Category Archives: adoptive parents

Surviving The Wait

Bottles? Check. Diapers? Check. Bassinet? Check. Baby? Not so much. Adoption can be a beautiful and rewarding process. In some cases, adoption can be as quick as a few months. Then there are other cases, where the adoption wait can go from months to years. This can be a nerve-racking experience. Adoptive parents go through every inch of red tape by filling out the application and completing the mounds of paperwork. Don’t forget about getting fingerprinted for the required clearances. Finally, the home study is completed, your profile has been created, and you are available to be shown to expecting parents. For many waiting families, this can sometimes be the hardest part of the process.

You may be thinking; we’ve done everything we were asked to do and now we wait. The paperwork, though time consuming was the easy part because it was in our control, but now the unknowns begin, we cannot control how long we wait.

During this stage, many things will go through your head. Should we prepare the nursery? Do we start or continue buying baby supplies/clothes? What do I tell my employer? Will we even be placed with a child? It is normal to feel this way. Sometimes it isn’t just the wait that is out of our control. There can be outside factors that are impacting your wait as well. Most of the time, families are waiting for an expectant mother to pick their family. Then after a family is picked there are still many unknowns to be answered. That leaves families to wonder, “what can we do?” Here are a few tips on surviving the wait!

                    Get Involved

One of the best ways to survive the wait is to get involved. Read adoption articles, magazines, books, & blogs. It’s good to familiarize yourself with what is going on in the adoption world. If you are open to adopting a child of another race, now is the time to begin educating yourself about the complexities of transracial adoption. Read stories about other adoptions, so you know you are not alone in the process. Ask your agency if they offer support groups. These support groups can be very helpful. You can talk to other adoptive parents that are waiting too. It’s healthy to have a place where you can be honest about your feelings and hear what others are going through.

Keep your profile, home study, and clearances current and up to date if you have been waiting for a while.  Now is the time to stay connected with your social worker. Don’t be afraid to call to check in, share what you are struggling with and ask any questions that you may have thought of since your last contact. Your social worker is there for you.

                 Write A Journal

This might sound crazy, but share a journal with your spouse. When your child gets older it will be rewarding to share with him/her your experiences while waiting to be placed. This is a great way to express your feelings and thoughts while going through the adoption process. Let immediate family and friends write an entry as well. Most of the time, it’s not just prospective adoptive parents that are struggling with the wait. Family and friends anticipate the arrival of the child too. Entries from family and friends give the “outside looking in” perspective. These added entries show how much you and your family want and love the child that is being adopted.

Make sure to add in any accomplishments that lead you to the next step in the adoption process, it can help you visualize how far you have come in the process already. Add pictures of you preparing for the nursery/baby room, shopping for baby supplies/items, and family gatherings. Imagine years from now when you and your family look back over these journal entries, videos, and pictures how much love and appreciation will fill the room. You will not only be able to tell your child how much you love them and couldn’t wait for them to get here, but letting them see it in a tangible form. There are some things that words alone cannot describe.

If you are struggling with the wait, writing can be therapeutic. One adoptive mother explains, “I often felt alone during the wait. I mean my husband was waiting too but we handle our emotions differently. It was hard for outsiders to understand my struggle with all the unknowns. When I came across another woman’s blog post about her struggle during the wait, it made me feel connected. She was saying exactly what I was feeling and it felt good to know others were thinking what I was too. It actually sparked me starting my own blog and I cannot tell you how helpful it was to write about my journey while I waited.”

 

Learn About Other Member of the Adoption Triad

Learning about adoptees and birth parents can be both enlightening and beneficial. Your perspective is only one part of the equation on this journey and it is vital to seek out and listen to voices from the other member of the adoption triad.

Read blogs by women who have placed their child for adoption. You’ll find out that there are more myths than facts. Not all birth mothers come from low income, broken families. Not all birth mothers are homeless and addicted to drugs. No, birth mothers are not “giving up” their baby and “taking the easy way out”. Take the time to learn the circumstances of birth parents. For one second, consider the mother that has the onerous task of choosing the family that will adopt her child. It can be a happy and disheartening moment all at once. No one wakes up and says they are going to place their child for an adoption today. The circumstances of life lead both adoptive parents and birth mothers to adoption. Read articles and stories of birth mothers to understand their side of the story that few get to hear.

