What to Read

She handed him to me, and said, “Here is your Mommy.” ( Full Article Here)

What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

2.) Fear of being questioned or dismissed with “Are you sure that’s what you heard?” or “Are you sure that’s what they meant?” and being angered and upset all over again by well-meaning but hurtful and essentially unsupportive responses. ( Read Full Article)

Stepping Off of my 33 Year Old Throne

My younger version self was when she really was doing the best she could with what she had, with what she knew at that time. My younger version self that was throwing herself into all the chaos in hopes to find what worked, answering the question of what love means to me and even letting someone show me? When I was out there, really out there exploring all the risks in order to know the truth. ( Full Article)

National Adoption Month and Being Thankful

***originally published November 2016***

November is National Adoption Month. This year, the theme is foster care adoption and older child adoption. I do not have any personal experience with foster care adoption or older child adoption. That is probably why I didn’t feel really connected to adoption awareness month this year. I was also extra busy with the life thing right now. I did, however, think a lot about what adoption has meant to me this past year, and how far I have come with adoption in its complex glory. I decided to write about all of the ways I am thankful that my life has been touched by adoption.

  1. The ‘Wait’: It’s not a secret that we are hoping to grow our family again through adoption. Part of the reason this blog has been neglected is because my time has been spent figuring out ways to get the word out that we are ready for our second child. I have stretched myself, gotten so far out of my comfort zone, and challenged everything I thought I had learned during years of infertility and our adoption journey the first time.I had thought that I had finally figured it out. Adoption was the answer to building our family so I had thought that growing our family would be easier the second time. I had felt kind of guilty about it too. I fought so hard to become Knox’s mother. I pushed myself, the people around me, and I challenged everything that I thought was true. I wanted to be 100% that I had done everything in my power to create a life he would be proud of.With #2, I felt like I was following the motions in the beginning. Call the agency, update the home study, the physicals, the fingerprints, make the book, write the letter, and get the online profile active. Then, after all the work, get the baby.  Guess what? It hasn’t happened, not just for us, but no one in the pool of families ready to adopt have been chosen.I never wanted to create this blog and this site. I am very private. I have a super hard time talking about things that make me feel vulnerable. The ‘wait’ is what has forced me out of my comfort zone. I have a unique and special story that needs to be shared. I didn’t realize it until the ‘wait’. My second child is giving me courage. Our second child has already taught me so much about my strength as a mother.

    By having to wait, I have found how immensely strong I can be. I have found my voice. My journey to Knox taught me about faith and perseverance, among countless other things. My journey to our number 2 is teaching me to find my voice and to realize my responsibility to my community. In the ways that I previously felt guilty, I now feel empowered. Like each pregnancy is special, each adoption journey is special. I love a child growing in my heart and I am doing everything I can to be the best possible mother I can be for them.

  2. I am thankful for this site. I understand that I have a lot to learn and I am capable of doing hard things. It is a skill that I value about myself. It’s because of that skill and being very stubborn that I figured out the personal work I needed to do to create this space. 3 years ago, I couldn’t talk about infertility. I got blotchy talking about adoption. Now, I’m writing about my feelings about adoption to 4 million people on adoption.com. I feel valuable in my journey to motherhood.
  3. I am thankful for all of the families waiting to adopt on this site. I was very nervous to reach out and ask if you wanted to be included. I really felt vulnerable expressing all of my dreams to change the world of adoption to you. Thank you for agreeing to be included. Thank you to everyone who answered my emails. Thank you so much more to everyone who wrote a post to contribute to this site and our community.

I know this is hard. The holiday season is not going to be easy if your waiting. I am challenging you to acknowledge how different and amazing you are because adoption is hard. What are you thankful for this holiday season?

 

***originally published November 2016***

A Night of Hope, The Best Infertility Blogs

If you are familiar with infertility, you have probably heard of Resolve. If not, Resolve is the national infertility association.

Today, I learned about the 19th Annual Night of HOPE, specifically the Best Blog Award. The Best Blog Award is given to a blog written by someone who is living with infertility and whose blog posts raise awareness about what life is like when you’re faced with infertility.

I choose to share this here because when I was in the thick of infertility, I felt very alone. Infertility blogs were a safe way for me to connect with women who were like me. They provided hope, insight, and a glimpse of what my future could look like.  The women who chose to share their stories provided me with a guide to life with infertility. Here are the best according to Resolve. I spent the day reading through these. They really are amazing.

Femme Infertile

Excerpt from #StartAsking for Support In All Its Forms:

So for me… I want to #StartAsking for people to share their struggles, not just their successes. I want to #StartAsking for people to not get uncomfortable when I talk about infertility. I want to #StartAsking for better insurance coverage for infertility, as it is a disease. I want to #StartAsking for people to have empathy and compassion, and put themselves in other peoples shoes… because I would trade anything for your morning sickness… telling me how horrible it is, isn’t helping. I want to #StartAsking for the world to get educated on infertility, and acknowledge that it isn’t just a women-centric issue. Infertility affects men too! And men need just as much support! Read more.

