Find Forgiveness

September 20th, 2013

Coping with Loss blog imageOpenness can be so hard and rewarding at the same time.  You have to decide what is best for your family and what is best for your child. Some adoptees, in open adoptions, see their birth moms once or twice a year.  Others  just exchange letters and pictures with out face to face contact. There may be seasons of your life when the openness varies. We have learned this with my daughter's birth mom.  When her birth mom's life is stable, we hear more from her. When her life is chaotic, we don't hear from her.  Regardless of what is going on with her life we constantly remind our kids their birth family loves them.  We have chosen… [more]

Open Adoption Will Not Work, or Will It? Part 1

July 24th, 2013

heartTo be honest with you, I believed open adoption was not a good idea.  It would not work.  Having an open relationship with the birth family would only confuse the child.  The birth family would know our last name and where we lived.  They could just drop by whenever they wanted. Would they help to raise our child?  Would they call me all the time asking how the baby was doing?  Would there be respectable boundaries? The idea of open adoption scared me to death.  Maybe open adoption worked for some families, but it was not going to work for us.   There were too many unknowns and too many "what ifs?".  The real open, honest, truth was that open adoption would interfere with… [more]

Emotional Debt in Adoption

May 8th, 2013
Posted By: on Open Adoption

debtMy wife and I have two beautiful children, both of which came to us through the miracle of adoption. What a blessing. What a joy. Still, though, it’s been quite the bumpy road to get to where we are now. One of the toughest things we’ve had to deal with was the feeling of guilt and debt. I mean, our children’s birth parents gave us the most wonderful gift—the gift of parenthood—which came through a big sacrifice on their part. Our adoptions are very open and we’ve communicated freely and often all along the journey, which means that we saw the heartbreak in their eyes when they made the hard decisions. Even though they had their minds made up and they had their… [more]

Let’s Be Honest – Share Your Fears

March 8th, 2012

Reunion2Last month I posted a blog titled "What are you afraid of?" It discussed fears and how communicating these fears of adoptive parents and birthmothers is the key to building a trusting and successful relationship. My son's adoptive mother and I often shared our fears openly and I attribute the success of our arrangement to this fact. It was sometimes surprising to each of us to hear what the other was afraid of. So, I'd like to ask for your input here. Please comment on this and share with me your fears. Be honest, everyone has them and if we just start talking about them we can start getting past them. I want to hear what you think! This not only gives me… [more]

How Open Should My Open Adoption Be?

January 19th, 2012
Posted By: on Open Adoption

handsI was recently asked a question from a friend who was soon to adopt. She said that she liked the idea of open adoption, but didn’t know what level of openness they wanted for their family. It’s an interesting question and I wish more couples would take it seriously (this friend of mine is taking it seriously). Waiting for a baby is so very hard. I remember very well when we were waiting, especially the first time we adopted. There was no way of knowing if we would get a call within a week to tell us there was a child ready for our home or if we would need to wait five more years before someone would even notice our profile. Everything I… [more]

Making Promises in Adoption

December 27th, 2011
Posted By: on Open Adoption

hands“I’m going to vote for him because he reaches across the aisle,” some people say. I hate politics. I hate it but I can’t help but follow it. Following politics is one of those chores that I do because it’s my civic duty, it’s what I think everyone should do, it’s yada yada yada. I ask myself, “What would it be like if politicians really had the public’s best interest in mind?” I mean, I think they want to do the right thing, but when push comes to shove their first priority seems to protect their career and their second is to protect their self interest groups. Instead, the laws and regulations that get passed all depend on what party is in charge-… [more]

Things That Make You Cry

November 22nd, 2011

Joe and PatI recently presented at an adoption event, sharing my personal story of placing my son for adoption in 1985 in an open adoption and how my relationship developed with him and his adoptive parents over the years. As is typical in these events, everyone in the room was crying, including some not-so-tough-anymore looking men. I talked with many of these adoptive parents afterwards. More tears. Seems to me there's a lot about this topic that makes us cry. What's more confusing, is that some of it is a sad cry, but just as much of it is a happy cry! Leaving the hospital empty handed, sad crying. Adoptive parents who have waited 10 years for a baby finally holding their son… [more]

Traditions and Reminisence

November 12th, 2011
Posted By: on Open Adoption

cakeEvery year since he was born, Tara, myself and Phoenix, along with my oldest son get together and have a small visit. I bring him presents, to say happy birthday with, and I watch my boys play together. Last year was especially great. Phoenix would sit on the steps in the play area at McDonald's and motioned for Nick, my oldest son, to sit with him. He was a hoot, and they had more fun together. I got to hug him, and sit with him while Tara went to get food. I still remember his first birthday. All of the adoptive family, plus some were there, and I had made a cake-a red velvet with whipped topping for frosting. Well, Phoenix was sitting… [more]

What Birthmothers Really Want To Know

September 14th, 2011

photoI noticed a maple in our woods has turned red. This sight produces an instant memory for me that I feel in my entire body, quickens my heart rate, and ultimately, makes me smile. Back in the fall of 1985, it was just months after my son was born and placed for adoption, I received a call from my adoption counselor saying she had just received my first letter from his adoptive parents. My only memory of the months between walking out of the hospital without my son and that moment were of overwhelming worry. Nothing mattered in my day during that time. The only thought in my head day after day was "Is he okay?" I worried about whether or not he… [more]

What’s in a Name

February 27th, 2011
Posted By: on Open Adoption

1241520_painted_by_letters___When our first son was born my husband wanted to name him Obi Wan. Luckily for my son (who, at age ten, claims he would have loved the name) I was quick to veto that idea. Giving a child a name is no easy task and it is made even harder when someone else has already done it for you. Adopting a child from foster care often means your child comes with a name and deciding to make a change is not something that should be taken lightly. However, I understand the desire for many reasons. One child, who lived with us in foster care, was given a name that was a slang term for a good drug. Needless to say we called… [more]