He Found it Interesting……

March 18th, 2014

Recently, a woman who didn’t know our family met my children.

She commented to Jake (8)  how they resembled each other and that she could tell they were brother and sister.

The Boy, with a glimmer in his eye and a smile on his face, said “I find it so interesting that you think we look alike.  We are both adopted.  I was born in Maine, and my sister was born in Texas.

He left the woman speechless but also smiling…..

His openness and confidence threw her off guard for a moment.

She was just starting a conversation,

And he was just finding it interesting.

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

NYC Adoption Community Meet Up

January 3rd, 2014

In my opinion, one of the hardest things about being an adoptive parent is finding an adoption community to be a part of.  Living in NYC,  it was pretty hard for me to believe that an organized, public group of this kind did not exist…..Until now.

Helpusadopt.org has created a FREE NYC Adoption Community Meet Up.   The goal is for people with shared experiences to meet one another, exchange stories, and build a sense of community. Children will meet other children who have been adopted, and adults will meet like minded people who can serve as ongoing sources of support and guidance. In the true spirit of inclusiveness that defines Helpusadopt.org, all people touched by adoption are welcome to attend including adoptive families, adoptees, birth parents, and families in the process of adoption.

We hosted our first one last fall with our generous partner The Muse Hotel and we hope that you will join us on January 11th for our next event.  My hope is that you will also share this information with others via email, on Facebook, Twitter or Linked in.

Here are all the details and RSVP info—we hope to see you there!

http://www.meetup.com/Community-Buliding-for-Families-touched-by-Adoption-in-NYC/events/151101432/

Love much,

Xob

www.helpusadopt.org

UPDATE ON: 35 Years Ago…..A Birthmother’s Journey

November 20th, 2013

I hope you all remember the guest blog I posed back in January (January 31, 2013 to be exact) called: “35 Years Ago….A Birthmother’s Journey.”

http://www.aninfertileblonde.com/?p=1213

Well…..

I have very happy news to share with you….

This Birthmother’s journey of searching for her biological daughter she placed for adoption 35 years ago came to an end recently…..

And a happy ending at that.

And as she tells me “It all started with the bracelet I purchased from Helpusadopt.org. You helped me gain the confidence I needed to continue searching.  Your kindness gave me new hope.  On October 8, 2013 I held my daughter in my arms for the first time in 35 years, 8 months, and 17 days…. And slowly she held me back.  Our new journey of love, learning and Family has begun. We are forever grateful.”

What my new friend and her daughter don’t realize is that they give me hope too…..

I am thrilled that they found each other….

I am inspired by their journeys….

And inspired by their second chance…..

They didn’t give up and now they have the knowledge they deserve…..

The knowledge all birthmothers and all adoptees deserve.

So if you know anyone out there searching tell them not to give up…keep going…..

And if you know someone who might want a Helpusadopt.org Signature Family Tree bracelet, this link will take you there.

100% of the profits go to the Helpusadopt.org adoption grant program…..and the bracelets are dedicated to birthmothers everywhere.

We are forever grateful too.

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

 

 

 

 

Dearest K (the birthmother not the husband),

November 19th, 2013

Four years ago today….

And three weeks early…..surprising us all, The Girl was born.

When I tell Brookie “her story,” she knows I was on the way home from the dentist when you called……

And I remember clearly sitting in the back of the taxi talking to you on the phone as you were taken into the delivery room…

Sadly, I realized, due to timing and geography, I was not going to be with you for the delivery…..or for her arrival into this world…

I had to wait at home and I paced and paced the apartment waiting for the news.

Shortly thereafter you texted me a picture of her…your daughter…..my daughter….our girl.

I was able to print that text out and have the picture you sent in her baby book.

I remember thinking that already her story was different than The Boy’s…..

But that, as we know, is The Girl.  She does things her way…..

She is fiercely independent and totally her own person.

She’s been that way since she was born.

She wants to do everything on her terms and that includes her arrival into this world.

K, she is so strong and determined……like you….like me…..

She is a runner (a fast runner)….that’s all you…..

She is funny and a total entertainer….like you? Like me? Like herself?

And she is so beautiful……like you…..

Not a moment goes by where I don’t see you in her eyes and her smile…..

