Wednesday, November 14, 2012
2012 Adoption Bloggers Interview Project
I am so excited to be participating in the 2012 Adoption Bloggers Interview Project being held at Production, Not Reproduction. Last year, I was partnered with Mara from Marriage 2.0 and you can find her interview answers on this post. Sadly, her blog is now private and I didn't save a copy of mine. I really wish I could look back (and laugh) I'm sure and what I wrote. I definitely don't consider myself a very good blogger or writer, but I was really looking forward to the interview project this year due to how much I have learned over the past year + since starting this adventure.
Heather at PNR did random pairings with tons of open adoption bloggers who represent all sides of the adoption triad. My random match this year didn't seem too random. I was really excited when I saw my partner because it was someone I felt I already "knew". Even though we live just about an hour away, we have yet to meet in real life. Actually, we have even been at the same baseball stadium and fireworks show at the same time but didn't get to meet. I have been following her blog for about 4 years now and really look up to her with any adoption experiences she shares. We have exchanged blog comments, emails, and even become facebook friends. I am looking forward to watching both of our families grow and eventually meeting in person!
She is an adoptive mommy to one of the cutest 4 year old boys ever. We both thought we were getting beautiful baby girls this spring and both are still parents to just our boys. We are both praying, waiting, and hoping that our call comes in again soon.
Introducing...... Ashley from More Than Dog Children.
( I gave her a huge list of questions and told her to pick which ones....she answered every one!)
Q. You currently have an open adoption with your son- What aspect makes you happiest about his adoption (besides him of course!) and is there something you would have done differently with the experience?
A. I feel like if we changed anything, our outcome could look different so this is a hard one for me! I can think of one thing: at the beginning, when D was a newborn, his birth parents wanted to meet every other week. D was a high maintenance baby and it took us 6 weeks to realize he had a horrible milk protein intolerance. So, we were exhausted and overwhelmed. To meet every other week was extremely stressfull. I wish we hadn't waited 6 months to address the frequency of visits.
Q. In what ways did/ do you honor your son's birth mother?
A. We honor D's birth parents by staying committed to our openness. We have not missed a visit- ever. Sometimes we have to adjust it a week here or there but we haven't missed any. We also talk to D about who they are and look over pictures from when he was born. We tell them he loves him "tons and tons" and how he was in C's belly when he was a baby (age appropriate stuff, this will change over time and be more detailed). When he really started to understand he was in C's belly as a baby, not mine, he started telling everyone! Let's just say we had some interesting discussions with strangers at Target!
Q. I read on several blogs where adoptive parents have different ways of sharing their child's story when it comes to school. Now that your son is a big preschooler, do you share the fact that he is adopted upfront or prefer to keep it private with his school/ teacher?
A. D's adoption has came up since we are adopting again. When we were matched in April, we gave the teachers a heads up because they might be confused if D came to school as a big brother all of a sudden. They were all excited for use to adopt #2. I definitely did not talk them like, "just want you to know, D's adopted...." I would never do that! It was just to warn them of a potential new member of our family last April.
Q. You are waiting for your second placement- How have your views on adoption changed since becoming parents the first time?
A. Honestly, I'm a little jaded. D's birth parents changed their mind after a long match. Fortunately, we fell on the rare side of the stats, and they changed their mind again when he was 7 days old. This time around, I'm always waiting for our hearts to be broken. Also, I have this deep pit in my stomach that our wait will be super long because we already have a kiddo. I have this crazy belief that all birth parents want to give the ultimate gift to the childless couple. I need to keep in mind all BPs have different views of what they want to give to their child and some might want a sibling (or even an adopted sibling at that). In regards to adoption itself (not just the match/placement process), my views have changed immensely. I was SO SCARED to enter in to an open adoption. What would it feel like to have visits with the birth parents? Would I feel like mommy or would I feel like I was competing? Now, I know it's a beautiful relationship! I'm confident the openness is the best thing we could be doing for D. He knows who he is, where he came from, how loved he is! There is no doubt who mommy is, ever!