Additionally, explore the voices of adoptees. You will be raising a child who came into your family through adoption and so it will be helpful to hear from those who have experienced it so you can better understand your child’s point of view. Challenge yourself, even when it may be hard to listen, to truly hear adoptees. The challenges and joys they experience. When you know the common struggles adoptees face, you will be better equipped to parent your child

    Talk to Your Employer/ Travel Options

Nine times out of ten you are going to need time off for your adoption process. Talk to your employer as soon as possible to let them know what’s going on. Let them know you might need 2-3 weeks of time off when your placement occurs. Ask your employer if they offer reimbursement of adoption expenses. Some employers do and some do not, but it never hurts to ask.

Research your travel options. Find the cheapest and easiest way to travel when you are ready to leave. It’s difficult to get exact prices, being as though you don’t know the dates you will be traveling. However, you can get an approximate estimate. Look up hotels and car rentals (if you’ll be needing one). If you choose to fly, research which city is best to fly out of, in the event you are not flying out of your residential city. If you are adopting an infant, check the state laws to find out when a newborn can legally board an aircraft. It varies from state to state and you don’t want to find out the day your family is trying to go home.

                             

                Get Some House Work Done

Do you remember that “To-Do List” that’s been collecting dust on your refrigerator? Well, you might want to put some work in to finish most of it before the baby comes. Get some quotes for that bathroom you have been wanting to remodel. D.I.Y. type of person? Price out the materials and tools you will need to remodel that bathroom. If the spare bedroom needs a fresh coat of paint, now is as good a time as any. Things will change when the baby arrives. Taking care of baby becomes priority #1 and getting sleep will be priority #1.5.

 

                                All of This Goes to Say

Much easier said than done, but enjoy the process. Good things come to those who wait. Use these tips to help keep you busy or get your mind off waiting. One day you will look back and appreciate the time you spent waiting for the new addition that made your family whole!

What Adoptees Want Adoptive Parents to Know

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In the adoption community, you may hear one term consistently used when describing those touched by adoption – the adoption triad. The adoption triad refers to the three corners of the triangle that is adoption and is comprised of adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees. When reading about adoption in the mainstream media, we often stumble upon articles written from the perspective of the adoptive parent or birth parent. Rarely do we catch a glimpse into the mind of the adoptee, the child who will spend their lives questioning who they really are and why their journey has led them here. It is important to give a voice to these children who grow into inquisitive adults. Their unique perspective suggests an unparalleled assistance to adoptive parents as they navigate adoption. Here, we offer a snapshot of adoption as told by the adoptee. These words of wisdom encompass some of the many things that adoptees wish their adoptive parents knew.


Invite the Curiosity of Strangers

People outside of the adoption triad are not the best at understanding adoption. They fail to use proper adoption language, they ask a lot of questions, and they aren’t aware when they “cross a line” into insensitive territory. Don’t worry about me and how I will handle the millions of questions that our family will be asked on a consistent basis. I understand that adoption is a part of my journey and that there’s a natural curiosity surrounding adoption. Answer others’ questions (if they’re non-offensive or non-invasive), educate them about adoption. Accept that people are going to be somewhat intrusive and that’s okay.

Communicate with One Another Always

The key to every happy and successful family is communication. This is especially the case in families impacted by adoption. Always answer my questions truthfully. Probe me with questions of your own if you sense that I have questions that I’m withholding from you. Try to leave the judgment behind in these painful conversations and invite the love in.

Searching for my Birth Parents Doesn’t Mean That I Don’t Love You…

In today’s day and age, the field of adoption is a completely different landscape than it was decades ago. More and more, we are beginning to see open adoption take off. For these adoptees, I can imagine that there’s a relief to understanding who they are and where they come from. I deserve that same sort of contentment. If I decide to branch out one day and look for my birth parents, please do not take offense. Seeking my birth parents does not mean that I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean that I want to leave you. It simply means that I want to know where my roots are and meet those that I’m genetically tied to.

…But I Understand if You Struggle with My Decision

Just as you must accept my desire to meet my birth family, I will accept that you may be heartbroken by my decision. It’s natural to be fearful of my search. It’s normal to worry that you could lose your child in a metaphorical sense. Your feelings will be validated because I love you.

