Saturday, February 28, 2009

Parenthood for Me

Today I'm grateful for waiting. Yes, I'm actually grateful that adopting is a slow process, because it takes time for people to find each other.

I'm not talking about birth parents and adoptive families finding each other, I'm talking about the people who have come into my life because I'm "out there" waiting for an adoption, the people who find me leafing through the adoption books at the bookstore, the people who email me at 3:22 a.m. to say "I just found your blog and website, and for the first time in a long time, I have hope. I believe again. Thank you." And people like Erica.

Erica and her husband (AJ) are adoptive parents and the founders of a not for profit corporation established to "ease some of the burden bestowed on people who desperately want to be parents."

Erica and AJ invested time, money, and hope in ART (assisted reproductive technology) before pursuing international adoption. In the end, their journey was a rousing success! It brought them together with their son and forged their committment to help other people build the families of their dreams.

Today I joined the Board of Directors of Parenthood for Me, Inc. I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity to work in tandem with Erica and AJ. I look forward to helping more people find their own reasons to be grateful for waiting.

Maybe you... :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Secrets That We Keep

Openness in adoption is no longer a novel discussion, but a conversation with a friend has got me wondering how degrees of separation bear on degrees of openness? For example, what if the birth parents want ongoing contact with the child, but the birth grandparents or siblings want to remain anonymous? What if the grandparents are the ones who want contact and the birth parents are against it?

Or in my friend's case: Her cousin, Jim, was adopted at birth and has never expressed any interest in finding his birth parents. Although the adoption was closed, Jim's mother accidentally found out who is birth mother is, that she lives in the next town over, and that knows that she had another son after placing Jim for adoption. The birth mother has raised the second son to adulthood. Neither Jim nor his birth mother are aware that Jim's mother (and several other family members) has this information.

The question is, should someone enlighten Jim against his parents' wishes?

Arguments for: Jim is an adult. He was raised as an only child, and his parents are elderly. Wouldn't it be great for him to find out that he has a brother? Doesn't he deserve to know that his birth mother lives nearby? Although he hasn't expressed any interest in finding his birth parents, he might feel differently about a bio sibling. Give him the information and let him decide what to do or not do. If he finds out later that his family knew all along, he may feel hurt, angry, etc. that he was the last to know.

Arguments against: The adoption was closed. His birth family shouldn't have their privacy compromised just because his parents accidentally have information they're not supposed to have. He's never been interested in finding his birth parents, and surely he's considered the possibility that he has bio siblings. If he finds out that his birth mother raised her other son, he may feel deeply hurt, rejected, etc. His parents are squarely against the idea.

What do you think?

Here's a beautiful quote from :
"We believe in a birthmother's right to choose. If she has the courage to place, she has the wisdom and right to choose her child's parents."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

I don't often weep with strangers, but I did with Cheryl and Jason. I watched them watching the rest of us, those of us who had successfully 'crossed over' to parenthood, and the carefully arranged look on Cheryl's face tore through me like a hot knife.

I have to say something to the two of you, I began. I remember... how you feel right now. I remember listening to other people's stories and feeling really angry and resentful, and smiling politely and passing the pretzels and wanting to scream at them to shut up! about how wonderful it was to meet their baby's birth mother, and how it was all worth it in the end, and how I should "Hang in there!" and trust that God brings families together at the right time.

As Cheryl's face crumbled I told them I know it doesn't seem fair and it doesn't make sense yet, but when you're waiting to adopt, there is nothing else to do but hang in there and trust God.

That was thirteen months ago, and Cheryl and Jason's amazing daughter is now six months old. Truly, what goes around comes around, because here I am, frustrated waiting for our second child. Here I am, anxious and doubting and awake at 2:00 a.m. And here is Cheryl's blog:

When we were in the waiting period, I always thought that this adoption would never happen. It was taking too long, we had been hurt and were spending more and more money each month. I have to say that what everyone told me was true. I was told that the "right" baby would make its way to us and she has. This is very difficult to see when you are in the midst of the waiting period, when a potential adoption plan falls through or when everyone around you has children and/or new babies. God's plans are always greater than our own. The reason I was never able to have biological children is now in our home. All 6 pounds and 5.5 ounces of her. It was meant to be that I become her Mother.

I feel at peace again for the first time in a while, and I think I can fall asleep now. Thanks, Cheryl.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+