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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

31

Deciding on Adoption

"She asked me if I wanted to hold the baby when he was born. This was a question I thought a lot about over the last few months. I said no, I wanted the first person to hold him to be his parents because that first touch is so important. It is the first and most powerful moment when a bond is formed between parent and child, and I didn’t want to steal that from Kristen and Brian. I was also terrified of getting too attached to him and then not being able to handle it when he is gone."
—Photographer Callie Mitchell chronicles the process of getting pregnant and choosing to place her baby "in the hands of people who I knew would love him in the ways that I would and care for him in ways I could not."

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31 Comments / Post A Comment

Blackwatch Plaid

Hey Pinners, this is the perfect excuse to share this: I was adopted today! This morning, after months of paperwork and red tape, I officially changed my name and became my stepfather's legal daughter (finally severing ties with my abusive bio-dad).

Blackwatch Plaid

@Blackwatch Plaid Oh, and I apologize if this is thread-jacking. I'm just very excited and needed to share :)

thatgirl

@Blackwatch Plaid That is really exciting! Congratulations to you and your family.

iceberg

@Blackwatch Plaid Completely relevant and lovely to hear. Congratulations!

Blackwatch Plaid

@thatgirl @iceberg Thank you! It's just a symbolic thing because I'm an adult and all, but it feels nice to consciously choose to be family with someone. Having lots of wiggly, happy feelings.

pajamaralls

@Blackwatch Plaid Congrats!

I also heartily appreciate your username/threat level and picture.

stonefruit

@Blackwatch Plaid OH! That's lovely - mazal tov!

Pocket Witch

@Blackwatch Plaid I'm happy for you! *effusive internet hugs*

Verity

@Blackwatch Plaid Congratulations!

Hot Doom

@Blackwatch Plaid That's wonderful! Congratulations to you and your family!

Kulojam

@Blackwatch Plaid Congratulations!

TARDIStime

@Blackwatch Plaid Fantastic! It's wonderful that you have been able to symbolically (and legally) choose yourself a great dad.

packedsuitcase

@Blackwatch Plaid YAY! Congratulations!

fondue with cheddar

@Blackwatch Plaid Yay, congratulations! It's really cool that you did that even though you're an adult. Now you have a REAL dad!

mcleodglen

@Blackwatch Plaid
thread jacking is pretty cool, hehe.

Jinxie

@Blackwatch Plaid That's wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your undoubtedly awesome family!

null

Wow. As someone who was adopted myself, gave birth at 18 and then had an abortion at 24, this resonated with me on many levels. Really cool that she shared her story and was so honest about her experience.

Kulojam

@hippie johnny I second your wow. I'm also adopted, and I think about my birth mother all the time, and seeing this makes me wonder how different my sense of self might be if she had been involved in my life (I've never met her). I want to search for her, but have this fear of intruding on her life. This story is so lovely and I agree, I'm very impressed with how open and honest all involved parties were.

Alli525

@Kulojam Many states have a system for finding out information about your birth-parents that is non-intrusive... I was adopted in Illinois, and their state law says you can submit a request for medical records and have the option to include an additional request for personal/contact information. From there it's basically a matching system: if you are in the system saying you want info and THEY are in the system saying they want info, you'll both get the information.

That way, if one or more parties doesn't want to be found, they don't have to be. I was lucky and was able to make contact through that system with my bio-dad, who remembered my bio-mom's brother's contact info (and therefore got me in touch with her).

Kulojam

@Alli525 Thanks fo the information. That's amazing that you got to meet your biological parents! I was adopted through Catholic Social Services, which provided me with medical records and the name and date of birth of my biological mother, but that information alone hasn't yielded anything, and I don't think that CSS has a matching system. It is worth a check, tho. Thanks again.

thebestjasmine

I read this story yesterday, and it made me think of Sara Zarr's (great) book How to Save A Life. (Which is funny because the ad I see in the upper right corner right now is trumpeting a blurb from her for another book I love about a non traditional family, The Reece Malcolm List).

baked bean

This was great.
I just read "The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade" by Ann Fessier a while back. Highly recommended. Giving up a child for adoption is one of the hardest things I think a person can do.

crisisalert

@baked bean Every chapter of that book was like a punch to the gut. So good and so important, though.

Alli525

For some reason, the fact that I'm adopted makes me incredibly interesting to a lot of my friends/coworkers/perfect strangers... I get asked about it a lot, to the point where I feel like someone should just interview me (Ask An Adopted Person! Interview With An Adopted Person!) so I can just point everyone to that link and say "go read it."

I think my birth mother's story would be so much more interesting - I have been lucky enough to have made contact with both of my birth parents, but I don't feel close enough to her to ask her "What on EARTH went through your head??" Someday maybe, but not yet.

iceberg

@Alli525 I would TOTALLY read Ask an Adopted Person, you should write to the editors here! I bet they would be interested too.

Kulojam

@Alli525 Yes, write it! I get this a lot, too. While I do think about my biological mother and the fact that I'm adopted, I don't really have any major issues with it other than wondering about the origins of the way I look and certain personality traits. However, most people do a major double take when they find out I'm adopted and then have a million questions.

To be fair, I do think being adopted does lend a sense of otherness to an adoptee, and the response to that is individual. I can think of four friends and one cousin, all adopted, and they are not open about it at all, whereas I'll tell anyone who asks. I think the difference is the way their parents handled it - they weren't told they were adopted until early adolescence, and when they were told, their parents acted as if the adoption was to remain secret, and, by extension, was shameful. My parents taught me about adoption from the moment they brought me home, so I don't remember not knowing, and I do remember being proud of it, like having 2 mommies and 2 daddies made me extra special.

Alli525

@iceberg Thanks! I emailed them, I guess we'll see what shakes out :)

Alli525

@Kulojam Once I off-handedly mentioned to my relatively new coworker that I was adopted, and she was like "I had no idea! I am so surprised you are adopted!" like she just noticed that I had brown hair or a lisp... it is such an innate, natural part of my life that it surprises me when other people are surprised.

I agree that how you are told would certainly affect your perspective on telling others. I grew up knowing and knowing it was a positive thing to be proud of... although I had enough insensitive/cruel remarks about it from jerkwad grade-school kids that if I weren't so stubborn it probably would have shut me up :)

Faintly Macabre

@Alli525 A close college friend of mine was adopted from Korea by a very white American couple. Despite seeing her parents in person, I didn't realize she was adopted until another Asian friend saw her Facebook profile and immediately asked if she was adopted based on her last name. Whoops!

Miss Maszkerádi

Ugh, right in the gut. When my evil brain decides to take me down scary-scenario lane, and I think about getting pregnant before I'm ready, I think about getting an abortion and I feel sick (I'm not going to, er, wade into the politics of it, I just don't think I personally could abort) - then I think about giving it up for adoption and always, every day, having in the back of my mind that my son or daughter existed in the world somewhere, and I feel even sicker......I also am way too paranoid and control-freakish to trust ANY form of birth control whatsoever, because I've heard too much about the 2% failure rates and OF COURSE I would be the 2%......so, celibacy 4 lyfe I guess......

Now I want to go day drinking on a fucking Wednesday.

hands_down

Boy, sitting at work now and trying really, really hard not to cry. Great story!

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