Thankful Doesn’t Begin to Cover It

At the heart of every adoption is a loss. Though people don’t necessarily consider this as often as they should, it’s the fact of the matter. Despite the fact that a loss occurred in my life, and in the life of my birth parents, I am relieved that I found you through the loss. Thank you for loving me and giving me a forever home and family. Thank you for raising me to be the person that I am today. Thank you for allowing me to spread my wings and fly.

Holiday Tips for New Adoptive Parents

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The saying goes: it’s the most wonderful time of year – and with the crisp smell of winter pine, freshly baked sugar cookies and warm family gatherings, it’s hard not to be of good cheer. But for parents who recently adopted, the holiday season can be just as overwhelming as it is exciting.

Many new adoptive parents wonder how extended family will treat their child, and whether or not they will respect your child’s adoption story. If you adopted along transracial lines, you might wonder if you should incorporate cultural traditions from your child’s heritage.

Here are a few tips that might help ease those worries, so you can have the happiest of holidays!

Educate your family

It is not uncommon to have to educate or teach family members about adoption. Unknowingly, our family may use insensitive adoptive terms or ask invasive questions about the adoption process. It is ok to politely decline sharing details of your journey that you are not comfortable revealing, as well as, helping your family to recognize and utilize more adoption friendly language.

If you’re not quite ready for large family gatherings, you can plan the holidays at home this year or arrange to visit relatives at different times.

Create traditions

If you have adopted a child whose race or background is different from yours, you may find it hard adjusting to cultural differences. However, if you have a relationship with your child’s birth parents – it might be beneficial to learn what holidays they observe and ways you can incorporate that into new experiences with you and your family. You can also find out what holidays are popular within your child’s culture by doing a little research. Talking to other adoptive parents or joining a support group are other great ways to discover how to implement new holiday traditions.

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Create bonds

Just because your child does not have a biological relationship with extended family members, does not necessarily mean he or she doesn’t possess similar traits as your relatives. Your daughter may have the same passion for cooking as Aunt Sue. Maybe your son is just as funny as Grandpa Tim. Despite, physical similarities, you and your child can connect and build strong relationships with family members in many other ways.

Remember the birth parents

Some birth parents may feel a sense of sadness during the holidays, while others may feel pressured to be more involved than they would like. As an adoptive parent, it is completely up to you when deciding how much you would like to involve the birth family. However, if you have a healthy and open relationship with your child’s birth parent, sending something as simple as a “season’s greetings” or “thinking of you” card, enclosed with a photo can make a birth mom or dad feel included and valued.

Finally, as a newly adoptive parent, the holidays will be a unique experience. Don’t worry if things don’t go as planned or the holidays are not picture perfect. You will learn what works for you and your child along the way. Always have realistic expectations, keep a good spirit, and make sure your child knows they are loved. Lastly, just enjoy the season, after all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I Want to Adopt…Now What?

I Want to Adopt – Now What?

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Men and women all around the United States make one life-altering decision every day. Oftentimes, this decision is an amazing one: I want to adopt a child. With this choice comes relief for some and anxiety for others. What will this mean for me and my family? What does the process look like? What sort of things do I have to look forward to? With this step-by-step guide to the adoption process, you will be able to more readily navigate your own adoption journey.


Step One: Find the Type of Adoption That Works Best for You

There are many different types of adoptions and it’s about finding the right fit for you. While many domestic adoption plans in the 1980s and 1990s primarily focused around closed adoption, the adoption climate today has changed. Many private adoption agencies, such as Adoptions From The Heart, specialize in open adoption. This unique adoption journey allows children to stay connected with their birth parents after their adoption has been finalized. Studies have shown that open adoption is the best option for adoptees, as many struggle with their identities when they are unsure of their roots. To determine which adoption plan works best for you, ask yourself a series of deeply personal questions to guide your decision-making. Would I feel comfortable allowing my child to reunite with their birth parents throughout their life? Am I the kind of person who would be able to adequately answer my child’s questions about their background? What are my biggest fears about open adoption that may be holding me back?

Step Two: Research the Cost

There is a great difference in cost between foster care, Christian services and private adoption agencies. There is also a difference in cost between domestic and international adoption. Factors such as your home state and the use of an attorney can also affect the total cost. Whichever route you choose, be sure to do your research so as to prevent any surprise fees associated with your adoption. While adoption can be costly, it is important to note that there are resources available to manage the fees.

