How An End Of School Year Awards Ceremony Made Us Proud Of Our Kids!

Sometimes we can become so exhausted on this journey that we lose sight of our children’s accomplishments. They are warriors. Many have had to overcome so much! Even if you’re in a hard season, you have reason to be proud!

Once again, to my surprise, school is drawing to a close for the year. Parents, we’ve almost made it! Announcements for award ceremonies are going out through multiple emails. Parents are notified if their children will be receiving an award. We received a note stating one child would. Not a surprise. He’s a smart kid. Does his homework without being told. Those kind do exist who seemingly don’t struggle. But we got another one. For another child. And I knew due to the flu season that ravaged our home and required renting a carpet cleaner, it wasn’t for attendance. What could this award be? Surely this is wrong. Perhaps it accidentally got placed in the wrong backpack, I wondered.

“Dear Child: I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You!”

This is a guest post by our good friend, Natalie Brenner, who has also been a guest on our podcast, The Honestly Adoption Podcast. She is an adoptive and biological mother, as well as a blogger, and the author of the book This Undeserved Life. Make sure you check out her blog by clicking here.

Many adoptive parents are also the parents of biological children. But there is no difference, or degree, in the love they have for all of their children, adopted or bio. Here’s why…

“I just have to ask… do you love Sage as much as you love Ira? I mean, I know you say that you do…but I’m just so curious if it’s true.”

We sat on my living room floor when she asked me this. With a world of confidence and pride in my chest I was able to nod, and beam, and let her know that I absolutely love Sage as much as I love Ira.

My Daughter Has Her Birth Mother’s Eyes.

Yesterday we took our daughter to meet her birth mother for the first time in her (almost) 15 years of life. We were all nervous, anxious, and excited. But I had no idea I would be moved to tears.

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The wind was whipping down the corridors of buildings along 16th street in downtown Indianapolis. Although the sun was shining bright, it was cold. A typical late December day in Indiana. I eased the car into a spot across the street from the vintage coffee shop we were meeting in, turned the ignition off, and turned to look at my daughter sitting quietly in the back seat. She smiled at me. Kristin suggested we pray before going in, and so we did.

Who Should I Include On My Adoption Team?

5 Key Players That Enhance The Journey

*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post by Anthony Zurica, who works as an adoption attorney in New York City. Since becoming a solo practitioner in 2007, he has dedicated his practice to being a strong ally and advocate for his clients. His work and knowledge of Adoption law has made him a go to resource for both clients and his peers. Mr. Zurica is an active participant in the Adoption community throughout New York. You can visit his website here or check out his Facebook page here.

Adopting a child is a monumental decision for you and your family and it’s just the start of a long journey to bringing home your new family member. To make the process as smooth as possible, it’s vital to carefully choose your adoption team and understand the roles they’ll play.

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When forming your adoption team, make sure that you fill the spots with individuals who support your wants and needs. Know ahead of time what kind of adoption you’re interested in, and be honest with yourself about your limitations. Think through race and culture differences, gender, special needs, and whether you want an open or closed adoption. Set your convictions on those issues and stick to them. It’s in the best interest of your family and your child-to-be. Once you’ve made those decisions, choose players that will work within the parameters you’ve set.

4 Ways To Respond To The Pain Of A Failed Adoption.

A failed adoption hurts as much as a miscarriage. It’s painful, embarrassing, frustrating and defeating! When an adoption falls through and all of the plans you made diminish like dust in the wind, where do you go? What do you do? How will you ever find hope in the midst of great loss?

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We were ecstatic when the call came in. The adoption agency we were working with had matched us with a birth mom and the outlook was very good. We were even invited to meet her, along with one of the agency’s social workers, at a local restaurant for lunch. We were nervous but, we accepted.

The Other Mother

Living life as an adoptive or foster parent brings about several unique life realities. One of them is birth parents. Your children will always have 2 sets of parents. We have been fortunate to have good relationships with our children’s other parents. As much as it depends on us, we strive to keep them healthy and strong. We do this for our sake, but more importantly, our children’s. This post is by Kristin. I love her perspective on birth parents!

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I pressed lightly on the brake as I listened to the “click click” of the turn signal. I gulped a breath of heavy air and relished in the uniqueness of this silence. It was that special kind of quiet, recently full of  spoken words. As I turned onto the empty street the conversation tumbled about in my mind. I glanced back at the apartment complex to see my son’s birth mom give a final wave. As I watched the city fade in my rearview mirror I thanked God silently not just for my son but also for his Other Mother.

“Return To Sender”

This is a guest post by my friend, Beth Shelby. She is both an adoptive and biological mother. She and her husband, Aaron, live in the Indianapolis, IN area. She writes candidly about disappointment in this post. Take some time to connect with her. Follow her on Twitter or read her blog here.

This fall I got my letter back.

No forwarding address.

This was the letter and pictures I sent to my son’s birth mom. It was my second correspondence; I think I knew this would come back. I was not prepared for the disappointment I felt for my son.

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My son will be 2 in March. I dried him off the day he was born- I am his mother. Providing updates is not required, but it was something I planned to do. I imagined it as part of our story.. a way that we would be able to talk with our son about his birth mom and even eventually have him add to the notes and pick the pictures to share.

Maybe my disappointment has to do with my willingness to commit and provide information. Which honestly when we first began exploring adoption, one of my fears was the relationship with the birth family. But similar to how the Grinch’s heart expanded [from Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”], God not only expanded my heart to orphans, but to birth moms & birth families.

When I learned of this placement I began praying for the birth mom. When you start praying for some one you become connected to them. You begin to pray through your day for them. Even if it is someone you never meet, you gain a familiarity for them. So when I did meet her, my heart immediately connected with her. I knew, and she knew, the child she was carrying was supposed to be in our family.

I have not seen her since the day after my son was born. She stopped by the hospital room as she was checking out to say goodbye. Only hours before she had signed all the papers making our adoption legal. This is the same woman who, the day before, delivered my son and looked at me as we were leaving the room to say “Beth, Happy Mother’s Day.” Yes, that is my son’s birth mom!

She is an angel to me.

So maybe the disappointment is not just for my son, but for me and the uncertainty of where she is, and how she is doing. Regardless, I continue to pray for her and know that if she ever wanted to she would be able to find me.

In the meantime, I have decided to continue to write a yearly note, an annual update for his birth mom. I will have them for him- part of telling his story. I would also like to do the same for his brother, who is 6 months, even though I am his birth mom.

What an amazing way to chronicle their lives, their stories!

Eventually it will allow them to tell their story.

I pray that God will continue the work he has begun in me.

Question: Have you ever turned a disappointment into a positive opportunity? For you or for your children? What did you do? You can leave a comment by clicking here.