Monthly Archives: July 2008

Stay Tuned

TGM and HeatherPNR’s recent discussion about How I Met Your Mother got me itchin’ for some good, new tv shows.  I’m a junkie when it comes to television, and I am going through withdrawl bit-time.  The summer is when P2R goes all baseball on me and watches games probably 5 nites out of 7.  And there’s golf.  And tennis.  And NASCAR.  See a pattern?  Yes, we do have more than one television in the house, but I also have a little person running around most nights lookin’ for some video action after supper, playing outside and the bath.  I can now recite the entire script and soundtrack to the movie “Cars” and his newest fave is “Herbie:  Fully Loaded.”  At least he watches it for the luv bug, not for Lohan.  I get squeezed out in the summer.  Fall is my time to shine with the old TV.

I went sniffing around and this is what I found.  If you haven’t checked the new season’s lineup yet, you can find it here ( http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Tv-Mattrs/Fall-Tv-Schedule/800039493) with dates for some of the season premiers as well.

2 Comments

Filed under adoption, not much, things that make me smile

Birthmother Letters–Tips to Consider

Hi folks!  No doubt if you’re not a regular reader of mine, then you got here quite by accident.  I’m willing to make an educated guess that you came to me through some google search trying to find sample letters to prospective birth mothers that you could use to then write your own.  Rarely do people find me when searching for “open adoption” or “parenting” or “grief and loss” or other adoption related topics…mostly “birthmother letters.”  Though that’s not generally what I do here, I’ll try to humor you and give you some tips.

I’m not a big fan of The Letter as it generally stands in adoption today.  I’ve written one before, and it wasn’t any fun and if I could do that part of the adoption again, I would probably write things differently and question things more.  The fact is, I’ve learned a lot since that first draft of the letter I agonized over. And honestly, the agency changed some of my very intentional wording before sending out the letter, so how much did it matter what I wrote?  (Just a note:  I wasn’t aware of that until they sent all my documents back to me after the adoption took place.  I was LIVID.  If that’s the way they want to play things, then they should just send out a form letter to every inquiring parent, and don’t put us through that, you know?)  So: 

Tip # 1:  Find out if your agency has a specific format/wording they want you to use in your profile and decide if you can live with it or not.  (Tip # 1a:  Find out if your agency is honest or not and if not, decide if you can live with it).

If you can live with moving forward, remember you get one page to write something that may impact a choice they make that will impact every part of their life for the rest of their life, the life of the child, the lives of all their families, and your own life.  (Er, um, no pressure, though). 

Tip #2:  Start with something other than “Dear Birthmother.”  Typically “birthmother ” is a term reserved for those mothers who have already relinquished their children, not those still carrying those children in their wombs.  Some of your readers may HATE the term “birthmother,” others may take that as a subtle cue that they are automatically expected to place.  And don’t forget, you may be speaking to a mother AND a father.   A simple “Hello” might serve you well here. 

Tip #3:  First decide what you want to include and what’s really important.  Is it in this first “contact” that you feel the need to include a description of your vacation home, or rather a description of your understanding that this decision isn’t already made (see Tip #2)?  Your “guarantee” of a college education and stable marriage, or your commitment to raise a child with the absolute most gentle and loving care you know how to give?  Perhaps let them see who you are first, then you can talk about what you hope to provide later.

Tip #4:  Write your letter in a way you’d want to be written to yourself.  What would you like to know if you were in their shoes.  Because, really, looking at my own life, it could have so easily been me sitting at a desk going over adoption profiles if just one. little. thing. had gone differently.  When I look at my son’s mother and myself at a similar age, we are separated by mere moments in decision making and timing and just plain dumb luck.  I’d be willing to bet other adoptive parents out there can say the same thing.

Tip #5:  Be honest.  Honest about yourself, your life, your relationships, your intentions.  Never promise anything you can’t guarantee, or anything you have no intention on following through with.  You may be able to wheedle out of answering to the first parent about those things, but you can bet you’ll have to answer to your children some day.  If your agency wants to “fluff up” the information a little bit, really question that whose best interest that would be in.