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Step Three: Select an Agency and Work Closely to Create Your Plan

Now that you’ve discovered what type of adoption plan you would like to follow, as well as the local costs for adoption, it’s time to choose your agency. Google local adoption agencies and search online to read reviews from former adoptive families. Social workers at these agencies are incredibly helpful. Reach out to, and meet with, local adoption social workers to determine which agency best fits your family’s needs.

Step Four: The Homestudy

The homestudy is an integral part of the adoption process. Prospective adoptive parents open their homes to social workers who conduct thorough home research and background checks to ensure that an adoptee will be properly cared for. Guidelines differ by state, so be sure to ask your adoption agency which documents you will need prior to the homestudy. Many waiting families experience anxiety throughout the homestudy process. This article offers tips on how to pass your homestudy with flying colors.

Step Five: Put Yourself Out There

Many adoption agencies do their best to help adoptive parents create profiles to make their information readily available to expecting mothers. Websites such as Adoptimist help families create a unique online presence to show others about the things that make their family a wonderful fit for a child. Take advantage of these online resources as some birth mothers may seek out families individually on the internet before reaching out to an agency.

Step Six: Make Preparations for Your Child

As the months tick by, families get closer and closer to meeting the child they are waiting for. Be sure to keep some basic necessities on hand that cater to the age of the child you are planning to adopt. Be mindful that emergency placements do occur. Expecting mothers go to the hospital, give birth and decide that they would like to place their child. Don’t be surprised if you get a seemingly random phone call telling you to come meet your baby. While it is not the most common experience, it happens. Prepare accordingly.

Step Seven:  Petition to Adopt/Finalize Adoption

There is nothing better than finally meeting the child that will join your family. Your agency, social worker and lawyer will help you officially petition the court for adoption rights. Once your petition has been approved, you are officially parents!

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Adoption can seem like a daunting process when you’re not sure what to expect. Remember that there are always resources and individuals who are willing to help you sort through any questions you may have. Do not be afraid to reach out to local adoption social workers, agencies and attorneys for guidance. With 1 in 6 American families touched by adoption, the support network is larger than you even know.

October 2016 Book Reviews

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All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

thicker-than-bloodThicker Thank Blood: Adoptive Parenting in the Modern World by Marion Crook – Author Marion Crook is an adoptive parent to two sons, using her experiences this book gets to the heart  of parenting in today’s world.  While there are other books out there that are similar its always good to have reinforcement of some of these tips, feelings and experiences.  While much of this book relates to adoption of older children there are some things that are still the same such as fear of birth parents, and addressing issues of abandonment with children.

Ms. Crook is from Canada so many of the organizations and agencies she refers to are not relevant to the US, the US may have something similar but the names are not the same. I did feel that some of her advice was a little judgmental or skewed when it came to birth parents. Overall however this is a good book that has some great advice and a well researched information.  Amazon.com price $18.15 (pb) $17.24 (kindle)

images (98)99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Choosing Adoption by Robert & Jeffrey Kasky – This is a quick read with some good information about legal risk, termination of parental rights and what expenses you can and can’t pay for with regard to potential birth parents. There is information on special needs adoptions, future contact agreements, and surrogacy as well.  While much of the legal information varies from state to state and these authors are in Florida its a good starting point.  You may want to check with your agency or attorney to see what the regulations and laws are in your state. Amazon.com price $14.97 (pb) $2.99 (kindle)

99-dos-and-donts99 Adoption Do’s and Don’ts by Russell Elkins – This is a short book packed with a lot of great advice. In fact we liked it so much that we at Adoptions From The Heart have started giving this book out to our clients! This book is really geared toward adopting infants through open adoption directly from the hospital.  The advice is easy to read, and the book is only about 50 pages long.  These are things we really want all prospective adoptive parents to know. Great book Amazon.com price $5.99 (pb) $2.99 (kindle)

Announcing Your Decision to Adopt

You’ve decided to adopt- that’s wonderful!! Now how do you announce your decision….?

Make a Plan

Do you want to tell everyone at the same time or are there people in your life who you want to know first? Would the news be better in writing or in person? Maybe you want to tell different people in different ways? This is your announcement and you only get to make it once so take the time to plan it out!

