Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 Adoption Blogger Interview Project


 


This year I participated in the Adoption Blogger Interview Project for the very first time!  Anyone who blogs about adoption, whether it be adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents  or hopeful adoptive parents, could participate.   I decided to do it because I thought it would be a great way to get some general questions about the after effects of adoption answered from those who have lived through it.  The only crazy concern that I had was being paired with a birth mother, because I didn't want her to judge me or my husband.  I knew I wasn't going to judge her decision to place but I didn't want to be looked at as the big bad monster who wants to take someone's child away and never speak to them again.  That is honestly the biggest fear that we share about adoption. 

Wouldn't you know it that Heather paired me with a birth mother, Red of One More Day !  I am so extremely grateful that she did too!  Not once during this interview did I ever feel that judgement I feared.  Even reading through Red's blog I knew I would be able to learn so much from this interview. Without further ado, here is my interview.


What are 5 things you are thankful for this Thanksgiving?

        Can I only choose 5? There is SO much I am thankful for, most
of all for my kids and my family. I am thankful for my boyfriend, he
is my rock through everything and he is the best Daddy my daughter
could have. I am also thankful for my son's family, and their
willingness to include me in their lives. I'm thankful for a lovely
home and for finally finding my place in the world. I'm a pretty lucky
girl, and if I keep going this portion will be 10 paragraphs long :)


 Looking back at when you placed Dawson, is there anything you wish
you could tell your former self?

        There is SO much I wish I could explain to my former self. I
wish I could have told myself that the pain was not going to go away.
I wish I could have told myself to seek professional counseling
immediately, both during and after placement. I think those two things
would have helped me to get to a healthy place much faster. I also
wish I could have told myself how much I would regret not writing and
talking with his parents that first year. I was in so much pain that I
became numb and didn't reply more than one or two times, while they
were writing letters and sending pictures every month.
 
Do you have any hobbies?
        Honestly, I have what I wish were real hobbies. I love to
scrapbook but cant ever seem to find the time. I also would love to do
all kinds of fun and cool crafts but I am not very crafty and I feel
my time is better spent by being with my little family and trying to
be the best Mom possible.

What was one thing that you were most fearful of with regards to
your relationship with Dawson's adoptive parents and how did your
overcome it?

        In the beginning I was scared of everything about our
relationship. I felt that they had all the control and that at any
moment they could take away the one thing in my life that meant
everything to me. I knew I needed that relationship with my son,
somehow I just knew I wouldn't survive without him. Then as time
progressed things changed. They became important to me just as much as
he was. Like another piece of my family I just couldn't imagine my life
without. I still sometimes get scared that they will want to cease
contact, but most of  the time I am just so happy they are a part of
my life. There have been many times I have called to talk and ended up
only talking to his mom, and not to him, but it doesn't bother me
because my relationship with her is important too. There is a bond
there that I can't really put into words. I just know that I feel
connected by more than our shared love of that amazing little boy.


What is one of your favorite books and why?
        My favorite author is Dean Koontz and I LOVE the Odd Thomas
series. I love sci-fi and mystery type novels, and I really like the
narratives that his characters have and the smooth banter they throw
back and forth. I wish I was as witty as some of his characters and I
also love that he has a good grasp of how to portray love and real
relationships.

Walk me through a typical visit with D, G, C and Dawson.  What are
some of the things you do and/or talk about?  When do you visit
(holidays, birthday, whenever you can)?

        Our visits have evolved a lot over the last few years. In the
beginning we usually just did a day trip, met up in Portland and spent
a few hours doing something fun. Then we would have dinner and say our
goodbyes. A few years ago, after I moved to Arizona that became harder
to do. So these last few years we have still met in Portland, but we
usually each get hotel rooms, meet up in the evening, swim in the
hotel pool, then spend a whole day together the next day. We have
breakfast, do something fun and catch lunch, then after dinner we say
our goodbyes and I head to my hometown to visit the rest of my family.
I usually spend a lot of time talking with C and D, G is usually pretty
quiet and my sister brings my nephew so the boys spend a lot of time
together. Lately visits have happened in the spring, some have been in
the summer. We have done a few around his birthday, but not usually
around the holidays since we all have other family to see.

Is there any advice you would give to potential adoptive parents
about building a strong relationship with their birth mother?

        I guess I would say to be understanding, and also be open to
talk and listen. Don't expect it to come easily, and try not to be too
judgmental. Also the big one: Keep your promises! If you promise
pictures a certain amount, then send them. If you promise visits, then
plan them. If you promise contact, then don't cut it off.

 Cilantro, delicious or tastes like dish soap?
        I love cilantro!

  Does J have a relationship with Dawson? Does your family? Please explain.
        I know that J has had contact with them, but I don't think he
has had as many visits or has tried to keep up the relationship like I
have. I have made it clear to them that I don't have a problem with him
being a part of their lives, that is their call to make, but he has
also done a few things that have made them feel uncomfortable so I
think their contact with him is much more limited. He has all of the
same information that I do but I think he would rather try to forget
and just live his life. Most of my family has met or had visits with
me when I have seen the family. My parents usually come to every
visit, and so does my nephew and sometimes my sister. I am the 6th of
7 kids, so not all of my siblings have spent time on these visits, but
Dawson has met quite a few of his cousins on this side so I think that
is a success.

  What is the one item in your purse that you could not live without?
        This is a hard one because I totally have a Mary Poppins
purse, and I keep EVERYTHING in there. I guess the most important
thing would be my phone, and my wallet is pretty important too. I
would have a hard time narrowing down to one thing I can't live
without, because I don't like to be without any of it.

Based on your experiences with adoption, have you ever considered
becoming more involved with helping others through this process, like
birth mothers?

        I have tried to get involved much more in the last few years.
I am a member of several online birth parent groups and I have also
done high school outreach locally. Honestly, it is exhausting talking
about it and reliving it, but I do it because I feel it is a good way
to spread awareness. The last few months I have taken a bit of a break
and with the holidays coming up I will probably be distracted, but I
plan to get back into the swing of things after the new year.

  Other than Dawson, what is one of the best things to come from
your experience?

        I guess I would say maturity and humility are the best things
to come out of this. I also think my knowledge of adoption has changed
me as a person, it made accepting my boyfriend's role in Cookie's life
much simpler. I will never take for granted the role of love over
biology in a child's life.

  I am so incredibly thankful to Red for allowing me to ask such personal questions.  I really believe that by learning about her experiences, I will be able to build a better relationship with our future birth mother.

Please take a bit and read through some of the other interviews from this project.  They are all very enlightening! 

1 comment:

  1. What a great interview! I am so glad this project includes stories from birth moms. In helping my daughter deal with her grief and loss of her birth mom it is helpful to see things from the other side. Though our adoption was unable to be an open adoption, we talk about, pray for, and assist our daughter in writing a book of letters to her birth mom. Blessings!

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