Thursday, December 29, 2011

Open Adoption Round Table and my new blog!

Since my son was born a little over a year ago, I have been thinking about blogging and what the best approach would be for me. I have a few other blogs, and I was feeling like keeping up with all of them was just too much. Hence the radio silence over here. I knew I wanted to continue blogging about adoption, but was feeling conflicted. I wanted to find a way to merge it with the other areas of my life so that I wasn't feeling like there was a blog over here for this...and another over there for's been a bit crazy. I also had to think about what I felt comfortable sharing and how I would go about managing those stories with people who know us. I had a few experiences of writing things here with the idea that I was sharing with my online open adoption peeps to then have an uncomfortable conversation with a relative about the ins and outs of adoption. Don't get me wrong, we have been very open with our families about our adoption process, but some things are better shared with those who have been through it. And I learned the hard way that sharing some things here only lead to fear and distress on the part of some of the people close to us who were reading my posts. Also, I have come to learn that it's not my job to educate the world about adoption - which I was kind of feeling like I needed to do. Unless you've been through it there is really no way of fully understanding the spectrum of emotions anyway I did some soul searching and am ready to post about the latest open adoption roundtable so I thought I'd let you all know I have a new blog! I have been posting to it for awhile, but have recently decided to share a bit more there about adoption. It will also include stories about my life and business, which will be fun - and a lot less stressful. It's an all in one - here's what's up with us destination. I hope you'll join me

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #24

Heather over at Production not Reproduction posts roundtable prompts periodically to spark posts about open adoption topics. I decided to give it a go this month and see if I might be able to resuscitate this here goes:

How have you seen open adoption portrayed on television? What did you think? What, if anything, would you like to see?

I have seen open adoption portrayed on the MTV show 16 and pregnant as well as on the WeTV show Adoption Diaries. We don't watch a ton of TV in our house, but we just recently started watching Modern Family and there is a gay couple on that show that adopted a baby from vietnam. I wouldn't say it does a huge service to adoption, it definitely plays in to stereotypes, although I think it's promising that there is a depiction of a gay couple as parents on a main stream TV show. Adoption Diaries actually highlights the adoption agency my husband and I used to adopt our son. When we were going through the process, especially during the "waiting period" I watched every show they had to offer. I think it was a pretty realistic portrayal of the open adoption process - although of course very much abbreviated. The Adoption Diaries showed how meeting a birth mother can be nerve wracking and magical at the same time. As well as how the process can be a roller coaster filled with lots of highs and lows. I know we had a very strong connection with our sons birth parents right from the start. But it was also the craziest and most surreal experience I've ever had - and that's saying something! The thing is when you're embarking down the road of open adoption you really never know what you're going to get. I remember when we were waiting and we would often wonder what "our" birth mother would be like. You could get matched up with someone you love and respect or it could be a scenario that is much less happy and ideal. And that actually goes both ways. I'm sure birthmothers/fathers wonder what "their" adoptive parents will be like. It's a huge leap of faith for everyone. Sitting in the support group meetings at our agency we have heard some pretty amazing and harrowing tales. It always sticks with me that here are these little babies who have all this craziness swirling around them - decisions being made on their behalf that will change the course of their lives, but they don't know a thing. They are just soaking up the love and attention and doing what every baby, poop, sleep and grow, while all along their lives could take a completely different turn. It's wild to think about.

In terms of what I'd like to see, I think it would be great to see more stories on tv about open adoption. I think it's impossible to truly convey the entire process unless you've been through it. But it would be great to have more mainstream positive examples of how the process works and what's involved. Since choosing adoption for our family, I have met many people who are still surprisingly naive. The idea that we would have an ongoing relationship with our sons birth family is completely foreign to most people and they get that "are you completely crazy?" look in their eyes most of the time we explain. Bottom line adoption isn't for everyone and I get that, but it would be nice if there were more examples out there of how open adoption can work. It would be great if when we mentioned that our son is adopted we didn't get that awkward silence/look, or even worse completely ignorant and sometimes inappropriate questions. That will most likely never happen, but a mom can dream :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm such a cliche

So it's true, I am a complete cliche...have baby, stop blogging but the secret is I actually have been blogging, almost everyday. However it's all baby all the time over there since it's our way of providing pictures and stories to the birth family. If any of you are still out there and would like the address to my other blog, just email me (craftynester(at)gmail(dot)com) but don't say I didn't warn you on the baby overload factor.

oh and p.s. we are still waiting for relinquishments...we are hoping soon. fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We are still waiting for our birth parents to sign relinquishment papers. These are the papers that say they can no longer change their mind about the adoption, where their parental rights are terminated. It's been 6 1/2 weeks since our baby was born, so this is a little longer than it normally takes to sign the papers. Our adoption agency told us it's usually 2-4 weeks.