Every day.

And I am grateful……

She knows who you are…..

She knows that you carried her for 9 months, that you loved her first, and that you placed her with love….

So much love…..

K, your grace and love inspires me daily…..

And you are in my heart forever.

To Brookie, your fire, determination and love inspires me daily and I am excited to see where you take me in this life……

Thank you for coming into mine….both of you.

Happy Birthday, Brookie.

Love much,

Xob

www.helpusadopt.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shame on you “Mike & Molly” Part 2

November 13th, 2013

Two days ago I wrote this blog

http://www.aninfertileblonde.com/?p=1331

on the awful adoption slur within this episode of  “Mike & Molly”.

I understand the offensive comments are coming from the mouth of a fictional character and that she is supposed to be gruff and unlikeable…..

And I understand shock value, believe me I understand….

But this? How on earth in today’s world is this okay?

This is just downright nasty and cruel and quite frankly incorrect and ignorant.

Adopted children are just that……children.

Innocent children who need loving and permanent homes.

I should know because both my kids are adopted.

To the writers of this episode….shame on you.

It’s really such a sad state of affairs if this is what the world finds funny.

And clearly with some of the other shows on CBS there is an immense wealth of comedy writers at this network…two of my favorite shows are on CBS.

To my readers…..Share your opinion here.

And while you’re at it why don’t you share your opinion with CBS:

You can email them directly about”Mike & Molly” Season 3, Episode 19 “Party Planners”  here:  http://www.cbs.com/feedback

Or Call consumer relations:

212-975-4321

 

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

Shame on You “Mike & Molly”

November 11th, 2013

I think you all know by now (if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter) that I was in Los Angeles and San Francisco last week for two Helpusadopt.org events.

It was an amazing and exhausting week because every second was booked….

We met so many great new people…and saw many old friends… all who care about our mission to build families through Helpusadopt.org’s adoption grant program.

On my flight to San Francisco Thursday morning I happened to look up at the TV and saw that an episode of ”Mike & Molly” was about to start.

So many people have told me that I was really missing out by not watching this show —they say it’s hysterical— so I grabbed my earphones and tuned in.

The opening scene of the episode had Mike & Molly sitting in Mike’s mother Peggy’s living room and the conversation went something like this—-OK the conversation went EXACTLY like this  as I have since re-watched the beginning of the episode on Amazon (Party Planners Season 3, Episode 19):

Peggy: “What’s happening on the baby front? Am I gonna be a grandma or should I just fill up my wallet with baseball cards?”

Molly: “Well, we could be home right now trying, but instead, we’re here, waiting for you to skin the pudding.”

Peggy: “If you’re totally barren, I guess the two of you could always adopt some unwanted brat.”

Molly: “I’m not barren, Peggy, okay? If I was any more fertile, I’d have pumpkins growing out of me.”

Peggy: “If you do adopt, steer clear of those teen mom Appalachian babies.  Give me Chinese over white trash any day.  They’ll walk on your back, and you don’t have to worry about ‘em hocking your TV for methamphetamine.”

Did I forget to say “brace yourself” before you read that?

You can imagine how livid I was.

You can imagine how livid I still am.

THIS, my friends, is not funny in any way shape or form and I happen to have a very irreverent sense of humor.  But this, specifically, is cruel and mean and on prime time national television.

To the writers of Mike & Molly—shame on you.  What’s your purpose here? What was your intent? What was your point? To make people laugh?????

This is not funny. This is just nasty, disrespectful and cruel.

I’m not laughing.

And when my kids see this episode someday, I am sure they won’t be laughing because they are both adopted.

I believe you owe us, the adoption community, an apology (ps there’s millions of us)….

You haven’t heard the end of it from me…..

This blog posting is just the start.

Those are my kids you are talking about and if you are going to put things like that on TV then you better have the backbone to stand behind it and say it to my face and my children’s face.

It’s just not nice…I mean these are children we are talking about.

Innocent children who need loving and permanent homes….

Don’t worry my friends…

I am on the case….

And I’ll be posting information soon so you too can write a letter to the writers of this show and let them know what you think…..

Perhaps they will consider a donation to Helpusadopt.org as an olive branch?

