Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adoption Perspectives

Having two adopted nephews and an adopted granddaughter, I've been interested in adoption issues for a number of years.

Beth O'Malley, an adult adoptee, adoptive mother -- and foster care / adoption social worker, is the author of Adoption Lifebooks. I have found her monthly newsletters, which I've been receiving for I-don't-know-how-many years (since way before my granddaughter was born in 2011), inspiring and educational.

When I learned, in the late fall of 2010, that my oldest daughter was advocating for International Special Needs adoption (see "Pam's Sparrows" on the left sidebar), I became even more interested, and started following a lot of adoption blogs. All of these blogs are written from the perspective of the adoptive parent. As I've read, I've thought, "This is great -- but what about those who were adopted as children, and who are now adults? What is their take on all this? What advice would they have for those 'in the trenches' right now?"

There are scads of informational "how to . . ." books and articles out there, written by all kinds of adoption "experts" (some of whom seem to be writing from a strictly "theoretical" perspective with zero personal experience), but precious little (that I've seen) written by those who have actually walked the road of being adopted themselves, with all the challenges that brings, and who have now reached adulthood.

Recently, I've started stumbling on blogs written by adult adoptees. Here is one by Lynn Steinburg (A Decision to Search) that I found this morning. Lynn writes as a now-married adoptee who, with her husband, recently completed an international adoption themselves -- which gave Lynn the "push" she needed to actively pursue finding her own biological roots. (At the moment, she's only written "part 1"; I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the story as she writes it.)

I'd like to include one other resource, for "whatever it's worth." Christi M, at Parenting that Heals, was not adopted herself, but she and her husband have adopted 4 older girls (after raising 4 boys). Christie speaks from the perspective of what seems to be really working with her girls, especially in helping them understand and deal with the hurts of the past, recognizing the reality of what they've been through, yet helping them to grow beyond their past without letting it define their future. I have read all of her posts, and have been blessed by them.

While no two situations are the same (as Lynn learned), it is my hope that these links will be beneficial to those who are raising adopted children, to those who are in the adoption process, to those who are contemplating adoption -- and even to those who know an adoptee (of any age), or who are just interested for whatever reason.


  1. I lost my daughter to adoption. We all lost. Secrets are evil.

    1. I'm really sorry to hear this, Scott.

      While I know a few adopted children, and a few adoptive parents, I don't (personally) know any parents who have lost a child (or children) through adoption.

      I appreciate your input here! Have you written any blog posts about your experience? Do you know of blogs written specifically by parents (either mothers or fathers) who have had a child separated from them by adoption, and who have blogged about their experience? I know every story is different, but I'd really like to understand as much as possible about all three parts of the adoption triad!

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.


    2. I don't know if you'll see this or not, Scott, but I've done a lot of reading (especially blogs by first parents who have lost a child through adoption) since I responded to your post over a month ago, and my perspective has changed..

      My initial reaction (based in ignorance) was, "Dads have to sign release papers for their child to be adopted, so where do the "secrets" come from?"

      Then I read that, especially back in the days when it appears your daughter was born, first mothers were actually encouraged to NOT put the father's name on the child's birth certificate, "to speed the adoption process up." Ouch.

      I think I understand your perspective (at least a little) better when you said, " We all lost. Secrets are evil," and I agree with you.

      I'm still wrestling with this whole (especially domestic) adoption scene . . . from the perspective of all parts of the adoption triad. How can we, as a civilized society, work these things out for everyone's best interest? I don't have any answers. The best I can do for now is keep reading (blogs and research from all three perspectives), keep learning.

      If you have (or if anyone else who reads this has) any resources on this topic to share with me, and with anyone else who reads this blog, please pass them on.. You can either post them here, or e-mail them to me through the Contact Form in the lower part of the right sidebar.