When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!
If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.
Brian and Rosemary
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
So a while back Brian and I went to see "Away We Go" starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. We like indy flicks and we both love Dave Eggers, who wrote the screenplay, so we figured it would be a winner. And it really did have some great stuff. Until adoption came into it.
So if you've continued reading you obviously have willingly ignored my spoiler alert warning and will not leave me a nasty comment about giving away part of the movie. So the basic plot of "Away We Go" is that Burt and Verona are expecting a baby, experiencing a quarter life crisis and feeling disenfranchised from their families, so they travel all over the country visiting friends in search of a community for their imminent offspring.
They arrive to visit some old college friends and it immediately becomes obvious that they are adoptive parents. They had 4 kids between the ages of roughly 15 and 4 of all different races. When we meet these children they are watching "The Sound of Music" and Adoptive Mom is making them turn it off about 1/2 way through the movie. She then explains to Burt and Verona "We don't let our kids watch the scary parts. There is just too much sadness in the world for that. They'll have time to learn how awful life is later." [wistful look to stage right] Ummm, weird, it's a musical for crying out loud.
The next time we see Adoptive Parents the four adults are out at a bar. There is some kind of amateur singing contest in the background. Verona is about 7 months pregnant and telling them all how healthy she is: no problems, no fatigue, feels great. Adoptive Mom is knocking back drinks. Suddenly she leaps on stage and takes the microphone. She begins to sing a sad song and do a sultry dance while removing her clothes. Umm, super weird. Her husband says, "She had another miscarriage Tuesday. I mean she loves those kids like they're her own but she just wanted to have our baby so badly."
I was so mad I nearly threw up. Sure, a lot of us have had incredible sadness before making the choice to form adoptive families, but this was such an unfair representation of unresolved psychosis and "second place" adopted kids. Later in the movie Burt and Verona are discussing their incredible blessings (of which there are many) and Burt says, "How does it work? Why do we get this (touches her full womb) and Adoptive Mom has to suffer so much?" That line really made me angry. The Adoptive Parents portrayed in that movie were wealthy, attractive people living in a huge, beautiful home raising 4 gorgeous kids. They had every blessing and the entire film just discounted all of that because, of course, as everyone knows adopted kids just aren't as good as biological kids. They aren't a blessing at all - only biological kids count as blessings.
I'm tired of watching my child, and his status in our immediate and extended family, be portrayed as "less than" or even worse as "nothing" by the media.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I very much had an expectation that we would receive a picture of a cute little baby and I would look at it and think "Oh my goodness, isn't he sweet?" just the same way I do when I see pictures of my friend's kids. I thought that loving him would be part of a relationship that would slowly evolve through attachment and bonding. Of course, I was 100% committed to loving him, which really is the biggest part of love, but I had absolutely no expectations of feeling anything magically maternal.
Instead, the moment Brian and I opened that email from Holt and saw his first tiny picture I felt as if everything that I had always been was being melted away and a mommy monster was growing in its place. There was a moment of total silence, as if I were in a soundproof chamber, and then I remembered Brian was sitting next to me and I looked over and saw he was crying and then I realized I was too. When I first saw Button's picture my immediate reaction was "Oh, of course, it's you." He seemed so familiar to my soul. Like a soldier home from war and maybe they've changed over the years and maybe you have too but you would know them anywhere because you've loved them for so very long.
We had two sets of pictures: one from his 3 month check up and one from his 6 month check up. After we spent ages gloating over his gorgeous 3 month pictures we opened the next email and looked at Button, age 6 months. We both cried some more. It was impossible to see with our own eyes that our baby had grown so much. He was already so big and obviously could multiply and knew the periodic table of elements by now and didn't even need parents any more because he would be leaving for college any day. After we managed to calm down though we realized that he was even more beautiful at 6 months than he was at 3 months and that we were the luckiest people on earth.
We took his paperwork to a pediatrician for review, because we had been urged to do so, but we knew from the moment we saw his face that he was our son. We didn't need anyone to tell us what the adoption would or would not mean for us before we would move forward with it. We knew that adopting Button would mean that we were bringing our son home to live with us. Plain and simple.
People say a lot of things about adoption. Some of them are wise. Some of them are foolish. This much I know is true: I have been lost to love from the second I saw my son's face and no other experience could possibly have been more powerful.
Monday, July 20, 2009
We are now the proud parents of a beautiful 10-month-old baby boy!!
What? You mean you want the complete story chock full of details? Well, if you insist...
So for those of you who are Holt families on the list to adopt from Thailand you will remember that when June referrals were finally announced (in early July) Marissa emailed all of us and said, "The first 4 families on the list received a baby and a 5th child was also placed." We were blessed to be matched with the fifth child!! It could not possibly have come at a crazier time for us either. It was the week we moved into our new house and we were surrounded by boxes, painting rooms and trying to get Brian ready to start a new job. We were still number 13 on the list and had been told to expect March 2010 but hope for December 2009. So yes, this was the best, most unexpected, overwhelming surprise EVER!!
If you are a PAP or if you follow adoption this may seem confusing or frustrating but we were the first people on the waiting list whose paperwork stated they were open to receiving a child from a case like this. Button has a bit of an unusual social history and some unknowns which we are not going to discuss because that is his private life history and his to share when he wants with whom he wants. We are so very blessed to have this little guy in our life and we thank God for bringing him to us! We hope we can be the parents he deserves in every way.
Button is the most beautiful little boy in the history of the world and we are completely in love with him. We received 5 pictures from his 3 month checkup and 5 from his 6 month. He is gorgeous, healthy and his update said his fine and gross motor skills were developing on track and that he is a happy and responsive baby. What more could a mother want?
