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And here we are

Welcome to adoptingmamas.com! We’re here because we’ve been where you are. We are moms through adoption and are active within our adoption communities.

When we were first searching for information on adoption, we turned to the web (of course!) and had a hard time finding clear, concise information. Without ads, that is. And from that frustration Adopting Mamas was born.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about adoption and adopting. Of course, our own personal experiences have shaped how we view adoption, but we have both spent time learning about the larger adoption community and gathered a lot of knowledge along the way. We’re Adoption Mavens, you might say. What is that and who are we? Click here.

We’re here to be your adoption doulas, helping you breathe through the process of bringing your child home.  Not to mention support, friendship and laughs even after your little one joins your family.

Parents, Please Educate Your Kids About Adoption So Mine Don’t Have To

Love this post from Rage Against the Minivan: Parents Please Educate Your Kids

To quote her: “Because no child from unique family circumstances deserves to be singled out on the playground because we’ve failed to explain the world to our kids.”

I get that kids are going to be kids. I get that I won’t be able to protect my kids from every hurtful thing that might be said to them. But – regardless of how you feel about adoption, regardless of how much you know about adoption – what kid should have the “realness” of his family questioned at the park?

If we could only all just agree: I’ll teach my kids to roll with the punches when they get asked personal, silly or potentially hurtful questions about adoption – if you could just have a conversation about the basics of adoption with your kids? The suggestions in the link would work perfectly. Thanks!

Sentimental and Emotional: Who, Me?

I took the time recently to reread some of the things I’ve written here over the last two years, and discovered some things about myself that I guess I didn’t know.  If you’ve been reading us for a while, then you probably have already figured it out.

I’m a little bit sappy.  Sentimental.   Emotional.  I talk a lot about miracles, being lucky, and being blessed.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me.  I come from a family of people who cry at things like the Olympics and figure skating.  My grandfather, when our family would gather, always got a little teary when he would say grace and talk about how thankful he was that we were together.  (I always loved that about him!)

But it still did come as a bit of a shock to me.  I’m guessing it may come as a bit of a shock to some of my friends and family – particularly those who knew me in my early twenties, when sentimental was the last word I would have used to describe myself.  Sometimes I look back and am concerned that I was often callous; careless with people and their feelings.

So what changed me?  I didn’t have to think too hard.  Adoption changed me.

I don’t mean the obvious ways that adoption changed my life – namely that I wasn’t a mother and now I am.  Motherhood, I believe, makes you both softer and stronger at the same time.  All the clichés – about having to stop being selfish and start being selfless – that’s not what I mean.  It’s not just about being a Mom.

Adoption, in my life, has meant that every day – no matter what I’m doing, or how absolutely average and boring the day might be – every day my life is a miracle.  Sleepless nights with a teething baby, a feverish three year old, a husband working out of town 6 days a week (this was actually my life recently!) – and running underneath that is the knowledge that this life – MY life – is a series of miracles.  There’s nothing really all that special about me, or my husband (though I think he’s pretty great, don’t get me wrong!), or our completely average life, but somehow we have been the recipients of the two most amazing, precious miracles.  Every baby, every child is a miracle – absolutely.  But the existence of these two children in our lives, the idea that it was decisions completely outside of our control (painful decisions made by two women trying to make the best possible choice for their children) that brought us together as a family – it means that we’re also lucky enough to know, unequivocally, that we are blessed beyond measure.  The people who helped us along the way, the women who gave our children life,  the friends who supported us, who stood with us as we took the adoption journey:  each one added to our blessing in some way.

Carrying the weight of that around with me, knowing that I don’t deserve any of it, and yet inexplicably, seeing the evidence of it throughout my life – how can that not have changed me?  How can I not spend so much more of my time thinking about the blessings in my life?  I feel like I owe this to both of my children’s birth mothers.  Not that I can’t get stressed or have a bad day.  It happens.  But I owe it to them, and I owe it to my children, to be the best I can be.  Not perfect – just the best person I can be. I owe it to my children to stop frequently and take a minute to count my blessings. Which, in turn, makes me fairly emotional.

