Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Adoption Book Earns Publisher's Awards

If I had known how closely the adventure of writing and publishing an paralleled the adventure of adopting... I probably would have written the book anyway. The dizzying highs, the precipitous drops to terrifying lows... all worth it in the end.

Many of you know I finished my book last fall, and I've been waiting since then for the publisher to flip the switch and get it out. My impatience was tamed somewhat when I was informed in December that on the strength of my writing, my book had been awarded Editor's Choice by a panel of professional editors. Wow! You bet I coasted on that high for a while, until a fresh round of delays eventually wore my patience to dust.

Yesterday, just as I hit the emotional wall, I was notified that my book had been awarded a second award (Rising Star) "based on the topic and timeliness of your book, strong positioning of your title, credentials, author platform and commitment." Woo-Hoooooooooo!

This is priceless to me because What I Want My Adopted Child to Know: An Adoptive Parent's Perspective was initially met with considerable skepticism with regard to the marketability of a narrative non-fiction written from an adoptive parent's perspective. The consensus among publishing pros was that there isn't enough of a market. Estimates of the number of adopted children in the U.S. run as high as nearly 1.8 million + their adoptive parents + members of their families + adoption professionals (attorneys, social workers, agencies, etc.) + birth parents... and there's not enough of a market?

I take this award as a great step forward for everyone touched by adoption. We are families, we are parents, we are children, we are as bonded and as permanent as any families formed in any way. And yet, we experience the world differently in some ways. We have been made different by adoption. And it's beautiful.

Make a great day!

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blankets 4 Birthmothers

I hope you will check out Jessalynn's program
. She's collecting blankets to be distributed to birthmothers "after they have placed so they do not go home empty handed."

"...after they have placed so they do not go home empty handed." Every time I read that I feel sick to my stomach. But that's the bottom-line reality of placing a child for adoption. All birthmothers go home empty handed.

I've lost count of how many blankets we've been given for our two kids - some new, some family hand-me-downs, some from teachers, co-workers, neighbors... a friend of a friend of a friend. I'm kind of a blanket freak, so I love them all. I've got them stashed in the bedrooms, the family room, the playroom, the car, the stroller, the gardening basket, the kitchen... like I said, I'm kind of a blanket freak.

But the two that mean the most to me are put away in our kids' treasure boxes. The first is a big, soft, pale pink blanket that our daughter's birthmother gave us when we met. It was hers when she was a baby, given to her parents by an adoption social worker. Neither she nor her parents have ever met her first mother, so that blanket represents her connection to her beginning. She wanted our daughter to have it for the same reason, and that's how we've always talked about that blanket.

The other is a smaller, patchwork quilted blanket that our son used during his first few days in the special care nursery. All of the nursery blankets are handmade by volunteers, and most are white or pastel. One early morning I walked in for our son's 3 am feeding and found him wrapped in this vibrant, colorful, really WOW! of a blanket. The nurse overheard me murmuring to him how handsome he looked in the blanket, and from that moment on, they always put that blanket on him. When the hospital staff gave it to us at discharge I cried (of course) because I knew that they knew how much it meant to me.

A little thing? Yes, really, it is. And he and I could have been very happy the rest of our lives without that blanket. It's not about the blanket. It's about near-strangers recognizing the importance of that simple connection to his first days and honoring it... it makes me tearful even now. I can certainly do with fewer blankets in my life if it will make a difference to someone else.

So, I hope you'll check out Jessalynn's blog. You may have to browse around a little bit to find her link to Blankets 4 Birthmothers, but it's definitely worthwhile. You can email Jessalynn at

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Monday, January 18, 2010

Adoption Poetry From Emily Dickinson?

Have you read this Emily Dickinson poem?
I put it in my because it reads to me like an ambivalent someone searching, finding, and ultimately choosing the familiarity of not knowing over the uncertainty of what knowing might mean. An adoptee? A birth parent? An adoptive parent? Perhaps.

I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before

Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business,-just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?

I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.

I laughed a wooden laugh
That I could fear a door,
Who danger and the dead had faced,
But never quaked before.

I fitted to the latch
My hand, with trembling care,
Lest back the awful door should spring,
And leave me standing there.

I moved my fingers off
As cautiously as glass,
And held my ears, and like a thief
Fled gasping from the house.

Emily Dickinson

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Adoption Keynote: More Information

Congratulations, , for being the first name in the hummus container!

In addition to making some great suggestions, Kristin asked for information that I should have included in my previous post. Here it is:

Who will be in the audience? The audience will be a mix of people at all points along the spectrum of adoption. Some adoptive parents, adult adoptees, perhaps some birth parents, prospective adoptive parents, people struggling with infertility, people who don't really have a clue which direction they want to go. Also, spouses, friends, and family of the aforementioned.

Could it be an interactive conversation with Q&A, or does it really need to be a lecture? I can make it both, but I need to open with a compelling lecture.

I hope that helps. Looking forward to your suggestions!


Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adoption Keynote Address

I'm going to be the keynote speaker at 1st Annual Family-Building Dinner and Silent Auction on April 10th. Having fun for a great cause. I love it!

I don't go to as many fund-raising events as I'd like, simply because most of our money is already tagged for something else. I usually choose to support causes through volunteering or making a financial donation that is more modest than the event ticket price. However, there are some people I would definitely pay a good buck to see and hear talk about adoption. , for example.

If you're local to the Monroe County, NY area, I hope to see you there. If you're not local, you can still be part of the event. Here's how:

I've thought a lot about what I want to say, and I keep coming back to the same question - "What would I want to hear a keynote speaker talk about?" I'm posing the same question to you.

If you respond to this post or email me at with your thoughts, I'll put your name in a hat. (It's not actually a hat. It's a clear plastic container that originally housed hummus. As soon as I finish this post I'll dump out whatever wooden beads, pennies, Q-tips, or dry pasta my daughter has stashed in there so it's ready for your name.)

I'll award a signed copy of my book, What I Want My Adopted Child to Know: An Adoptive Parent's Perspective to the person who's name I draw at random. I'll also send a signed copy to the person who's idea I use for the keynote address.

Erica at Parenthood for Me is building a great organization with an awesome vision. I hope you'll support it in whatever way you can.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+