28 2 / 2013

19 2 / 2013

I recently posted a piece on my website about what its like to be a parent of adult adoptees…my two girls are in their twenties, and the issues are just different..their friends are getting married and having babies, and the implications of what parenthood means are staring them in the face. Strangely enough, they are no longer coming to Mommy to sort out their mixed up feelings.  

Letting go of your grown kids is always tricky, I know, but we adoptive parents can be a even more fiercely protective than the average bereft parent. Stepping back can feel almost like plunging off a cliff, all fingers crossed.

So, as usual, humor helps.  Here’s a link that made us laugh:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/the-questions-adopted-people-are-sick-of-answering

03 12 / 2012

Oh, the things you learn when you share a blog with your daughter.  I did not know about the baby shower from hell, for example.  Although I have witnessed my share of running mascara crises, both my own and my daughters’ over the years.

But I do remember well how perilous those baby showers were for me.  Good friends would be conflicted about sending me an invitation to theirs, knowing how uncomfortable I might be as I struggled for all those years through infertility.  Their distress distressed me. 

And when the time came that I was “matched” (what a fraught word) with my babies, it seemed even more scary.  I both deeply wanted to celebrate with a shower and deeply feared that it would jinx the whole adoption by pretending it was a sure thing.  After all, there was no guarantee that the birth parents would ultimately decide to place, even weeks after Laura and Julia were born. I so wanted the support and celebration a shower seemed to promise (also the toys, “onesies” and advice would have come in handy).  Not having one seemed at the time to be yet another indication that I was a second class and unreal and inauthentic Mom. 

Amazing how with the passage of years;  the trips to the emergency room; the sleepless nights worrying over playground slights, the Halloween costumes, the fun and the challenges every single day brings, the laughs and tears (see, above, the running mascara events)…you learn that baby shower or not, you are a real Mom.

10 11 / 2012

Hey everyone, I have so much to tell you all. I’ve been digesting a lot of thoughts these past few months, which is why you haven’t heard from me. I also work in production and therefore have no life for months at a time. Oh, and my personal zoo (cats, dog, horse) have kept me busy in my down time.

I had some crazy events go down with my birth family and I wanted to really think before I wrote about it. My knee jerk reaction/s shocked me, and the realizations are still coming to me. The more friends I share the journey with, the more encourage me to post about my feelings - and if anyone out there is looking to connect with their birth families or can relate to the re connection then the aftershock, I want them to see this and feel like they’re not alone.

A little back story of emotions: My senior year of college, my friend at my part time job was pregnant. We all went to her baby shower and brought cupcakes, baby wipes, baby clothes, etc. My two very good friends Shannon and Lindsey were with me. We all sat around in a circle - mothers spoke of how their babies took 72 hours and they shat all over the doctor; daughters spoke of how they were born on the kitchen floor before the ambulance came. 

We were exchanging these cute family stories and out of nowhere I started to wonder if my birth mother had ever had a baby shower for me, and I realized that probably, no, that wouldn’t make sense. Then I wondered if my Mom had a shower for me before they knew I was born, and I realized that no, that probably hadn’t happened. (Don’t worry, they worshiped me once I got there.) I’d never even thought about this possibility. I just sat there in a circle of other women who were giving this cute pregnant girl diaper genies  - and I couldn’t breathe anymore. 

There was a sick dizzy shock running through my stomach and a loud buzzing in my ears, and I ran to the porch to hysterically sob. It was really attractive, so my friends came out to make sure my mascara didn’t need touching up, as it was RUNNING DOWN MY CHEEKS LIKE THAT GUY FROM THE CURE.

HOW I LOOKED / guy from the cure

(How I looked at the baby shower.)

Shannon and Lindsey politely excused me - they are trained professionals in pulling me out of parties - and we got out of there. I think I ran for the elevator. It was a very mature reaction. I have great friends.

I’ve since had such strong reactions to strange feelings about my adoption rearing up out of nowhere, but when went something CRAZY went down earlier this year, and my stomach was falling out of my ass, I remembered I had lived through it before and now I had a hilarious story. I remembered to let the emotion happen, then to file it away. 

My crazy realization was: No matter what your feelings are, have been, or the random scary ones that flare up at inappropriate moments - it’s okay. It’s “normal.” And when you look like that dude from The Cure, your good friends will pull you out of the party. 

Love,

Laura 

09 10 / 2012

Nature or Nurture

So it goes without saying as a family comprised of two halves…my husband’s “next boat after the Mayflower” Yankee story against my Irish American Mom with two adopted kids story- we are obsessed with the nature/nurture question in this house. 

I recently read that adopters generally adhere to the nurture side of the argument until their kids reach teenager-hood, at which point, we adopting parents agree: the genes definitely take over. 

But a few weekends ago, lying on a hotel bed in CA next to my oldest while we watched the Emmys, it occurred to me exactly how powerful inborn temperament and talent is.  My major claims to fame as a child were good penmanship and spelling, whereas Laura exhausted me all through her childhood with her devotion to making up plays, assembling casts, assigning costumes, decorating sets, writing scripts, and directing.  Today, she is a production coordinator in Hollywood.  In other words, she managed to find a job that allows her to continue to be that kid she was.  It took some seriously crappy jobs, some living in hovels, some humiliation, long days and nights, but she did it.

But then..my own long days and nights and humiliation came as I worked and paid my way through law school, determined to find a way to be independent and to defy the low expectations my parents had for me.

So I guess stubbornness is one natural characteristic we share.   But if you ever get a thank you note from her, please understand…that is 100% nurture.

09 8 / 2012

So hi there I’m Laura’s Mom.   Laura and I just LOVE to share Lifetime TV adoption movie titles like “Adopting Terror” or  ”Orphan”. The only thing better is sharing the popcorn and wine watching these “films” together.  So imagine my skeptical reaction when Oxygen network announced it’s new series “I’m Having Their Baby”.  I had my outrage gun loaded.  But surprise, it’s not bad, other than the title of course.  Actual birthmothers are followed through the decision-making and placement process and are treated with respect as are the adopters.  So far at least, the series is actually an accurate prortrayal (smack dab in the reality tv genre) of U.S. domestic newborn adoption,  and doesn’t seem staged or too heavily weighted toward the popular adoption-is-a-scary-and-unnatural-and-totally-weird-nightmare theme.  Just wish I had my daughter here to see it with me.

Paula is an adoption attorney and adoptive Mom who provides advice, opinion and commentary at www.adoptionwrites.com

20 7 / 2012

parenting:

1. Be nice to your sisters, someday they will be your best friends.

2. Always write a thank you note.*

3. Say who you are when you call for someone on the phone. 

4. You don’t have to agree with everyone, different opinions are what make horse races…read more

20 7 / 2012