Billy Is Adopted

September 23rd, 2014

“Mom, Did you know that Billy is adopted?”

My friend’s son came home from school recently asking this question about a boy in his class.

And my friend didn’t know what to say except “Yes.”

Then she emailed me.

“What else should I say?”

I have answered and addressed the adoption questions for 8+ years and taught my children how to address them as well. But I’d never looked at it from this perspective, the perspective of a non-adoptive parent.

Here’s how I replied:

“I would tell your son that yes, you know Billy is adopted because it’s not a secret. That adoption is a way that you can build your family and Billy and his parents are very open about it, and how wonderful they’ve found each other.  Did you know that his sister is adopted too?”  I would ask your son if he knows what the word adoption means.  I would hope that while he may not have the exact words that at least he knows the general gist.  And then encourage him.  Educate him.  Show him that adoption is something we can all talk about openly and positively.  Say “Yes!”  “That’s right!”  Then give him the language and the tools to educate others as Billy’s friend.  Say something like: “Yes; Billy was adopted by his parents at birth.  His birthmother was unable to care for him so she made the decision to place him for adoption and chose Billy’s parents as the family she wanted for him.  She made this plan out of love for Billy.

Obviously no two adoptions are the same and there are many variables that could change this answer but hopefully it is generic enough that you could adapt it to fit your family.

I think if this situation happened with my kids I would want the parent to take it one step further. I would ask your son if Billy told him or if someone else did.

If Billy told him, great!

If someone else told him, then I would delicately try to make sure the conversation was not mean in intent.   If it was, then I encourage you to start a new conversation, and I would suggest you call the mother of the adopted child.  If this was about my children and the intent was not kind, I would want to know.

Most importantly, I would ask your child if they have any questions about adoption and let them know that people adopt for so many reasons. There are many children in our country and around the globe who need homes.  Isn’t it great that families can be made in so many ways?

If more questions arise let me know. I am happy to address them. Because as I said before, adoption is not a secret—not in my house.

Finally, I also told my friend, to let her son’s school know that I would be more than happy to come in to school to give a class presentation on adoption and what it means to be adopted. And the best part about my presentations is that I have an almost 9 year old co-presenter who loves to tell his story.

Love much,

xob

www.helpusadopt.org

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2014

May 7th, 2014

One opinion is that it’s just another day.

It’s just a Sunday in May.

Mothers are celebrated and honored by their children and grandchildren.

Every day should be mother’s day…..

And while that opinion might work for some…….

It doesn’t work for me.

Every day is not Mother’s Day for those who are struggling to become one…..

And that Sunday in May?

Well, that is a challenge that can send even the strongest into an emotional tail spin.

I know of what I speak.

Growing up we celebrated Mother’s Day in our family with a family lunch at home, calls if necessary during the college and young adult years and flowers sent with notes.

But I don’t think I ever truly realized how truly important Mother’s Day was for the mothers….

Until I struggled to become one…..

Until I wanted to be one more than anything I had ever wanted to be.

And now, as I look at The Boy (8 ½) and The Girl (4 ½) I wonder why didn’t I understand the true significance of Mother’s Day as a child?

It was because before I struggled with my infertility and became a mother through the miracle of adoption, I didn’t realize that motherhood was a privilege that eluded many.

I have a new perspective…..

To mothers and birth mothers around the globe, I wish you peace and happiness.

To my readers who are struggling……

I have never forgotten what it is to be in your shoes….and I never will.

I am here for you.

I will never leave.

And I will always listen.

And to V and K…….

As a family we honor and love you every day.

You are forever in my heart and theirs…..

Xo b

www.helpusadopt.org

 

 

 

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