Last month I posted a call to action for adoption bloggers on all 3 sides of the equation. Did any of you participate? A couple weeks ago, Heather from Production, Not Reproduction paired me up with Meghann of Bflomama.com. Not only did I enjoy reading through Meg’s blog, but I loved finding out all the things we had in common! She is a knitter, baker, gardener and all around DIY mama, which I love! She is also a homeschooler and lives in gorgeous Connecticut with her husband and 2 young children. Amazingly enough, her children were adopted about 14 months apart from the same birth mother. I love that! She discusses it below in detail.
It seems that we approached adoption similarly. While, in my case, hubby brought it up, we were still both unsure which is why it didn’t appear that quickly on here. While Meg and George were contemplating adoption, they were each doing soul searching and exploration of their own.
With all the blogs out there, I’m not sure that I ever would’ve stumbled over to Bflomama, but I’m sure glad tht I was paired with her and got to know her virtually! And on with the interview….
(quick note to say I am updating this from my phone and will have to go back in and link to some of Meg’s posts later from home..)
It actually took me a while to determine that both Julia and Asher are adopted.. And siblings too… That is so cool! I am adding this little blurb in as a lot of her blog wasn’t adoption related so it took me a while digging around. This explains why! 🙂
It’s funny—I thought of that last week; this blog doesn’t talk about adoption as much as my old one did. I never did get around to moving the archives from my Vox blog over to this one. I wonder if I have any of it saved on my hard drive anywhere…
Anyway – getting to your questions…
I have dug around looking for info about your adoption of Julia. (I can’t believe that they lost her adoption paperwork!) What made you decide to adopt? How did you go about deciding to adopt and finding an agency? Did you ever consider international or foster-adoption?
We took the sort of stereotypical route to adoption—we stopped using birth control…wow, ten years ago now…and didn’t get pregnant. I had an annual checkup about a year later & my doctor suggested we have a fertility workup done. We had—we thought—just a minor problem, and our insurance covered some fertility treatments, so that was sort of the path of least resistance. We spent about a year and a half trying a few different things and I got pregnant but didn’t stay that way long enough for a baby to result from it. It turned out our problems were more involved than we first believed, and there were still a whole host of other things we could have done to try to have a baby biologically but I reached a point where it was just too much for me—physically, emotionally, mentally. I just couldn’t keep doing it.
George was really unsure about adopting, for a number of reasons, and he had a lot of questions about it and a lot of soul-searching to do. So we decided to take a year off from trying to start a family & just think about where we wanted to go from there. I spent the time trying to come to terms with the idea that we might never have children, and he spent it talking to people we knew who had some connection to adoption—first parents, adopted adults, and adoptive parents—to try to get his head around the questions he had.
We had a really easy time finding an agency—one of my colleagues had recently adopted and spoke in glowing terms about her agency, so once we had decided we wanted to look into it more seriously, we went to an information session there and that was that. We had some criteria in mind when seeking an agency—we wanted an agency that was more child-centered, that offered ongoing services to first parents after placement, that offered options counseling and information about services to women who ultimately chose not to place, etc.—and everything we learned in that first session told us that this agency was exactly what we were looking for.
We did consider international and foster-adoption…briefly. I used to joke that we decided not to try international adoption because I am so disorganized, I’d probably forget to get our visas until the last minute & mess everything up. But really, we had some concerns with ethics, and the language barrier making it almost impossible to make sure that everything is really on the up-and-up, and also we weren’t sure how we felt about taking a child away from his or her culture and whether we could properly honor our child’s culture—as thoroughly Western as we are—if we were to adopt internationally.
Foster-adoption…it’s horribly selfish, but really, we weren’t in a place where we thought we could handle getting attached to a child unless we knew for sure that the placement would be permanent. I want to be all noble and say we felt like we wouldn’t be able to give a child everything he or she needed, since we’d be guarding our hearts and wouldn’t be able to really bond—and that’s part of it, for sure—but really I think we just didn’t want to risk having our hearts broken.
(I think this is a normal reaction.. I’ve certainly had the same thoughts!)
We talked about looking into foster-adoption if we ever adopted a second time—thinking maybe once we were already parents we’d feel more like it was something we could do wholeheartedly, but…
Were you in complete shock when your agency called about Asher? Did you ever consider saying no? I have wondered about this myself, if we adopt and another sibling is born, what we would do.
We were pretty stunned, for sure. Julia’s adoption was (and is) open, and I’d been having trouble getting in touch with D in the month or so before he was born; I was really worried that something was wrong—I just had a weird feeling that something was up—and when our case worker called, out of the blue, on a Saturday afternoon, my heart was in my throat because I thought something must have happened to D. I remember being really confused because my first thought was that she was calling with some sort of terrible news but her voice was so cheerful, and it was this weird sort of contradiction.
I don’t think we really considered saying no. Our gut reaction was certainly to say yes, but we did take an hour or so to talk about it. I think that was more about making sure that our gut reaction was the right answer, if that makes sense. I was self-employed when Julia was born, and I went back to that when she was a few months old, but part-time; I knew that with a newborn & a toddler I was going to have to stop working entirely, so we crunched some numbers to make sure living solely on George’s salary wasn’t going to mean we’d end up in a cardboard box somewhere. That sort of thing. But really, I don’t know that saying no was ever a real option for us; we would have made it work even if it meant we would struggle, because how could we ever look Julia in the eye and tell her that her mother had asked us to adopt her brother, and we said no?
