Proud To Be

December 9th, 2011

nellieLast weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to go on my second, birth-first mom retreat. I am finding it difficult to talk about in it's wholeness, but the experience and what I can tell you is that I met some of the bravest women in this life.  From the get go, Friday night, I opened up to others for the first time in forever. No more faking the happiness I felt. While I was genuinely excited to go to the retreat, I was also struggling with feelings of self-worth and value, as well as shame. The shame was overwhelming, and for the first time in 6 years I shared my story to the fullest I have yet, with this group of women… [more]

Counseling Expectant and Waiting Adoptive Parents

February 18th, 2009
Categories: Education

I'm in a unique position here on Adoption Blogs. Writing for the birth/first parent blog here, the crisis pregnancy blog and the hoping to adopt blog, I come across a wide cross-section of those touched by adoption in some form or fashion. I receive questions, via comment and email (and over on the forums, via PM), from those who are considering relinquishment, dealing with post-placement issues and emotions and those who are considering adopting a child or are dealing with open adoption issues as an adoptive parent. Their questions are often heartfelt, asking if I have any idea what to do about a situation. Sometimes I know. Sometimes I don't. But I usually give a good crack at an answer. I'd like to encourage you to do the… [more]

Game Answer: Contested Adoption Statistics

March 19th, 2008
Categories: Education

Hopefully you participated in yesterday's game. In case you missed it, the question I asked was: What percentage of adoptions are contested? I also gave information to help define what contested means. Remember that contested means that a biological parent (or other pertinent entity) attempts to legally fight the adoption based on the laws that govern their state. This could be an accusation of fraud or duress or a father whose rights were not respected in the relinquishment of the child. Contested does not mean overturned. Contested simply means "legally challenged." Are you ready for the answer? Good! Less than .1% of adoptions are contested each year. (Groza and Rosenthal, 1998). Source. Don't miss the decimal point in front of that number. POINT-ONE. As in less than one tenth… [more]

Let’s Play a Game!

March 19th, 2008
Categories: Education

First let me say: in this game, everyone is a winner. Why? Well, there are no physical prizes. Wait! Don't walk away! Instead, everyone who plays (or, really, reads) will learn a little something! Learning is good. I try to learn something everyday, not necessarily about adoption but about life in general. So, I though I would help expand your knowledge about birth parents and their place in the adoption triad and process. And, truth be told, I think I'll make this a weekly occurrence! Learning things each week surely can't hurt! The preface of the game: I'll present a question at the end of the post. You, the reader, are to avoid the temptation of opening another browser window and Googling for the answer. You are to… [more]

I Made It! Speaking Engagement: OVER!

October 15th, 2007

I can count our panel at the conference as a success, I think. There were no fisticuffs between panel members or the audience, even though the topic turned to adoption language and ethical parties (always hot button topics) a few times. For the most part, people were listening and sharing (and laughing with one another, not at one another!). Even my Husband was vastly interested in what was being shared and we had a great talk over coffee afterwards. (Coffee! Without a two year old saying, "Hot! Hot!" It was an adult day out. Shocking!) I was the last of four to speak. Even though I went to college for broadcast communications and worked in the field before leaving to stay home with the above… [more]

Public Speaking on Adoption Issues

October 12th, 2007

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm speaking at the University of Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon. The conference, Encountering New Worlds of Adoption, actually started yesterday. However, due to a complicated pregnancy, I'll only be heading into Pittsburgh for my panel on Saturday afternoon. It helps when you're originally from the area, know how to get where you're going and have family to meet you at x-location and take your child back to The Farm. (Yes, after our panel, the Husband and I are heading back to The Farm to spend time with my parents. It just seems like a lovely fall day to me!) Again, I'm still a bundle of nerves. Of course, those nerves were put to the test last night! We have been moving… [more]

Concerned United Birthparents Wants YOU!

May 1st, 2007

Concerned United Birthparents (CUB ) is seeking proposals for their upcoming retreat in September. This year's retreat is being held at: Hamburger University and Hyatt Lodge Oakbrook, Illinois Sept. 28th- 30th 2007 Hamburger University, McDonald’s beautiful 88-acre corporate campus, is an ideal setting for CUB’s annual retreat this fall. Once again, CUB invites all members of the adoption triad and their significant others to meet with others who understand our common challenges. The CUB retreat theme has always been one of sharing and support and we are seeking proposals along these lines. Karen, previous adoption search blogger wrote a post about the upcoming CUB retreat that gives more details. She includes some history of the retreat site as well. Many triad members look… [more]

Kinship Adoptions

March 12th, 2007
Categories: Education

The Child Welfare Information Gateway website has really useful information on a variety of topics involving children. This link is specifically about kinship adoption. There info about all sorts of adoption issues is worth checking out as well. Kinship adoption previously accounted for over half of all adoptions, but currently they are less popular. Two-fifths of adoptions are primarily private agency, kinship, or tribal adoptions. In 1992, for example, stepparent adoptions (a form of kinship adoption) alone accounted for two-fifths (42 percent) of all adoptions. Keeping the Family Tree Intact Through Kinship Care is a website that I located that addresses the subject of kinship adoptions. According to their site, there are more than l.3 million American children are being raised by… [more]

Educating Yourself About Adoption – Part 1

February 5th, 2007
Categories: Education

When you are preparing to make an important decision, or preparing yourself to be able to intelligently discuss a specific topic, like adoption, there are many ways to inform and educate yourself. What a mouthful that was! Some of the methods at our disposal to either make an adoption decision or form an opinion are: 1) Meeting and hearing the opinions of other triad members. This method is sometimes called anedotal evidence. Some call it "anedoctal evidence" as a put-down or way to dismiss other's opinions and stories as being of little importance. Certainly hearing the stories of others is only part of the puzzle, but very valuable. Being the type of person that I am, I not inclined to need hard, analytic data… [more]

The Places and the People of 2006 – Part 1 – The Places

January 3rd, 2007

Still summing up the year 2006! Except for a yearly vacation with my husband, usually around the time of our anniversary, most of my travels now revolve around visiting my sons or adoption conferences. Last year, I attended more adoption conferences than ever before and throughly enjoyed learning and mingling with other triad members. The conferences: 1) Adoption: The Spiritual Journey for the Human Family Location: St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York, NY. This conference was very special for me for a variety of reasons. It was held in a gorgeous historical stain-glass filled church in New York City. I am very enamored with historical old buildings and St. Bartholomews was a treat for me. Another reason this particular conference was such a treat for me was… [more]