Monthly Archive for December, 2010

Bringing Birth Fathers into the decision making process…

I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a match meeting between a young woman and man considering adoption… they were meeting for the first time with an adoptive couple they believed might be a good fit for them and their unborn baby….it felt good to have the involvement from the birth father..he was confident about his decision and very supportive of the birth mother… he stated he  had been researching  adoption and had been consulting with a relative who also placed a child… the relative told him she placed in a closed adoption and that although she knew the plan of adoption was right she was haunted by not having contact or openness..she encouraged the birth father to pursue as much openness in the adoption as possible and to form an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family…the adopting family also held similar views regarding building a relationship… and truly embraced the birth father…it saddens  me to think of how many adoptions take place without the involvement of the birth father …so many men are not even aware they are fathers or are blocked from the decision making process altogether…the implications are far reaching not only for these men but also for their birth children…I came upon a powerful story told from the perspective of a birth father and also from the perspective of the daughter he placed…he was not present at the time of placement and it haunted him for 15 years until he unified with his birth child… he writes very tenderly and from the heart about his journey…please click the link below to read his account as well as his daughters viewpoint titled.. Two Sides of the Same Story

http://birthmothers4adoption.blogspot.com/2010/08/two-sides-of-same-story.html

Changing the face and future of adoption….

I am constantly searching for meaningful topics to cover for this blog and have signed up for a number of google alerts which refer relevant articles regarding adoption to my email…I began to notice with sadness an increasing number of adopted persons desperately searching on various internet sites for their birth parents or birth family members…on the one hand I’m so glad the Internet exists and can help people separated by closed adoptions to connect but it saddens me to think of the lost time  and the lost sense of connectedness for the adoptee…Each time we educate and support an adoptive and birth family to pursue an open adoption, we are helping to change the future of adoption…I recall a Birth Mother who used to attend the open adoption support group that I run ..She had lost 4 children to the system and spent years trying to find her children as well as trying  to recover from the pain…  One daughter  remained with her and went on to have a daughter who became pregnant as a teen and placed her baby in a very open adoption… I recall her words as a proud great grandmother who was involved in an open adoption so different from what she experienced ….  She said “Adoption will never be obliterated”..she wished it would be….but said “Children and babies will always need a home and sadly/joyously at times adoption is the solution”.. .. She went on to say..”At  least with open adoption we have the opportunity to do an adoption in a more humane way”…”Open adoption seeks to connect  instead of disconnecting.”.. I’ve thought of these words often and I’m encouraged by the number of adoptions where birth and adoptive families are keeping connections for those future generations of adoptees…13 of these brave birth mothers gathered at Kinship Center this month and shared their stories and challenges of keeping their adoptions open..and how they were remaining present in their children and the adoptive families lives… These women and the adoptive families raising their children are changing the face and the future of adoption …Hopefully this next generation of adoptees will not be desperately searching for connections on the Internet… they will have been given these connections lovingly and openly by both their birth and adoptive families..I’ve linked below to a story of an adoptee who traveled to Italy to connect to his roots and to find his birth mother,  and other family members… take a moment to read his story…if you are a birth mother stay involved in the adoption… if you are an adoptive family reading this and you let your child’s birth parents drift away reach out this holiday season say hello and keep the door open…your child will have much to gain…

http://www.morningsun.net/featured/x2068981238/FINALLY-REUNITED

the Hospital… A Birth Mother’s story…

Kelsey Stewart a birth mom who writes a blog about her adoption journey posted a beautiful story of what happened to her years ago at the hospital when she placed her child for adoption and the small acts of kindness that can mean so much to people at what seems to be their darkest hour…I’m reminded of this today as I spoke to a Kinship Center family who lovingly had a new born infant placed with them from the hospital yesterday…the adoptive mother wept as she described how brave and loving the baby’s birth mother was in her determination to place her infant son for adoption… the adoptive mother described those final last moments at the hospital and how tender they were the looks, the hugs, the tears, the future planning for contact, the exchange of meaningful gifts…a journal and a photo album.. she stated what could I give her or do for her? She was giving so much…this family is going to be there for this birth mother now and in the future ..they have committed themselves to continuing to build a relationship that provides a foundation for this child to grow up knowing why and how this plan was made and that he does not need to loose because an adoption has occurred but rather his world and family just got bigger and more connected due to the adoption…Please follow the link to read about Kelsey’s experience it made me smile and weep at the same time..also consider purchasing Kelsey’s book “The Best for You” for your child’s adoptive family library…

http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/2010/02/happy-thoughts-6.html