Tip #6:  Don’t make assumptions about the reader.  Statements like “I know this must be hard for you” or “this must be the hardest decision of your life,” although seemingly empathetic, imply that you can read their minds and hearts.  And though it probably is hard or the hardest decision, really if we haven’t lived it ourselves, there’s no way we can pretend to know (who knows?  Maybe the decision was EASY for them for certain reasons.  Or maybe the decision is being made for them).   A statement like “I can’t imagine the emotion and energy it takes to work towards this decision, and I hope you have good people around you to help you before you finally make it” would be a little less presumptuous and offer a more supportive tone.

Tip #7:  Please don’t tell your stories of heartbreak of infertility, miscarriage or other loss of a child in this letter.  Its your job to heal your heart, not the first parents’, and especially not the child’s.  Yes, those things are powerful and sad and unfair and have led you to this path of adoption, most likely.  I get that.  But you can bet that whatever situation she’s in that’s led her to think about adoption is also likely powerful and sad and unfair.  To expect a mother to lose her own child, even if it is her choice given whatever her circumstances may be, to fill the hole of your other lost child, is a little unfair.  And do you want her to place with you because she pities you or because she got to know the wonderful people that you are?  When the time comes for you to talk or meet, she’ll ask questions about what led you here, and you can talk about your experiences then.

Yeah, writing The Letter is hard.  And really, it probably should be.

If you were one of those hopeful adoptive parents that found me just searching for some help along your adoption journey, feel free to browse around awhile, whether it be looking at my posts or checking out my blogroll (which is still sadly not as complete as I’d like–I’m missing a bunch of my faves!), or going to my blogroll’s blogrolls.  You will read things you love, and read things that make you think, and read things that make you angry, and probably read a few silly things along the way, but I can guarantee you will learn some things that need to be learned, both for yourself, your future relationships, and for your children.

Thanks for stopping by!

19 Comments

Filed under adoption, infertility, adoption, open adoption, reflection

I am ALWAYS happy to hear from N.  Time comes and goes and I lose sight of our last contact, whether it was phone, email or visit (for the record, the last visit was in March, around Woob’s birthday).  I worry I was supposed to initiate something or wonder as time goes on if I’ve done something to create a distance, but realistically know that just as I am a mom of a two year old, working full time and meeting local family obligations, she is a mom of a 6 month old, working full time, going to school and also meeting other obligations.  So time moves faster than we’d like.  But I still worry.

So I make that first move, with an email that says “Hi” in the subject line, send a little update with a lot of pictures.  I wonder if I send too many, if she thinks we’re over the top.  I wonder if I call, will she be busy and bothered. I wonder when I don’t hear back if there’s a Real Reason or if its not that important, or if she even got the message.  There’s always so much wondering in this relationship, and it appears to be all my doing, my own insecurity.

Because before I know it, there’s a call or an email in return, letting me know all is well, the baby is growing and “we have to get together soon!” and “you can never send too many pictures!” and “lets set a date!” 

She’s a lovely young woman, she loves her babies, and she wants to keep the connection going.  She’s patient with me when I’m running late with things like pictures and updates.  She’s going to be here as Woob grows so he’ll always know her and at least have a basis for a relationship if he wants one into his adulthood.  She’s got answers.  She’s got the keys to the rest of Woob’s family.  Knowing she’s okay makes me feel better, for Woob and for myself.  

I know that a few years ago, when we first met, none of this was thought to be a possibility.  How blessed we are, I am that we are where we are today.

(Next visit likely in two weeks!  Woob gets to see his little sister for the second time and I bet she has grown so much!)

7 Comments

Filed under adoption, birthparents, open adoption, things that make me smile

Adoption Conundrums

I’ve learned many things about adoption by reading blogs and forum posts written by those involved in some way.  Here are just some of the things I’ve learned.  I’m sure they’re all true, because they have many times been written as fact, with few or no qualifiers such as “some” or “maybe” or “in this instance.”

