Month: March 2015 (page 1 of 7)

My Letter

Here we are. A glimpse into our lives. We are beyond excited and have a wonderful support system that is 100% on board. We’re all excited to start the next chapter and it wouldnt be possible without you. We recognize that this may be a difficult time in your life and will be there for you to offer unconditional love and support.

We welcome you and your family into our hearts and are excited to create new memories every step of the way. We will provide a loving and safe environment for your child. An environment ; to be a hero, a scholar, a dancer, a doctor, an astronaut, to be uniquely themselves. We encourage dreaming and achieving the unimaginable.

The sky is the limit and everyone will be on the sidelines encouraging and cheering them on. We want nothing more for them to capture their gift and excel regardless of what they choose to do.

After all, a child can never be loved by too many people.

Love
Nick & Kris

Every time, I feel upset and question myself a little I read this letter Nick and Kris put in their adoption book. It always brings a smile to my face and reminds me exactly why I chose them to parent Ryker. Because of this I knew my son wouldnt be restricted to follow his dreams, I knew he would be raised to love and care about everyone no matter their background or lifestyle. To this day Nick and Kris have kept up with their promise of welcoming me into their lives, and supporting me with the decision I made. I couldnt be happier. Ryker is one lucky little dude to have two amazing parents who love him so much. And I will be forever grateful that these two are in my lives.

 

 

Regret

When my two oldest were born, I held onto to them the entire time I was at the hospital, they laid in my bed or on my chest, I stared at them intensely and awwed at the life I had help create. I remember when they took Noah (my oldest) to get circumcised I started freaking out and crying cause they took longer then they said they would so I thought nothing but the worse. When his billy ribbon test came back and they said he had slight jaundice and that he had to stay under the UV lights i sat on my bed and just held his hand and wished I could hold him I counted down the minutes I could pick him up and feed him because I wanted nothing more then to hold him, but he had to stay in that bassinet with the UV lights for 24 hours and I could only hold him to feed him, it felt like torture. With Nathaniel I sat on the couch by the window and basked in the sun with him and just held him while we both soaked up the sun together. To this day I cherish those 3 days in the hospital. It was those three days that I fell deeply in love with my kids. I studied them, their fingers, and toes, the wrinkles in their forehead. The way the stretched and yawned, I learned what their certain cries meant and what they wanted in a short time.

When I was pregnant with Ryker I had a plan that my mom would be in the hospital room with me and after he was born I would spend alone time with him and tell him exactly how  felt and why I was doing what I was doing. I planned to read him a story and study him and love him just like I did with his two older brothers.  When the time came, it came really fast I know I had 5 months to mentally prepare but when it came time he came so fast everything I planned, I just pushed away. It was Kris who asked if I wanted to hold my son (Kris was the first one to refer to him as my son the first night we met and always has made it a point to make me feel like his mother) I wanted to, dont get me wrong but I think i feared it, I didnt want to hold him too long in fear that I would grow attached. In my mind I felt that if I didnt do the things I did with my other two children then it wouldnt be hard to “give him away”. That first night Kris again asked if I wanted to have my son that night and I told him no it was ok they could have that night together and get used to being a family of 3. They had there own room and I was in my room alone. I remember staring at the couch in the corner reminiscing the year prior holding Nathaniel and basking in the sun. I tossed and turned that entire night, the first time i ever really felt that uncomfortable in a hospital bed, maybe because I didnt have my child to cuddle with or a baby in the room, no on in the room for that matter, and the nurses only checked on me once so it was dark and lonely.  The next day we all had breakfast together and shortly after I was discharged.

I regret my decision in the hospital, now I wish I would of held Ryker a little longer, studied him a little better, let him sleep on my chest that night and read him a story. I regret that I didnt build that connection with him, and I regret that I  dont have the time now and may never have it. I often find myself crying looking at the first pictures of me and Ryker and his dads, I look angry and I fear that when he sees them when he is older that he will think that i didnt want to hold him and holding him made me mad. It didnt make me mad it made me scared.  The entire time I was in the hospital I was scared, I was scared to look at him even and when i did it brought tears to my eyes and i had to  secretly wipe them away  before anyone noticed. I wanted everyone to think that I was fine and i wasnt upset at all, it was the lie i told to make me feel better.  I was discharged from the hospital the day after he was born and that was another part of my plan that fell through I wanted to leave the hospital with him watch as his dads placed his carseat in the car and I would kiss him and watch them drive off, he didnt get discharged until a week later and I wanted to be there but then talked myself out of it again, saying I wouldnt of been able to make it out there that early. I regret that I didnt do that because I only got to hold him one time after that and now I wont get to hold him for another few months.

