Forever Family: leap of faith

Everything about adoption screams leap of faith.

Believing with all your heart that this is the right path.  Accepting that the plan for your family includes a great deal of uncertainty.  Understanding that this ambiguity doesn’t dissolve when the adoption finalizes; rather, it will insert itself back into your lives at entirely unpredictable moments.

Holding faith that you will love your children into and through every storm.

Adoption demands the same leap of faith from children.

Believing they are deeply loved for the people they are, not for a perfect image they try to project, then working to strengthen that belief when it falters.  Finding safe space to talk about anxiety buried within, and asking for help instead of hiding fear away.

Holding faith that they are bright, beautiful souls in the world, worthy of love and respect by their very presence on this journey.

Forever Family: odds and ends #4

 

One of the parts of parenting I struggle with is the spectator aspect.  There’s lots of hands on activity to be sure, but we seem to be in a season of watching our young-ish ones test their wings (aka waiting to see if they crash and burn).  Watching and waiting is hard.  And watching when you know the crash and burn is inevitable?  Hell, that’s the hardest part of all.

And self esteem…oh my lawd, the self esteem.  How is it I know to the depths of my soul the innate worth of these children, but they just don’t seem to get it?  One of mine will go back to kids who are disrespectful and outright cruel over and over, calling them “friends” until they act like turds again.  You deserve better.  You deserve better.

This week brought the delightful moment when I found myself explaining to one of my children why we never, ever, ever joke about how much the other kid cost.  A) We don’t buy and sell people because that is i-l-l-e-g-a-l.  B) We should strive to be our best selves, and that comment is nowhere close.  C) Sadly, it cuts a little close to the bone.

It took about a month but I finally told T-man why I stopped responding to a certain parent’s texts.  I thought I was protecting him, but he’s thirteen and deserves to have all the information when choosing whether to go to someone else’s house.  Be friends, don’t be friends, whatever…but you should know his dad made a comment about shielding his daughter from ebonics, so I’m not feeling real cool about the parental aspect over there.

We shared some John Oliver episodes with the kids this week.  Sure, some of you might be thinking we’re nuts watching a late night comedian who drops the F bomb, but things get pretty real around here.  And it’s been good for them to see an adult stand up on national television and call out what passes for bullshit in this country right now.  The episode Oliver did on the Confederate flag was particularly timely.

On a side note, this isn’t adoption related, but the kids’ commentary on cheerleaders at Wednesday’s pep rally was downright hysterical.  Boobs, a twerking motion, and those ridiculous skirts all came up.  (BrightSide dryly noted that cheerleaders enjoy a rather lax dress code exemption.)

And those are the odds and ends for this week.

Forever Family: voices around the web

After A Traffic Stop, Teen Was ‘Almost Another Dead Black Male’ : NPR

“Alex Landau, who is African-American, was adopted by a white couple as a child and grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver…

“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter,” Hathaway says.  “I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you.”

That was in 2009, when Landau, then a college student, was stopped by Denver police officers and severely beaten.”

Adoption Stigmas: A WAP attempt to talk about White Privilege and Transracial Adoption — 2 Peas from Different Pods

“So, what does white privilege have to do with adoption, specifically transracial adoption?  Matt and I stepped into the adoption world extremely quickly.  In fact, it was more like a dive.  I didn’t have time nor did I realize how much I still needed to educate myself.  Basically, I did everything backwards from how I wish I did it.  So for my friends that are looking and in the process to adopt, here are some things I wish I would have known about transracial adoptions.”

parents, please educate your kids about adoption so mine don’t have to: Rage Against the Minivan

“I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversation that occurred between Kembe and several older kids.  At first, I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but something about Kembe’s posture caught my attention.  Typically, he’s a relatively cocky over-confident kid with a lot of swagger, even around older kids.  But in this setting he looked . . . almost cornered.  He seemed intimidated and a bit helpless.  As I strained to hear, I though I heard one of the kids saying, “That is NOT your real mom.” “

Continuing on from: Hey, that’s how I’ve always felt… – The adopted ones blog

“Some things are easy to identify with being adopted, things like being little and hiding away crying because I wasn’t kept, and that there had to be something terribly wrong with me that others could see, but I couldn’t.  Those type of feelings that are specific to being adopted are what people not adopted seem able to accept…

What people can’t seem to grasp are the more subtle connections to being adopted that they dance around, try to explain away, can’t accept it could possibly have a basis in that event that happened when we were mere babies.

But it does, perhaps only in part, but nevertheless, it is related to being adopted.”

The “Where’s Your Mom?” Microaggressions: Okayest Mom

“It happened again.

People who know us forgot that I was his mother.

I am white.  My son is Black.  This is a tremendous invisible burden for him.  Being asked to explain yourself or justify yourself as an adoptee is called “narrative burden.”  It’s not fair to him, but it is his albatross.”

Forever Family: touching base with the elder child

me:  So what’s your favorite subject so far? 

T-man:  Math.  That is definitely math.

me:  What’s the most important school supply you have?

T-man:  (laughs)  That little fold up binder thing that I have that you bought me.  (a Trapper Keeper)

me:  And…if you could sub for a teacher for one day, who would it be and why?

T-man:  The Spanish teacher because I do not care for her at all so I would get rid of her in any way possible.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

[Well then, it looks like we’re off to a good start.]

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Continue reading

Forever Family: we sink or swim together

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel isolated in the adoption community.  Like you’re drowning in your struggles.  Adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, extended family – we’re all tiptoeing through the minefield, looking around to see if anyone’s noticed the train wreck we survived.

But we are not alone.

Continue reading

Forever Family: the similarities between

Conversation around adoption seems fraught with compare and contrast.  The push and pull of biological and adoptive moms lurks under the surface, no matter how open minded and enlightened you are.  It just is.  But when I started really thinking about it, we’re much more alike than different.

Two kinds of women, too often placed on different sides of the fence. Just look at how much we have in common.

Continue reading

Forever Family: in the news

In adoption related news lately…  

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

‘CSI: NY’ Actor Opens Up About Becoming a Single Dad After Adopting A Son

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

Mom’s Heartbreaking Post Urges Parents To Teach Their Kids About Differences

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

Deportation a ‘Death Sentence’ to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the U.S.

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

Couple To Adopt 7 Foster Siblings Who Were Split Among 4 Homes

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

Why This Dad Is Fighting JPMorgan Chase For Equal Parental Leave

<><><><><><><>><><><><><><><>

Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications