Monthly Archives: April 2007

I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

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Well, not the Academy exactly, but you get the gist.  I’m not just a relatively new blogger, but also a relatively new blog reader in the whole realm of things.  I’m surprised when anyone reads or comments at all because I’m often spouting throughts and ideas out to see how they sound to ME.  So thank you, Laurie, for tagging me as someone who makes you think (who’da thunk it?).

So for my five…some of these have been tagged before, but I’ll tag them again, because they are truly ones that have made me think about myself and others in a different light. 

1.  Jenna at Chronicles of Munchkinland among other places.  She was the first First Mother I remember reading on the forums and I followed her to her various blogs from there.  I very much respect her views on motherhood, whether it be regarding the child she placed, the child she is parenting daily, and the child she has on the way.  She opened my eyes to the fact that there was someone on the other end of this adoption.  Thanks, Jenna!

2.  Sherri at Everyday Miracle has shared her story of adoption of two little girls from Haiti with such detail, it felt as if I were watching it happen step by step.  But in telling her story, she also shares her faith, and over and over I find myself reflecting on my own faith and wanting to do more and be better in my own life and family.  Thank you, Sherri!

3.  Nicole at Paragraphein gives another glimpse of First Motherhood that I find valuable.  I thank you, Nicole for sharing some of the hard stuff.  I benefit from your perspective, and hopefully indirectly, the Woob will, too.

4. Margie , Third Mom is just so darn WISE.  Check her out and I dare you not to learn something about adoption and reform from her.  No matter how tough the issues she tackles, she does so with compassion and grace.  What a great blogger role model!

5. Lastly, I won’t pick just one, but reading a collection of the adoptee blogs out there, like Joy, Addie, and Possum to name a few, keep me on my toes and help me to think ahead about the things that are important in raising my Woob.

Thanks guys for all you contribute to the “learners” out there.  Your voices are so important!

7 Comments

Filed under adoption, memes, things that make me smile

I Feel A Little Sick Right Now

Here’s what I responded to the family friend who brought up a possible adoption situation on Sunday.  I couldn’t bear to call her and say the words out loud, so I snuck in an email instead. 

As much as it kills me to write this, I thought I should let you know that ** and I discussed the information you gave me Sunday and are going to let this possibility pass.  We just aren’t on the same page right now with what happens next in our family, so it wouldn’t be the right time.

We will pray for this young woman and her baby and hope that things work out the best for all of them.  Please recommend to her and her family that she receive some unbiased counseling about parenting vs. adoption so that whatever decision she makes she can do it with a clear conscience that she made it with the best of information.  Neither option will be easy for her or the baby.  If she does decide to pursue an adoption plan, rest assured, there are so many wonderful families out there who would adopt, love and care for this little one.

Keep us in your prayers as well, that we make good, well thought out choices for our family, too.

Love ya’

E.

It is sent.  It is the right thing to do.  It makes me sad.  I still may tell the RE to stick it.  Who knows.

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Filed under adoption, grief, infertility, adoption, parenthood

Infertility Grief Revisited

Here I am, a 37 year old, educated, seemingly enlightened woman in this second melinnium, proudly parenting the most beautiful boy ever, and married to Prince Charming a wonderful, generous, and patient man who I love and who loves me no matter what. 

And I feel like crap.

My motherly instinct tells me its time to bring a little brother or sister on board for the Woob.  That’s the nurturing, giving side of me.  The other more selfish side of me is already grieving the Woob’s babyhood that passed by in the blink of an eye, and my arms are again aching for a little bitty person to fill them.

Four years ago, I happily put away all the syringes, ampuoles, doctors appointments, insanity, anger and sadness associated with the world of infertility.  Locked ’em all up tight into the top shelf of the bathroom cabinet.  We took time off, got our heads together and jumped headfirst into the shiny new world (for us, anyway) of adoption.  I realized I didn’t (and still know that I don’t) have to be pregnant to be complete.  It would be a wonderful thing, but its NOT something I just MUST DO OR I’LL DIE.