So, adoption has made me sappy and sentimental and emotional.  It’s hard not to do that when your life is full of tangible miracles. And when I do take a minute to count my blessings, the first is usually: I’m the luckiest Mommy in the world – because I get to be Noah’s Mommy.  And I get to be Chloe’s Mommy.

Organizing the Mountain of Adoption Paperwork

Adoption has a lot of paperwork. A LOT. Every part of the process – the application, matching, placement, health and genetic history, post adoption reports, finalizing and getting proper documents, and communication with the birth family just to name a few. I consider myself to be a fairly organized person and I struggled with keeping it all together.

I want my kids to each have a record of their adoption process, and be able to read through the letters I’ve sent to their birth parents and they’ve sent to us. I wanted it to be in a format that they could just pick up and look at, rather than stuffed in a pile in my desk drawer.

So, to that end, I’ve come up with a system that works and I wanted to share it with you today – on our very last day of National Adoption Month. I’d love to hear how others keep their paperwork organized and easily accessible too.

My “staying organized” essentials include:

1. Scanner – this is absolutely key to my plan to stay organized. I have a small scanner that doesn’t take up a lot of room. It scans documents quickly and saves them as a pdf. It was around $250 and was worth every penny. I scan every piece of adoption-related paper that comes in or goes out of the house. For example, every monthly report I sent to the agency, every letter I mail to birth parents, all of the paperwork for our applications, etc. You get the idea! I can’t tell you how many times this has helped me when I need to look back and reference something.

2.  Computer – I scan everything to the computer, and then the computer is backed up every night. I use a service called mozy.com for the remote back ups. I signed up for this service because I keep all of our family documents and photos on the computer, and would be completely devastated if I lost them! It costs about $5 a month.

3. Three ring binders – I have one per child and one for our adoption application. I also use a 3 hole punch, 3 hole document protectors, 3 hole photo sleeves to hold pictures.

4. “Saver Box” – I have one box per child that is about 16″ x 16″ x 5″. I use this to store the actual binder, as well as other keepsakes that won’t fit into their binder. For example my daughter has 2 outfits from her birth family that I placed in her box as a keepsake for her, and my son has the rosary that his birth mother prayed while pregnant with him. I got the boxes at Joann’s and I think they were about $15.

Here is the binder and saver box. Please note my son is only 4, and that’s his paperwork so far! :)

My “kid binders” include the following sections. This might not work exactly for your situation, but you get the general idea.

1. Birthparent Communication – this includes all of the letters that I’ve sent, and photos, as well as what their birth parents have sent us. I put photos from their birth parents in the photo sleeves so they lay flat and are protected . For the pictures I send, I just scan them and print 12 per page. We have the photos elsewhere in our family books, but I want them to see a quick snapshot of what I sent. I also use the document holders for cards . I date everything when we receive it, which makes the filing easier – especially if I get behind.

2.  Monthly Reports – we had to send a monthly report to the agency for the first 6 months our children lived with us. It was fun to look back on these; they note their milestones and include photos. There are 6 reports and 6 pages of photos.

3. “My Adoption Day” – this section includes all of the paperwork from their adoption day, as well as cards we received. I made a soft cover photo book (using shutterfly or something similar) and ordered two copies. One is in the binder (in a plastic sleeve) and one is out for them to read whenever they want.

4. Official Papers – In this section I printed copies of all of their real documents. This includes their birth certificate, SSN card, adoption decree, and baptism certificate. Any adoptive parents will know you have to do a lot of work to get all of these, so it’s awesome to see the final document when it comes!

5. Health History – In our case, our children’s birthparents both filled out paperwork with their genetic history. I put these in the binder because I think it will be interesting to my kids someday. I would not put anything in there that a child should not see – this information is more hair and eye color, right or left handed, things they are good at, etc. If you don’t have this information, I think a “history” section could include something about the country or culture or state where the child was born.

