Monthly Archives: January 2008

Connecting Adoption’s Dots

I chatted online with Maeve’s first mom tonight. IM’d as the cool kids say.

Although I’ve been steadfast in my sometimes impatient desire for more — more contact in any and every which way — I’m having to remind myself here, right now in the blogosphere, to be happy for these small steps. Because these steps face forward. She’s in our lives and I have to respect — and have pledged to honor — the pace at which she wants or needs to move.

The time tonight spent typing back and forth was nice in that it was a real-time conversation, something we haven’t had since our last in-person visit quite a while back. It felt good knowing that in those moments, in that block of time, she and I were connected, literally and figuratively. In this busy world with our mutually busy days, we chatted. Each a mother to the same little girl, each reaching out to one another.

In talking to Maeve recently about her pregnant teacher’s expanding belly, the discussion moved from babies and babies in bellies to the fact that she’s been both a baby, and a baby in a belly. A baby in the belly of B.

If you ask her whose belly she grew in, she’ll tell you. Of course, at two and a half, her understanding is limited, both in biology and the layer that is adoption.

But. Still. She can answer the question. It’s a conversation we’re having. It’s part of the everyday-speak of our lives.

So tonight’s IM session felt like the lengthening of the ribbon that curves between and connects the small dots that are her adoption books tucked into overflowing bookshelves, the photos in our home of B. with Maeve, the telling of her story in those special moments, the other children she’s getting to know who also were adopted, and of course those baby-in-the-belly conversations.

Her first mom, her dad and I, all connecting with each other, connecting for her. A strong, wide ribbon twisting and turning along the path that is Maeve’s story and connecting the dots.

Dots that one day will bring to life a picture from which I know Maeve will draw conclusions about herself; a picture from which I hope she can answer the very questions it provokes; and a picture from which she will likely encounter myriad emotions.

How I hope that most often, in and among everything she draws from that picture, and from all of our efforts to connect during these days, is the love.

For there is so very much of it.

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Filed under Adoption, Birth parents, Love, Maeve, Open Adoption, Relationships

Survey for first parents

Received a heads-up about this very important survey from an adoptive mom friend of mine.

It’s actually for first parents, and the letter accompanying the survey link is written by Roberta MacDonald, chairwoman of the North Carolina Coalition for Adoption Reform and the state’s representive on the American Adoption Congress.

She explains the goal of receiving input in the Surrender Survey Project from at least 600 birth parents by the end of 2008. 

According to the study preface, the aim is for the project to become “the most comprehensive study of parents whose parental rights have been relinquished or terminated resulting in their children being adopted or remaining in foster care.”

It notes that the collection of “accurate data regarding attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and practices affecting parents in these situations is vital in formulating legislation in areas of family preservation, foster care and adoption.”

An opportunity to get one’s voice heard, indeed.

The survey is here.

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Filed under Adoption, Birth parents, Discussing Adoption, Legislation, Making a difference, Parental surrenders

She’s a star in my book

Before I get this ol’ girl back up and flying again with some fresh thoughts, I first must point everyone toward the pink star in the upper right sidebar. It’s for Judy, a dear online friend who often has made her presence known here in mamagigiville, and whose own blog I haunt.

Her adoptive mom status was our initial common denominator, but it’s her that keeps me coming back. She’s sassy, supportive (personal e-mails exchanged with her some time ago are just one of a gazillion indicators of that), wise, thoughtful, snarky as all get out, and she doesn’t match her socks. She’s wife to Frank and mom to six-year-old Nate, whose smile is as juicy and full of light as they come. 

Last month she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s navigating a new path now and trying to decipher each bit of medical information as it comes. Although there’s been a hiatus here for a while, I check in with her at Just Enjoy Him each day, like so many others, for an update or to show my support. If you’re so inclined, please take a moment to head there and offer her a simple sentence or two of support. The power of your kind words will last infinitely longer than the time it takes to send her a message.

In addition, the pink star planted in the sidebar leads you to a page for Judy, hosted by Dawn of This Woman’s Work, that lists some simple wishes from Judy herself, and some good ideas from Dawn. The star is a perfect symbol of our support and love for someone who is, herself, a star.

Several years ago, I participated in Avon’s three-day, 60-mile New York walk for the cure. Although fierce rain and eventual flooding actually cut everyone’s adventure there short (Ack! Took me three days just to dry out!), I raised several thousand dollars in my personal journey honoring several family members and friends affected by breast cancer. While those efforts certainly are just a tiny, rippleless drop in the vast ocean of efforts to find-a-cure efforts, each of us can continue to effect change — even one drop at a time.

In addition, of course, to making a direct donation to fund research in finding a cure, here’s a list of the current corporate partners of the Susan G. Komen For The Cure. Click individually to learn about their contributions to breast cancer research each time you patronize their companies.

Also, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of The Power of Now tee through the retail store LF goes directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Yes, that’s right. 100 percent.

Until, as Judy says, she “Evicts the B*tch,” this pink star remains at the top of my blog, as she remains at the forefront of my thoughts each day. Fight the fight, sistah!

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Filed under Adoption, Friends, Making a difference, Relationships