What? You're wondering why we didn't tell everyone on planet earth right away? Oh yes, well that's because both our families live very far away and we really wanted to share it with them beforehand. So we told Brian's mom and grandparents first. Finally, my Mom's 60th birthday party was this past Saturday so we framed and wrapped a picture of Button as one of her presents. Both she and my dad started crying!! It was worth it for the surprise factor but, I'll tell you, I nearly died trying to keep this a secret for 3 weeks. I have been avoidng everyone's phone calls because I was so afraid I would give it away! So now that the cats out of the bag for all the family we can tell everyone else our best news ever: We have a son.
Miracles do happen,
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
These emotions, that I am working so hard to keep at bay, are a curious mixture of deep anxiety and the most palpable, tender excitement I've ever felt. It's completely overwhelming and the feeling (whatever it's officially called down at the psych ward) grows every day. I frequently have to take a deep breath and remind myself to quit thinking about Button, make dinner, and return calls.
So here is how I'm staying sane lately. When I catch myself lost in my Button thoughts I snap back to reality by giving myself the opportunity to commit to one prayer for worry and one prayer for joy. Then I leave it alone and go back to the life I need to be living right now. This afternoon I caught myself gazing out the window when I should have been working so I prayed this worry prayer: "Dear Lord, please cover my Button with your protection and keep him from fear." Then I prayed for this blessing: "Dear Lord, please let Button have a wonderful time playing outside today." Then I went back to work.
What are the prayers and wishes you're sending out for your little one so far away? Do you have a worry that drives you crazy? How are you/did you stay sane during this wait?
BTW - If you're one of my friendly neighborhood lurkers, take this opportunity to come into the sunshine and introduce yourself!
Friday, July 10, 2009
More importantly though, Margie has started an "Adoptive Parents for Open Records" group which is growing rapidly but we need all the concerned moms and dads we can get so please take the time to join the cause. I've said it before but I'll say it again: If we don't teach our kids to stand up for themselves then who will? I think this is one of my most fundamental jobs as a mother - to enable my children to represent themselves well in difficult situations. What could be more difficult for anyone than the moment in time when a Judge denies them access to life saving medical information? I hope my children never have to face that issue but if they do I hope that our lives can act as a template for the fight they are going to have to muster forth. Brian and I are working so hard to bring Button home; he will certainly be worth the effort of a little civil action once he's here. I'm sure a lot of ya'll feel the same way about your small people!!
I hear a lot of parents saying, "Well, I adopted internationally so the fight for open records doesn't really concern our family." It certainly does. We now live in a Global Village and when one civilization makes a choice for or against human rights it resonates loudly in other communities. American adoption policies have changed (for better and worse) adoption ideologies around the world over and over again. We have the power to begin a shift in common thought about the shame surrounding adoption and unwed pregnancy.
More importantly though, closed records feed this out-moded and wrong sense of inferiority that permeates some communities ideas about adoptees and adoptive families. Having power and knowledge about their own life history and the same basic human right to medical help as other people will go a long way to empowering adoptees in the general social consciousness of America. Please take the time to join the cause and read a little bit about what can be done in your state. It's easy and effective to write a letter to your senator! I know you're all shocked to discover that I am a letter writer. ;-)
Monday, July 6, 2009
I'm truly excited about the opportunity that adoption affords us to simply see our child as a whole person growing stronger every day. No labels no expectations. I don't know who our Button is meant to be but whoever that person is I believe in him. I believe in all his dreams, all his passions and all his struggles because they are his to own. He doesn't have to be similar or dissimilar to anyone I have ever known in order to be understood. He is an individual in a million tiny ways and he is my son. I can't wait to get to know him.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I don't know Marla but I was introduced to her blog Coffee Shop Journal through some very dear mutual friends. The following is shared (with permission) from a post she wrote last week:
"My family is a divine huddle that God pulled together. Except for my husband, David, every one of us is adopted. I’m adopted, my two daughters were adopted at two days old, and all the glorious extras that populate our home and our lives feel adopted!
I remember back when the girls were smaller I’d once in a while run into a well-meaning but odd soul who would say something like “It’s such a wonderful ministry you are doing, giving those little girls a home.” I’m a polite person, so I’d usually say something in return such as “Well they sure bring sunshine to our house.” Occasionally I’d be having a bad day and comment “They’re actually going back on the market…interested?” We’d laugh, and I’d go on my way. But the comment never made any sense to me. Kylie and Jillian aren’t a ministry, they are my daughters! Once you are family, it’s just all about the relationship, as it is in any family.
The other day I realized that all relationships are really like that. Once you open your heart and your life to a person, it doesn’t feel like ministry any more. It feels like friendship. And friendship is what carries you over the rough patches of life. Friendship is what says, “OK, you messed up yet again but I love you anyway. So what’s next?” I think sometimes I’m guilty of segregating the relationships in my life: I’ll adopt you into my life, but you over there, you’re a ministry. Jeremy, my favorite barista at the coffee shop where I like to hang out, is moving on to another part off the state soon. I’m really, really sad to lose that nearly daily interaction with someone who’s so passionate for the kingdom. David and I will be sad to see our friend leave. In his place comes a new barista, one I haven’t met. Jeremy says we’ll love him. I realized that over this past year Jeremy has moved from being “a guy in the community” to being our friend. Now it’s time to open up that door again.
Life isn’t about networking and contacts and ministry. It’s about adoption."
Peace to all,