All posts by Lawrence

Hi, I'm Lawrence Morton, community manager and chief blogger at America Adopts! If you have an open adoption story you want to share, email me anytime at info@americaadopts.com

Pregnant and Considering Adoption? Know Your Rights

Ashley Mitchell is a birthmother and the president of Lifetime Healing, LLC.

Throughout this past decade I have seen a common thread throughout the birth mother communities: a lack of support after relinquishment. 

The mission of Lifetime Healing is to make sure that any woman that chooses to place her child for adoption will have free lifetime support, no matter where she lives. 

We do not believe that post-placement care should be a luxury, it should be the standard. 

I talk all the time about the 3 R’s of adoption: Rights, Roles and Responsibility.  I want to share with you some thoughts on the first R – Rights of the mother. 

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5 Things That Helped Me Get Through The Year I Placed My Baby For Adoption

This guest post is by Alice, a birthmother.

I was Miss Squeaky Clean back in high school. I didn’t even kiss a boy till I was 18. But nine years later I had my first real experience and Wowzers, just like that I got pregnant. 

Let me tell you that it is sucky to be in that boat. I know because I was there. 

Everyone says that placing your baby for adoption is really honorable. The question is, is it the right thing to do? That’s something you need to decide for yourself because it’s a rough road ahead. 

In my case, I knew I had to place my baby. I had found two imperfectly lovely parents and I wanted them for my baby. I am now extremely happy that I ever got to go through this.

Today I am married to my soulmate and have two beautiful babies who I stay home with. 

Placing my baby for adoption was hard but I have never wished that I would have single parented. There were five things that got me through that tough, sacred first year.  Continue reading

What I Wish Others Knew About Open Adoption

This guest post is by Chemene, an adoptive mother and adoption support group leader. 

When I was in my 20’s I wished for a time machine to go back and change the things I did in high school. 

You know those really important things: Break up with my boyfriend sooner; study for a test days NOT hours before while in homeroom; get better clothes!  

In my 30’s I wished I could go back to my childhood and experience that feeling of no responsibility; no bills; no taxes; maybe relive even my first childhood kiss. 

But recently I asked myself would I go back now to make changes?  My answer would be a little different.  It wouldn’t be 100% yes, it would be more like 50/50.   Continue reading

Overcoming Fear In Open Adoptions

This guest post is by Maxine Chalker, founder of Adoptions From The Heart and an adoptee.

Thousands of adoptive parents who opt for traditional, or “closed,” adoptions have faced the same challenge.

Your child grows, enters school and soon begins to ask tough questions. Questions that center around their biological parents.

The real problem, of course, isn’t that you don’t want to answer these questions, but that you’re probably just as ignorant of your child’s birth parents as they are.

So instead of responding to the child’s concerns, adoptive parents can only answer with the unsatisfying refrain of “I don’t know.”

Most adopted children have a basic desire to explore their roots. We all yearn for history, a narrative that can help explain who we are and where we may be going.

The vast majority of children are better-served by being provided with concrete answers. Continue reading

A Birthmother’s Advice on How To Build Trust in An Open Adoption

This guest post is by Michelle Thorne, a birthmother.

Navigating an open adoption is not for the faint of heart. It takes bravery and love and work.

I would say, even as a birthmother in my own adoption, I have massive anxiety surrounding every moment of contact.

I never want to overstep my bounds or do anything that would cause further separation.

It’s not my son’s parents who make me feel this way, but an ingrained fear that I don’t deserve a relationship with him.

I am not alone in this.

“I want to tell them but I’m afraid…”

“I wish they sent me more pictures but I don’t want to bother them.”

“It really hurt me that they didn’t send me anything on his birthday.” Continue reading

What It Feels Like To Be A Birthmother

This guest post is by Gina Crotts, a birthmother.

The small window that sits above the kitchen sink is just big enough to feel the heat of the sun upon my face. I load the dishes into the dishwasher as I hear the laughter of my three children. They chase each other then fall to the ground completely entertained by the fresh air and the dancing trees around them. 

I find myself in this position often, watching the three of them in awe that they are mine. I reflect on the pregnancy and birth of each one of them and what beautiful miracles they are.

