Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adoptive Couple Retreat

There will be an Adoption Retreat in Orem,UT on MARCH 30-31st, 20012.

This Retreat IS geared mostly towards Adoptive Couples....HOWEVER.... we had several birthparents and a few adoptees last year and they loved it!

Here is our Tentative Schedule
Friday Night:
5:30 -- Arrival
6-6:15-- Keynote--Alex Rowley --Adoptee
6:15-Whenever -- Mix and Mingle

9:15-9:45--Keynote : Tiffany Baugh -- An Adoptee and Birthmom
9:45-10:30--Lindsey and Josh Redfern--Advice through the process, face 2 face, and preparation for placements
10:30-11:30--Adoptive Couple Panel--Ashley-International Adoption, Jenn-Foster Adoption, Josh-Domestic Adoption, Leisha-Older Child Adoption
11:30-12:15--Lunch and Musical Number by Alex Rowley
12:15-1:15--Birthmom Speaker(s) Gina Crotts
1:15-2--Closing and Raffle

by March 1st the price is only 
40 dollars per couples (5 dollars extra for childcare)
25 dollars per person

Hope to see lots of you there!!! 

bmb has a FREE admission to giveaway. Email them at with your favorite positive quote, adoption related or not, be creative! 

Also, follow bmb and birthmothers4adoption. The winner will be announced on
Wednesday Feb. 29th

I will be there and can't wait to meet so many adoptive couples!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Handling an Open Adoption

I've been asked many times "'How do you make an open adoption work without stepping on toes?"  Years ago I decided that I would allow the adoption to be run by Lori and Barton.  As open as they wanted things would be as open as I was ok having them.  So far that has worked for me.  HOWEVER I know that my mentality doesn't work for everyone.  I know that for some birth mothers they fear that the adoption will at some point close and they will have no control over that.  They fear that it will break them and they will be heart broken.  I believe those fears are very real fears.  They are sometimes very hard to deal with.

How can adoptive parents and birth parents come to an agreement before placement that will make it so that both parties are comfortable with how open the adoption is.  Really it's simple.  It's a funnel system that has worked for me and has worked for many other adoptive couples.  It's really simple in theory and works wonders.

Before placement (I recommend before the baby is even born) the birth mother needs to sit down and write down as CLOSED as she feels she could handle the adoption.  Be very specific and don't leave out things you feel are "small" details.

For example I feel that as closed as I could handle would be 1 visit a year with pictures at least once every 6 months.

Before placement the adoptive couple needs to sit down and write down as OPEN as they feel they could handle the adoption.  Again be very specific and don't leave things out that you feel "aren't a big deal" now because in the future they may become a big deal.

For example maybe the couple and birth mother live close to each other so something they put down is that the birth mother is welcome to visit but needs to let the couple know at least 2 hours before she comes over (no "surprise" visits).  Things like that.  If the couple and birth mother live far away something they put down may be that when the birth mother visits she can stay with them in their home for 4 days but that more than that amount of time wouldn't be appropriate.  Does that make sense?

Then once both the birth mother and adoptive couple get their list written you need to meet with a case worker or counselor to hash things out.  The key is to meet in the middle.  Write down your agreement on paper (not that it's legally binding or anything but I think when things are written on paper they feel more "real").  A big part of this is honesty.  In order for this to really work you as a birth mother have to be honest with the adoptive couple and not worry about hurting their feelings by you wanting more contact than what they feel comfortable with.  And as an adoptive couple you also have to not worry about the birth mothers feelings.  Being real with your own feelings is a huge part of this.  If you aren't open and honest up front it won't work.  You'll start doing visits and you'll be uncomfortable and then that is when things will fall apart.

Use the agreement for 6 months and then go back and readdress it.  Make sure that you as a birth mother is open about how the contact has been affecting you.  When I say be open that DOES NOT mean you need to tell the adoptive couple how hard adoption is or how hard of a time you are having.  By simply saying "I've had a few hard days but I know my decision was right." that lets the couple know that you are grieving and you have pain but you aren't taking that pain out on them.  Also make sure as an adoptive couple you are open about how the contact is affecting you and your family.

It may be after 6 months you are ready for more contact and feel that it has been good for you and your family.  You need to be open about that.  If it hasn't been good for you.... SAY IT!!!!  Not being open about your feelings will only lead to problems down the road.

I believe (and this is from experience) that if you as a birth family and adoptive family talk every 6 months with a case worker or counselor about how the contact has been going and set new boundaries it will only make the relationship stronger.

After all this I know that EVERY situation is different and some things that have worked for me won't work for others but I truly believe that this funnel system allows for the best communication between birth family and adoptive family.

I'm willing to answer questions that you may have. ask away and share away.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I am NOT her mother.....

A dear friend of mine (J) recently made a profile.  I love that girl and love that she opened up about her adoption experience (she's a birth mother to JJ) and made a profile.  In her profile she stated that she was a first time mom.  Someone read that and well they thought it would be a good idea to flat out attack my friend.

M stated HERE in her wonderful attack on J:
You say you are a first-time mom to your SECOND born child because you gave the first one away. Now, I am not a swearing woman, but WHAT IN THE HELL are you smoking? Are you so intoxicated on the adoption Kool-aid that it runs icy cold through your veins instead of real blood? Is your heart so beyond feeling that you cannot for ONE MOMENT realize the damage your careless attitude and words will cause your TRUE first born child? What kind of mental-gymnastics did you have to go through to come up with this idea or was it something your counselor from LDSFS put into your pretty little head?

Well dear M.... SHE IS A FIRST TIME MOM!  It is my belief and many other people's belief that simply because you give birth to a child does not make you their mother.  Simply because JJ grew in J's womb does not make her JJ's mother.  A mother can be a woman other than the biological parent, especially if she fulfills the main social role in raising the child.  In fact if you go to wikipedia the first definition of mother is.... "a woman who has raised a child."  So M since you have your panties in such a bind that they are clearly spewing out of your mouth why don't you take on society because society is who has put that definition out there.  Society is the one you should be flat out attacking.  They also believe that a mother is the woman who raises the child.  Which in J's case would be the adoptive mother.

J is a first time mom just as I was a first time mom when I became Cayden's mother.  Get off your sad sorry horse and realize that it's not that J is thoughtless or heartless it is that she has respect for JJ's mother.  Having respect for her means that she wouldn't claim the label that RIGHTFULLY BELONGS TO ANOTHER WOMAN.  A woman that she trusted to raise and love the baby girl she brought into this world.  The woman that she wanted to be JJ's mother.

Just as J isn't JJ's mother I am not Ally's mother.  I didn't fully realize this until after a visit with Cayden and Ally.  I realized then that I loved Ally differently than I loved Cayden.  And you know there is NOTHING wrong with that because Ally has a mother that loves her, and cares for her.  She has a mother that she runs to when her feelings are hurt, she has a mother that calms her fears and tucks in her at night.  I remember the visit when I realized that my feelings were different about Cayden and Ally.  For a little bit I thought I was wrong to feel differently about them.  That was until I realized that I was right.  Ally wasn't my daughter and Cayden was my son.  I should feel differently toward Cayden because I am the one that he runs to for love, I am the one that clams his fears and tucks him in at night.  My blog post about my feelings can be read HERE.

So again M.... You have no right to attack J in such a way nor do you have a right to say that she isn't a first time mom.  She in fact as the definition set by society is a first time mom!