So here I am, feeling these urges to be a mommy a second time over.  But to what end?  I’m tellin’ ya, the Cosmos must be laughing right now.  Let me tell you what’s going on.

Over the past several months I’ve been living adoption through our personal lives with the Woob, our families, and Woob’s mother in one way or another (and all that goes along with that).  I’ve been reading, reading, reading, to learn about all sides of adoption, good and bad.  I’ve been doing this reading for myself and for those I work with through my employment, which provides some adoption services.  I want so badly to do things right and make positive impacts on people I work with (because I’m weird like that).  I’ve definitely come to some conclusions about the type of information I present to people and the type of worker I want to be and the type of agency I want to represent.  I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that since there are so many ethical issues to consider, that I’d probably not put myself in that place again, and if I did, there would be limits on what I’d do.  So…

Exactly 13 days ago, after some discussion with DH, I made an appointment with my family dr. so I could get a referral back to an RE, you know, just for a consultation.  See if there was anything missed before, see if there was any use in going back to some of the “lighter” treatments.  Despite the fact that I still hold out little hope that our past diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” would change or that treatments (the first-line ones that we are willing to try) will result in pregnancy, and despite the fact that I started remembering with utter dread how all-emcompassing and timed fertility treaments are, I found myself becoming a little excited at the prospect.  And its kind of one of those now-or-never deals because, remember, I’m 37 and as much as I’d like to think “37 is the new 20,” it ain’t, folks.

Fast forward to Sunday morning after church.  A family friend approaches while I’m talking to my parents planning brunch.  “I need to talk to you about something.  Would you and DH consider adopting again?  There’s a girl…” (IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER SHE ASKS THIS!!)  Talk about put on the spot.  Stammering.  Well, you gotta know my mama was glued to the spot listening.  So I spouted off some insane thrown together throughts very reasonable conditions about IF this could happen, or IF that was the way things were, then we would consider adopting again, but only IF.  These “IFs” of course concerned openness, the type of counseling this YOUNG woman would need to make a decision, and on and on.  And my mom’s still listening…and the family friend is looking at me like I have three heads because why would I want all these “IFs” and openness and counseling and information and so on…but tells me she’ll get more information as it comes.  And all my wonderful thoughts and opinions about the problems in adoption and how things SHOULD be done fly out the window as I think about this opportunity to build our family.  Also, it crosses my mind that I can tell the RE to shove it, I don’t need his stinkin’ treatment…

So I go home to bring this up with DH, but basically he has no chance to digest this because immediately the baby needs something and his brother arrives from across the country and will be staying with us while he’s in and the topic is officially closed by default.  This morning was the first time we were alone long enough for me to bring it up again.  It didn’t go well.  DH said something about having our “own” child would be nice.  Picture my guts twisting with that phrase being said.  I know DH loves our son more than life itself.  He hates being made to be politically correct in his language.  He refuses to watch his words.  I’ll defend him here at the same time as I’ll hate the way he said that.  Hate the fact that it even makes me angry that for him to voice a desire to have the experience of parenting a child with his/our DNA to me sounds like an insult.  Its not and it shouldn’t be a crime.  I think its truly the way humans work.

Regardless, here I am conflicted about SO many things, and pissed off that I have to be conflicted at all.

IF our bodies would just work right, there’d be no issue here.  We could (maybe) make rational choices about how and when to build our family, that didn’t have to hinge on what dr’s appointments would conflict with what work appointment, or if another baby comes along, how will that affect our little one and his mother.  If we miraculously concieve with medical intervention, will Woob always think he’s second best because he doesn’t carry our genetics?  Will N. think we or the agency lied to her when she received the information that we couldn’t have children?  Is it even going to matter anyway, once we find that treatments won’t work and we’re just plain too old to do anything else anyway.

Yes, this is a truly selfish post in which I choose to wallow in self-pity for awhile.  I needed to put it somewhere.  And now I’ll stop and go crawl into a hole.

