Birth family

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Unexpected challenges

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My desire to explore the unexpected led me to talk to two sets of parents about their journeys through adoption and into being a family.

When adopting, these couples experience trials they had never have imagined. Some of the unique hurdles they faced were predictable, while others were completely unexpected.

Reunion in writing

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In her creative non-fiction essay “The Letter,” J. Jill Robinson writes about how she reunited with her birth son,  David. He was married and himself an adoptive father when David and Jill found each other. We sat down with her to find out more about her experience as a birth mother in reunion.

The visits

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Before I got to know both sides of Victor’s birth families, I had a firm opinion about open adoption. I thought it  was the only way to adopt, and it would help our child with his sense of identity and belonging.

Open adoption was better for the birth families, and our lives would be deepened by these new family members. In my cushy fantasy, I’d have a close relationship with the birth mother, and her family would be our family. We’d  snap group photos at graduations, pop corks at weddings, and sniffle as new kids came along for the birth  parents.

Dear birthmom

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I never got the chance to thank you for the little boy we share. For the trust your heart had that strangers could love your  son with the same intensity that you do. Thank you for giving him all that he needed to get started in this beautiful world. Noah came to us brimming with love, and I know it was from you. I know you would be very proud of him today.

Tree of life

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My son Gabriel has been talking about tattoos since he was about 14 or 15. He has always talked about wanting the tattoos to have some meaning for him, as opposed to just being a picture he likes. His first tattoo, which he got at age 18, was of the Liberty bell. It was representative of where he was born (Philadelphia) and says “circa 1993,” which is his birth year.

The upside of openness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the beginning of our adoption, emotions were high, birth family visits were frequent, and roles were unclear. Well-meaning friends and family members suggested that it might just be “a whole lot easier if our adoption was closed.” We could bond with our baby without interference, and the birth parents could “get on with their lives.”

The rollercoaster ride of adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Our adoption journey started in 1998. We chose domestic adoption for a number of reasons, including wanting a newborn, and the possibility of openness with a birth family. We were prepared to wait, knowing we had no control over when, or even if, we would be chosen.

We did all the paperwork and education sessions, and by March 1999, our homestudy was ready. We jumped into the pool of waiting families and prepared to wait.

Living openness: Naming Victor

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

V is for Victor... or is it?

It was a sparkling May bursting with new life, and we were going to be parents in two months. We didn’t have a crib,  bottles, formula, diapers or onesies, but my husband Kevin and I had a name. Our son would be named Victor.

What do you mean, "half adopted?"

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Donor conception–a type of adoption?

As a donor-conceived person, I have used the phrase “half adopted,” because for some of us donor-conceived people that is how we see our family situation. In the classical sense of donor conception (DC), we have one parent who is biologically related to us and another who is not. In essence, this non-biological parent is in fact agreeing to raise and care for a child who has been conceived by their partner and another person. In effect, they are agreeing to adopt this child as their own.

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