In the first of a series, we present the diary of Mary Ella, who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only days away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Leelee. The couple are missing their son Willem (at home in Canada) and desperate to meet their little girl. At least the agonizing wait means that they can become acquainted with their daughter’s fascinating homeland.
Question: "My wife and I are looking to adopt. We’ve been told that open adoption is the trend these days. Just how open is open? I'm concerned that the birth mother will take over our lives and that our child won’t know who his or her birth parents are. I think the closed system is better for children and parents.”
Many people assume that breastfeeding is not an option in adoption. P’nina Shames interviewed two Kootenay- based adoptive moms, Carol and Sherri, who were successful. Here they share some of their secrets.
Why did you breastfeed?
Carol: I wanted to create the same bond with my adopted child that I have with my biological child. Besides being good for the baby, studies show that it helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Life with my bio/adopt/foster family was always interesting and always changing.
My first connection to adoption was a toothy, hairless Cabbage Patch kid with a scrawling Xavier Roberts tattoo on his posterior. My second connection arrived as two-year-old toddlers – twin brothers that would be my family’s first step into the world of adoption. I stopped counting those connections soon after. More children arrived. Our family expanded exponentially. Friends jumped on board, adopting little and big ones. Even an aunt and uncle joined in. Adoption was everywhere.
To make technology work for you, harness your kids' skills
If someone told me ten years ago that I’d find my birth family online, I would have laughed. Ten years ago, we thought Y2K would spell the end of the internet. I never suspected this information superhighway would become my road to finding my sisters. But here I am, on the edge of my computer chair, on the brink of reunion.
Michelle and David Huck married in 2000, and since then life has been a blur of backpacks, lunch kits and homework.
As parents to Indira, 10, Soleil, 9, Saul, 8, and Samuel, 6, the couple’s Calgary life is one long domestic balancing act — and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
"We’re at the dance studio, we’re playing the piano before school — it’s a gong show," Ms. Huck said.
Everyone is at it. Kids, retirees, business people — they’re all using the internet to find information, make connections and be entertained. What benefits are available for those involved in the adoption circle? Is there a way this unique group can find support through their connectivity?
“I made the decision to give her up because I wasn’t able to take care of her. So when I left the hospital, I told the nurse I wasn’t going to keep the baby.” - Vernita Lee
Patricia Lloyd’s adoption records indicate that her birth mother placed her for adoption because she did not think that she could get off welfare if she kept the child. But after trying for several years to discover the identity of her biological mother, Patricia gave up. It was only at the insistence of her two adult children that she began the search again.
Several studies have documented the persistent, negative effects birthmothers have experienced after placing a child for adoption. Grief may manifest itself in physiological changes, emotions of sorrow, distress or guilt, socially through family and other interpersonal relationships, and maladaptive coping strategies such as substance use and self harm.
Last spring my daughter, Bethany, was 15 years old and loving “all things Asian.” It seemed a good time to visit her birth family in China. Armed with a powerful appetite for dim sum, and a shopping list of Anime titles (Japanese animation) she hoped to find in Hong Kong, Bethany joined me on her first visit back in 10 years.