Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adoption from the Perspective of a Birth Parent

In private adoption, adoptive parents will first meet with the birth mother or birth parents to determine whether the adoption is a good match. This is a way to ensure to the birth parents that the child is well taken care of in the way that they would wish. In the past, a woman who "gave her child up for adoption" often had no idea where the child was placed. This is not the case anymore. The birth mother almost always has the opportunity to meet the adoptive parents of her child. They may communicate with her quite frequently during the pregnancy and may actually be present during the delivery of the child.

One thing I plan to do for my adoptive child to help him or her connect to the birth parents is make him or her a birth story book. The book will include how they came into our family. This story book will include as much information as possible on his or her birth parents. Knowing who you are and where you came from helps develop a strong sense of self-identity and self-worth. As you can see, the face of adoption has changed tremendously.

Some facts about adoption expenses in Virginia:

  • If a birth mom doesn't have insurance, she can often sign up for Medicaid to help with the cost of carrying and delivering a child. In the state of Virginia, adoptive parents can help with expenses associated with pregnancy and delivery. For example, if the mom has Medicaid or some other form of insurance, the adoptive parents may pay for the copays not covered by the insurance. 
  • The adoptive parents are also allowed to pay for legal expenses on the birth mother's behalf. The birth mother's lawyer will represent only her interests and is separate from the lawyer representing the adoptive parents.
Choosing an adoptive family:

An ongoing study of birthparents and adoptive families reveals "When deciding on the adoption option, it was pretty or very important that [birthparents]:"
  • [Are] able to screen and select the adoptive parents
  • Are able to talk with, email or meet potential adoptive parents before the birth
  • Have access to post-adoption services, like counseling, support groups and updates from adoptive parents
  • Receive counseling
  • Are able to talk with other people who have made an adoption plan
  • Can have medical care paid by the adoptive family
Excerpt from: Domestic adoption: perception & reality, an article by Eliza Newlin Carney.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Placing a Child for Adoption

When Robert and I underwent our home study, we were required to read "The Third Choice: A Woman's Guide to Placing a Child for Adoption." Written for pregnant women who are struggling with the many choices available to them, this book is a powerful and informative handbook.

As I was reading the book, I felt a great compassion for birth mothers. As a young woman, I too was faced with the same situation and chose a path that I have often looked back on with regret. I feel for anyone who has to face the same prospect. That being said, I'd like to share some excerpts from the book:

  • "One of the most common reasons for placing a child for adoption is feeling unprepared emotionally to parent a child at this time or under these circumstances. You might have personal dreams or goals that feel more pressing. Or you may wish to be in a committed relationship or marriage before starting or adding to your family. Some birthparents say they feel burdened by unresolved feelings from their own childhood that they would like to explore and address before becoming a parent."
  • "The reasons for choosing adoption over other options are quite varied, personal and complicated. How do you begin to explore whether it is the right choice for you? You can start by looking at your feelings the moment you found out you were pregnant."
  • "If you have formed your ideas [of adoption] based on movies or other people's experiences, or if you yourself were raised in the foster system, you may need to reexamine adoption in light of today's options for openness."
  • "The authors [of this book] view birthparents as selfless, courageous and loving people."

These excerpts are from Chapter 1: Choosing Adoption. The rest of the book goes on to outline adoption options (did you know there are many types of adoptions?), finding the right adoptive parents, your pregnancy, birth and the grieving process. I would recommend it to anyone facing an unexpected pregnancy - including a birth father - or to anyone who is considering adopting a child.

We also had the opportunity to meet a birth mother who had chosen an adoption plan for her child recently. This courageous young woman was a 23-year-old college graduate. She became pregnant just before graduation. Her parents, while sympathetic, told her they could not support her financially. Her boyfriend told her he wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. After much thinking, she decided to find adoptive parents for her child. They chose a type of open adoption, where she maintains communication with her child's adoptive family and receives periodic pictures of her daughter. She had delivered her baby just six months earlier and was still grieving. I felt her loss deeply and cried while she told her story. Still, she was so thankful to the adoptive family for providing the home she was not quite ready to provide for her child.

Adoption is a powerful choice.

