Monthly Archives: September 2011

Between Conferences

A quick update from me…

The session, “Tips from the Trenches: Finding Middle Ground in Open Adoptive Parenting that my friend and colleague Lori Holden (of WriteMindOpenHeart and the Open Adoption Examiner) and I presented at the Open Adoption Symposium: Realities, Possibilities and Challenges in Richmond, VA was well-received.  We challenged our attendees to participate in a creative and colorful activity.  They did great. (Lori loves color as much as I do. Go, girl!)

I was thrilled to meet and strike up friendships with a number of people I had only heard of or followed on my Google Reader.  The symposium was about openness in adoption and we all (professionals, birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees) did an admirable job of being hosptitious (great concept and so true, Mr. Jim Gritter!) and supportive and compassionate. It was wonderful to witness open adoptions in action.

Uhhhh, we had a lot of fun, too!

The conference “season” continues. I’m again presenting—at the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference this weekend in Indianapolis. My topics will be Racism and Your Child and Adoption vs. “Normal.” I will also be sitting on a panel—Friends & Family.

If you are in the area, check out the conference. It begins on Friday and ends with a picnic on Sunday. Some great sessions abound (Hague credit and CEUs are available), including one on Emotion Coaching (which all humans can benefit from) and Techniques to Strengthen Attachment. Reserve your spot here. Childcare is available, and the Harrison Center for the Arts is an amazing venue. Hope to see you!

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Events, The International Mom

Woo Hoo!

I’m so excited! I’ve been polishing up my presentation for the Open Adoption Symposium: Realities, Possibilities and Challenges in Richmond, VA next week.  My friend and colleague Lori Holden, of WriteMindOpenHeart and the Open Adoption Examiner, and I will be speaking about “Tips from the Trenches: Finding Middle Ground in Open Adoptive Parenting.”  We’ve created some very cool activities to involve participants and encourage lively discussion. I just love a lively discussion… :)

The symposium runs from September 23-24 and offers opportunities to discuss, from multiple viewpoints, adoption as a lifelong process. There will be a “wide range of perspectives to give a full view of the complexity of the issues and to allow attendees an opportunity to consider adoption from a perspective other than their own.” Attendees include adoptees, birth/first parents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, therapists, researchers, educators, media professionals, advocates, attorneys, policy makers, and legislators.

Jim Gritter, author of Lifegivers: Framing the Birthparent Experience in Open Adoption and The Spirit of Open Adoption, and Adam Pertman, director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of Adoption Nation, are the keynote speakers. Other topics include:

▪       How to De-Freakify Open Adoption
▪       Open Adoption: An examination of First/Birth Mothers experiences
▪       International Adoption: The journey to raising a secure & resilient child
▪       Older Children Adoptions: Opening their truth
▪       Openness Options when building a family through third party reproduction
▪       My First/Birth Mother Friended Me! How families can manage contact from Facebook & other media
▪       Under the Microscope: Adoption practices during the Baby Scoop Era pertaining to surrendering mothers

A full list of workshops and presenters is available here. ***By the way, I will be discussing my new e-guide, What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, as well. Hope to see you!

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Filed under Adoption Issues, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Advocacy, Events, The International Mom

Between Us

She connects you and me, two strangers, through the sacred bond of motherhood. We stand on either side of loss and grief. We stand on either side of her life’s journey.

I respect you. I empathize with you. I will forever be thankful for the difficult decision you made. Without it, she would not be with me.

I love my child and so it is I love you as well, because you are part of her. You exist within every cell of her physical being. You exist deep within her memory stores. I’m sure of it. Some day she may want to know more, but for now she feels secure in her ingrained knowledge.

She has some of your characteristics and some of mine. She is western and she is eastern. She is poise, wit, and grace. She is ethical, committed to goals, and thoughtful. She is physically and emotionally strong. She is wise beyond her years, an “old soul” who knows who she is and is comfortable with it.

You gave her life and overcame great obstacles to bring her into this world. You ushered her to safety, risking yours, so that she would end up within my loving arms.

I give her a home, unconditional love and guidance. I laugh with her. Cry with her. And now, I hold her hand as she steps over the threshold to discover the mysteries of herself as she embarks on womanhood.

I wonder how you feel, as the years speed by, about the decision you had to make. I know, as a mother, you think of her continuously. I wish I could convey to you that that she is fine—content, balanced, joyous, and beautiful. She is deeply loved and cherished by her family.

Every time I look at the moon and stars, in the deep quiet of the night, I send prayers and thoughts your way, believing you can feel my intentions and that they will find you healthy and happy. At peace.

She is our blessing. She is my heart and your soul. Born of you, adopted by me. Our daughter.

 

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Claiming, Identity, Loss