Q. What do you think of all that paperwork involved in the process and what part do you dislike the most?
A. The paperwork BITES! I get bitter every time. There are so many sucky parents that will never have to disclose their health, their finances, get references, etc! Arg! I will say, this second time around, I knew what to expect and ripped it off like a bandaid- fast and less painfully. I dropped everything off (that didn't have to be sent in like fingerprints, background checks and references) within 24 hours of receiving it. That portion took us weeks the first time around!
Q. How are you and your hubby supporting each other during the wait?
A. Mark is the coolest cucumber you'll ever meet. He could care less about the wait. He feels confident God's plan is perfect and our next child will join us in His timing. Now, I agree, but I'm squirmy! I never pictured my kiddos spaced out this far. We are ready to be parents again and D's super ready to be a big bro. Mark is supportive by hearing me complain and encouraging me with his steadfast trust in a bigger plan.
Q. We both have big brothers in waiting also and I know you have made comments about how your son has started asking for a sibling (as do we). How do you explain this process to him?
A. I always say the same thing: "You will have a baby sister/brother but only God knows when". He prays for a baby sister every night. He's too young to understand the 'waiting to matched' part of it. In fact, we feel like he's too young to be a part of anything at this point. With our match in April, we never told him anything that was going on (at time of match, when baby was born, when we were visiting baby at the hospital, etc). We felt it was important to protect his little heart and his inability to understand if the match fell through- which it did.
Q. The baby showers, cute pregnancy announcements, and friends who have gone on to have 3, 4, and 5 children really weigh on me some days. Is this difficult for you as well? What do you rely on to get you through these days?
A. Oh, gosh, isn't that soooo hard?! I've had so many "oops" pregnancies around me these days. In addition to those announcements, I have to endure the complaining about not having a certain sex of baby or the bad timing of the pregnancy in general. It makes me want to scream. Most of our close friends have a kid Declan's age and are pregnant with or have #3 already. What I do to cope is to think about how good we have it. This summer when I was struggling bad, I consciously decided it would be the summer of swimming...because it was simple and we could! I had one kiddo to get ready, load up, keep track of, pay for. We went 3 times a week at least and it was such a fun time! I try to keep in mind how easy it it to just pick up and go. This changes dramatically with a newborn! Financially we have it easier too only having to pay for preschool. Little things like that keep my mind in a healthy place. But I definitely drift to the dark side. Sometimes I talk to my sister-in-law. She's adopted and has an extra dose of compassion when I'm feeling negative.
Q. We have both been through failed placements for different reasons this summer- Did that change any of your feelings on adoption and what advice can you give to someone who might be faced with this situation in the future?
A. It changed my opinion on the match/placement process by making me doubt future matches will actually result in a placement! I'm getting over this more and more every day. My opinion on adoption in general has not changed. D was worth the wait and kiddo #2 will be as well!
Q. Most of my infertility/ adoption friends are all online. My husband laughs at me since I've never met most of them personally. We know people who have adopted but don't have any "friends" who have. Do you have any gal pals that you can identify with or are you surrounded by Fertile Myrtles?
A. We have one couple we are friends with who have adopted through the Children's Home like we have. We don't see them often, but when we do, there is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken!) understanding about all things adoption related. We have some acquaintances that have adopted internationally and one couple who have adopted from the foster system. We share a "cool, our kids are adopted!" bond, but nothing like the one couple who have a domestic open adoption like us.
Q. You and your hubby are currently building a house (totally jealous! fun!!!) Do you plan to go ahead and set up a room for the baby when you move in if you are not placed by then?
A. SOOO excited to move in to our new place. We have designated nursery and will put all the baby gear in there. I don't think we'll decorate yet. We decorated for the little girl we were expecting in April and it's pretty depressing to think about taking that all down (haven't done that yet, oops).
Check out this link on her blog to read my interview!
Thanks so much Ashley for taking the time to be my interview partner! Don't forget to check out the other blogger interviews here!