Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Open Adoption Interview Project

I love talking about adoption and I love to blog about our experiences with adopting domestically. Neither of our adoptions turned out the way I envisioned them to go, and neither followed any sort of pattern. I enjoy reading about the adoption experiences of others in the adoption triad (adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents). It's always neat to find new blogs to follow and I find myself getting quite attached to the people on the other end of the screen.

Last year was my first year participating in the Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project. I missed it the year before and was eager to sign up last year. We had our trip to Disney this time last year and I was nervous about missing the deadline, but I was able to get it in and enjoyed reading all the other posts.

This year, it's being done a bit differently. There are three groups and each group posts their interviews during a specific window of time. It ends up making it really easy to read all the interviews and to easily see which bloggers were matched together.

My group posts on November 19th (I'm in group two). I hope you'll check out the interviews for that day and all the interviews from the first group as well (posted 11/12/13).

I was matched with J from J and D Adopt. She and her husband are a waiting family and I enjoyed the opportunity to ask her questions and get to know her better. I'm hooked now and cannot wait to keep following their adoption journey. I think my favorite post will be the one of them holding their sweet baby!!

Without further ado... I introduce J:

1) When did you start your blog? What made you decided to create a blog about your adoption journey? Are you planning on keeping it once you've got a baby?

I started my blog about a week and a half after we were approved. I had planned to do a blog all along but not necessarily in this form. I like the community I've come across through adoptions blogs and wanted to really be a part of if through blogging. I tend to have strong opinions and this journey is unlike anything else we've ever been through, so I wanted a place I could express my feelings in an open manner semi-anonymously. I don't know that I will continue my blog after we get a baby. I think I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

2) I know that infertility isn't the reason you and D chose to create your family, so why is adoption your choice?

Adoption has been a part of my plan as long as I can remember. In fact, we took some really good friends out to breakfast to tell them about the adoption and ask if they would be a reference. I was vague in my invitation, telling them that I wanted to talk to them about something and that it wasn't that I was pregnant. When we did tell them what it was, the wife shouted "I KNEW IT!" But this is a question I've been thinking a lot about during this journey. I think because it's been a hope of mine for so long, it's just become a part of me. My uncle is adopted and we have an extended step-family on my mom's side, so blood isn't important to me in forming a family. Our ultimate desire would be to adopt one domestically, have one bio, and adopt internationally. I've always had this voice in my head that's told me it's going to be difficult for me to get pregnant and I have been diagnosed with endometriosis, so getting pregnant might not be in the cards for us. But knowing us, if we didn't adopt first, we weren't going to be likely to do it.

3) Are you hoping to have an open, semi-open, or closed adoption? What made you decide this type of adoption?

This is another issue I've struggled with. My husband is leaning more towards a semi-open. My heart is coming around to an open adoption. I have fears about an open adoption - I fear our child will be confused by this extra familial relationship; I fear when he or she is a teenager, they'll tell me they want to go live with their birth mother. My biggest fear is being compared to her and falling short in my child's eyes. I hope an open adoption would be healthier for our child. But I am open to whatever our birth mother chooses.

4) How do your families feel about adoption? Friends? Do you have an adoption support group to turn to during the wait and beyond?

Our families are so excited - it's the first grandbaby on either side! Like I said above, adoption has always been a hope of mine, so our adoption plans didn't come as a surprise to my parents. D's parents were completely on board as well. D's older brother is gay so adoption is going to be in his path to fatherhood. Because of that, I think his parents have always been open to the idea. For the most part, our friends have been super supportive. I have one close friend though who struggles with anxiety issues. Anything out of the norm for her is difficult to deal with so I'm a little worried about her reactions as we move on in the process. Although, to be fair, she has been pregnant our entire process, so I'm going to give her a little leeway. I haven't found any adoption support groups, but because we haven't struggled with infertility and adoption is our first choice, the wait hasn't been difficult yet. I use my blog as my own support system when I need it.

5) What are the ways that you're actively working to adopt a baby? Just an agency? Are you doing other things?

We've just recently started taking an active role in our adoption journey. I'm hesitant to find a mother on our own because I never want her to feel obligated to make a choice because of a relationship we've built. I want her to be sure of her choice and be sure it's what's best for her. We made our adoption Facebook official on November 1, for the start of National Adoption Month. We started a blog separate from this where we have more about us and our lives. We've been pushing that on Facebook, but that's about the extent of our activity. We're not in any rush and we know when it happens, it will happen.

6) Is the adoption process what you were expecting? What expectations do you have for the future?

No, but because I didn't have any expectations really. I didn't know what to expect. As far as the future, I expect that we'll have some struggles, that I eventually my patience will wear thin, but that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.

7) What are your biggest fears (in relation to adoption)?

That NFL allegiance is genetic and our baby will be a Cowboys fan. But seriously, I fear the relationship our child's birth mother. By that, I mean I'm fearful that the relationship won't work for her, the child, or us for some reason. I don't want anyone to be hurt, but I want to protect her and our child the most. I fear the loss of control and not knowing what is coming. I fear being given an opportunity that isn't right for us and not having the strength to say no. I fear we won't do an adequate job of helping our child deal with the emotional issues related to adoption.

8) Lastly, what advice would you give to someone just starting the adoption process? What do you wish you knew now that you're already in the waiting stage?

That it is not for the faint of heart. It's not as easy as getting pregnant is for others. That you'll see teenagers pushing strollers around at the grocery store like it's a game and it will make you want to scream. I'm glad I didn't come into the process with any expectations. I've enjoyed going through the process for the most part and I think it's changed me and us as a couple. I don't think there's anything that I know now that I wish I would have known then. Except that during the home study, they really don't come in with a white glove. She didn't open any closets or look under any beds. But it gave us a really good excuse to clean our house.
I hope you've enjoyed getting to know J and will follow her blog to keep up with their adoption journey!!


Jim and Amy Hoping to Adopt said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My husband and I also always knew we wanted to adopt. But after I became pregnant and than miscarried, he struggled for a while to come back around to the idea of adoption. It is a hard process and not for the faint of heart, but we have also grown together so much as a couple. Best of luck to you both!!!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

"I fear our child will be confused by this extra familial relationship; I fear when he or she is a teenager, they'll tell me they want to go live with their birth mother."

My 7-year old has already told me that he wants to go live with his birthmother. I told him that it's not gonna happen. We're stuck with each other. (We talked more too.)

So far, he's not at all confused about the family relationships. He knows he has siblings who don't live with him, and a birth father he's never met, and cousins and an aunt and uncle, the same way he has bunches and bunches of great-aunts and second cousins and godparents... Kids are pretty cool. They understand a lot more than adults give them credit for.

Oh, and he was born in Kansas City, so he has decided to be a Chiefs fan. We can only hope he grows out of that. (Kidding!)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great interview - thanks for sharing your story!

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