on the fence going nowhere until someone forces a decision upon me.  This decision is huge, and it can be a difficult and emotional one.  What makes a connection through pictures and a letter? 

I want every person to have the opportunity to plan for the adoption they want.  In the last couple months, I've worked with several people who have made adoption plans with me before.  They are pregnant again and need to go forward with adoption.  Sometimes people have a strong desire to place siblings together – they want their children to have that biological connection connection.  But just as many times, people want to choose another family who has no children.  There is something about the "blessing" of adoption that feels right to them, or they would prefer their child be the only child for as long as possible.  And I've had people tell me that they want to choose a new family, but feel guilty thinking about it.  As if adoption doesn't bring enough feelings of guilt by itself. 

I don't know the answer – there are a lot of people who work in child welfare who believe the best outcome is for siblings to be together based on research.  If that's not what the first parent wants, is that really the best practice? 

Guest Post: Turning Away from Negativity

Even when we feel firmly about our decisions, it's not easy to stand up to disagreement from our friends, family or even acquaintances. And it's normal to have second thoughts about major decisions, especially when people feed us their doubts. Talisa is back again today as a guest blogger to talk about how much security it takes to turn away from what people are saying.

Hey everyone. I hope that everyone had a great holiday and happy new year.

Throughout my winter break from school, I had a lot of things on my mind. Just the other day I was talking with my boyfriend on the phone about the little things that couples go through. He was telling me that the other day one of his good friends was engaged just like he and I, and his friend was very worried about what their future was going to be like. I never thought I would say this, but people have to know what they want. I remember I was talking with my mom and asking her if she felt that I was making the right decsion to be engaged at such a young age but she said that as long as I know that I'm doing the right thing and I should take things slow then she feels that I know what I want.

Shopping for Christmas presents this past year was wonderful. I never thought that I would be so happy going into a baby store without crying, but I did it and I was so proud of myself. I realized that I was done with letting others who don't support me put me down. I've lost many friends throughout the year since my adoption, and I now know who my real friends are. A lot of the girls that I was friends with told me what a horrible person I was and made me feel like I was nothing. Now that I'm in the New Year, I've made up my mind that only the people who support me and are there for me are the people that I would want to be around. The others who like to talk about me behind my back and critize me are no longer on my mind. I 've learned a valuable lesson from my mom — you never know who is using you from who isn't using, she tells me this all the time.  So I now know that I don't need backstabbers, because they messed up with me. I've definitely forgotten about them. My dad always told me to make your friends with your enemies so I 've tried that, but it hasn't worked. So I will definitely just forget them just like they have forgotten about me.

So my question is, are there days were some of you have things like this on your mind?

Guest Post: “To the mom I never knew”

Talisa is back again today as a guest blogger!

Well, I’ve been part of this organization at my college called Our Adoptions Organization, which I’m the president for. It’s a support group and also provides education about adoption. It has been very good for me because everyone in the group supports each other. I never thought that I would be so lucky to become such an important person to these people. They have taught me a lot, and I’m grateful.

I’m writing this blog because of one young lady — Parker-Marie, the daughter of Candace and Philip. She wrote me a poem about birth moms, but it’s also for her birth mom and for my daughter. The poem warms my heart every time I read it, and I wanted to share it with you all. She is only nine years old, and she told me that she is just expressing how she feels, but I think it’s a wonderful poem. I would love to hear from you guys about what you think.

This young lady is the most remarkable young lady I’ve ever met, and she reminds me of me when I was her age, which is a wonderful feeling. I’m her mentor for the Big Brother, Big Sister Program and I couldn’t be more proud. So here is Ms. Parker-Marie’s poem.

To the mom I never knew

I’ve always known I was adopted

But I never thought it was a dream

I thought my first mommy didn’t love me

Of course I know that isn’t true

I’ve always wondered thinking of you

In my heart I know she’s there

I will follow my heart when I know she’s near

I live a life of happiness not shame

And I know that she’s out there

Living in bliss not pain;

I know that she thinks of me everyday

And I doubt that she would forget my face

I bet she’s married and has more kids

And I know that she has told them of her first kid

I love you mommy where ever you are

till that day we meet

We will go far

I know that we will go far and can’t be beat

I wanted to let you know that this one is for you

And no matter if you gave me up

You’re still my queen

Even though I’m only nine years old

I feel I’m like you in so many ways

The way I look, and feel can’t ever be beat;

And I’m proud to say

I have two Mommy’s to love

And it’s the greatest feeling that God gave me from up above

Guest Post: Not A Day Goes By

Sheron posted this as a comment to a previous post, but we thought her story was so important that it needed its own blog post.

Hello, I wanted to share my experience about adoption. I have a 13 year old daughter that was given up for adoption, and it hurts everyday. People say get over it, but how the heck can you get over something so dear to your heart?

I was raised in foster care, and my father sexually molested me at age 18 — yeah, it can happen. I thought I would go crazy when my foster mom suggested adoption, but it changed my world. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wonder how in the world is my daughter doing and is she being raised in a good home. Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of choosing a home. They took her from me after just a week out of the hospital. Then I spent two weeks in a psychiatric ward trying to figure out what happened. But I have had to live with the ridicule of my family — one, for turning the cheek when I told them my daughter belonged to my father, who passed away Christmas Eve last year in 2007. I had to stay by his bedside to tell him the hurt he put me through. Does anybody know what that feels like?