My “application binder” includes the following sections. Obviously we are no longer using our application, but keeping it all organized throughout the process was so helpful. When we filled out our application for the second adoption, I pulled a lot of the information from the first one.

1. Checklist – a big old list of everything that has to be done. It feels good once you get started and check some of the items off the list.

2. Financials – I wrote down every time we spent money – who, what, when and how much. I also scanned the receipts. This is really important for tax purposes. My company and my husband’s both offered adoption reimbursement and we had to show receipts and final adoption decrees to be eligible.

3. Application – the application form itself. I kept it in this section while I worked on all of the pieces, and then scanned, printed, and kept the final copy here once I sent it in.

4. Communication – jot down when you talk to your caseworker and a few notes about the conversation. I looked back at mine while writing this article and it’s fun to look at after everything is finalized. But at the time it’s helpful to keep things straight. I used to check in with our caseworker about a once a month and this helped me remember the last time I’d called/bugged her. :)

5. Home Study – for our agency, this was separate from the application. I kept the paperwork and notes about when it expired. Our home study cost was in addition to our adoption fees, so I noted that here and in the financials section too.

6. Other – oh, the good “other” category for any other stuff you need. In my case I had directions to the agency, names of hotels nearby, and a copy of our profile.

I hope this is helpful. I started off this article saying I’m fairly organized, and I just proof read it and think I might be a little over the top organized – hahaha! It has made things so much easier, and I hope my children will enjoy looking through their adoption paperwork one day.

Top 10 Misconceptions About Adoption

by Frank Garrott

Each year thousands of people in the U.S. recognize and celebrate the creation of “forever families” on National Adoption Day. While adoption has existed for nearly as long as the human race, even today many longstanding myths and misconceptions about adoption linger. As we marked National Adoption Day on Nov. 19, here are some adoption misconceptions that should be put to rest.

1.    Birth parents are not allowed any contact with their child once adoptions are finalized. In most cases, it is up to the birth parents to choose whether to have an “open” adoption or a “closed” adoption. In open adoptions, birth parents and adoptive families elect to learn about each other’s identities and backgrounds, and may remain in contact with each other throughout the child’s life. The degree to which this occurs varies, but the birth parents play a key role in determining the level of engagement.

2.    Placing a child for adoption is a sign of weakness. Many birth parents confront the “pressure to parent” from influencers in their lives. Some are even led to believe if they choose adoption that they don’t love their child.  The fact is that adoption is one of the most courageous decisions birth parents can make – believing that placing their child for adoption will ultimately lead to a better life for their child.

3.    Birth mothers who grieve after placing their child for adoption made the wrong decision. The pressure to parent has a counterpart post-adoption. Observers often assume that a birth mother’s sense of grief or loss post-placement is indicative that she feels guilty and regrets her decision. In truth, most birth mothers do experience sadness after placing a child for adoption, but that grief does not typically equate to guilt. The sense of guilt is usually ascribed by outsiders. In fact, grieving is a healthy part of the healing process, and leading adoption facilities, such as the Gladney Center for Adoption, provide information, tools and support to help birth mothers cope with grief post-placement.

4.    Birth mothers who are familiar with the adoption process are less likely to choose adoption. The level of one’s exposure to adoption is a key factor in a person’s decision about whether to place their child for adoption. In fact, the more someone has been exposed to adoption, the more likely they will choose adoption as an alternative to parenting or abortion. This underscores the need for adoption education programs.

5.    Older adoptive children are so broken that they will never heal post-adoption. It’s a common belief that older children may be so traumatized from their past situations that they can never attach to an adoptive parent. It is true that many older children have suffered abuse, neglect or have been shuttled from one foster home to another, and they often display negative behaviors as a result. But no child is “beyond repair” and most adoptive children will successfully attach to their parents when they are placed with a loving family. Education is profoundly important when adopting an older child and the Gladney Center for Adoption is committed to ensuring adoptive parents are prepared for that journey.

