NY Times Blog: Biological vs Adopted Child Bonding

nytimesblogThe New York Times parenting blog published an interesting piece the other day titled An Adoption: Six Months Later. The author writes about her difficult bonding experience with her biological sons versus her immediate attachment to her adopted daughter.

Now, maybe that has to do with the fact that her bio sons were newborns and her daughter was older when she was adopted–maybe the author just didn’t take to the newborn stage. (It sounds like she had a bit of a Grumpy Baby.) Or maybe she truly just bonded more naturally with her adopted daughter and would have no matter what age she was when adopted. Either way, it speaks to the truth that attachment and bonding does not rely or depend on biological ties.

Just because you give birth to a baby does not mean you will become immediately attached. And just because you adopt a baby doesn’t mean you immediately won’t.

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Tempering the “Angel Baby” fantasy

photo-46I was in a baby consignment store the other day, checking out all the parenting books. I had four or five in my hand and was skimming them, trying to get an idea of which one or two would be best (ended up buying all of them) when a lady walked past me and said to her friend, loud enough that I could hear, “I never read any of the baby books I bought.”

I think she was trying to tell me not to waste my time. But I didn’t listen. I feel like I need to learn as much as I can. Because as much as I love babies and kids, I have never cared for one full-time. Will I know what to do when she cries? What about when he gets sick or has a fever? How will I set a sleep schedule? And maybe because we’re adopting, I’m wondering if I will just “know” what to do like so many women say they do. Will my maternal instincts kick in even though I haven’t given birth?

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Choosing happiness, again

graciesnowI wasn’t feeling so hot last week. Stressed out, I was feeling anxious and discouraged about our adoption. Up until this point, the wait has been pretty good for me–I’ve been positive and excited. We’re in our fifth month of waiting now, though, and I think I’ve been growing weary of the uncertainty and wondering if anyone will ever choose us. And I let it get to me.

I wrote a really whiny post on Friday–basically threw myself a big old pity party. Writing it down and getting it all out of my system was a release and made me feel so much better, but I’m so glad I didn’t publish it because that is not the person I want to be or the attitude I want to have. I forgot that for a couple days, but thanks to Jamie and a great weekend, I’m feeling a lot stronger today.

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Take off the fear goggles, America

1901881_673394102717747_1181023999_nEver since we opened up to transracial adoption, I’ve had a heightened awareness of racism. And hearing about this Michael Dunn guy, who shot at a car full of teenagers, killing Jordan Davis and injuring four of his friends because their music was too loud, has really affected and upset me.

It would have upset me anyway–what is wrong with people?!–but now I’m also seeing this through the eyes of a (potential) transracial adoptive parent. Jordan Davis did not have a gun. He was just hanging out with his friends, listening to music and having fun. Who hasn’t done that? He was just a kid.

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Reality Check: Cannot do it all

RealityOh, Reality. Sometimes you are just no fun at all.

Last week, we discovered we will be getting a tax bill this year instead of a refund. That’s never good news. But it also made us realize that there’s no way we will comfortably have a down payment for a house this year with everything else that’s going on. So, we’ve decided to officially put our house search on hold until after the adoption.

We had a good laugh at ourselves because we actually thought we could do all of this–buy a house AND adopt a baby–in the same year. Only the two biggest expenses of our entire lives! Who do we think we are? The Rockefellers?

I don’t know, I guess I thought we had to have the forever house before we had the forever baby. And since I work from home, I was hoping to have more space. Or maybe I was hoping there was one major thing in our lives that we could have control over. Some action we could take.

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Guest Post on America Adopts!

Image 2-14-14 at 9.07 AMA couple weeks ago, the editor of the America Adopts! blog reached out to me and asked if I would write a guest post for them. I was surprised and honored to be asked (it’s the first time I’ve been asked to write a guest post about adoption).

America Adopts! is a great resource that connects birthparents considering adoption with hopeful adoptive parents and their blog features insightful posts on various adoption issues and guest posts from birth parents, adoptive parents, and hopeful adoptive parents. Run by adoptive parents who met their son’s birthparents online, the website is devoted to helping others do the same.

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4th Monthly Agency Update

??????????Four months down! We just received our fourth monthly update from the agency. There was a lot going on in January, but still no good news. This is to be expected, as the average wait time is six months for a match. Hopefully, we are getting closer.

Our profile was presented to 20 birthmothers last month. 20! That’s more than double the presentations we were getting before. 8 of those birthmothers have not yet chosen, so I suppose we are still in the running with them. 9 of them have chosen but have not yet been matched. I’m not entirely sure what that means–I guess they have made their choices but the adoptive parents or parent they chose have not yet confirmed. The rest of the birthmothers have fallen off the radar.

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Old friends, new parents

photo-28While I was in Colorado last week for work, I stayed with two of my best friends, Matt and Shelby, and got to hang out with their six-month old daughter Lottie. Such a treat to spend time with the new parents and to get some Auntie Allie time in with the baby.

It’s no secret that being an aunt is my favorite role in life and that my nieces and nephews are my favorite people on the planet. And that doesn’t only go for my relatives. For a long time, our group of friends–many of whom I grew up with in Fairport, NY–all lived near one another in Colorado and spent holidays and so many fun and special times together. We’re spread out around the country a bit now, but there’s no question we are family, and I’d do anything for them.

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Infertility Advantage?

Last week, I was fortunate to travel to Colorado and interview the most inspirational man I’ve ever met for a magazine story and a short film we’re creating at the nonprofit land conservation org I work for. The interview was with Erik Weihenmayer, an extreme adventurer who has climbed Everest as well as all Seven Summits (the highest peak on each continent). 348 other people have also accomplished this feat, but Erik stands out amongst them. Because Erik also happens to be blind. photo-26

On the plane to Colorado I had time to read Erik’s book, Adversity Advantage. It’s all about how the greatest setbacks, difficulties, and adversities you face in life can also be the exact things that, when faced head-on and harnessed, inspire you to “everyday greatness.” This was certainly the case for Erik, who went blind at the age of 13. He also lost his mother to a car accident two years later. That’s enough to crush most people. But instead of succumbing to his adversity and checking out of life, Erik harnessed it and went on to become one of the most inspirational and influential adventurers of our time. He learned to hike and climb–he even whitewater kayaks–without the advantage of sight and now lives a more active, adventurous life than most people can even imagine. He made the impossible possible and motivates people to do the same. Not to mention the incredible things he has done for the disabled community through his No Barriers organization and Wounded Warriors.

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