I send gratitude to the sky to be their mother, to teach them, to love them, but more importantly to learn from them. I cannot imagine one without the other and the different roles and personalities that they bring into our home. 

Then I think about her and how it would be, four of them, laughing under the dancing trees. I close my eyes and I see her there, guiding the three younger with grace. Continue reading

Why We Have An Open Relationship With Our Son’s Birth Family

This guest post is by Tennille, an adoptive mother. 

It was bedtime, the stories had been read and prayers had been said. Then, out of the blue, our son said, “Mommy, you were praying for me while I was playing in Kelli’s tummy.”

Mateus was 2 1/2 at the time, and his comment filled my heart with joy.

When my husband and I were thinking about building our family through adoption, we had a discussion about open versus closed adoptions.

We agreed that we would raise our child to always know they had been adopted, to know who and where their birth family was, and to make sure they knew they were always wanted, loved, treasured, wished and prayed for.

Mateus is 3 1/2 now and we continue to build an open relationship with his birth family.  Continue reading

Our Christmas Adoption Story

This guest post is by Danielle Beattie, an adoptive mother and adoptee.

Ever since I was a young girl  I knew I wanted two thing: to be a mom and to adopt a child. 

I was adopted and wanted to adopt

On March 11, 2005 my first wish came true. I became a mom when I gave birth to a little boy who I named Nicolas.

But soon after, on May 9, my world came crashing down when he passed away.

A lot of people asked or told me to have another. I couldn’t. I just didn’t want to have another.

I wanted my Nicolas back but that wasn’t going to happen. I said I’ll give it three years, I would give myself three years until I would try to have another baby.

Well, three years went by.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want another baby. It just never happened — that is, until almost 10 years later. Continue reading

The Lucky Ones: Reflections of An Adoptive Mother

This guest blog is by Lori Lyons , an adoptive mother and author.
 

Perhaps to the annoyance of my friends and social media followers, I celebrated National Adoption Month with gusto.

For probably the millionth time I posted the photo of my husband and me holding our newborn baby girl in front on an incubator in the NICU.

There was nothing wrong with her, mind you, it was just the only space the hospital staff could find for us that day. They had to make us a small space to visit our new child.

I also posted that photo to my Twitter Page, the one usually reserved for sports scores and updates as I am a sports writer by trade.

It got a few likes from players, coaches and fans alike.

Then I got a thank you.

A friend and fellow scribe, who also is an adoptee, thanked me for adopting my child. It caught me slightly off guard. Why was he thanking me for the greatest thing to happen to me in my life?

I didn’t do anything special. Oh, adoption definitely is a lot of hard work. It’s very time-consuming and it involves tons of paperwork.

We didn’t even have the Internet to help us. Well, it was in its infancy at the time and an ad on an adoption web site cost upwards of $100.

We didn’t have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We did buy a few ads in a few newspapers and sent everyone we knew a letter detailing our search and our personal lives.

It worked.

One day we got a call from a woman who got our letter from a friend of a friend. Just that was a miracle in and of itself. She got a letter. She read it. She chose us. She could have just tossed it.

Then, about three months later, we got another call. She was going into the hospital. She still was choosing us.

A few days later, that woman handed a beautiful, perfect, pink baby girl to me and asked, “Are you ready to meet your daughter?”

Eighteen months later a judge signed the papers saying, yes, we were worthy to be her parents.

And the last 16 years have been filled with love, laughter, silly songs, Sesame Street, Elmo, Disney princesses, tea parties, sleepovers, birthday parties, field trips, concerts, dance recitals, funny faces, hugs and kisses.

Over the years I’ve also gotten a few comments in the vein of, “She’s so lucky to have you.”

Let me say straight up: I am the lucky one. My now 16-year-old daughter is simply stuck with us, whether she likes it or not (of course, sometimes she does not).

Would her life have been different if she had stayed with her first mother and family? Certainly. Would she have been less lucky? I don’t know that.

But I know I would.

Lori Lyons is a Louisiana journalist and author who blogs about life, motherhood, adoption and sometimes baseball at The Lyons Din. She self-published the book, Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting, recounting her journey to motherhood.

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