6.    Special needs adoptive children always have severe mental or physical handicaps, or health issues as well. Just as with non-adoptive special needs children, adoptive special needs children vary in the level of medical or other care they may require. The fact is there are many, many healthy infants and children available for adoption, both domestically and internationally.

7.    International adoption is easier and cheaper than domestic adoption. It is commonly perceived that people choose to adopt internationally because it is cheaper and easier than in the U.S. With international adoptions, typically adoptive parents have to spend weeks in the country where they plan to adopt – sometimes for multiple visits. The travel costs and the time away from work often results in a higher overall cost to adopt. The fact is most people who choose to adopt from a foreign country feel a particular affinity with that nation and the children there.

8.    Adoption is prohibitively expensive.  Adoption fees can be expensive for parents, but the real costs of an adoption often exceed an agency’s fee, especially among non-profit agencies who provide living arrangements, medical care and or counseling for the birth mothers.  Even with traditional fee-based adoptions, agencies will typically work with parents to establish a sliding-scale fee, and many adoptive parents are currently eligible to receive a $13,000 US federal tax credit. It’s also important to note that adoptions can be nearly cost-free, especially if adoptive parents consider adopting an older child from within the foster care system or a special-needs child.

9.    Adoption takes years and years to complete. The adoption process is complex and there are multiple waiting periods – waiting to be approved as an adoptive parent, waiting for a match and waiting until you take custody of your child. However, depending on the type of adoption someone is choosing, the wait time for adoption can be as little as 12 to 18 months.

10.   Adoptive families face the same challenges as biological families. Adoptive families, whether a child has been adopted at birth or at a later stage in their life, experience many of the same joys and challenges as biological families. However, they also experience joys and challenges that may be unique to adoptive families. That’s why the Gladney Center for Adoption provides a host of educational and counseling services for all parties to an adoption – the adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents – for their lifetimes.  Our Pathways program ensures that forever families can count on us for support in their adoption journeys – forever.

Original source: http://www.gladneypresident.org/

Unadoptable is unacceptable

Monday after a holiday weekend is always a little rough, isn’t it? I thought I’d start the week off sharing this successful program from the  Dave Thomas foundation. They have a special program called “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids” for children who were previously considered “unadoptable.” These kids are sometimes older, or have emotional challenges. The theory of this special program is to have caseworkers take on a smaller number of children, and try to find the family who would be the best match for the child. So far their results have been great; kids in this program are 2 times more likely to be adopted. Check out this neat 2 minute video to find out more.

Create a new family tradition

This is the last Friday of National Adoption Month! Time flies when you’re having fun . . .
Our suggestion for celebrating NAM this weekend is to brainstorm with your family and come up with a new family tradition. This could or could not be adoption related. Maybe it’s a new tradition for the upcoming holiday season, or something to celebrate the new year. Anything special that brings your family closer is a great idea.

For our family, I want to start a family journal. I got the idea here. Basically you have a book that you create sitting out (well, dependent on your kid’s ages) and anyone in the family can make a note, draw a picture, or glue in a special memory like a ticket stub. You could write a special letter to another family member in the journal, too. Today after a great Thanksgiving, we decided to decorate for Christmas. My 4 year old had the BEST time and was so excited to not only get ready for Christmas but also get out the train that goes around the tree, and share all of it with his grandparents. In 10 years I will not remember this day, but if I had my family journal I could jot down what a neat day it was and some of the funny things my son said.

I might also incorporate the idea of putting a fill in page with  “20 questions” for each family member, for every year. This would be a fun thing to record on New Year’s Eve or Day and see how the answers change over the years. You could include a photo of everyone together in that year, too. This blog had a great idea for how to lay it out and what questions to include.

We’d love to hear what family tradition you come up with during your family brainstorm (and if your “family brainstorm” is like mine, maybe you search Pintrest for ideas and then come up with a great idea and tell your husband and kids who are sure to like it. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I have a lot to be thankful for. In the spirit of National Adoption Month, here is my thankful list . . .