I do have a son that is now 7 years of age, and I feel like I am terrific mom to him. I await the day to see my baby girl, and I hope she receives me too. The adoption agency gave me this website to write out how I feel and to hope someone out there could give me some inspiration or to share their story if they have their child home now. My little girl will be of age soon, and I would like to bond with her and form a mother/daughter relationship with her. I’m hoping she wants one with me. Does anybody understand? These years have not been peaches and cream, and it took years before god blessed me with another baby. Sometimes I think he punished me from having children, but now I realize he just wanted my mind back in the right place. I wasn’t on drugs nor did I drink, I just needed to let the devil out of my heart and let God do his magic, but the pain will always be there. I miss her so much. The only thing I have to hold on to is my memories, and they are not the greatest.

Well, the agency is sending me an update. Hopefully, I will write back and let you know how it goes. Pray though, I always know that God does hear us. When the time is right, bam, watch the miracles happen. I know he hears me. I want my little girl back.

Guest Post: Not Too Much to Ask For

This post is from a guest blogger, Molli, and we’re really glad to have heard from her. People in our lives often let us down in unanticipated ways, and adoptive families are not an exception. How do you feel when people are not living up to their end of the deal? Is it a different feeling than when it happens with a family member or close friend? 

When I made the decision to give my little girl up in 1999, it was very difficult. I went over lots and lots of family albums with my social worker. There were so many families to chose from and so many different options — religion, open/closed adoption, pictures every year or every 6 months, other kids or no kids, etc.

Then I finally found the perfect family. The choice I made I was happy with. Religion, pictures etc. In the beginning, I had built a pretty good relationship with the adopting parents. They came to a couple of the doctor visits and also came to the hospital to see me when I had given birth to their new baby daughter. The first year I had received letters and pictures every 6 months. I had even received a wonderful heart locket.

But as the last few years have passed, it seems as if they just don’t have the time to sit down and choose a few pictures and write a letter to me. It’s like pulling teeth to get it. I just don’t understand. I mean we bless this family and give them the most wonderful gift ever, and they can’t even keep their long term commitment with me, the birth mom. All it takes is 1 hour every 6 months. Not too much to ask for.

I don’t want to look at it as a a bad decision. I know she is well taken care of, but they are leaving me no option. A promise is a promise. Please help me to understand this situation.

Guest Post: Coming to a “Happy Place” In It All

From a special guest blogger, Shana, sharing her experience. 

I just want to say a big heartfelt Thank You to the folks who are trying  so hard to understand and be supportive of the experience of being a birthparent. I have found this to be without a doubt the most difficult and yet positive part of my life. My son was placed through Adoptions Together 9 years ago (wow that is hard to believe it has already been that long). He was placed in a very loving home with wonderful parents who have helped me so much in more ways than they will ever know. I have really run the whole spectrum of emotions in the last 9 years and I feel like I have finally come to a “happy place” in it all.

Sometimes outsiders mean well but they really are just ignorant on the subject. Face it folks, how many of you know more than two people who have shared in this experience, from the same point of view? I learned a long time ago to forgive their words for they know not what they do. The phrase “I could never give up my baby,” well we’ve all heard it, countless times, when in truth no one really knows what they would or wouldn’t do until the situation really does show up in your life.

I never thought I would have the strength or courage that I found in myself when God blessed me with the honor of helping to complete someone else’s family.  I believe everything happens for a reason. And I believe that I was meant to share in their family. I know that my life took the turns onto the paths it did to pave the way for the completion of their family. I didn’t expect it, wasn’t prepared for it, but looking back on it now, I was so truly blessed by it.

Make no mistake that sometimes it is very difficult but aren’t all things worth doing that way?

I still wonder how I will tell my daughters one day that they have a brother. I wonder if my son will one day wrap his arms around me the way they do. I long to have him tell me he understands, and that he loves me too. I hope one day he does. I hope one day I get the chance to thank his Mommy and Daddy, and to tell them how special I think they are.

The thoughts go on and on, but the pain has turned to pride!!

Guest Post: Thinking About What’s Best for My Daughter

Talisa sent us this post describing her positive experience planning for her daughter’s adoption and asking others to share their experiences. 

I know that making the decision to go through with an adoption is hard. I know it was hard for me; just for the fact that I had to say good-bye to my little girl. I know that it takes a strong and mature person to do it, and everyone who supports me with my adoption has told me that.

My adoption plan is open adoption, and I am proud to say that I love how everything is going for me with my adoption plan. I know that I was depressed for a good two or more weeks about doing the adoption, but with all the support that I was getting, it helped me realize that things happen for a reason, and that the family I chose to take care of her and call her their own is more than just the adoptive parents. To me, they’re like family, and I couldn’t be happier with them. Being the birth mother made me realize that even though I went through with the adoption, it just goes to show how I was thinking about what’s best for my daughter.

So therefore my question for those who have, or are in the process of going through with an adoption, how do you feel going through the whole process from the beginning to the end?

A Long Time Coming: Adoptions Together’s Birth Parent Place

About a year ago the domestic adoption team at Adoptions Together started talking about creating a blog for several different reasons. This discussion was ongoing — and after some planning, and lots of adoption plans, we finally found some time to make the site a reality. We hope this blog will:

  • Provide a safe place for birth parents to talk honestly about the ins and outs of making an adoption plan.
  • Provide information and support for women and men who are thinking about adoption as an option for their family.
  • Provide support for birth parents from Adoptions Together who cannot meet in supportive groups due to financial, transportation or other challenges.
  • Provide links to resources that may be helpful to all members of the adoption experience.
  • To challenge stereotypes about adoption created by television and movies.

We will use several authors, mainly adoption counselors at Adoptions Together, to create posts that generate discussions. Hopefully we will also have posts by birth parents and perhaps adoptive families who want to share their experiences. We welcome and encourage comments on all posts, but reserve the rights to take down any comments that are disrespectful.