Or maybe just an apology to adoptees (and their parents adoptive and birth) everywhere.

Love much

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

Humans of New York, affording adoption and Helpusadopt.org

October 30th, 2013

One thing that I love about my friends…..

Because of my adoption experience they have become more aware of adoption in general.

And when anything happens in the world of adoption, or they read about something adoption related…..

They all rush to tell me about it and I just love that.

So yesterday when Humans of New York posted this story I received a bunch of emails, Facebook messages and phone calls.

Before you read the piece I want you to know something about the cost of adoption…..

Adoption is expensive….

No matter who you are….

No matter where you live.

An adoption these days can cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 -  $50,000.

And its is due in full and up front before your child can be with you.

So I applaud Humans of New York for sharing this story and building awareness for the cost of adoption.

At Helpusadopt.org (the organization my husband and I founded and I run on a pro-bono basis) we hear stories like this all day long.

Of families across the country wanting to adopt.

Needing a little financial help to bring their child home.

Unfortunately most don’t have a happy ending like this one.

That’s why the work we do at Helpusadopt.org through our grant program is so vital to families and children around the globe who seek loving and permanent homes.

Helpusadopt.org and our adoption grant program is providing a solution to this global problem.  For more information visit www.helpusadopt.org —

And to read about this New York Family who can now bring their son home, here’s the link:

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/65467873375/i-was-riding-in-a-van-with-a-television-crew-who

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

Dearest V,

October 29th, 2013

Dearest V,

It was eight years ago this morning that you called just after 8am to tell me I was going to become a mom for the first time.

You were in labor and on your way to the hospital and I was just getting ready to start my day.

You told me to get there as fast as I could but I had several states in between us…..

I told you that I was on my way…..

K took control of the travel—-plane tickets and a rental car…..

And I finished packing—god only knows what I put in that suitcase—I thought I’d have more time.

But on that morning, 8 years ago, it didn’t matter…..

I just needed to get to you….

To make sure you were ok….

And to meet my son.

I remember sitting in a friend’s car on the way to the airport thinking so this is what it feels like to have a baby…

I was experiencing an overwhelming calm—something I hadn’t expected after the struggle to get to this point.

Our plane landed and we arrived at the hospital to find that you hadn’t delivered yet….

And I was hopeful.

A nurse came to let me know you were inviting me in…

And I was honored and grateful.

We sat together for hours and at one point I remember laughing…..

But for the most part I remember looking at you thinking that you were one of the most incredible women that I had ever had the pleasure to meet…..

And he will know that.

Our boy.

He is so grown up.

And we talk about you all the time.

He knows you placed him with love…..

He knows the name you gave him at birth….

He knows you look so much like me and just like him…..

And for the first time earlier this week he asked if he could meet you someday….

I told him with a smile on my face of course he can….

And he was happy.

He is happy.

Happy Birthday Jake.

Love much,

xob

Guest Blog: Would You Consider Adoption?

October 3rd, 2013

I have really enjoyed working with friends who have taken me up on the guest blog offer.

Their stories are unique, important, inspiring and untold…..

Until now.

Today I hope you will welcome my friend Anna as she shares with you how her journey to motherhood started.

Here are her words:

 

“WOULD YOU CONSIDER ADOPTION?

That was the crux of the conversation my husband Mason had with me while sitting on our living room couch one evening. Instead of watching some TiVo’d TV to unwind after a long day at work, he explored my willingness to adopt a child. I said ‘Yes, I would consider it.’ Had I ever considered it in the past? Well, no. I mean I applauded the concept of adoption, but had I ever applied that concept to me? No, I had not. We have friends who have families comprised of adopted children, but I’d never contemplated being a parent to a child in need of one.

But when asked by my husband, whom I knew receives deep spiritual satisfaction out of his work with orphans and children in general – and who wanted to have a family – it really was a no-brainer.

Had I ever had aspirations of being a mother? Not in a clear maternal sense, but ever since I was a girl I’d set aside life lessons, most that I’d learned the hard way, and told myself, “When I have a kid, I’m going to teach them this because nobody should have to learn this the way I just did.” So my longing had been more to mentor and protect a child.