I’m thankful adoption exists. I’m thankful for the people who worked tirelessly, many years ago, to remove the stigma from adoption; the people who made sure the word “illegitimate” was removed from birth certificates of adopted children. Because of their work, children who are adopted can feel extra special instead of second class.

I’m thankful for my children’s birth mothers. I picture them going about their daily lives, while pregnant, going through emotional and physical pain in order to give their unborn children the kind of life they wanted them to have. I am so thankful they made that decision. In fact I think about it every single day. I’m thankful for my children’s birth fathers and birth grandparents, for supporting them during their pregnancies, and supporting their choice to place their babies for adoption.

I’m thankful for my husband for being a great father to our kids, and for understanding, supporting and appreciating adoption just like I do. I’m thankful to both of our families for welcoming our children with open arms.

I am so thankful for my beautiful, wonderful children. I can’t believe all of the things that had to fall into place at exactly the right moment for them to end up as ours. I feel they were truly always meant to be in our family, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Heart Gallery of America

Today I want to highlight an organization that I think it doing wonderful things for adoption, The Heart Gallery of America. This organization works with local groups and photographers to take art-quality photos of children who are in foster care. They create a gallery of the photos to raise awareness about foster children who are available to be adopted. So far, all 50 states have had “heart galleries” featuring photos of local children.

There are many uplifting stories about the Heart Gallery, but I especially loved this one:

“Master Moore held his pen over the paper and paused. His mom had asked him to write a Christmas list. Ten things. No guarantees he would get everything he wanted. But as the boy pondered presents like a digital camera or an electronic keyboard, he realized nothing would ever compare to the gift he already had. A real home.

“I have everything I want now,” he said last week, sitting next to the red and white twinkling Christmas tree in his cozy Newark home. With his parents on either side and the aroma of dinner wafting through the room, Master smiled with contentment. “I can finally be a kid,” he said.

It wasn’t long ago the 14-year-old was a foster child with little hope of ever having a normal family life. Master was only 4 when the state took him, his two older brothers and several cousins away from their neglectful families. His brothers were adopted by a couple from Pennsylvania, but that left Master knocking around the foster care system on his own.

Then in early 2005 someone asked him to participate in The Heart Gallery of New Jersey, a traveling photographic exhibit of adoptable children in the state’s care. Master was told someone might see his photograph, read his story and want to adopt him. He shrugged. “Sure, why not?” he said. Master had heard people say miracles happen, but he had never seen one himself. Still, he decided to tell his story — if not for himself, then for all of the kids just like him.

“Master, in particular, felt regardless of whether he found a family it was important for people to know that even teenagers want and deserve families,” said Najlah Feanny, a co-founder of the New Jersey Heart Gallery. “Maybe it was a self-defense mechanism — ‘If I don’t reveal I’m desperate to be part of a family I won’t be crushed when I don’t find one.’ That kind of maturity from a child stuck with me long after we photographed him.”

Master had lived in a number of foster homes by the time he was featured in the first Heart Gallery exhibition in 2005 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. At the time, he was sharing a bunk bed with another foster child in a tiny space off the living room of a home in Bridgeton. It was his 12th placement. In a Star-Ledger story about the exhibit, Master admitted he felt like a guest in the foster home, sometimes an unwelcome one.

Taped to a wall was a pencil-drawn floor plan — an arrow pointed to his bed with the words: ‘You are here.” Friends weren’t allowed in the house, so Master spent most afternoons alone in his room, practicing his chess moves. His foster mother was unpredictable, sometimes nice, sometimes not, he said.

During the two years he lived there, she never kissed him goodnight. “As you can see, what’s missing in my life is a real home,” he said at the time.Master said he wished the Heart Gallery would change his luck. Maybe someone would see his picture and read his story. Maybe someone would want him for their son. But he didn’t believe in fairy tale endings. “No foster kid does,” he said. Then salvation arrived in a 2004 GMC Envoy.