 

One Breath Closer

Excerpt from We All Start Somewhere:

 I would also add that I’m open to talk. We have held this in for more than 10 years. I guess I would like to talk. About whatever. No bad questions. There are no, “should I have not asked?” questions. And if you don’t want to talk, that’s ok too. But encouragement is always appreciated. A hug, handshake, comment, wink, smile, “like,” whatever works. Read more.

 

On Prayers and Needles

Excerpt from #STARTASKING:

The more we open up and #startasking ourselves and others these tough questions, the more people will become aware of infertility and all it entails. Once more and more people #startasking, the dialogue can begin so that we (both those who have and have not encountered infertility) can better support one another. I shared my story to get the conversation going, so now I must #startasking, will you?. Read more. 

Shelley Writes

Excerpt from WHY I’M GRATEFUL FOR YEARS OF INFERTILITY:

The reality that we were now one of those couples — you know, the 1 in 8 who experience infertility — was almost too much of a burden to bear.

I felt like we had done everything right. We had good jobs. A beautiful home. We were paying off our student loans, and we were financially secure. We started asking ourselves, What’d we do to deserve this?. Read more

 

The 2 Week Wait

Excerpt from START ASKING: For Infertility Awareness Year Round

My point is PLEASE – Start Asking for awareness year round. When someone asks you why you don’t have kids, ask them if they’ve ever heard about infertility issues and then educate their fertile and innocently ignorant selves. Read more.

Finding really great quality blogs to read takes a lot of time! You can thank me later 😉

 

originally posted 8/26/16

Adoption Baby Shower: A Sip And See

“I really, really wanted a baby shower. I wanted the surprise. The party. The celebration, all about me and my unborn baby. I never had a bridal shower. And I sort of made a deal with myself that since I didn’t have a bridal shower, I would really knock it out of the park with the baby shower. Fast forward, sprinkle in some infertility and a dash of adoption, and my dream baby shower didn’t seem to fit my situation.”

Check out my experience with a Sip and See here.

Dear Expectant Woman,

Dear Expectant Woman,

This has to be the hardest time in your life. The most confusing, lonely, emotionally raw time you’ve ever experienced. I cannot imagine. I hurt for you.

This is what I would like you to know. There are hundreds of women like me ready to parent your child. All of us are hurting too. We are madly in love with a child that we have not met yet. We don’t even know if they are conceived yet. It doesn’t matter. We are preparing. We are telling and educating our families about adoption. We are helping them prepare to welcome this child into their lives forever too. The rooms are ready. The blankets are washed. Teeny tiny gray leather ballet slippers are in the mail for the child you are carrying.

As you are about to send the email that will change my life forever, you may not know that this opportunity to parent this child has been in my thoughts every day for years and years. You may be looking for an option or solution to the situation that you are in. I understand that. I support you. I believe in your right to explore all of the options. Remember that I am also a person in this. From the time I see I have an email to the time I read your first words, my heart stops beating. The second you become real, you start to become a little part of me too. I want to know everything about you. What you like, what you don’t like. How you spend your weekends. What your hopes are. How you want your future to be. I want you to become my family too.

In the weeks or months that our relationship unfolds, my heart hurts for your pain. I will wish you weren’t in this situation. I want what is best for you. I believe in you.

During this time as you are testing the waters, please remember that I also have feelings and a life that I am trying to hold together during all of this. I have been preparing my heart, my home, my son for this child and for you because you asked me to. In an email, remember? I still have it. I was saving it for the child you are carrying so that they can know you. They can learn about themselves and where they came from. How strong and brave you were. How much you love them from the beginning.

If this journey we have been on together is not what you choose, be gentle with me. Treat me with respect. Treat me how you would want to be treated. Please tell me. At the very least, please let me know that you are going to be the mommy to the baby that you are carrying. I will be sad for me. I will be happy for you, over the moon happy for you and your baby. I just want to know because I care about you. This relationship we have been building matters to me. It was real for me. I understand that my role is to be an option for you. I would like some closure. You do not need to explain yourself. I would just like a goodbye.

 

 

What To Read this Week….

Some of the things I read this week, and wanted to share.

She Thought It Was a Parade

“Look, Mom — a parade!” my 4-year old daughter was giddy when she saw the front page of today’s newspaper.
A parade.
That’s what my daughter associated with the images circulating of white folks holding tiki torches while proudly waving confederate flags down the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. (Full Article)

Open Adoption: An Interview With A Birth Mom And Adoptive Mom

Prospective adoptive parents need to do the heavy lifting of discerning why openness scares them. Is it jealousy? False stereotypes? Not wanting to “share?” Barring a true issue of trauma or safety, research tells us that some degree of openness is best for the adoptee. At its core, adoption is about “sharing.” Our kids come from a family of origin and that cannot be erased or ignored. ( full article)

When the answer is no

Another tally mark in the “things I never expected when I signed up for this” category. (Read Full Article Here)