A Letter To My Pre-Birthmother Self

This guest post is by Gina Crotts, a birthmother.
 
Dear Gina,
 
The path you’re about to start on is a long and tedious road. You will wake up from nightmares, cry tears of emptiness, and ache to be whole again.
 
You will experience the most powerful and emotional rollercoasters in this life, called grief.
 
You will sacrifice and give away a part of you, that cannot be filled with any worldly treasure, yet you’ll continue to try and fill the unfillable.
 
You will know loss and you will know pain. Birthdays and holidays will haunt you. When you least expect it, you’ll buy a front row seat to that rollercoaster you wish would forget about you.

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Don’t Adopt

This guest post is by Kerstin Lindquist, an adoptive mother and author.  

Don’t adopt.

Don’t adopt because you think you want to.
Don’t adopt because it’s the cool thing to do.
Don’t adopt because celebrities do.
Don’t adopt because it’s an “option.”

It’s not that simple.

Don’t adopt if you’re not ready to lose everything.
Not just a little, but all of it.
Don’t adopt when your partner isn’t one hundred percent on board,
You can’t do this without their support.
Don’t adopt if you’re not prepared to get your heart broken.
Not just tomorrow but for the rest of your child’s life.
Don’t adopt if you aren’t willing to deal with the prejudice in your families’ eyes, in your friend’s words, in societies double standards.

Because you’re just not ready. Continue reading

What Growing Up In An Open Adoption Taught Me About Setting Boundaries

This guest post is by Juliana Whitney, an adoptee.

Open adoption is filled with uncertain boundaries which everyone involved has to be keenly aware of.

It’s one of those situations where you really have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  It requires an openness to vulnerability.  

In an open adoption, you deal with the boundary between the adoptive parents and the biological parents, the boundary between the child and the biological parents, and even the boundary between the adoptive parents and the child.  

Then there is the boundary between all members of the biological and adoptive families, depending on how close the two families become!  It’s intense, to say the least.  

As every open adoption situation is different, I will give you some background on my own.  

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Birthmothers Don’t Give Up Their Children 

This guest post is by Tysie Stoyan, an adoptive mother.

Almost two years ago today I became a firm believer that miracles really do come true.

On December 29, 2015, as tears fell down my face, I held a little boy in my arms for the first time.

Something I once believed was impossible came true. I became a mother.

I never imagined that my life could have so much love, happiness and completeness in it.

Five years earlier,  I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and told I could not have children of my own. Adoption was my only chance at motherhood.  

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How I Found Peace Of Mind As A Birthmother

This guest post is by Makena, a birthmother. 

It would be so easy for me to deny that I am a birthmother.

I haven’t simply because I love being a birthmother and I love how big my family has grown all because of one choice I made to place my son for adoption.

That decision has led me to where I am now. I learned to embrace its consequences and realized that not all consequences are bad.

Mistakes often lead to new experiences and blessings, although most people don’t realize that.

When it comes to experiences in life, I’m often seen as the elephant in the room. And yet I am happy with who I am. Continue reading

8 Do’s & Don’ts of Building An Adoption Profile

This guest profile is by Alana Redmond, a writer.

Writing an adoption profile isn’t as easy as it sounds. One word can determine your adoption status.

It’s important to follow organized steps and take calculated measures in order to secure your status as an adoptive parent.

Follow these do’s and don’ts when building your adoption profile to ensure your adoption process runs smoothly.

1. Don’t: Include long and unnecessary details about your path to becoming an adoptive parent.

Many couples share stories of their infertility and their struggles trying to procreate.

Dwelling on the dark history of your efforts to become pregnant isn’t always the best route because those who are placing their child up for adoption are also facing their own difficulties.

This can come across as self centered or as an act of desperation.

2. Do: Share your reason for adopting

Keep it simple and straight to the point. Honesty, accuracy and concrete information are always appreciated in adoption profiles.