Some Truths About Domestic Adoption

Truths About Birth Moms
  • Most birthmothers today are older than 18 years of age.
  • Some birthmothers are struggling to rear a first child and don't believe they can manage parenting a second child.
  • Birthmothers do care about their children - they care enough to know that they can't parent at this time and choose an adoption plan.
  • If a birth mom does not have insurance, she can often sign up for Medicaid to help them with the expense of carrying and delivering a baby.
Truths About Adoptees
  • Adoptees may be better adjusted than non-adopted peers.
  • Adopted adolescents have a positive self-image and resolve identity concerns 'at rates as high or higher than their peers.'
Borrowed from The Truth About Domestic Adoption, a article by Eliza Newlin Carney.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Thai Curry Noodle Soup Experiment

When I first met Robert, he had a few cooking specialties: Indian curry, bread and butter pudding and anything pork. Did I mention Robert is originally from England? Yeah, that means he likes strange things like Turkish delight and Christmas pudding. Me? Not so much. But I do love to cook. And since Robert's palate is so diverse, he'll give pretty much anything a taste. That means I get to experiment!

My latest came from Martha Stewart's Living Magazine. I found a recipe for Coconut-Curry Noodle Soup. Don't crinkle your nose. It was pretty darned good! I did accidently buy green curry sauce instead of yellow but I actually think that made the soup even better.

  • 10 ounces Chinese rice noodles (I bought soba)
  • 1 T safflower or peanut oil (I had olive oil, so that's what I used)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 T Thai yellow curry paste (I used green curry paste, which was all I could find at the grocery store)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh basil

I also used:
  • Cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 lime
Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1 tsp oil. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook curry paste, stirring 1-2 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock. Raise heat and bring to boil. Whisk in coconut milk. Cook until just simmering. Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1 half into saucepan. Divide noodles and soup among four bowls - or throw the noodles in the soup.

On the side, I also stir fried some basil leaves, threw in cooked chick and drizzled lime juice over the mixture. I let that cook for a couple of minutes then added the mixture to the soup.

Robert and I both agreed after all of the heavy Thanksgiving food that we ate over the past week, this soup was comforting and gentle on our digestive systems. Did I just say that? I sound like I'm writing an article for Yoga Journal ... anyway, it rocked! Try it if you dare. And, if you're feeling frisky, you could try it with different meats (I thought shrimp, a white flaky fish or even eating it vegetarian would be good). You could also buy red curry or yellow curry paste instead of green. That would set it off with different flavors. Experiment! Be Yourself!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Day Trot

Thanksgiving 2011 was a little bit different this year for us. Usually, we wake up early and hang out with the family at mom and dad's house. We play games, eat appetizers and sip on egg nog. Not that we don't have fun - but I always find myself feeling like we could be doing something healthier! So this year I got it in my head that I wanted to run a 5K. I had soon recruited one of my nieces, two nephews and a sister to join in ... and of course Robert said he was all for it. Here we are just before the race in mom and dad's kitchen. That's me (the shorty), Robert, my niece and my younger sister.

Robert was the big winner, coming in at 28:11. He was followed by my 15 year old nephew, my 13 year old nephew and my 15 year old niece. Me and my younger sister followed soon afterward. The big winner of the day, in my opinion, was my 13 year old nephew. He's a tennis player but definitely not a runner. His mom was worried that he wouldn't make it. He stuck with Robert the entire time! He told me that he got a stitch during the last 1/2 mile and walked for just a bit. When he saw the finish line, he told himself, "I'm just gonna run" and he did!

After the race, we hopped into Robert's SUV and listened to some tunes ( Dance Dance by Fallout Boy, Raise Your Glass by Pink, Sit Down by James, Bodies by Drowning Pool, Not Afraid by Eminem, How Far We've Come by Matchbox 20, Walk by the Foo Fighters) as we drove to mom and dad's. Everyone took a shower and we were all soon sitting at the dinner table enjoying a huge meal of turkey and all the trimmings.

Hope you enjoyed yours.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

You're Not on Your Own

Did you know that 75 to 80% of adoptions are done through private adoption? Private adoption is when a birth mother (or birth parents) choose adoptive parent(s) for her child. The adoption is finalized through the court system after the birth mom and the adoptive parents come to an agreement about the adoption of the birth mom's child.

We are Kris and Robert. We're pursuing a private adoption, and right now we're looking for a birth mother who would like to consider us as adoptive parents for her child. We know that this decision is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Your courage in considering adoption for your child tells us that you are a caring, committed and supportive person.

If you're curious about us and want to know more, please have a look around on this blog or visit our Facebook page. (You can find us on Facebook under From time to time, we'll post pictures, stories and information about us to help you get to know us better. It is our goal to alleviate any concerns you may have about selecting us as adoptive parents for your child. We know you probably have a lot of expectations for your child and we want to know what those are. We'd love to honor you in the adoption process and make sure your feelings and emotions are respected.

Please don't be afraid about the legal procedures. We will help you find legal representation (a lawyer). This will be someone who represents your interests.

You are a beautiful person and are entitled to information so that you feel comfortable with your decision. If you have any questions or want to talk to us directly, please feel free to email us at, call collect or text us at (540) 300-0223.
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