15 Comments

Filed under adoption, grief, infertility, adoption, motherhood, parenthood, vent

Bring Baby Evelyn Home

Okay, so I’m late.  All the cool people have already done the hard work to get the word out about the Bennett family.  For that, I thank them.  I’ll add my short bit here to reflect on little Evelyn’s first birthday, however. 

My little one had his first birthday in March.  It was a joyous day for us, his adoptive family, as we all embraced this beautiful little person into our family and celebrated his growth over the past year.  It was also a day where we struggled with the pain that we could feel for and along with his first mother.  Although she made her decision to seek adoption for her first born son fully aware (hopefuly) of the consequences of the decision, with knowledge that for her there was no other way, she hurt.  For all her sadness, she was able to acknowledge happiness that her baby is happy.  She’s able to see where he is, what he’s doing, how fast he’s learning and growing.

So I think now upon Baby Evelyn’s birthday yesterday, and feel sadness that her family struggles with  astounding pain that they cannot embrace her into their own family on what should be the most joyous of days.  I feel sadness that her mother Stephanie doesn’t have any idea of all the new things Evelyn can do, how big she’s grown, or even what kind of birthday cake she had.  That it just didn’t have to be this way.  For Evelyn, what should be kids and balloons, and ice cream, is instead seclusion from the world because she is in hiding.

I pray that the family with her now finds the strength to help undo what’s been done.  To do what’s right.  To find peace when its over.  I pray that the Bennetts find hope in this dark time, and forgiveness in their hearts for everyone involved in this runaway train of a situation.  I pray that no matter the outcome, that baby Evelyn feels love and security throughout her life despite its rocky beginnings.

If you haven’t read any of the particulars and want to learn more, Thirdmom has a great post listing ALL the participants of the blog blitz for the Bennetts.  Please take the time to visit some of the amazing and passionate writers for many different details and viewpoints of the story.

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Filed under adoption

Newly Published Book re: Adoption

One small perk of being in some sort of management position in a small social svc. agency is that I can sometimes decide what books I really need to keep up to date on things and help educate others (both peers and clients), and I don’t have to pay for them myself 🙂

So I ordered the newly published (2007) Handbook of Adoption:  Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families.  Written by Javier, Baden, Biafora, and Camacho-Gingerich, and put out by Sage Publications.  Hope I noted the reference properly…its been awhile since I had to do a bibliography. 

Anyhoo, I got the book on my desk this morning, and its a big one.  Large paperback with over 500 pages of REALLY small print.  So, obviously I haven’t actually READ the book yet.  But I’m browsing and intrigued by what I see.  The index lists some of the usual adoption type topics, but includes large sections to include Training and Education for Adoption Therapy Competence, Research in Adoption Work, and Assessment and Treatment Issues in Adoption.  Chapters deal with each member set in the triad, but it appears to heavily acknowledge the experience of first parents and adoptees. 

Some things I find hopeful are that it asks questions about why university social work/counseling programs DON’T discuss adoption issues (It was NEVER discussed in either my BSW or MSW curriculum), it acknowleges a real lack of research about the adoptee and first parent experiences, especially with today’s adoption climate being so different than in past years, and it ends with a call to action for the future of adoption with specific things that need to be done and learned for the impact of adoption to be learned and understood by everyone involved.

I’ll let you know what I think as I use it for reference both personally and professionally.  If you have any insights, feel free to share them.

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Filed under adoption

A Quick Note re: a Previous Post

Just wanted to share something related to my previous posts about getting pictures from Mama N. and trying to helpt my family understand our wish for more openness:

At the Easter celebration at my grandma’s house Sunday, I overheard her commenting to someone else in the family, “Did E. show you the pictures of “Woobie’s” mother?  Well, he looks just like her, its amazing, just like her.”

