Monday, August 3, 2009


At the risk of later having to eat my words.... Adoption. We're going for it. Open, domestic, newborn, specifically.

We went to an info session on Saturday with the Independent Adoption Center, a non-profit adoption agency that works in several states and has an office in Raleigh. K and I really liked them - they pretty much "wrote the book" (in the case of the executive director, quite literally) on open adoption, and they have a focus on non-coercive counseling for expectant mothers, which is really important to us.

Sitting in that session, I had a solid confirmation of the feeling that I've had off and on for a while: I don't want to be pregnant again. I'm not good at it. I want a baby. I'm good with babies. So is K. M likes babies. And we all feel like our family isn't complete yet.

Why open adoption? Well, first off, adopted kids who know who their first/birth parents are have less angst about adoption, esp. during their teen years - there is no mystery and often feelings of abandonment and loss are lessened. First/birth moms who place children in open adoptions are more likely to come out of the situation as whole, healthy people. Watching their children thrive just re-confirms their decision to place their baby. Having given birth to a baby, I cannot imagine not knowing what happens to my child as she grows up. Also, if divorce and my father's extended family have taught me anything, it is that "family" is not based solely on blood...there are a lot of ways to be a family. So, one of my children will have another mother/father/family out there to love her/him - so what? That is awesome. My identity as a mother and my importance to my child is not diluted by the existence of other mothers.

It was interesting to be in that room with those other couples (and one single). K and I were the only people there who had a child already. It definitely seemed to give us a different perspective, particularly about first/birth moms. Everyone was somewhat nervous, including us, but the presenter was good and people slowly thawed, especially during lunch.

I will try to update more frequently as we work over the next couple of months to save $$ to pay for it!


Molly said...

!!!!!!!!!!!Wonderful!! I'm so excited for you! Can't wait to hear updates!

Alexicographer said...

Congratulations! We too have worked with IAC (live in the same area you do) though we conceived a son and put our adoption plans on hold and I'm not sure when or whether we're going to pick them back up. Still, like you, I was attracted to IAC's what-struck-me-as-generally-ethical approach and generally found them good to work with (I did find putting the "Dear Birthmother" letter together in a way that met their criteria rather frustrating. Hope you will be less aggravated by that than I was!).

Best wishes for smooth progress, and a growing family!

Ruta said...

Thanks for the support!

Alexicographer: The IAC sure does seem to love the "Dear Birthmother letter" concept! We've heard some grumbles from others about their specifications - particularly having to have multiple re-shoots of professional pictures. My SIL is a graphic designer used to working with crazy specs, so I'm hoping that if I give her their requirements, we'll be able to get through it with a minimum of aggravation...I can dream, right? :)

Alexicographer said...

LOL ... well, your plan sounds a lot better than what I did (put it together myself, and we did not have prof. pictures taken!).

As I sit here painfully remembering it, actually, a big part of my problem not with the letter per se but with my life + the letter was I was living the life of a (childless) infertile and they wanted us to include "action shots" with "small kids." Now I have small kids in my extended family and I, um, like small kids. No problem. But the practical implication was that every holiday, I spent dressing, you know, casually yet sophisticatedly (haha), and then trying to get snaps taken of me with small cousins while we all looked spontaneous, engaged, active, and happy. And faced the camera. Up close. Oh, yes, and while ... although such shots were invariably outside ... my DH hadn't just lit up a cigarette. All while pretending to be normal and sane and enjoying the holiday and the company and not desperately trying to build my family.

Er. Sorry to be venting on your blog! I think you'll have a much easier time of this aspect of it than I did!

Kittie "Kat" said...
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Kittie "Kat" said...

Erin, you're my hero. There is a little boy in foster care here that I want so desperately to adopt, but I'm just too old and it wouldn't be practical. He has a brother and 2 sisters that they are trying to keep together and I know I could not manage all of them. I love him dearly and just hope and pray every night that a wonderful family like yours will open their home to him. I know that the perfect child will come your way and you will be a blessing to him/her!!!! Sending prayers your way!!