Two Posts in One Day!

I just wanted to post to thank everyone for visiting my blog!  I recently posted about it on my Facebook page, and the support and encouragement I received was wonderful. :)

I also wanted to point out my new tickers on the right side of the screen.  I have one that is counting the amount of money in our adoption savings account.  People ask me all the time how much it costs to adopt, and my answer is usually: A LOT!  (unless someone is doing foster-to-adopt or adopting legally free children from the foster care system, in which case it is free or comes with minimal costs).  In all honesty, we will pay about $23,000 in agency and legal fees in order to complete our adoption.  We have been so blessed by God since we started on the adoption path - both Tyler and I have new jobs, which are going a long way to helping our savings account grow.  We are so thankful for those jobs, and I can't wait to see what God does next as we move forward with our adoption.

The second ticker tracks how many of the 14 books our agency recommends/requires I have read.  Tyler isn't reading all the books that I am, but he is about to start his first book.  Hopefully that will get the gears moving and he will explore more books on his own.

I hope that you will continue to read our blog.  We only ask that you send your thoughts and prayers our way - we still have a long way to go in this journey, and we couldn't get through it without the support of our families and friends.


Book Review - "Dear Birthmother" and "A Letter to Adoptive Parents"

Recently I finished reading Kathleen Silber's Dear Birthmother: Thank You for Our Baby.  This book was co-written by Silber and Phyllis Speedlin and focuses on the experiment carried out by Lutheran Social Serivces of Texas in which birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents exchanged letters to one another via the adoption agency.

This book really helped me to better understand the feelings of birth parents (particularly birth mothers) have regarding the adoptive families into which their babies are placed.  The letters were candid and most made no attempt to hide the pain that they continue to feel years after they place their children for adoption.  I also thought the birth parents did a beautiful job of writing to their children about where they came from and why they were placed for adoption, something I feel is SO important to the ability to form a personal identity.

As always, this book gave me a lot to think about.  I can see why our agency recommends adoptive parents read this book, since it really highlights how personal contact between members of the adoption triad is the best thing for everyone involved.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is struggling to decide whether or not open adoption is for them.

Another book I just finished reading (I say book, but really it's more of a transcript of a speech - only 22 pages, including references) is A Letter to Adoptive Parents on Open Adoption, by Randolph W. Severson. This speech implores adoptive parents to let go of their misinformed feelings and fears they have regarding birth parents, and attempts to describe the consequences this can have on all parties involved in adoption.  This book is, unfortnately, out of print and extremely hard to find.  If you are interested in reading it, I highly suggest contacting your local library to see if they participate in Interlibrary Loan.  If they do, you should be able to borrow this book from one of the 4 libraries world-wide that have it in their collections.  Perhaps your local university library is one of the libraries that has it?  They are located at Bethel University (ST. Paul, MN), Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), Carroll University (Waukesha, WI) and University of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, SD).  Visit WorldCat.org for more information.


Book Review - Adopting After Infertility

I finished Adopting After Infertility by Patricia Irwin Johnson a few days ago, and I thought I'd post a review!  The book was published in the early 1990s, so some of the information and ideas felt a little outdated, but overall it was a very thorough book which presents infertile prospective adopters with a lot of good information and things to think about.

My one qualm with the book was the author's insistence that infertile people should feel entitled (for lack of a better word) to specify the sex of the baby they are willing to adopt.  The author presents this as a way for infertile couples to take back some of the control over family planning which was lost in the infertility process.  Perhaps in the early 90s this practice was more acceptable, but from my research, many adoption agencies do not allow you to specify the sex of your baby during the adoption process, and those that DO allow this will warn you that it can add significant time to the process, particularly if birthmothers do not want to find out the sex of their baby prior to delivery.

I feel like I'm really bad at reviewing books, because I don't give thorough overviews of the content.  This is usually because I'm taking my time to read the book, but not taking notes, and the books I've covered thus far are all pretty comprehensive in terms of topics covered.  If you're interested in more information about the book, I would suggest checking out the Goodreads page for the book: Adopting After Infertility.  You can also find other reader reviews of the book on this page!


Book Review: Raising Adopted Children

A few weeks ago I started in on the list of recommended and required reading provided to us by our adoption agency.  The second book from the list I read was Raising Adopted Children by Lois Melina.  The copy I had was from 1982 (I think!), so some of the information was a bit outdated, especially since open adoptions were just coming into vogue at that time.

I thought the book was very informative and provided information on different topics such as health care and others that I wouldn't have thought of being different for adopted children.  It was a quick and easy read!  I would recommend checking it out, especially if you are new to adoption or just curious about the differences that may arise when raising adopted children.  There is a revised edition that was published in 1998 that is probably more up-to-date.

I'm currently reading Adopting After Infertility by Patricia Irwin Johnston and Dear Birthmother: Thank You For Our Baby by Kathleen Silber.  I'll post reviews of those books when I am finished!