Fathers

Imagine if every child in America has a father.
Parenting is considered a team sport.
Mom's aren't burdened, they're empowered.
For the children, life is good!

Fathers are magical.
Daughters' self esteem is higher.
Sons are less violent
Mothers are much happier.

Where are the fathers?
We need you!
Come home.
Your children are waiting.

– David Michael Barnett

God Bless the Children from Hard Places*

God bless the children from hard places!

These are the children

whose beginning in the womb,

almost became their tomb.

Their lack of food and nutrition,

is an unacceptable condition.

Their deficit of quality care,

is more than they can bear.

Tragically, there is the presence of abuse,

for which there is absolutely no excuse!

God bless the children from hard places.

Please give them a place,

where they can feel safe –

and loved!

 David Michael Barnett

 

“Children from hard places” is a phrase attributed to Dr. Karen Purvis of the Child Development Center at Texas Christian University.

An Open Letter to Present and Future Adoptive Parents

As someone who has read a plethora of adoption blogs, books, and magazine articles, and as an older child adoptee, I find it very interesting what adoptive parents write about. Usually they begin by sharing with the reader about their own journey of wanting another child.  Some write about their desire to give a child a new and better life, others talk about their inability to birth a child, so they want to fulfill the need for a child by adopting. Included are phases such as “birthed in my heart” and “forever family.”  Many of these clichés, although meaningful, have been used over and over again by adoption agencies to market their services.

I would like to propose a different conversation related to adoption.  The first and foremost thought should be about the child.  I am not advocating child-centered parenting, but child focused empathy.  In the case of infant adoption ask yourself, “What does it feel like to listen to a mother’s voice for nine months, as a being is growing and developing,  and then the mother’s voice is silenced?”   Regardless of what you have been told, there is no such thing as a “blank slate.”  This is apparent when a child  has experienced alcohol or drug abuse by the mother.  This may impact the child for the rest of their life!   If you are adopting an older child, realize that they  have experienced and have definite memories of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. ( For more information on the effects of a child being abandoned by their birth mother, read “The Primal Wound” by Nancy Verrier.   An excellent resource for more information on an intervention for these children,  explore Trust Based Relational Intervention at http://www.child.tcu.edu.)

For most children and families, adoption is a wonderful experience,  but remember that it is Plan B.  Going into the adoption process with this in mind will help the adoptive parent to have more compassion for their child. Compassion for the child is the place to begin when it comes to “the adoption effect” (see The Adoption Effect by Barbara Blomquist),  so narccisists need not apply.  There are already enough messed up children in this world.

Embracing the Adoption Effect

Author Barbara Taylor Blomquist’s recently released book, “Embracing The Adoption Effect,” garners a positive review from Vermont Adoption Consortium member, Judith Bush.

“I especially like the words “the adoption effect” in the title of this book.  It is a novel improvement on “adoption issues”, a phrase which always sounds to me like a set of problems and negative fallout rather than a straightforward assessment of all that ensues, good and bad, when adoption is in the picture,” Bush states.

“Embracing the Adoption Effect” is a summary of stories, interviews, and commentaries from the author about adoptive children and adoptive parents.

“Blomquist has mined this rich material to present a coherent perspective on the overall experience of adoption… the result of this approach enables the reader to grasp the complexity of the experience of adoption. Blomquist’s conclusion, and in a sense her advice, is that the outcome of living with adoption is much more dependent on one’s attitude than on anything else.”

________________________

This book is one of the most balanced books on the subject of adoption I have read. Writing from the perspective of an adoptive mom and a counselor, Barbara Blomquist’s perspective is empathetic and enlightened.  This particular work shares the perspective of 29 people touched by adoption from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.