Monthly Archives: February 2009

Announcing Your Adoption Decision, Who Should You Tell?

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When a couple makes the decision to adopt they will probably be excited with the prospect of a new child in their lives. Normally, when people have exciting news they want to share it with all their family and friends. But not every couple who is adopting is entirely sure if they want to tell everyone about their decision. They may wonder if people will be happy or if they will say negative things about their decision to adopt.

It’s normal for people entering adoption to ask others who are in the adoption process or have adopted, “When did you tell others that you were going to adopt?” I have heard this question numerous times during my Adoption Support meetings. I like to start my answer with, “It’s a personal decision”. I really do believe that it’s best for the couple entering adoption to discuss it with each other first to find their comfort level. Everyone’s comfort level will be different. Some would love to shout it from the rooftops while others would like to inform others about their decision to adopt only once they have their child safely in their home.

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Waiting to Adopt: Expect the Unexpected

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One consistent thing I have learned about adoption is that there is nothing consistent in adoption. No matter how many stories you hear about, no two adoptions are the same. In each story, the adoptive parents will have encountered something that they did not expect along the way. It may be something concerning the legal paperwork, a medical concern with the Birthmother, or feelings that are experienced during the adoption process.

After we adopted our first child, I had assumed that I was an adoption expert. I was positive that I knew what to expect along every step of the process when we decided to adopt our second child. Why would it be any different? We were using the exact same agency and were open to similar Birthparent history. Our first adoption was quick and easy. We hit no major bumps along the way and assumed it was going to be the same again for this adoption. Little did we know that this second adoption was going to be a lot longer and harder than we ever expected.

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Telling Your Child Their Adoption Story

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One question that is asked of me often is “When did you tell your kids they were adopted?” My answer is very different than what the common reply would have been 30 years ago. Back then, adoption was a hush-hush thing not openly discussed. Children were placed with adoptive parents who had similar physical features so they could blend in. Some of those children didn’t discover until they were much older that they were adopted into their family. Nowadays, that way of thinking is completely out the window, at least within the adoption community. Adoption is not hidden anymore thanks to open adoptions, transracial adoptions, celebrities adopting and frank discussions about family building options.

The best advice I had heard about answering the question above is that your child should have no recollection about being told they were adopted. Just as you should have no idea when you discovered you were a boy or a girl, your child should have no idea when they found out about their adoption. It should just be a natural part of their life. As part of their identity, the child should know that they entered their family through adoption.

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The Many Emotions of a New Adoptive Mother. Depression, Elation, Pain, Joy

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Once a couple has adopted a baby, they will be overcome with happiness. They will be able to look at their baby and instantly know that their baby was always meant to be theirs. Maternal and Paternal instincts will kick in for these new parents. Bonding with the baby will be so easy for these new parents because they finally have a child. This is the one thing they have worked so hard for and waited so long to receive. Love and happiness will be abounding.

This is what I thought would happen after adopting our first child. Of course, I’d be thrilled. Of course I’d fall madly in love with the baby. Of course, I’d bond instantly because this baby was all mine. Did this happen? Not exactly. Did I know that I may not feel happy? Not at all. Did I feel like an awful person that I didn’t feel a connection with this baby I’d wanted so badly? Absolutely.

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The Adoption Triad: Adoptive Parents, Child, and Birth Parents

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The Adoption Triad is a common term used in the adoption community.  It’s a simple way to represent a very complicated relationship.  The triad refers to the three most important parties represented in an adoption:  the child, the Birthparents and the Adoptive parents.  This triad is symbolically represented by a simple triangle. Continue reading The Adoption Triad: Adoptive Parents, Child, and Birth Parents