Conquering Your Fear of Open Adoption: What You Need To Know

This guest post is by Amanda Grant, founder of USAdopt.

amanda-grant-adoptionThe words “open adoption” often strike fear in the hearts of adoptive parents, unnecessarily. Think of open adoption as an open door, a new beginning, a starting point.

It is a very general term for a very personal and unique experience between birth families, adoptive families and the child that connects them.

It is an experience that is unlike any other relationship you will have in life and can be incredibly enriching for everyone involved.

The most common fears come from not understanding what open adoption is and how it works. So let me help clarify for you. Continue reading

Open Adoption Multiplies A Mother’s Love

This guest post is by Jori Reid, a birthmother.

jori-reidThe first definition of a mother in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a female parent.”

A lot people in the let’s call it “anti-adoption” world feel that a mother is solely the woman who gave birth to a baby.

I feel they couldn’t be any more wrong. Loving someone with all you have unconditionally, sheltering them, providing for them — how can that not be a mother as well?

Take me for example. I was brought into this world by a young 18-year-old girl who did what she thought was best for me and made that selfless and brave act to place me for adoption.

She loved me unconditionally. She never forgot about me. She never stopped loving me. Continue reading

The Gift of Fatherhood: An Open Adoption Story

This guest post is by Russell Elkins, an adoptive father and author 

russell-elkins-adoptionEvery spring I dreaded the father-and-son campout organized by my church. Naturally, I had no qualms with men taking their boys out for some quality time in a tent.

My dislike for this time of year didn’t even have to do with our infertility struggles. What I hated was the pressure other men would put on me to come.

“It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a son, Russ. We want you to come anyway.”

“No thanks.”

“Really. You should come. Steve only has daughters and he’s coming.”

“No thanks.”

“Oh, come on. Bill’s kids are all grown up and moved on. He’s coming without any of his sons.”

“I said no thanks.” Continue reading

An Open Letter To Our Future Child’s Birthfather

This guest post is by Ethan Brooks-Livingston, a hopeful adoptive father.

open-letter-to-expectant-father-adoptionAs Father’s Day approaches this year, it has taken on an almost-mythic status in my mind.

I look forward to my first (and subsequent) Father’s Days with more anticipation than any day I can think of.

It’s bigger than Christmas. And it’s not because I expect and need praise for being a dad. Father’s Day is a celebration of family.

This will be my second Father’s Day since my wife and I started the adoption process. It’s quite a while longer since we started dreaming of parenthood. Continue reading

A Birth Father’s Fathers’ Day

This guest post is by Darrick Rizzo, a birthfather and author.

darrickAs Father’s Day is quickly approaching, I am left with a pain in my heart that cannot be comforted.

It‘s not because I have indigestion or some other heart disease.

It’s because I am a birth father and I do not see my son whom I placed up for adoption when I was only eighteen years old.

For most birth fathers, there is a social stigma surrounding us. We aren’t looked at with sympathetic eyes or compassionate thoughts. In fact, most of the thoughts involve “us keeping it in our pants”.

So, when Fathers day rolls around, I find myself thinking about the “what if’s,” the maybe’s and the I wish it had been different. Continue reading

A Case for the Misunderstood Birth Mom

This guest post is by Wynter R. Kaiser, a birthmother and author

WynterAs a birth mom I have my own story and it is unique.

I think that sometimes it is easy to romanticize the ideal adoption scenario; a young girl gets pregnant and loves the baby so much that she decides to give it a better home and life than she can offer.

But there is much more to my story than that typical, idealized notion.

Frankly, I think if all birth moms were really being honest with you, they would say the same thing.

I grew up in a stiflingly Christian home, church and private school. As a child and teenager I talked the talk, but deep down inside, I desired to break free and live how the rest of the world lived. Continue reading

Adopting A Baby? Looking for Inspiration? Check Out These Motivational Messages

Graduation

Adopting a baby? Tired of waiting? Wondering what’s next?

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than this year’s commencement speeches.

Commencement addresses are always a great source of uplifting messages. And this year’s speeches to the Class of 2014 were no exception.

Frozen director Jennifer Lee advised students “when you are free from self-doubt, you fail better. You accept criticism and listen.”

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg warned them “not to put limits on yourself.”

And actor Ed Helm advised that “good sense and judgment are highly overrated.” Continue reading