We aren't worried they will change their minds, I think it's more about logistics than anything else, but I can say it will be nice to have it done.  It's looking like it will be after the holidays at this point since our adoption agency is closing for christmas and the birth mother is going out of town.

I did learn if relinquishment papers aren't signed and there hasn't been any significant contact after 6 months we can file what is called abandonment proceedings. Hopefully we won't have to do this since it's more legal fees for us. But really as long as their not asking for the baby back, and we can continue to have a positive relationship with them I don't really care how it all goes down.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday! And that all your wishes come true this new year.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Adoption Details

I of course am overjoyed about the arrival of our son, but I feel like that's not really what this blog is about. I still want to post about adoption and the process of adopting and so although I will from time to time post about our little man here, I'm going to try to keep my posts focused more on the adoption process.

We are doing our adoption through an agency and because of that we have met several other people who are adopting. We have support group meetings every month and at the beginning of each meeting everyone goes around the room and shares their story, where they are in the process and any details they want to include. It runs the spectrum from people who have just signed up with the agency and aren't even in circulation yet to people who have recently brought a baby home. With our agency once the baby is placed with you, you go into what is called fost adopt status. In most open adoption situations the adoptive parents bring the baby home from the hospital. When this happens the birth parent(s) sign papers allowing you to remove the baby from the hospital, but this does not give you legal custody of the child, nor does it terminate the birth parents rights. For us, along with the papers to allow us to take the baby home from the hospital, there were also papers that placed the baby in the legal custody of the adoption agency. Then we went into "fost adopt" status meaning we are fostering this child with the intention of adopting him. Usually within 2-6 weeks of placement the birth parent(s) sign relinquishment papers. This is what terminates their rights and when as adopting parents you are in the clear of anyone changing their mind.

We are still waiting for relinquishment papers to be signed. It's a strange feeling. For us we are not worried about them changing their minds. We have been in touch and they have reassured us they are confident they made the right choice. But at our support group meetings we hear so many stories. There are as many potential variables as you can imagine with adoption. I feel like we got very lucky. The situation I would have considered ideal if you had asked me when we first signed up is pretty much the situation we ended up with, but I know for many the road is much less certain.

The counselors at our adoption agency told me that when you talk to the "right" birth mother you'll just know, it will feel right. For us that was absolutely true. Something clicked and at the risk of sounding hokey it felt meant to be. I think even with the people who share their stories of much more crazy situations there is always something about that match that felt right to them. Maybe it was just about the baby and had nothing to do with the birth family at all. I believe certain energies are drawn together and to me that's what explains the way you can meet someone and feel like you have always known them. I think often with adoption that's exactly how it is.

For years while we were trying to get pregnant I felt like there were times I could feel an energy around me, a baby waiting/trying to come through. My hubby and I called called it our spirit baby. It was like that little energy was already with us and when our son was born we both knew this was our spirit baby. He was the one I was waiting for all this time. 

Have questions about the adoption process? Leave a question in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer based on my experience. I know when your first starting out or even during the wait it can feel lonely and daunting. I'm happy to share what I've learned to help along to way :) Fire away!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Having a newborn is like Groundhog day

My hubby went back to work this week after three weeks home. It was a true blessing for us all to have so much time together, I know many people don't get that. I loved seeing him with the baby and how much of a natural dad he is...I knew he would be.

Now that it's just me and the little man day in and day out, I really feel like having a newborn is like that movie groundhog day. It's basically three - three and a half hour cycles of feeding, changing diapers, playing and sleeping. then do it all over again - non-stop. I'm loving it, but I can see how it could drive some people crazy. I have always enjoyed repetitive things and this comes with the glorious added benefit of a baby, what could be better? Of course in between the cycles there are also lots of dishes (especially bottles to be washed - eating every three hours means lots of bottles) and there is TONS of laundry. I was warned about the amount of laundry, but I truly had no idea.

Luckily my little buddy likes to help :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Meet the Little Man

Here's a picture of our little guy, isn't he the cutest?! I'm completely smitten.