Sunday, January 26, 2014

Will We tell our Child they are adopted?

This past weekend, I was at the March for Life sponsored by Louisiana Right to Life. It was a great march, but COLD!!! Louisiana has had a bit of Arctic weather lately. My table was next to this lady with another local organization. We began talking and she told me she was an adoptive mom- her son was 21. She then asked if I had children and I was able to share about our adoption journey. Total God moment for sure. 

Our stories were very similar- we both married later in life, had infertility, adoption. What struck me was that she said they never talked about the adoption with her son- in fact he didn't know he was adopted until he was 8. He talks about it with other people, but never with his parents. I'm not sure how it came about but I mentioned something about telling our child they are adopted at an early age. Stunned, she asked me, "You really are going to tell them they're adopted when they're little?" I said- "Yes. It not anything to be ashamed about. We want them to know- it's a part of their story." I explained to her that obviously, we weren't going to have a 30 minute conversation with our child every day about adoption, but we want to have a climate in our home/family where our child knows they are adopted, can talk about it and ask any questions- without worrying about upsetting us. I think that's what happened with this woman- she had not dealt with her own insecurities about not being able to have biological children, fear of the child wanting to meet their bio family, etc. This is a major area that I cover with my families that I work with. 

Adoption is a not a secret, not anything to be ashamed about. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet our child's birth family so we'll be able to tell our child one day that we did get to meet them, what they're like, etc. It's important for our child to know where they come from- to celebrate their family. There's a great book that I've read called "Telling the Truth to Your Adopted Child" by Jayne Schooler- highly recommend. It talks about the different developmental stages of children and how they think about adoption at that age. So yes, we'll tell our child they're adopted. It just means that they have two families who love them very much- double blessing. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dear Birth Mother

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Yesterday, I participated in our state's March for Life with my job. This year there was a focus on adoption. I work primarily with adoptive parents, but occasionally have worked with birth mothers. Every single one of them considered abortion at some point when they learned of their unplanned pregnancy. There was the mom who was actually planning to get an abortion and had to watch videos of what occurred during the process- she got up and walked out. Another one who changed her mind after doing a google search for abortion and saw pictures of what happens during the procedure. One of my adoptive families told me that their son's birthmom tried to have an abortion 5 times and couldn't go through with it. 

Now being on the adoption journey, I looked at this event with different eyes. Our birth mom (whoever she is, wherever she is) may very well be faced with this dilemma. My heart has been so heavy for her today- this day, Sanctity of Human Life day. As I was driving back home today, (seven hours in the car- a lot of time to think and pray!) I began to pray for her, thinking of what I would say to her, what I would say to any mom in this situation. I'm not jumping on some pro-life vs pro choice bandwagon here- this letter is from one mama to another. 

Dear Birth Mom, 
You don't know me, I don't know you- we haven't met yet. I don't know when we'll meet but you were on my mind today. So I did what I usually do when someone is on my mind: I prayed. Because one day (if not already), you'll find yourself in a situation you probably never expected to be: pregnant. Abortion may have crossed your mind or been presented to you as an option. I don't know. What I do know is that there are other choices: choices that offer life. I pray that God will send people in your life that will speak truth to you, speak life into you when your'e at your most desperate moment, that they will share with you about adoption. I want you to know that there is an adoptive family who is praying for you- and we don't even know who you are. We are praying for strength: strength to resist to listen to what others are telling you is the right thing to do, strength to fight for you and your child. You are brave and strong- don't forget that. Praying for wisdom and peace as you make decisions, as you make the most selfless decision anyone can make, as you choose who will raise your child. I'm not going to pretend that I know what you're going through- I don't. We are both moms to a child who will be so blessed to have two moms who love them so much- you loved them enough to choose life. That's huge in my book. We both love someone we haven't even met yet- strange how that can happen, but it does. Rest assured that your child will know how much you love them- that you chose life for them. Until the day comes and we meet, I'm praying for you and your child- and thankful every day that you chose life. 

Adoptive Mom to Be

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Journey, New Blog, How We Got here

I had to change over to a new email account and I couldn't figure out how to connect it with my old blog- too techno savvy for me. So I figured, new blog to go along with our new journey. Hopefully, I'll do a much better job at posting. :)

The past few months have been a new journey and it now has a new destination: adoption!! We told our families at Thanksgiving and Christmas and then officially told everyone via FB on January 1. I told D that I may never get to have a "pregnancy announcement" so I wanted to be creative with it and enjoy the moment. Below is our picture from the fabulous Anna Pitts at Purple Paisley Photography 

I want this blog to document our journey to becoming parents, to write what I'm learning about adoption and to keep our friends and families updated on the journey. Here's the Reader's Digest version of how we got here.

Before D and I were engaged, we talked about adoption and knew that it was something that would be a part of our family. We just thought it would be after we had biological children. We knew that getting pregnant could be difficult due to my previous history of endometreosis. Plus, we got married later in life by "Southern standards"- I was 31, he was 32. After about six months of marriage and no pregnancy (and a few other issues that made me think there was a problem), I underwent surgery in February 2013. No endo but a lot of scar tissue and other things that made the doctor feel like pregnancy wasn't going to be impossible but hard. She immediately prescribed Clomid and referred me to a specialist. In April, I saw the specialist who was amazing and didn't seem to think things were bad as originally thought. He wanted to do 3 rounds of Clomid. I was finally able to start the Clomid in May and it was awful- turned me into a crazy woman. It didn't work. D and I had decided that if it didn't work, we would just move to adoption.

I wasn't sure if I ever had complete peace about doing Clomid, but felt like I needed to try. As I left the doctor's office, I felt such peace and release to move forward. The summer months were spent praying about D's full time ministry and where God would have us next. It was a pretty fast interview/hiring process that led us to moving to a small town in Northwest Louisiana, but we saw (and still see!) God's hands in every step of the way. My house sold fairly quickly and we're in the process of buying the house we're renting now (which I love!!).

We know which agency we're going to use, making plans for home study (since I obviously can't do my own!) and getting finances, fundraising ideas, in place to move forward with a domestic adoption. We're so excited. Adoption is not Plan B for us- just didn't know it would happen for us first. We have no idea how long this journey will be- I've learned in my job to throw timelines out the window. So we'll just pray and see.