Sunday, April 27, 2008

From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours

If you aren't familiar with , by all means, let me introduce you to his words and music:

From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours

So many wrong decisions in my past,
I'm not quite sure if I could ever hope to trust my judgment anymore.
But lately I've been thinking, because it's all I've had to do.
And in my heart I feel that I should give this child to you.

And maybe you can tell your baby, when you love him so,
that he's been loved before
by someone who delivered your son
from God's arms to my arms to yours.

And if you choose to tell him and if he wants to know
how the one who gave him life could bear to let him go,
just tell him there were sleepless nights I prayed and paced the floor
and knew the only peace I'd find is if this child was yours.

I know that you don't have to do this, but could you kiss him once for me
the first time that he ties his shoe or falls or skins his knees?
and could you hold him twice as long when he makes his first mistake
and try to tell him that he's not alone? Sometimes that's all it takes.
And he's not alone. I know how much he'll ache.

This may not be the answer for another girl like me
and I'm not on a soap box singing how we all should be.
I'm just trusting in my feelings and I'm trusting God above,
and I'm trusting that you can give this baby both his mother's love.

by Michael McLean <©> 1990

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Birth Mother's Day

We recently received our first invitation to a Birthmother's Day celebration on May 10th, the day before Mother's Day, and it's given me a lot to think about.

Would our daughter's birthmother like to be honored on a day set aside for birthmothers, or would she rather be recognized on Mother's Day? Does she think of herself as a mother?

I think about her a lot on Mother's Day. Mother's Day of 2006 was the "first" for both of us. Was she sad that she didn't have a child in her life, or happy that she gave her child a better life?

I found this article - - written by a birthmother. I was surprised to read about her pain and grief, because my only experience with a birthmother has been with our daughter's, and in her own words, she felt very happy, blessed, and relieved to partner with us for an adoption. I suppose that birth motherhood is different for every woman, as motherhood is.

If you decide to celebrate Birthmother's Day, I recommend . They sell cards for adoption-related occasions including Birthmom's day, cards for a birthmom to give her child's adoptive Mom, cards for birthmom's on their birth child's birthday, thinking of you cards, and more! All of their cards were designed and written by birthmothers.

What are your thoughts on Birth Mother's Day?

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Adoption - The Digger Wasp

This poem is adapted from a brilliant work by Paul Fleischman called Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. My presentation of it here pales in comparison to Fleischman's masterful composition of the poem, formatted differently, as a spoken duet. I strongly recommend that you find a copy of Joyful Noise. It's truly remarkable.

Every time I read this poem I'm struck by how like a birth mother a mother digger wasp is, struggling to make the best possible preparations for children she will not raise and may never see, but making the preparations anyway, because she is a mother.

The Digger Wasp
I will never see my children,
they will never gaze on me.
I'll have died when they're emerging next July.
So it must be.

Yet, when they behold the home
I'm digging now for their protection,
safe and snug
far underground,
they'll recognize my deep affection.

When they hatch and find a caterpillar,
stung and paralyzed,
left by me for them to eat
they'll know as well that I was wise.

When they learn I'd dragged it there
in spite of every interference,
weeds and rocks and thieving beetles,
they'll discern my perseverance.

While, cocooned, they pass the winter
safe from snow and ice and chill,
they'll perceive and thank me for
my formidable digging skill.

By the time they're ready,
next July,
to climb up from their cells
and break the burrow's seal and fly away
my young will know me well.

When they care for their own children,
never to be looked upon,
they'll feel my love in replica
and know that they, in turn, were cherished
by the mother digger wasp
whose face and form they never saw.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Pompei: Reflections on Being a New Adoptive Parent

I know exactly what I was doing when you were born, because it's still unfinished, just as I left it. My private Pompei.

I was cleaning my office. Not cleaning it, actually. On my way to organizing Important Things, I stumbled on the assorted This and That of the last several years, and meaning to spend only a few minutes visiting, looked up just in time to see the last light tiptoe from the room, having whittled the whole day away right from that spot.

Everywhere are piles of ideas. Some that I abandoned, others that abandoned me. Outlines and rough drafts, clever titles, opening lines, unresolved poems, manuscript middles without beginnings or ends. A writer's unborn children.

An old address book. People and places I can neither remember nor forget.

A sympathy card I never sent. Simon & Garfunkel sheet music. A note from your Daddy.

My weights are in the corner with my step bench, half on either side, next to a box of things I keep for Reasons I Can't Explain. A set of bamboo wind chimes, an old sketch pad, a cone of vanilla incense and a mini stapler. A garden stake. Brown shoelaces, still in the wrapper, caught with a pin shaped like a Treble clef.

Now you're here, and you are my Important Thing. You are my This and That. You are my ideas and my address and my Reasons. And since I don't see any prospect of cleaning my office for at least the next eighteen years, I can show you exactly what I was doing while I waited for you.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Perfect Adoption Profile

The journey to adoption is a strange one. You've scheduled sex. You've stood on your head right afterward. You've peed onto tiny strips of paper. You've gotten injections in your backside. You may have even given injections in someone else's backside.

And all of your once-private entrances and exits have been transversed, transmographed, radiographed, photographed, sanitized, magnified, palpated, saturated, dilated, inseminated, and evaluated. And now you have to write a letter explaining why you want to adopt. Isn't it obvious?!

After all that, writing your profile should be easy, right? So why do so many of us choke?

Because your adoption profile is much more than a letter of intent. It is perhaps the most important first impression you will ever make. It's the ultimate pass/fail, and we all want to pass.

The first time we adopted, we pored over the profiles from other wanna-be adoptive couples that our adoption agency sent for reference. Right off the bat (and without meaning to) I began sizing up "the competition":
This couple looks younger.
That couple lives on a mountain.
Gee, these people raise horses.
Oh, wow! She plays 3 instruments and speaks 6 languages... and he's an astronaut!

I quickly realized that we were obviously unfit to adopt a child, because we were the ONLY prospective adoptive couple in the world who doesn't ski in Zurich, snorkle in Tahiti, and take tea and biscotti with the Pope. Why would any birth mother pick us?

But she did.

The most amazing, wonderful, answer-to-our-prayers birth mother did pick us. She doesn't ski. She doesn't snorkle. She doesn't drink tea, and the only place she eats biscotti is Starbucks. We were perfect for each other.

She picked us because of who we are. Because she and I are alike in some ways, and she and my husband are alike in other ways. She knew from reading our profile that we would raise her baby the way she would. That's what made us a match.

When the time came to update our profile for a second adoption, we felt much more confident than the first time around. Even though every sample profile the agency sent us is different than ours in some way - bigger, glossier, flashier, scented - and even though we've waited longer for our second child than we did for our first. We're confident because we know that our profile makes an authentic first impression of who we are.

And we want to make sure that our second child's amazing, wonderful, answer-to-our-prayers birth mother recognizes us.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+