Not to sound cavalier, but when the question was posed, it seemed that adopting a child was a natural progression for my life, and certainly destiny for Mason. Being a practical gal, I looked back at my 45+ years, and accepted that I’d been the center of my universe for all of it. To be perfectly honest, I had lived my life in a selfish – but pleasant pursuit of what advanced me and my happiness. If there ever was a time for me to give everything that I have to offer a child, that time was now.

And the conversations continued over the next months. We opened our minds to two children, and had the unpleasant talks about what health conditions we welcomed and what realities we felt were beyond our capabilities. We discussed age, ‘the infant experience’, domestic or foreign, Hague or not and the never-ending puzzle of what we can do to prepare ourselves for their frame of mind.

After all of the paperwork and expert assistance through the beaurocracy – which actually was all pretty well paced (with the exception of my own maddeningly slow progression through the binder of my paperwork!). Our social worker was a calming influence on my nerves – go figure, I appear to be perfectly rational at times, but when it came to a social worker visiting our house I was carried away by irrational pangs about child-proofing and hygienic cat box positioning, and optimal ventilation in a child’s room. Whew! She blinked at my bizarre rush of apologies for not better preparing our house, and suggested I go make myself a cup of tea.

In the end, I had that cup of tea with my husband and our social worker. We submitted our binder and funds for the various fees and within a few weeks Mason got THE call. We had a referral for two sisters in Taiwan aged 8 and 9. Mace asked me to come home from work for another discussion. I grabbed my purse and left my office – I mean there is some sort of unwritten HR law I believe that excuses a worker’s absence when two prospective daughters are hovering in the balance. Am I right?”  — Anna

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

Guest Blog: Blend Well and Stir

September 27th, 2013

I have recently crossed paths with the fabulous Carolyn Berger, LCSW and Chair or The Adoption Advisory Council within The American Fertility Association.

The minute she shared her story with me about being both a biological mom and an adoptive mom I knew I wanted to to be a guest blogger on An Infertile Blonde.

Her story and her perspective are important, because like all of us, she is not alone.

I there are many who wear both these hats, or who might someday wear both hats, and I hope you’ll chime in.

Please join me in welcoming Carolyn…

Here’s her story…..

“I’m a mom with a blended family.  I gave birth to Zach, now 24, and then adopted Ethan, now 20.

People ask you interesting questions when you have a blended family.  The one that makes my skin crawl is,  “Which one is your adopted son and which one is your real son?”  I try to keep my voice calm when I answer, “They’re BOTH my real sons.”

I’m often asked by people who have just learned I’ve adopted whether my boys get along.  Because I’ve heard this question so often I’ve begun to wonder whether the questioner thinks it’s less likely that they would get along because they aren’t blood brothers.  I get a little stuck here…I want to answer that they get along famously.  Except they don’t.  Zach and Ethan fought so long and hard as children that I called them Cain and Abel (to myself of course!).

Still, I don’t think my boys’ fighting had anything to do with who conceived and carried them.  I’m also glad to report that when my older son went away to college my two boys declared a truce.  They now attend parties together.

The question I’ve thought about most is, “Do you love them the same?” I imagine the thinking behind this is that perhaps I love my older son more because of our blood tie.  I’ve heard other mothers in blended families answer this question with an emphatic “I love them equally.”  Or, “I love them equally but I like them differently.”  Those are great answers, but they just don’t work for me.

My best answer to this question is another question:  “Can you love any two people the same?”  I can’t.  My kids are unique and I love each one uniquely.  They are both loveable, smart, perplexing, provoking and sweet.  Each one takes up a big space in my heart.  How big those spaces are I just can’t say, much less try to compare them.  In the end, I can say I love my boys completely.  I’m lucky to have them, and each one has given me joy I just can’t quantify it is so great.

Almost twenty-five years ago Zach and I toured the streets of Brooklyn as a “dynamic duo” with him in his stroller and me as the navigator.  It was a special time.  He now sits behind a desk at an investment firm in NYC.

Twenty years ago I coached Ethan’s birthmother as she gave birth to him.  I was the first person to see his sweet face.  Now he is studying photography at art school.

The cornerstones of my life will always be Zach and Ethan.  I guess you could say we blend well together, making a family unlike any other.”

 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org