Pro-life, Pro-choice, Pro-adoption

October 16th, 2012

hand-in-handI was born in the 1970’s. Right there in the heat of the Roe v. Wade era when abortion became legal- not that my parents considered abortion since I was the 4th child out of what would be 6 and my parents had been married for a long time. Still, the fires of the topic were burning brightly at that time. It’s no coincidence that the laws for adoption began to change at the same time abortion became legal. Before that, all of the power for regulating adoptions was in the hands of the state. Caseworkers and adoption agencies did what they considered to be best for the adoption situations, which they considered to be closed adoptions. Not only was there no contact… [more]

The Night You Were Born

January 8th, 2011

newborn_baby_girl_meets_brother_and_sister_ One of the books I always give to newly adoptive families is Jamie Lee Curtis' Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born.  It is such a sweet story of a mother telling her child a bedtime story about her birth, and the night the couple got the phone call and then got to trek across the country to greet and gather up the newest member of their family. Another story I recently discovered is John Gregory Dunne's account of when he and his wife, writer Joan Didion, met their daughter Quintana for the first time:  In his book, Quintana and Friends (Simon and Schuster, 1980) he writes, "As she grew older, she never tired of asking us how we happened to… [more]

This Time Last Year – Homecoming!

November 3rd, 2007
Categories: Adopting Ella

One year ago our plane touched down at JFK airport in New York and we were finally on our own turf again. After a quick and easy process at the airport, Ella became a United States Citizen and we were unbelievably about to return to our home as a trio. It was a bit of a shock to return home to the states after spending so much time in Viet Nam. In Hanoi we got tons of attention and Ella was constantly admired and cooed at. In New York, no one gave us a second look. We had quickly become used to the Vietnamese hospitality and the stark contrast was startling to our jet lagged, sleep deprived selves. A fairly pleasant man looked at Ella’s passport, checked… [more]

Lifegivers: Chapter Twelve

September 10th, 2007
Categories: Books

It's hard work to be a "good" birth parent and chapter twelve of Lifegivers: Framing the Birthparent Experience in Open Adoption acknowledges that fact. Entitled, "When the Adoption Dust Settles: Optimal Birthparenting," James L. Gritter takes an in depth look at what birth parents can do, for themselves, adoptive parents and their children, to create the "best case scenario." He is careful to mention that one of the most important things to keep in mind about the optimal nature of the open adoption relationship is its adaptability. Each family's experiences will be shaded and colored by specifics, personalities and the capabilities of each person involved. His list, as well, is not meant to discourage those birth parents who are doing the best they can… [more]

Viet Nam Adoptive Family Interviews – Choosing an Adoption Agency

August 17th, 2007
Categories: Family Interviews

hands1 Viet Nam Adoptive Family Interviews : An Introduction How did you choose an agency to work with/what was important to you when making your decision? The Engelbrecht Family - Strong recommendations from past families. Easy to talk to and availability Christina - The agency decision was extremely important to us after what we experienced in Cambodia. We were caught in the “pipeline” when the US INS shut down adoptions from Cambodia and in our fight to bring our daughter home and then the subsequent fight to see ethical adoptions restarted in Cambodia I learned a great deal about agencies and what makes a truly ethical adoption program. As a board member of RathCare we had occasion to ask the US embassy… [more]

Blessed Art Thou

March 20th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption

In case you missed it in the recent comments: Blessed Art Thou, Angelina Jolie. It's art…

Keep Your Smile Healthy

November 2nd, 2006
Posted By: on Fertility
Categories: Adoption, Self-Care

I am the hugest chicken when it comes to the dentist. I even get the nitrous to have my teeth cleaned! Leave it to an orthodontist who never should have been working with children, and then you get someone like me, terrified, even at 35! Through the grapevine, when my beloved dentist retired, I had to find another kind and gentle dentist who would be ultrasensitive to my needs. And I found her! The downside, she doesn't offer nitrous at her office. Now I was really in a dilemma. Stay with her and handle my anxiety, or go to someone with less understanding, but more drugs. Well, I have stayed the course with Dr. Mc for a… [more]

Day two with Belane-Part Three

October 24th, 2006
Categories: Belane's Adoption

So let’s see…what did I forget…. Belane is a copy cat and she is a very girlie girl. When I was getting ready for the day with my one-gal audience, she had to put on moisturizer when I put on moisturizer, she put on lipgloss when I put on lipgloss, she brushes hair when I brush hair, etc. She is darling! She is not overly fond of the crayons, games, dolls or other toys we brought, but she has been sporting the pink sunglasses we brought her almost constantly. She was a little less standoff-ish with Josh today. She does this “one shoulder shrug” which we have been told means “no” and that is what she does to him if he gets too close and she is not in the mood (mostly… [more]

Belane knows she has a family

August 22nd, 2006
Categories: Belane's Adoption

Belane is also now waiting for that wonderful day when Josh and I walk through the doors at AHOPE for the second time and hold her in our arms once again...this time for keeps. Of course at age two and a half, how much she understands about what is going to happen and how much her life is going to change is hard to tell, but she now knows she has a family that loves her. She knows she has a Mom and a Dad. She knows she has brothers and sisters. On August 17, Denise, the most wonderful volunteer for AAI, brought Belane her “welcome bag” from us. Inside of it was a t-shirt from where we live, a bunch of sheets… [more]

Bad Mood Break Away

August 5th, 2006
Posted By: on Fertility

This week was a rough one. Hormones and stress don't mix too well in my life and this week was a rough blend of both. My moods are normally pretty uneven, but on weeks like this they give new meaning to peaks and valleys. Anything that seems like it might work, is worth trying for the sake of my soul and the sake of my little family. Tuesday morning already started out crazy, then a tiny little phone conversation threw me over the edge. Nothing bad, nothing really at all, just an interaction that I overreacted to, which is not at all uncommon for me in hormonal times like these. In the magazine that I was reading, there was a blurb about How to Break Out… [more]