Good ol’ Grandma.  It does my heart good. 🙂

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Filed under adoption, birthparents, things that make me smile

“Professionals” Should Know Better

Can you get sued for libel/slander/defamation/anything by outing an organization’s ickiness on a blog?  Because I want to take the time to do just that (but really don’t want to get sued).  A website for a certain adoption advertising service, was brought to my attention recently by someone who was actually thinking of using them.  As a social service worker and as an adoptive parent myself, I’m left feeling a little ill.  Well, a lot ill. 

The following quotes from their site (in my humble opinion, of course!) illustrate blatant manipulation tactics towards adoptive parents and by extension to expecting parents, show their true aim at using said parties to simply make money (even though they state this work is their “mission”), include some pretty insulting comments about minority placement/children, and basically for those prospective adoptive parents who haven’t done their research, feeds into that “baby at any cost” and trivialization of expectant mother mentality that we who consider ourselves a little sane try so hard to avoid.  But don’t let me tell you any more, read for yourself.  And by the way, these are certainly not ALL the excerpts I find objectionable, but just some highlights.  Make note that I never saw ANYTHING even mentioned about fathers in all this, either, just “birthmothers.”  The italics are mine.

  • “We strive to be most ethical.”  read on…
  • “…advertising is expensive, stressful, and time consuming.  You also need to know that there are a lot of scammers out there–and I mean good ones–who will break your heart and take your money without blinking an eye.”  (Insert fear and stereotypes here.)
  • (This company) has “been playing the adoption game successfully for over a dozen years–both for ourselves and our clients.”  It’s all a game.  Granted, sometimes for everyone involved triad-wise, it does all feel like a game, but come on, these guys are paid professionals.
  • Regarding “Afro-American” adoptions:  “There are many minority infants that need permanent loving homes.” “…but as hard as it is to find AA birthmothers committed to adoption, adoptive families willing to take black children are more difficult to find.”  hmmmm…why go FINDING mothers at all??  Sounds like a weird circular process to me.
  • Continuing on with AA adoptions:  “Remember that it is your birthmother’s mother or aunt who is most likely to step in and claim the baby at the hospital.  Often they will tell us that they are leaving the choice to your birthmother, in reality, they mean they are keeping their cards close and only playing them at the last minute.”  What cards are those?  Again, putting fear and suspicion into the hearts and minds of adoptive parents everywhere.
  • Continuing with minority adoptions:  “From experience we have found that biracial situations have an unusually high placement percentage.  Biracial children are awful cute, too.” Because that’s all people need to know about transracial adoption, right, that their kids will be cute?
  • From the FAQ page:  “What are the odds of getting our baby?  If you cooperate with us and don’t give up, the odds are 100%.  Everyone that has worked with us and not quit has gotten a baby.  The overall likelihood of any given situation going through is about 80%.  We have instituted a few new procedures and hope to get that percentage up over 85%.”  I shudder to think what they will be doing to boost their percentage…maybe it has to do with the quality attorneys they mention next:
  • “We have one attorney we work with that gets surrenders on almost every birthmother he works with whether its in his backyard or across the country.” I wonder how he does that??
  • Regarding open adoption, they start off making positive comments about its importance, but then go on to give a “don’t sweat it, the birthparents will go away eventually” message:  “Some adoptive parents have heard stories of birthmothers showing up unexpectedly on the doorstep of the couple that adopted their baby or asking for money months after placement.  The reality is this rarely if ever happens.  In general, birthmothers go on with their lives and it gets increasingly harder to keep contact with them.  Of the seven completely open adoptions we have offered to the children we have adopted, we have regular contact (3 or 4 phone calls a year) with only one.  Even though we have an 800 number, and they can call whenever they want, we no longer know where the others are.”  Yes, they just “move on,” forget about their children, and you never have to worry about them again.  So really, open adoption isn’t a risk at all…

Let me know what you think…I’m off to go write an email to help educate the “professionals”.  And to take a shower, because I feel a little slimy after reading all this…

21 Comments

Filed under adoption, Eewwww!!