Open Adoption Bloggers is a group I've been a part of for almost 2 years now, but until this year I hadn't taken the initiative to join in their yearly interview project. Through what sounds like a logistical nightmare to me, they pair up any of the bloggers in their network who want to join in and have them interview one another.
I was matched up with Amber at Bumbler's Bumblings. She's a mom through adoption of 2 beautiful children, one of which she has a very open adoption with his birthmom. So much so, that her son's birthmom has even written some posts about adoption for her blog.
So here goes...
1) What led you to a place that you decided adoption was the right choice for your family and was adoption even a blip on the radar before that?
We were one of those couples that talked about this in pre-marital counseling. We both agreed that if we were not able to have biological children, that we would pursue adoption. Both of us had cousins that were adopted and I had a close friend in high school that was an adoptee. When interfertility became a reality in our lives, we took some time and space and dealt with the loss of biological children. It helped that I switched careers in the middle of that time and wanted to be stable in a new job before we started the adoption process.
2) How has the experience of adopting inter-racially differed from the experience in adopting a child of your same race?
The experience has only been different in small ways so far, since our daughter is only one. I definitely have been reading and preparing myself for the differences. We watch a lot of shows like Little Bill and Doc McStuffins. I also try to make sure she has bi-racial or African American baby dolls. Our son has some different heritage as well, that we try to incorporate into his life.
3) The relationships you have with each of your children's birthmoms is very different, what sort of insight has this provided you into the various levels of openness available to birthparents?
Oh this is a loaded question. I am such an advocate and cheerleader of open adoption. I think it’s wonderful for our children and I want it for everyone. I have had to grieve the “loss” (in my mind) of open adoption for each of my children’s bio families. Though we have a wonderful open relationship with our son’s birth mom, I’ve had to come to the place where I’ve realized that not everyone is ready for that open of a relationship. Openness in adoption does not always equate visits. Sometimes it just means that the adoptive parents are open to contact and open to conversation with our children about their origins, even though their birth/bio parents are not able to handle day-to-day contact with our family.
4) What is the worst thing you've had said to you in a grocery check-out lane (where all the most awful, awkward adoption based questions from strangers seem to happen)?
I have to say that lately people have been really amazing. I don’t know if people are becoming more sensitive or I just haven’t run into many rude people lately. Last summer I wrote a soapbox blog post that garnered a lot of attention and then followed it up with another one in the spring, about someone telling me that my daughter was too dark for me. Since then, people have been so kind and complimentary about our children that I just am breathing a huge sigh of relief.
5) And on a non-adoption note, in what ways are you a different mom than your pre-kid self pictured you being?
Oh I had a difficult time coming up with answers to this one. I guess I was like any pre-kid woman, my kids will always obey and behave perfectly at home and in public. Bahaha, funny, I know!