Adoption…

  • is a gift
  • is a win-win-win situation
  • should be outlawed
  • should be easier to achieve
  • should happen more often
  • should be changed to protect adoptees
  • should be changed to protect adopters
  • should be changed to protect natural parents
  • is a right
  • protects children
  • harms children
  • grows families
  • tears families apart

Adoptive parents…

  • are evil adopters/kidnapers
  • are a blessing to their children
  • don’t deserve to have children
  • are better than the birthfamilies
  • are not “real”
  • can meet their children’s every need
  • saved their children from tragedy/a horrible existence/poverty/abuse
  • are more real than firstfamilies
  • have all the power in the “triad”
  • are rich
  • make sure their kids have ponies and swimming pools
  • are bitter infertiles
  • expect perfect children
  • can never meet their children’s needs

Adoptees…

  • are missing out on their real families
  • would have been better off aborted
  • are lucky
  • should be grateful
  • are better off with their adoptive families
  • aren’t affected by adoption
  • shouldn’t seek out their first families
  • should seek out their first families
  • are victims
  • are bitter/angry
  • don’t need to know
  • have a right to know
  • are the only ones who didn’t have a choice in the adoption
  • gifts from their first families
  • gifts from God
  • need to get over it
  • would have been better off with their first families

(Birth/Natural/First) Parents…

  • experience regret about their decision
  • were coerced into placing
  • feel happy and secure with their decision
  • did the right thing for themselves
  • were selfish
  • did the right thing for their child
  • were selfless
  • love their children
  • don’t have the right to love their children
  • don’t have the right to grieve the loss of their children
  • are the “triad members” with all the control
  • are angels/saints
  • are demons/sinners
  • should have chosen abortion
  • have no rights in the adoption decision
  • are scammers
  • are substance abusers
  • deserve to have their children taken from them

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of these facts, but can someone help me out and let me know how all of these things can be true all the time in every situation?  *perplexedly scratches head*

10 Comments

Filed under adoption, not much

One Word Says it All

Linking back to Margie and several others with this little ditty. (Hi, Margie!!)  One word is harder than it looks!

1. Where is your cell phone? home
2. Your significant other? birthday
3. Your hair? impossible
4. Your mother? sad
5. Your father? quiet
6. Your favorite time of day? evening
7. Your dream last night? uneventful
8. Your favorite drink? C*ke
9. Your dream goal? actress
10. The room you’re in? office
11. Your ex? forgotten
12. Your fear? alone
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? comfortable
14. What you are not? risky
15. Your Favorite meal? southern
16. One of your wish list items? Washer
17. The last thing you did? list
18. Where you grew up? Here
19. What are you wearing? glasses
20. Your TV is? calling
21. Your pets? timid
22. Your computer? trusty
23. Your life? simple
24. Your mood? relieved
25. Missing someone? unknown
26. Your car? black
27. Something you’re not wearing? lipstick
28. Favorite store? Crate and Barrel
29. Your summer? swift
30. Your favorite color? greens
31. When is the last time you laughed? morning
32. When is the last time you cried? Thursday
33. Your health? okay
34. Your children? joy
35. Your future? uncertain
36. Your beliefs? waver
37. Young or old? young
38. Your image? unremarkable
39. Your appearance? conservative

40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? yep

3 Comments

Filed under adoption, not much, reflection

There Are Days…

There are days…

  • when I wish I lived far away from my family
  • when I wish I weren’t considered “nice.”
  • I wish that I could close my door and say “no” to favors and extra projects
  • that I want to smack sense into otherwise sensible people
  • that I want to smack sense into people who aren’t usually very sensible at all
  • I wish I were a better Christian, wife and mother
  • I wish others would more carefully consider their roles as Christians, spouses and parents
  • I would like to enjoy the weather instead of rushing from one meeting or obligation to the next
  • I would benefit from being way more organized
  • I’d like a think-free job
  • I think my thinking gets me no where
  • when I feel I could drop from the pressure
  • it would be helpful to make my own rules
  • it would be helpful if someone would tell me the rules
  • I wish I had a houseful of “Woobies”
  • I wonder if I’m good enough for the one I’ve got
  • my boy amazes me
  • I am so thankful for all I have
  • I wonder if I have anything left
  • I wish I could do more to help
  • I probably should ask for help
  • I think help is futile
  • I want to be left alone
  • I wish to have more friends
  • I am amazed at the friendships I have

 Tell me about how you’d finish the sentence, “There are days…”

2 Comments

Filed under adoption, motherhood, not much, reflection