My Placement Experience

January 5th, 2011

My family and I at PlacementI chose to be as comfortable as possible at my placement. I wanted it to be one of the things I had control over and got to plan. And, it went even better than I had planned it to go in my head.

I decided to have it at my parent’s home, with all my family there. My parents and my four siblings sat on the left of me while I held baby E. The adoptive couple and their daughter M sat to the right of me. My case worker was there as well to help mediate. I had shared with him how I wanted things to go beforehand and… [more]

What To Do With Negative Information

July 31st, 2009

A first mother on a private adoption discussion recently posed a real-life question. I won't give specifics as to protect her situation from public opinion. However, in the most vague of terms, the birth mother found out some not-so-great information about her relinquished child's biological father. She didn't know what to do with it, whether or not she had a duty to tell the adoptive parents and how, if at all, involved she should become. My advice? I told her to give the adoptive parents the information and let them do with it as they would as they were the ones parenting the child. I gave this advice because I see it like this: if someone who wasn't parenting my children knew something important that could… [more]

A Note About the First Few Months of Parenting

April 13th, 2009

If you placed your first child, you might not understand the general craziness that accompanies the first few months of parenting. While your child's adoptive parents may have said something along the lines of, "Feel free to contact us at any time," the truth is that they have just been thrust into the world of parenting a newborn. And they're tired. Overtired, to be exact. Newborns are demanding little (beautiful!) creatures. They don't sleep well as they often wake at regular intervals during the night to eat. While rumors state that bottle fed babies can sleep for longer periods of time, they can still wake anywhere from every 2-5 hours until they get a good sleep rhythm going on. To boot, it rarely has anything to do… [more]

Reproductive Choice: Whose Business Is It Anyway?

February 26th, 2009

I learned the very (very) hard way that each family has the unquestionable right to form their family in whatever way they so desire. When it comes to birth and adoptive families brought together by a shared child via open adoption, that unquestionable part becomes so important. I will first share my story and then go on to explain the reasons that these issues are so touchy for the lot of us. After my husband and I married and began trying to conceive our first child, my relinquished daughter's parents told me that they were going to attempt a round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). My initial reaction is not one I am proud of but I will share for the purpose of learning. I was mad. And instead of trying… [more]

Are You Avoiding Asking for More?

February 23rd, 2009

In my many conversations with birth parents over the years, many have wanted to ask their child's adoptive parents for "more" when it came to contact. But they didn't. Why? Many reasons. Fear. Figuring they knew the answer ahead of time. Fear. Oh, and usually more fear. It's not fair to yourself to avoid broaching this subject with your child's family. It's also not fair to your child if you're not being honest with her parents. Before you run off and ask the question, however, let's investigate why you're feeling the way that you do. Why are you wanting "more" right now? Furthermore, what constitutes as "more" for you at this point in time? Is it just more letters? More pictures? Or do you want to start scheduling… [more]

Living in the Same City

June 23rd, 2008

A recent discussion on the forums has adoptive parents talking about how they would feel if the birth parents moved to their city. As a birth parent who doesn't plan on moving until my Husband retires, I wondered the flip side of the question. How would you (or I) feel, as a birth parent, if the adoptive family moved to your (or my) city? Depending on the size of your city (mine is small!) and your similar likes (many) and dislikes, running into your child's adoptive family without warning could be a possibility in this situation. Unless you stay in your house all day, everyday, people need things like gas, milk and Starbucks. (What? It's true!) How would you handle things like this and other issues which… [more]

Maybe One More Similarity

May 17th, 2008

I wrote yesterday about the ways we can and cannot compare divorce and open adoption. I still maintain that the relationships between adults is an apples and oranges comparison. I still maintain that children aren't given the same choices in open adoption that they are in a divorced family as well. But, a commenter brought up the following scenario and, well, it broadened my opinion just a little bit. Julia left this comment: I have made the comparison myself, only it was about the child actions, not the parent actions. Our daughters who were adopted at 9 and 15 frequently tried to play their birth family members and us. They would come home, tell us that their grandparents didn't agree with something we did… [more]

Open Adoption & Divorce: Comparative?

May 15th, 2008

A thread was started on the forums this past week asking if the relationship between adoptive and birth parents in an open adoption was comparative to that of ex-spouses in a divorce. Nothing like trying to compare two emotionally charged familial subjects! My initial reply was that the two subjects are apples and oranges. I explained it well in one of my replies so I'll just go ahead and quote myself. (Does that make me seem like I have a split personality? Anyway...) If I was married to either of Munchkin's parents and there was a divorce, I would have a say in how she was raised, what she was doing and so on. As an open adoption birth mother, I have none of that. I… [more]

Communicating and Maintaining Contact

January 10th, 2008

I get e-mails (or, on the forums, Private Messages) from readers who don't like to "put it all out there" for fear of how other commenters have treated them in the past but they still want some information. I often reply to these privately. However, I want to share a snip-it of a recent question and answer it here in hopes of helping other birth and adoptive families. I would really like to know how you maintain that relationship, who initiates the contact, how (in from your perspective) her adoptive parents feel about the contact, how you deal with the contact you have with her adoptive parents, etc... I know that is a lot to ask, but I am really interested. I should probably preface this with a… [more]

Choosing Words for Letters

October 8th, 2007

Sometimes I have issues that I don't even realize I have! While reading the forums, I came across a thread in which an adoptive mother was asking for advice. She had received a thank you note from her child's birth mother's parented daughter, thanking her for a recent gift. The (birth) mother had written the letter for her daughter who was not yet old enough to write. She had signed it with the following closing: Hope to see you again soon, Name. The adoptive mother was asking whether or not she was being manipulated by the birth mother through the child to have another visit soon. I cringed. Nicholas spent some time coloring pictures for the Munchkin and JD last week. I got around to writing… [more]