Placing this information in the beginning of your adoption profile is beneficial because you’ll still have the reader’s attention.

3. Don’t: “Dear Birth Mother”

This phrase seems like a polite gesture when building an adoption profile. However, it can be an offensive and overbearing phrase.

A woman is not a birth mother until she places her child after birth. She may still be deciding her birth plan and looking for options, never assume anything.

4. Do: The basics

“Hello.” Sounds a little boring, doesn’t it? Well, this is the perfect gesture for building an adoption profile.

Keeping it simple is ideal when building a portrait for yourself and your family.

Many expectant mothers are looking for concrete and specific details including location and how long a couple has been together.

Leaving out the “fluff” will not only make it easier on you, but also on the reader.

5. Don’t: Brag about your wealth

Promising the expecting mother a better life for their child is simple. However, it can easily be twisted around and made about money.

It’s important to take caution when writing about how you plan to give their child a better life.

The expecting mother doesn’t care about your possessions and is probably already aware of the fact that adopting a child isn’t cheap.

Bragging about wealth just comes off as pretentious and that can greatly decrease your chances of adopting.

6. Do: Focus on the child’s future

Explaining your goals for the child’s future is incredibly important.

Telling the expectant mother you’re already saving for their college tuition or a family vacation is a good way to express that your family is financially responsible and optimistic about the future of the child.

7. Don’t: Include identifying personal information

Including personal information such as email, phone numbers and social media accounts can be a major mistake when building a adoption profile.

This could lead to scammers receiving your information and trying to contact you for money or even a plane ticket.

8. Do: Share your photos

Sharing memorable photos on your adoption profile from a family vacation or a day in the park can shed a lot of light on the type of values your family holds.

Holiday photos can also explain a lot about your family’s cultural values (without having to explain in a long paragraph).

Many expecting parents are worried their child may feel excluded or disconnected from their roots.

Sharing photos allows potential birth parents to know their child will have a loving and fun family that is involved with their community and holds sincere values.

Keep in mind over-sharing too many images on your profile can be overwhelming.

Communicate a sense of your family dynamic – with all members included – without creating an entire photo album.

Alana Redmond is a legal content writer and has worked with several family law firms including Yelman & Associates in San Diego.  

Do you have an open adoption story or tips? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.

Help us remove the stigma surrounding open adoption. Like us on Facebook.

To The Beautiful Baby Girl I Placed For Adoption

This guest post is by Andrea, a birthmother. 

I love you so very much. Nothing has or will ever change it.

Finding out I was carrying you and making the adoption plan for you was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through.

It has also been the best that’s ever happened to me too.

I made an adoption plan for you because you were and are always my number one priority. Continue reading

7 Ways to Build a Relationship With An Expectant Mother You’re Matched With

This guest post is by Rachel Garlinghouse, an adoptive mother and author.

You’ve waited, and waited, and waited even longer.  But then the day finally arrives.  Congratulations!  You are matched with an expectant mother.

Once the initial excitement wears off, worry and doubt will sink it. You ask yourself, “Now what?”  

After all, building a relationship with an expectant mother can be uncomfortable and awkward, especially in the beginning.

Essentially, strangers are suddenly thrust into forming a relationship, one where a child’s future is on the proverbial line. 

Expectations tend to be too high.  But don’t fear!  With these practical tips, you can begin the journey of learning about one another and building a relationship based on trust, respect, and joy: Continue reading

What Is an Adoptive Parent Really Like?

This guest post is by Deanna Kahler, an adoptive parent and author.

We’re not saints, saviors or baby stealers. We’re not “playing house” or raising a child we don’t consider our own.

We didn’t choose adoption as a last resort, and we aren’t hoping to get pregnant now that we’ve adopted.

Although I’ve heard all of these phrases when others talk about adoptive parents, I can honestly tell you: we’re regular parents—ordinary, but sometimes misunderstood.

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