Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honest Thoughts from a Birth Father

There are books, blogs, articles, discussion boards and documentaries about the experience of adoption for birth mothers and adoptive families...but where are the birth father voices?  Sadly, the resources available to help us understand their experience are so limited that they are almost non-existent. 

Last year, I came across the blog of a birth father who was willing to open up and share his perspective on his recent open adoption experience.  Referring to himself as "I Am" (pictured above), he honestly and openly shares about the good, the bad, and the difficult thoughts and feelings associated with his adoption experience.  The below post is shared with permission - check out the rest of his blog called Statistically Impossible.

I'm to visit my son tomorrow. It will be the first visit in quite a while. Last month Athena and I were both ill and desperately needed time to recover. Our previous visit had been near the beginning of the month. This visit, obviously near the end of the month, marks the end of nearly three months without visitation. In short, it's been too long. When last we were to see Festus he had developed a vocabulary of about eight words. I don't know what I'll encounter when I see him tomorrow. The truth is this visit has been filling me with some dread.

My son is talking. He is able to communicate. Quickly he'll be developing the ability to create complex ideas and in just a few short years he'll be regularly delving into abstraction. I shudder at this. I haven't had the chance to be proud as I haven't seen it yet. Had you asked me a year ago how I'd feel about this I'd have been happy and delighted to finally be able to communicate with him in ways that I can understand. Now I am terrified of two monosyllables; "why", and "no".

"Why". Why did Athena and I place him into the only home he knows? Why didn't we parent him? Why do we feel the way we do about children and, thus, him? These are all questions that I've answered theoretically to myself and many, many other people. But they have a different ring when I can see the face and hear the voice that they matter to the most.

"No". No, you don't have the right to be in my life anymore. No I will not accept a relationship with you. I don't believe your answers to my questions. They aren't good enough. They don't make enough sense. They hurt me too much. You have hurt me too much. I know I'm putting words into his mouth. I know he may not say some, or possibly any of these things to me or Athena. But I am very good at playing the "Worst Case Scenario" game. In most of my worst imaginings the apocalypse is a welcome reprieve.

The real point is that I now see that I will actually have to face what my son has to say about his experience. Again, theoretically I have done this and made my peace with it. But as any parent, birth-, adoptive-, step-, foster-, grand-, or traditional, can attest children have a way of jarring you despite your best plans and preparations. This is often a good thing. Children are excellent at living in their present experience and frequently call us to do the same. Frankly many adults, myself especially, can use all the help we can get in that regard. But there are still times when that notion is rather terrifying. My hope is that tomorrow I will be in the present instead of worrying about some dreadful confrontation with my son that may never occur. I hope he can help pull me into the present, so when I hear him speak for the first time, he is all I hear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social Media Tips for Connecting with Prospective Birth Parents

Dawn Davenport with Creating a Family has many great resources available for adoptive families during the pre-adoption and post-adoption phase of building a family.  Take some time to look at their website to find up-to-date information about domestic & international adoption.  This video seems to go along with our recent post about how to harnass the positives of social networking to assist in your adoption journey and give some practical advice about things to avoid. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Could that be my Birthmom on Facebook?

Most of us realize that social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and now Google+ have brought a new level of thinking when we consider our own personal privacy and ability to remain anonymous in a world where everyone appears to connect.  The six degrees of separation seems to make more and more sense!

For those connected through adoption, it is certainly a convenient and savvy way for birth parents and adoptive families to link and have direct communication.  However, depending on the situation, there are positives and negatives to diving into communication in such a way. 

Children who were adopted 20, 30, and 40 years ago may find themselves searching for members of their birth family or being contacted by members of the birth family.  This issue becomes increasingly complex when the adoptive family has chosen not to share a child's adoption story with them, which was an accepted practice many years ago, or when the birth mother or birth father has chosen to keep their adoption plan confidential.

The Today Show did an excellent story with Dr. Adam Pertman discussing issues that arise pertaining to Facebook and social networking (video below).  For adoptive parents, it can only enforce the importance of total and complete honesty with kids about their adoption story. 

Think about this...if you don't give them information in an age-appropriate way, are you comfortable with it coming from someone else?

For more insights into how Facebook impacts adoption visit the following:  The Impact of Social Networking on Domestic Adoption and Webinar:  Is That My Birth Mom on Facebook?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blessings from Unexpected Places

If you listen to a local Christian radio station, you have undoubtedly heard a song called “Blessings” by Laura Story played over the last month or two.  Recently, this song was shared between a birth mother and an adoptive mother and then later played at their adoption placement celebration. 
May it be an encouragement to you wherever you are in your journey - a reminder that God is working and His desire is to bless you. 
~Rachel Curley, FLS, Adoption Caseworker

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Adoption Day, Abrianna!

Tuesday, May 10th was a sweet placement day as adoptive family, Scott & Beth, adopted their first child - a daughter - named Abrianna Neva.  From the time that Abrianna's birth mother, Amanda, selected Scott and Beth to parent this precious little baby, the birth mother and adoptive family began to form a bond that has continued to grow.  Placement days are often filled with both tears of joy and tears of sadness and yet, ultimately, the birth family and adoptive family had an incredible peace that this moment was a part of God's plan for both of their lives. 

It was our joy to celebrate this memorable day with the adoptive family and birth family - Happy Adoption Day, Abrianna!  You can find a slideshow of more images from placement here.

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