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The only two pictures of Ryker and I at the hospital.

-Kedra

Time.

Grief is not a straight line that disappears into the horizon. It’s a curvy line  that goes up and down. thins out for awhile and then widens when you’re unsuspecting.

 Someone told me recently that the world wasn’t going to stop spinning because of my loss. That being mad at it wasn’t going to change anything. I could yell and blame anyone and everyone I wanted but nothing was going to change the fact that my son is gone. When I was told this, I got even more angry because I only have myself or the rest of the world to blame. When you lose a loved one, it’s hard not to get angry with the world or God. It shakes your faith with just about everything. You think of how the world could take away a life that wasn’t ready. You yell, you cry and you hate for awhile. You don’t know how to move on with your loved one gone. Trust me, I wish I could just let go of what I can’t change, but a apart of me feels that letting go means forgetting about my son. That if I move on, I’m letting go of the memory of the amazing gift I was blessed with. I think the hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye, but rather learning to live without them. Always trying to fill the void, that emptiness that was left inside your heart when they go. I really don’t want to let go. It scares the living shit of out me. Having my son gone already hurt so much and I’m still having a hard time accepting that he isn’t coming back. So many people say it is something to place in your past or simplify it as a problem to “deal” with then move on, but loss is something that changes your everyday. The minute before and the minute after they’ve gone marks the boundary for your new self and life. And you will miss your loved one every day.

Everyday I am trying, trying to live a life with the hurt, pain and suffering. Please, give me time. Don’t except me to be okay all the time. Don’t tell me that let go and move on, I’m trying the hardest I can to do that. I will remain angry one minute and happy the next. Each minute of each day that passes it does get a little easier but there won’t be a day when it’s all okay. I’m learning that letting go isn’t a one day thing, it’s something you have to do everyday, over and over again.

arlo3

-Katie Marie

About Adoption

As of 2005, there were 1.6 million adopted children under the age of eighteen living in the U.S. households- 2.5%  of all children (under eighteen years old) living in American households (U.S. Census Bureau). In 2005, 51,000 children were placed in adoptive homes.

These statistics demonstrate the changing face of adoption: A decline in the number of newborns relinquished by their birth parent(s) for adoption, as well as increased reliance on adoption as a solution for children in foster care who cannot be reunited with family, and children in out-of-home care in other countries.

Relinquishment of newborn infants has become relatively rare, declining almost nine-fold since the early 1970s, with an estimated 14,000-15,000 infants voluntarily relinquished for adoption in the U.S. each year. International adoptions into the U.S. more then tripled from 7,093 to a peak of 22,884 in 2004, but declined in recent years, to 17,433 in 2008.

The most common type of adoption today, other than step parent adoptions, are children placed from the child welfare system- a number which has soared, particularly since the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997. Adoption with public child welfare agency involvement increased from approximately 15,000 in 1988 to a peak of 52,881 in 2002. Currently, over 50,000 children are adopted from foster care each year; and the number of children adopted from social services are, since national statistics were standardized 1995, is approximately 600,000.

I cite these statistics to emphasize the importance of finding ways, when open adoption isnt possible, to provide adopted children with the truth, support, and reassurance they need to understand and integrate the adoption experience. We dont want to barrow trouble, but facts are facts; and it is a safe assumption based on experince that adopted children will deal with grief and loss issues as do birth parents who surrender their child for adoption and adoptive parents who must relinquish any dream of having biological children. Those affected the most, adoptees, have little or no information about their birth parents and their birth history, because they were adopted through a closed system or adopted internationally where information was not available. This makes their grief and loss issues even more pronounced.