Information Overload

Make sure that when you’re making your adoption announcement you make it clear what you are comfortable to talk about- and what you are NOT comfortable to talk about. Not only do you want to share your decision to adopt, but you want to let people know why. This might be a sensitive topic. It’s possible that there were some bumps along the road on your journey to adoption (infertility, miscarriage, even loss). It’s okay to tell people what you don’t want them to ask about.

Hope for the Best – Plan for the Worst

Adoption is bringing new life into your world! A new addition to the family is a reason to celebrate- unfortunately, not everyone may see it that way. Different people in your life may process the news differently- and that’s okay! People will be on board sooner or later but, for some, it may take time.

It’s your decision- not anyone else’s! There will always be people who disagree with your decisions no matter what they may be. Don’t listen to those people! This is your decision- NOT theirs! You chose to adopt for all the right reasons. You’ve put a lot of time and consideration into this choice- A LOT! You’re doing a great thing for your family and for the life of a child. Don’t let anybody let you think differently about that.

Be Prepared to Answer the Tough Questions

By announcing that your adopting, you may now be considered the adoption expert to people in your life who haven’t yet had experiences with adoption. Get ready to be their go to person for all of the questions that they may have about: the process, reasons for adopting, common stereotypes.

Set the Precedent with Adoption Positive Language

Start using the correct terminology from the beginning and make a conscious effort to correct people who use insensitive language. By using terms like adoptive parent, expecting parent, birth parent, ect. From the initial announcement, you will hopefully avoid issues later- like someone asking your child about his or her “real mom”.

Straight Out of Cutesville

Go the Cute Route to announce your adoption! One popular idea is giving loved ones a picture frame with a message saying “picture of your grandchild/niece or nephew/cousin coming soon!”

Check out the photo-shoots that these families had done to announce their choice to adopt. A mass mailing with a picture like one of these will be sure to spread the news with a smile.

http://www.canadaadopts.com/were-adopting-42-fun-ways-to-celebrate-your-adoption-journey/

Create Your Network of Support

Keep your team updated on your journey! Adoption is a process that takes time. To keep the momentum going create a blog, send out an e-mail check-in, or update your Facebook status regularly to let people know where you’re at in the process. This can create a lot of excitement when things are moving along well on your journey. Keeping people in the loop can also be helpful when hardships arise, and help you find others to lean on when times are tough. You don’t want to go through this process alone, and the people who care about you will want to be there for all of the ups and downs along the way.

Remember, LOVE is What Builds a Family

Choosing adoption is an amazing way to create your family. Be proud of who you are, and what you’re doing. Love is all you need.

Helpful Resources

http://forums.thebump.com/discussion/7746352/how-to-tell-your-family-youre-adopting
http://www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/parenting/breaking-the-news-that-you-plan-to-adopt/
https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/announcing-your-adoption-decision/

Things Adoption Social Workers Wish Prospective Adoptive Parents Knew

SpringThe adoption process is full of highs and lows as well as paperwork and classes and then of course the waiting. At times, things may feel overwhelming or you may be struggling with all the unknowns. We have asked several social workers to share what they wished prospective adoptive parents knew throughout each phase of the process.

 

  • Pre-match

Your social worker is always here for you! Don’t be afraid to check-in, ask for updates or even request a pep talk once in a while during your wait.

Birthparents are not what you see on TV. They are not irresponsible, selfish, inappropriate individuals. They are loving peopleselflessly putting their child’s needs first.

Educate your family and friends on positive adoption language and open adoption. Your child need  a support system of accepting family and friends who are informed about adoption.

Even though we cannot predict how long a family will wait, we do understand how hard an unbearable the wait can be for prospective adoptive parents.

It can be hard for prospective adoptive parents not to take it personally when their profile isn’t selected. Remember that women choose profiles for such very different reasons and one day an expecting parent will look at your profile and have that special connection too.

Adoption is a leap. Trust your social worker.

This is an incredible journey with many twists and turns. Embrace every part of the experience because it will be the foundation of the story of how you became a family.

You will be matched with the child that is truly meant for you.

Fully open adoptions are becoming the new normal and more commonly requested by expecting parents. Dive into what fears may be holding you back educate yourself of the benefits as well as the challenges about open adoption. It is important to be honest with the level of openness that you are really comfortable with.