Is 2 human children enough for your family? I have to specify bc if you’re like me, my pets are definitely my furry children. 🙂
It’s funny—when I was younger I always saw myself as having a lot of children, and when we found out we were going to have trouble having *any* children, that was a lot to wrap my head around. By the time Julia was born I had—in a completely academic sense—come to grips with the idea that any child we adopted could very well be an only child. It wasn’t until the day she came home with us that I was actually *okay* with that; I remember sitting there with her, thinking, “Okay, if this is it…that’s fine.” And then Asher came along, and I thought, “Okay, so Julia won’t be an *only* child,” and that was okay, too.
We aren’t planning to adopt again, so it’s unlikely we will have any more children. In my heart of hearts, I’d still love a houseful of children, but these two are everything I’ve ever wanted, so I guess two is enough. 🙂
You write about so many things besides adoption and I just love your writing style. What made you start this blog? Was there an event in your life that you were so passionate about that you had to get it out?
Thank you so much—I feel like I’m still finding my style, after all these years writing, so it’s nice to hear when someone likes it. 🙂
I started blogging a really, really long time ago, right after we moved to Buffalo, so that our family and friends in New England could see what we were up to. My first blog was called ‘Buffalo Things’ and I started writing it in 1999 or early 2000, and—when I actually made time to sit down & write in it, which wasn’t often—it was a pretty boring chronicle of our new life in Buffalo. When we bought our house in 2002, I started writing a lot about our home improvements—the whole house needed doing over, so there was a lot of material there!—and then when we started fertility treatments I changed the name to “On Pins and Needles” and started writing about that. Then there was adoption, and the blog was called “A Different Kind of Family”—and then, about a year ago, I guess—I realized the things I was writing about weren’t all that different from any other family, so I changed the name again, to reflect our efforts to see the extraordinary in ordinary days. (There was another name change in there—for a while in the early 2000s I called it “The View from Here” but I never liked that name much…)
How’s that for a long response that doesn’t really answer your question? There wasn’t any trigger event that started me blogging; it just seemed like an interesting way to keep in touch with far-flung family, way back then, and has sort of morphed to keep pace with whatever is going on in my life. I write more now than I ever have before—I used to write every day for a month & then not publish anything for half a year, with tons of half-written pieces in my queue but nothing I felt was worthy of putting out there; now there is just so much material to draw from, with so much going on in our lives, and it’s not as depressing as, say, writing about infertility was.
Someday I want to try to find all my old writing & pull all my archives onto this site, but that will require time I don’t have at the moment. One of these days…
We have tossed the idea of homeschooling around due to the horrendous state of schools in the area. Your homeschool planning posts are very similar to the endless research I would do as well. So tell me, how is the first “term” progressing? Is Asher also doing school?
It’s going pretty well. Mostly, I think, because I didn’t have very high expectations of any of us, going into it! This year is really more about my own learning curve than anything else. We aren’t following our plans exactly—most weeks we get a craft of a story that goes with our theme, but rarely do we fit both in; and I’m learning what works and what doesn’t as far as “planning” goes. The children…well, they just enjoy hearing stories and doing crafts at this age, so they don’t know that this is all a lot of trial and error for me right now! It’s really nice to have these first few years where “school” is just a short time telling stories and doing crafts every day, and the rest of the “curriculum” is just plain old normal life. I don’t know how parents who start homeschooling older children do it, without these early “practice” years. Maybe they’re just more organized than I am!
Asher “does school” in the sense that he listens to the stories and does the crafts and he does circle time with us—in his own way. He always wants to do whatever Julia is doing, so we have to do crafts that he can do, too, or I come up with something similar for him to do at the same time as Julia is doing her craft.
Does your husband read your blog? Mine doesn’t ever and I was curious if that is “normal.”
He does. Mostly, I think, because he likes to see photos of what the kids & I do during the week when he is at work. I have so many photos on the computer & only ever publish the best ones, so this way he doesn’t have to sift through them all! I have no idea whether or not that is normal, though. 🙂
Totally unrelated, but I noticed you linked to a few patterns on Ravelry, what is your username on there? I am MsRIB. Also, do you ever participate in swaps and whatnot on there? I am completely obsessed with Ravelry and knitting. (Did you see my wedding veil pictures? Yes, I’m that crazy!)
I am bflomama on Ravelry. I’ve never participated in any swaps, but I’ve been active on & off on a few of the discussion forums there. I also thought of joining the test knitters’ group but I hardly have time to do my own knitting these days, never mind testing other people’s patterns. I do want to do some of that eventually, though.
(I did see your wedding veil. And I loved it! But I already told you that…)
And there you have it.. Miss Meghann from Bflomama.com! Take a look around her blog and enjoy! I know I will certainly be reading her blog from now on.
Make sure to check out all the other Adoption Blogger Interviews over at Production, Not Reproduction.