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I’m no longer drinking the Adoption Kool-Aid

Recently we had another visit with our daughter’s birth mother.  As I mentioned before, she is pregnant again. Less than a year after placing our daughter for adoption.  She told me she didn’t want to get pregnant again but that her very young boyfriend WANTED a baby and so he decided to try to get her pregnant…and lets just say she didn’t exactly stop him or prevent the pregnancy.

If I thought the last visit (her first after placement) was tough it was really just a warm up for this one. It was traumatic, to say the least.

In her mind the purpose of the visit was NOT to gain validation of her choice and to see that our daughter was adjusted, bonded, healthy and happy.  That is just the propaganda spewed by many adoption professionals to the adoptive families. The reality of her visit request was that she worried that our daughter would forget her.

The visit showed her that our daughter forgot her.

She was apparently told by her social worker that the baby would always know her smell and recognize her.  Um, that didn’t happen.

Our daughter was placed at 12 weeks.  She is now a 14 month old child who is enjoying her ability to walk. She didn’t want to be held, especially by someone other than her Mom and Dad.  She was more curious about the room and looking out the window then interacting with someone new.

Truth be told, she is a Daddy’s girl and prefers him over me any day.

I of course had expressed my concerns in advance to the social worker who blew them off and stated that our daughter’s birth mother was “well aware that the baby would not go to her” but would be more comfortable with her parents.   Then she gave me the song and dance about just wanting to get validation of their choice. I don’t know where they get that this validates their choice.  The desire to visit the child comes from the GRIEF rebirthed after  seeing her pictures and then the FEAR she will not remember her or love her in the future.

Many tears were shed.  It broke my heart.
I tried to explain to her that our daughter would know about her because of the fact that we aren’t keeping her adoption a secret.  That she will grow up knowing she is adopted, and that it’s not a big deal to be adopted.  We will share with her information from and about her birth mother (if she ever gets around to writing that letter and making that scrapbook) and birth father as is age appropriate.  At a certain point in time she will be given everything I am collecting and saving for her and of course she will be free to seek out her birth parents if she wishes… with nothing but support from her family.

Everything our daughter has, opportunity she will be given, education she will receive, the family she has, and the lifestyle she lives will all be a product of the decision her birth mother made.

But make no mistake, I am no longer drinking the Adoption Agency’s cool-aid.

In our situation I can clearly see that the visits are not about closure.  The pictures and letters don’t validate the choice (for some birth mothers) but instead reopen the wound and start the cycle of grief and loss all over again.

I will never be convinced that these birth mothers are offered sufficient counseling services.  I don’t think that individual situations and personalities are taken into consideration. Everything is cookie cutter.  Feeling sad? All you need is some pictures.   Regretting your decision? Why don’t we schedule a visit and then you’ll feel better.

But what I learned is that the opposite is true. Our daughter’s birth mother admitted that the pictures hurt her…they made her want our daughter back.  She admitted that she didn’t particularly feel good after visiting with her but that her FEAR that she would forget her made her want to schedule a visit.

Again, this wasn’t about closure or about healing. It was about prolonging the grief.  About ripping off the scabs and reopening the wound.

This isn’t healthy.  For either of us.

to be continued…
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Strawberry roll cake

This is my favorite summer dessert. For the Fourth of July I also mix in blueberries and it’s always a hit.  I recommend making 2.  One never seems to go far enough.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. plain flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pt. strawberries
1/2 c. sugar
Powdered Sugar
Cool Whip (2 tubs)

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 

Separate eggs. 
Add egg yolks, milk, and vanilla to dry mixture. 
Beat egg whites until fluffy. Fold into cake batter. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour batter into greased and floured 11×13 shallow baking pan. 
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Slice Strawberries and set aside

Place powdered sugar on top of a clean kitchen cloth.

Turn cake over ontop of cloth and dust with additional powdered sugar.

Roll towel and allow to cool.

Carefully unroll cake

Spread strawberries and Cool Whip ontop of cake and carefully roll it back up.

Dust with Powdered sugar as needed.

Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

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Jello Aquarium Recipe

We needed a summer cooking activity and I thought the Jello Aquarium would be the perfect fun summer treat.
It has fruit, jello, and Swedish fish—everything a kid would love and its surprisingly easy and not too messy for Mommy!  If you are looking for a great end of summer treat and activity I highly recommend making  a Jello Aquarium. 

More Jello recipes are available here.
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What I’ve learned about adoption

I’ve learned that adoption is beautiful, painful and messy.

I’ve learned that adoption is a roller coaster of emotions and when you get off you aren’t always laughing and smiling…but sometimes you are.
I’ve learned how easy it is to fall madly in love with a child you never gave birth to.
 I’ve learned that I will always carry a certain amount of grief and guilt from raising a child that another woman relinquished.

I’ve learned not to let others guilt me into doing things I don’t believe will be healthy for my family, my child, or myself just because we’ve adopted.

I’ve learned that people say stupid, hurtful and dumb things…but in the end it doesn’t matter.

I’ve learned to not second guess myself and to trust myself.

I’ve learned that sometimes birth parents need to distance themselves from the pain…and sometimes I need to too.

I’ve learned that there is no cookie cutter solution for the perfect adoption arrangement.  There are always variables and we can only do the best we can with what we are given.

I’ve learned the importance of closure.
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Life lessons & Surprises in our adoption journey

Our youngest daughter’s birth mother is pregnant again.  Words cannot express the anguish I feel even typing those words.  Not even 1 year from her placement.  Not even before our daughter turned one, she was pregnant again. My heart just breaks for her, this unborn child and of course my daughter.   

I cannot help but wonder if this baby is in somehow meant to be a replacement for our daughter.  Not that any child can replace another.  A loss is a loss. Regardless how many children you have.   

She has also requested a visit.  After months of no contact and never once responding to any of our letters.  

I wonder what she thinks will be different about this visit.  When the last one obviously wounded her so badly.

Knowing our daughter as I do, she won’t go to her. She won’t let her hold her…and even worse, she will probably shake her head no when she comes too close or tries to hold her.

I know she is lost. I know she is hurting. I know she needs Jesus. 

But I finally learned something that took me a long time to realize. Maybe too long.

I. Can’t. Save. Her.

I Can’t. Fix. Her.

…and it was never my job to. 

 So I’m just going to keep praying for her. I’m going to keep wishing her well.
And then I’m going to get on with the business of raising our daughter.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.