We are rooting for you and are just as thrilled to tell you that you have been matched as you are to hear it!

Make sure to focus on all the information discussed during the classes and the education courses and not just the end goal of having a baby. A lot of times, once families do get the call and are placed, they look back and wished they had really listened.

  • Time of Match and/or Placement

While it is an exciting time for you, it is an incredibly sad and heartbreaking time for the birth parents. Respect their time to make sure adoption is the right decision, refrain from celebrating with a baby shower or “brother/sister” language until after the revocation period has passed.

The excepting parents are just as nervous to meet you. They think you will not like them or judge them. It’s funny how similar fears can be.

There are certain aspects of the delivery, health, hospital experience etc. completely out of everyone’s control. Patience, a healthy attitude and your support system will help you get through it.

Become familiar with the phrase “Cautions Optimism.”

Respect the birth parent’s time in the hospital – this is their time with the baby, you will get a lifetime.

Get to know the expecting/birth parents as best as you can as this may be the only experience you have to meet them and you will want to remember as much as possible to pass along to your child one day.

Be careful not to make promises you can’t or don’t intend to keep. The excitement of being matched may cause you to want to agree to things you weren’t initially open to. Make sure this doesn’t happen! If an expecting/birth parent asks you for something you are unsure about, just say that it is something worth considering and that you’d like some time to think it over. Lean on your social worker to help you sort out your feelings.

This is more than just the day they meet the baby that may become their child, but it’s also the beginning of their journey with their child’s birth parents. These are the beginning moments that they will be able to tell their children about and these are the stories their children will love to hear over and over again.

Medical records take time to retrieve. We cannot dictate how quickly a hospital or doctor’s office will respond to our request.

Respect the wishes of the expecting parents. Even though this is an amazing and wonderful time for your, remember that the birth parents are struggling with one of the hardest decision of their lives.

We cannot force a woman to get prenatal care. We strongly encourage it and offer to help in any way we can however there could be a variety of reasons she chooses not to.

Remember, remember, remember it is not yet your son or daughter until after the revocation period is complete. Shower the child with love and remind yourself each day that his or her birth parents are struggling with the life-long decision of placing or parenting and should not be shamed or made out to be a villain no matter what they decide in the end. Either way, they will be grateful that you were there to love and care for their baby.

  • Post Placement and for Years to Come

Birth parents never forget about their child, even if they don’t follow up with visits or future contact. Adoptive parents should remember this when approaching their child’s story and their updates for their child’s birth parents.

Birth parents should not be forgotten. They should always be a part of your story and deserve your life long respect. Do not minimize their role in your family.

Do not go back on your promises of updates and visits. We have seen the pain caused to birth parents when families do not keep their promises and it can be unbearable and cause doubts. Do what you say! It’s not only a commitment to your child’s birth parents but also a commitment to your child.

Be open with your child and ready to discuss their circumstances surrounding their adoption. If you would like help, don’t hesitate to call your social worker.

Leave space for your child to have a full range of emotions about their adoption story. When a child shares “big feelings”, even the negative ones, don’t override those feelings with a rainbow and unicorn speech about adoption. Adoption is love but it’s also loss and your child needs to feel comfortable speaking with you about ALL their feelings.

Do not talk negatively about your child’s birth parents. This is your child’s blood. Without them, you would not be a parent. Explain things in a way that shows that even through struggles, your child’s birth parents are important to you.

Be honest and loving. Don’t get tripped up on the hard questions. Your child deserves the truth and deserves to explore their story in their time and own way.

Open adoption is about removing the fear and stigma  and providing children with their identity and history. Base your decisions about the open adoption journey in hope and positivity rather than fear.

A child should not have fear that they will hurt your feelings by asking about their adoption story or birth family. Start the discussion early and explore their thoughts with an open heart and open mind.

It’s helpful to establish friendships along the way with people who have adopted.

If you have adopted transracially, do not be scared to ask questions. Your child deserves to know that you are doing everything you can to understand the challenges a child of transracial adoption may face.

Better your child’s experience by challenging yourself to really seek out other adoptee’s points of view. Unless you have been adopted, you cannot fully understand your child’s experience and so listening to many other adoptee’s experiences may give you a better understanding.