THE FINAL PLACEMENT

Master’s story had caught the eye of a kindly Newark man who coincidentally shared the same last name. Michael Moore is a driving instructor. His wife, Tracy, is a telecommunications analyst for Prudential. With both their children married and living on their own, they were now empty nesters in their 40s. The couple had been talking about adopting a child from the state’s foster care system. One reason was that Michael Moore had another thing in common with Master. He, too, had been a foster child.

So in March 2006, the couple drove 125 miles to Bridgeton in their Envoy to meet Master. They visited several more times, then brought the boy back to Newark to meet their extended family. By June, Master was living with the couple. Six months later he was adopted. “And they lived happily ever after,” Tracy said on the day the adoption was final. Except for one other small detail: Master would not be the Moores’ last adopted child.

Last year, they began thinking about taking in another child. Master asked if they would consider his cousin, Rayshawn, who was a year older. Both boys had been in foster care at the same time, and occasionally Master would see his cousin at a “match” party, where foster children are taken to be observed by potential adoptive parents. Neither was ever chosen.

The Moores knew Rayshawn’s name. Ironically, two years earlier they had inquired about him after seeing his photograph in the inaugural Heart Gallery exhibit. But the Moores were told that Rayshawn already had been placed, so they continued their search and ultimately found Master. However, Rayshawn’s match didn’t work out and he again became available for adoption. He started living with the Moores eight months ago, and on Thursday, the couple signed his adoption papers.

“Now I have to call him my brother,” Master said. The boys act just like siblings, teasing each other and sometimes bickering. But they also enjoy each other’s company, even though they have different interests. Master is studious and was voted by his 8th-grade class as Most Likely to Succeed. He’s now a freshman at Newark Tech High School, where his favorite subject is world history. Ray is athletic and plays basketball for West Side High.

Both boys are thriving in their new life together. On the living room wall hangs a red stocking with the name “Master” embroidered on it. It is the first Christmas stocking he has ever had. “When I was in foster homes, I never knew where I would be going the next day,” he said. “Here, I know when I wake up that I’m here to stay. That this is home. I’m going to live here the rest of my life.”

Tracy, an affectionate woman who puts faith and family before everything, clutched her chest and rolled her eyes. “The rest of your life?” she cried. The whole family laughed. “Life is great,” said Tracy. ‘Really great. We’re having fun.” “We’re really happy,” Michael added.

Near the Moores’ home, there is a Wendy’s restaurant that still has photographs of adoptable children from the original Heart Gallery exhibit hanging on the wall. Master’s picture was among them. When Tracy saw it recently, she asked the manager to please take it down. “Because Master is not available,” she said, wagging her finger. ‘Master is ours.'”

Credits for Master’s story:
Sunday, December 23, 2007
BY ROBIN GABY FISHER
Star-Ledger Staff

Talking about open adoption with your children

Today we have another guest post from Sara. If you missed her adoption story earlier this month, I recommend you check it out. Today she’s sharing with us how she’s handled talking with her children about adoption. Thank you Sara for sharing again on adoptingmamas!

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When we began the adoption process we gave a lot of consideration to the words, “open adoption.”  For an adoptive parent, those words can be really scary and intimidating.  However, once you dig into it more you quickly realize that the definition of those words is precisely what YOU make them.

I knew I’d always be OPEN about ADOPTION with our children. It would never be anything but completely normal and a part of our entire story.  A very important part.

My concern was whether I’d have the right answers and the right words at the right time to answer their questions.  And the truth be told, I still worry about this.  Our oldest is only four and we answer her four year-old questions with honesty, simplicity and love.  I suppose that is all we can ever do.

Here are some of my most memorable quotes from our four year-old daughter and how I attempted to answer them.