A special evening for Birth Mothers…You are not forgotten…


I had the privilege Wednesday evening of hosting Kinship Center’s Annual Holiday Celebration/Support Group to honor and acknowledge the love and courage of birth mothers that the agency has worked with. A group of birth mothers and their family members gathered to share feelings and to update each other on their lives and for most of the women present to update each other on the relationships they share with their children they relinquished and the adoptive families they chose to parent their children. Some of the women present have ongoing open relationships that go back as far as 15 years with their birth children. The evening is intensely emotional for these woman as each woman is given the opportunity to update the group and retell their adoption journey…this intensity is tempered with special holiday decorations, soft Christmas lighting, good food and an abundance of gifts and goodies. This year each birth mother was given the traditional hand made Kinship Center Teddy Bear; these special bears are used in many agency placement rituals and given to children and families for infant adoptions as well as foster adoptions. Holidays can be especially hard for birth parents and often birth mothers find themselves grieving during what the world says should be a “season of joy”. Adoption still caries a stigma for birth mothers…there are few places that these brave women can go and find comfort, fellowship, and a safe place to reflect and reminisce as well as to grieve. The birth mothers who attend continue to teach me, the agency and our staff that adoption is a life long journey and should never be entered into lightly by either birth families or adoptive families. It is an unfolding and an evolution of coping, grieving and keeping your life moving forward in spite of the inherent loss built into the adoption. They teach us that there is also great joy that can be experienced when birth and adoptive families join together with honesty, dignity and respect for each other. The best way to describe the evening is that it is “bittersweet”… great joy and celebration mingled with grievance and loss…We hold these women in our hearts…hope you enjoy the photos that I’ve posted of this very special evening.

A new adoption book and a thought provoking interview by an adoptee/ birth mother and her adoptive mother…

I came upon a thought provoking interview regarding a mother / daughter collaboration for a new book titled “Silent Embrace Perspectives on Birth and Adoption”..The book is a collection of personal stories of birth mothers, adoptive mothers and adoptees… It covers topics of adoption,open adoption, birth parent connections and unification after a closed adoption…The editor of the book a birth mother/adoptee  embraced the book after preparing for a visit with her seven year old daughter …she placed her in an open adoption as an infant… she had only been exchanging pictures and letters and she and the adoptive family decided to do an in person visit …She realized little was written from the birth mother’s perspective and embarked on collecting a series of heartfelt stories that included what she believes is the forgotten or ignored part of the triad, birth parents… The editors contend that adoption is often glamorized from the Hollywood perspective but that birth parents are often stigmatized by society for choosing to place a child..Amanda Angel and her Adoptive mother Ann Angel hope that the book will correct this imbalance and will offer insight into the heart and mind of a birth parent… and show that adoption is a true expression of  love…This books sounds very powerful and is definitely on my Christmas wish list…I hope you will put it on yours…Link below to the interview and follow to Amazon.com to order or wish list..

http:/ www.fertilesource.com/?p=882

Open Adoption for two sisters ..a life saved…Update

This past September I wrote about and linked to an amazing  story of a two sisters  and their open adoption journey that possibly saved the life of  one of them…. Little did her birth and adoptive family know that when they all  bravely committed to keeping the adoption open  how powerful and meaningful the experience would be for them …the adopted sister in her early teens developed a rare condition that would have resulted in life of pain and eventual death..the Doctors involved believed that the only way to possibly save her was a bone marrow transplant..but she was a unique ethic and racial blend and perfect match would have been nearly impossible to find in the general population…the adoptive family approached the birth family and lovingly the older birth sister offered to be tested and it was discovered she was a perfect match..the two sisters endured many medical procedures together these past several months and the local newspaper in their home town reports that the procedure appears to be a sucess …her life was saved!!…Risking in adoption is sometimes hard.. it often seems easier in a birth parents moment of pain and grief to retreat and easy for scared adoptive parents to close their hearts to a relationship or to just let a birth family drift away and loose contact…the very least that adoptees deserve is a sense of history both genetic and medical as well as a sense of connectedness… if an adoption must occur for what ever reason the door for building a bond and a relationship needs to be kept open… link to this heartfelt story that demonstrates the power of what can happen when birth and adoptive families come together for the love and sake of the child…the smiles on the faces of these young women say it all… a true holiday season miracle!!

http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2010/11/open_adoption_makes_lifesaving.html