Monday, March 22, 2010

Open Adoption Interview Project 2010!

Big props to Heather for inspiring/organizing/hosting this awesome event!

My interview partner is Andy, who writes about family, life, and Open Adoption at "Today's the Day!". I was excited to learn, after browsing her blog for only a short time, that she is both adoptive mom AND adopted person herself! I really enjoy reading the thoughts of people who have personally been on multiple sides of the triad and I think you'll. enjoy it too!

So, let me introduce you to Andy - and then make sure you head on over to read her interview of me! She asked some really insightful and fun questions - thanks for being such a wonderful partner Andy!

1) What have you found to be the most beneficial aspect of blogging?
I have found that there are 2 benefits to blogging. The first is that it offers me a creative outlet to express myself. Even if no one were to ever read what I wrote, it still is a great place for me to explore my feelings in words. The second aspect is the connections to others that it opens up. When someone leaves a comment and I can then go back and read their blog I am able to see that I am often not alone in my thoughts or problems. It allows for conversations to take place that I may never have in real life, since by blogging I can connect to so many more people so quickly all on the same conversation.

2) What is your most funny/embarrassing parenting story?
My partner Hilary was sitting in front of Liam, so eye level with him, and he was trying to tell her something about his day, but was so excited that he was stammering "...and then, and then... and then..." so she looked him in the eye and said "come on, just spit it out". He looked confused for a second and then spit in her face!

3) If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hot Genoa salami, sliced very thin, havarti cheese and fresh bread. Through in a bit of wine and I would be set!

4) As both an adoptee and adoptive parent, do you think you favor one point of view within the "adoption triad"?
I think I tend to lean more towards the adoptee side of things since I’ve been an adoptee a whole lot longer then I’ve been an adoptive parent. I actually wrote about this not that long ago. You can check it out here:

5) What is one thing you think your adoptive parents did right? Anything your making sure to do differently?
I’ve always said that the one thing that my parents did right was to tell me from the get go that I was adopted. I have no memory of them sitting me down for a big “talk” or it ever being a secret or an issue. It was just a fact, no different then I had brown eyes or that I loved horses. It was a part of what made me “me”, and they respected that.

The one thing that I am trying to do differently is to make sure that any information that I have about Liam’s family that he knows that I have it and that he knows he can access anytime. When I was 12 I asked my mom to get my non-identifying info (since that was all that was available to me). She wrote for it and got it back within 6 months, but didn’t give it to me till I was 30. Her reason, I never asked her for it again. And the reason I never asked for it again was that I trusted her to give it to me when it arrived.

6) If you could meet one celebrity - who would it be and why?
Honestly? No one. I’ve never been a big celebrity watcher/follower. If I were to meet someone famous, I would see them just as another person and would like them based on how they treated me and others, not based on the fact that they were a celebrity.

7) What do you wish the general public knew about open adoption?
I wish people would understand that a child can never have too many people who love him in his life. That first-families are not waiting for the first moment that they can strike and will not kidnap the baby if you invite them to your home. That a child will not be confused by having 2 mothers (heck, Liam has 3! ;) ) I wish that people would just understand that it’s a good thing.

8) What is your idea of an "ideal day" in your life?
Sleeping in, and then waking up slowly with a family cuddle in bed with a cup of coffee nearby. Lounging around reading, watching a movie, playing games or hanging out in the back yard for the rest of the day. Dinner on the deck and then watching the stars come out at night while curled up under a blanket. All done with Hilary and Liam of course!

9) What do you think is the biggest misconception about adoption in general?
I think the biggest misconception is what people think of mothers who place their babies. The “hallmark” movies of the week have left people thinking that every first mother is a crack-whore who lives on the streets and doesn’t deserve to have her baby anyway. The reality is so far from that. Any woman, at any time in her reproductive life can be faced with an unplanned pregnancy and chose adoption.

10) If you were an adoption social worker, what information is most important to convey to all adoptive parents?

Be honest. With yourself, your child and your child’s family. Secrets beget lies, and lies do not build trust.

Thanks again to Andy! Now, go see my Q&A here. And stop by Production, Not Reproduction to see all the other participants in the Interview Project!


  1. Too funny about "spitting it out!"

    I'm so glad to be part of your blogging community, Andy.

    And this is so spot on: "Secrets beget lies, and lies do not build trust."

  2. Thank you for such an awesome interview. I am really blessed to have Andy as my newfound bloggy buddy. I really like her style and views. I think you are awesome as well.. i read your interview over there!!

  3. more great questions! I love what andy says about the misconceptions of mothers who place their babies.

    also I've heard similar stories from adoptees whose adoptive parents never brought up information about their birth parents because the adoptee didn't raise the issue. and that some adoptees may be reluctant to raise the issue out of fear of hurting their adoptive parents. very unfortunate.

  4. You imply have an amazingly interesting partner indeed. I like the part of honesty. Nobody can never be good enough to know what can be good for a child. As adoptive parents, they have the right to know all information about the child as they assume the responsibility for the birth parents. Deception should never be an option because it is just starting the deal on the wrong foot.

  5. OT but just found your blog (starting with thoughts-preserved - I think - then just following along) but with you being a social worker, especially young I'd like to mention something that has bothered me a long time (if I could?) you probably don't work in a RTC but you might one day or maybe this could get passed on someway - but my oldest son (after he turned 18) wound up in one and was in the process of working with his worker when she left and went on vacation (and yes, I know you have to have those)but while she was gone the sub (who was not even his worker) decided (based on an incident that she did not even talk to him about) to "expel" him from the facility. He was not actually court-ordered to be there; it was a diversion tactic, so she could or actually he could walk out if he didn't like what she was proposing, which wasn't so much the issue as the fact that she wouldn't wait until his worker came back. That was the beginning of a long, dark road that we are just coming out of that I think could have been totally avoided. Just some thoughts. Thanks, Donna


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