1)     One of the first things she ever said was at age 3…”Mama, tell me again about that other mother.”  It melted my heart right there into a puddle on the bathroom floor (as she asked while potty training of all times!) and I said, “Do you mean your birth mother?”  She eagerly nodded yes.  “Oh!  She carried you in her tummy and she picked ME to be YOUR Mommy!  Isn’t that great?”  Her reaction was a huge smile and a jump into my arms.  Heart melting.

2)     Out of the blue one day she said…”Does my Birth Mother have a name?”  Of course she does silly head, I answered.  “Her name is Ashley.”  And on we went.

3)     Until she remembers and says a few months later…”Mama, why did Aunt Ashley (my very best friend who we lovingly refer to as Aunt Ashley) grow me in her belly and give me to you?”  Ouch.  This IS a confusing topic, isn’t it!  “Oh sweetie, Aunt Ashley isn’t your birth mother.  There is another woman named Ashley who is your birth mother, not Aunt Ashley.”  Oh, OK! She said.  And likely tucked it into her little memory that is clearly as tight as a drum!

4)     “Mama, does Lukey (her 3 year-old brother) have a birth mother?”  Yes sweetie he has a birth mother too.  That means he was also adopted, just like YOU!  Isn’t that special?  “Is Aunt Ashley his birth mother?”  No pumpkin and she is not your birth mother either. (Clearly that one was hard to get passed!)

5)     “I’m adopted so I’m the more special than anyone else ever.”  Ummmmm, no.  I mean clearly to US this is true but teaching humility side-by-side with excitement for her birth story is really hard.  But we try to stick to “just the facts” and be truthful and excited.  We try to talk about it like normal as if it happens in every single house.  But the fact is, it doesn’t. Different kids have different stories and hers is special.  It’s hard not to say, “You are the best child ever and super special the way you came to us!!!”

6)     And when I became unexpectedly pregnant the questions unfolded over the course of my pregnancy.  “Mommy, if you said I grew in your heart, then WHY IS YOUR BELLY SO BIG while you grow a baby?????”  Oops.  I simply reminded her that she physically grew in another tummy but my love for her grew in my heart.  She seemed happy with that answer.

7)     “Mommy, are you Noah’s birth mother?”  I can clearly see that at this age coming to grips with this concept of two mothers in her life is too much to understand so she keeps trying to process it by asking questions.  I confirmed that I was Noah’s birth mother and that we all have a MOTHER that gave BIRTH to each and every one of us.  She was just lucky to get a BIRTH mother AND a forever mother!

8)     One of the most thoughtful and poignant questions she ever asked was when we brought our biological baby (Noah) home from the hospital.  She was tenderly sitting by my side taking him in and gingerly kissing him.  She tenderly looks up at me and asks “If you are Noah’s birth mother, then why did you bring him home from the hospital with you?”  I cried. Call it hormones or call it magic, but that kid is smart.  And I answered, “Daddy and I chose to keep Noah in our family, some birth mothers make a different choice.  Isn’t it great having Noah in our family?”  She smiled and she asked to hold him.  And I cried again.

9)     “Mommy did you feed me with your boobies?”  Oh dear I knew this would happen.  “Nope, we used bottles.”  Some questions just call for easy answers!

10)  “I remember Mama!  My birth mother picked YOU especially for ME!”  Yes baby, don’t ever forget that and rest assured, I won’t forget it either.

I know our journey is just unfolding and the questions are still forthcoming.  I pray for wise words.  I pray for humility.  I pray for acceptance.  I pray that I always stay OPEN to talking about ADOPTION.  I pray that my children do not feel abandoned.  I pray for compassion.  And ultimately I pray that my babies know that they are loved in this house, in this HOME that was chosen for them.

Adoption Costs Part 2: Fundraiser Idea

Check out this great story of a couple just starting on their adoption journey. They asked friends and family to donate items they wanted to get rid of, and had a huge garage sale to raise money for their adoption. They were inspired by the generosity of strangers. Head over to their blog and read their post. And while you’re there, wish them well in their adoption journey!