Unfortunately, in many cases, adoptive parents have little or no education about or awareness of the multiple conflicting emotions experienced by birthmothers as they go through the process of making the decision regarding what is best for their baby and themselves. As a result, birthmothers are often the subject of stereotypical judgments and incorrect assumptions regarding their motivations for choosing adoption as the best option for the child.  Such misunderstandings can, and often does, lead to unspoken negative feelings toward the biological parents, especially the birthmother, which are frequently, consciously or unconsciously, transmitted to the child.

It is important that adoptive parents are cognizant of these realities as they explain the adoption process to their child. Additionally, it is of paramount importance that  the adopted child fully comprehends the sacrifice and emotional trauma experienced by the birthmother as she made this very difficult decision.

Many adopting parents are not aware of the importance of information regarding family of origin to the adopted child. Children need to know that their birth families cared about them and that the adoption doesnt represent rejection.

Currently, there are fifteen states with open adoption statutes, Under open adoption, the adopted child, the adoptive parents, and the birthmother or birth parents have the right to establish and maintain contact should they so desire. This can occur with a great deal of counseling and education for both the birth parents and the adoptive family. Mutual respect, appropriate boundaries, and the best interest of the child are taken into consideration when negotiating how the contact will look. In such cases,

  • The adoptee acquires a better understanding of the circumstances of her/his birthmother, and the emotions and internal conflicts she experienced as she mad e the decisions surrounding the adoption plan. It helps answer the one question that is so often in their minds: ” Why did my birthmother GIVE ME AWAY?” An adoptee wants and needs to hear their adoption story (it belongs to them) as much as any child likes to hear the story of their birth and all that goes with it. in most of the histories, there is reference to the birthfather, which is valuable information for the adoptee as well.
  • Birth parents are validated for their feelings and actions. They are able to relate to stories of other birth parents that may be similar to their own. They feel less alone; and it can be healing for them to recount the details of what they have endured. Sometimes when one experiences feelings of grief and loss — feelings which can surface when least expected – reading or hearing another birth parents story can help normalize the feelings of anxiety and bring more peace about the adoption decision.
  • Adoptive parents who have not been educated regarding the depth of feelings their child will experience about adoption during each stage of his or her emotional development, are at a loss for how to deal with questions and issues that may come up. This information impowers the family to provide children with information about their orgins that can help form a personal identity, as well as shine light on unresolved grief and loss issues experienced by adoptees. It is better for children to deal with reality, even harsh reality, than a variety of fantasies.

Types of adoption

  • Confidential adoption means birth parents do not meet or communicate with adoptive families. Although the parties have an intimate connection to each other through the child, there is no opportunity for a relationship to develop in any way.
  • Semi-open adoption allows the birth and adoptive families to communicate directly in a meeting at the agency, with social workers present; though no identifying information is shared. Birth parents can request photographs for designated period of time and even another meeting within a year, held in a neutral place. Most of the time these meetings are supervised by the social worker assigned to their case. Further development of their relationship is not possible, as they are refused direct access to each other. Communication takes place through a 3rd party and offers some of the same advantages as open adoption, without the potential risks involved when the parties form a personal relationships.
  • Open adoption allows communication between birth parents and adoptive parents. It places choices and control in the hands of the adopting parents and birth parents, rather then the agency. Relationships can develop and grow, when this is agreed to by both parties; and there are many differing scenarios and levels of relationships. Typically, parties emerge from the experience having forged a deep bond, though they may have different backgrounds or values. When open adoption works, it can work beautifully.

From Jeanne Reisig book “Unbroken Ties”

-Jeanne Reisg-

 

One month

Its been one month since the day you were born
Its been 3 weeks since the last time I held you
Its been 2 days since I last saw you
Your eyes are bluer
Your cheeks are chubbier
You can pick your head up
In a month you have changed so much, I forgot how fast all that happens
But I guess now since Im on the outside looking in its easier for me to see
Soon you will be rolling over
Sitting up on your own
Crawling
Talking
Walking
To your dads all that will happen with out them noticing any differences,
To me it will happen before my eyes
1 month isnt long but to me its been a eternity
I miss you
I love you
Happy 1 month birthday

 

 

-Kedra-

 

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