it's november and you know what that means!
okay, besides not shaving my legs for 30 days...
which means it's also time for the adoption blogger interview project! this is one of my favorite things to participate in during the month of november. this is the third year i've been involved (see 2012's interview here, see 2011's interview here) and as usual i have been paired with an amazing individual. brooke is a fellow adoptive mama who is strong, passionate, and honest when it comes to expressing the joys and hardships of life. over the past few weeks i have scoured her blog with awe as i've read about her journey. she has graciously given me a glimpse into her world. i hope you all enjoy her as much as i do.
Open adoption is a phrase that is often misunderstood outside the adoption world. I know everyone has a different take on it, but I think what you said in one of your posts was perfect. “Open adoption is choosing to love more than one – it’s choosing to love the one you’re adopting and the other one’s who made that miracle possible”. Can you tell me a little bit more about your open adoption with Adelyn’s birth mom?
When we found out about Addie’s birth situation we were in the process to adopt from Taiwan. Because of the international aspect of our adoption plans we had never really given much thought to open adoption. However, I had always felt like it made the most sense for a child to be raised always knowing every part of who they are. When we were literally thrown into a domestic adoption and given the opportunity to meet Addie’s birth mom, Phoebe, while we were with her in the NICU in Florida I was very overwhelmed. I had pressured the agency that Addie’s birth mom was working with from the beginning to set up a meeting for us with Addie’s birth family. My thought was “I was given the opportunity to raise my daughter knowing her birth family and I’m not letting that get away”. Our first meeting was an emotional mess of sharing iPhone photos and “thank you’s” over Italian soup. I remember wanting to ask for more, for her number, for an address. But all I could do when she said goodbye to us was tell her “This is not goodbye. We’ll see you later”.
Phoebe will admit I was the one who “pushed” for our adoption to be open. I sent letters and pictures to the agency for her, I asked for her email address, I asked for her cell phone. I knew she was reluctant and I respected that she had a lot of healing to do. I think it was when we transitioned to having each other’s numbers and texting back and forth that we really bonded. I would text pictures and she’d ask about how Addie was doing, how we were doing, but the majority of our conversations were personal and friendly in nature. At one point I remember talking to a coworker and saying “My friend Phoebe and I…” and I realized then that our relationship was not solely based on the gift of adoption, but on a mutual respect as friends. We’re also friends on Facebook…therefore its official. In August of this year both Phoebe and her mother joined us to celebrate Addie’s Family Day (our adoption finalization month). Family Day Post: http://www.marvelousloveblog.com/2013/08/magic-dance-orwhy-open-adoption-is-in.html Both of them will also be joining us in February for Addie’s second birthday party and Phoebe is helping me with the planning too.
In addition to Phoebe and GG (Addie’s maternal grandmother) we also share a relationship with Addie’s birth father. We have had a few phone and text conversations and are also friends on Facebook. I feel very blessed that Addie has the opportunity to grow up surrounded by so much love.
Tell me why you named your blog, 'Marvelous Love.'
This post pretty much sums it up and has the video for the song that inspired the blog name. The line “Such incredible chances, make for marvelous love” stuck with me from the first moment I heard that song. It reflects my choice to live my life in a way that is true to me, to take risks and chances, and to watch those chances turn into incredible opportunities.
I pretty much want to punch that adoptive mom in the face who told you that you shouldn’t have adopted because you weren’t struggling with infertility. That is why my husband and I chose adoption, but I know there are a lot of couples who chose adoption for different reasons. Tell me about why you decided to travel down the adoption road.
I was blessed by adoption when my father adopted my brother, Brad, who also happens to have Downs syndrome. Growing up in a blended family that included step and adoptive siblings wasn’t easy. At times I mourned for the loss of the “typical” family that divorce took from me. But I very quickly realized that what I had given up paled in comparison to what I was given. I had an amazingly large blended family, new siblings, a second mother, so many beautiful memories and people throughout my life that were only made possible by my parents choosing to divorce. I grew up surrounded by people who did not share my blood, but loved me unconditionally. This reality made it feel very natural to consider adoption as a way to grow our family.
In the end, the decision came down to the reality that we had the ability to love a child that was not our own biologically. We had met a little girl we loved dearly whose family had placed her in a nursing facility. Unfortunately she passed away, but the two years that we spent loving her were life changing. That little girl gave me a mother’s heart. Loving her made it clear to both my husband and I that we could love a child that was not biologically ours. And if we could, if we had that ability to not feel bound by DNA, we felt like adoption was something we had to pursue.
I’ve found such strength in blogging. It’s helped me find amazing women who have traveled down similar roads, have felt similar heart ache, and remind me that I’m not crazy. Being a mama to a sweet little one with special needs must have such hard and unique challenges. Has blogging done the same for you?
Blogging is an incredible thing. It’s both the most frustrating and fascinating thing I have ever been a part of. For me, writing is my therapy. Knowing someone else may get something out of a post a write, might not feel so alone, that is why I keep writing. And every once in a while I’ll get a comment or email letting me know that, in fact, I’ve been able to touch someone with my writing. I’ve been blessed to learn of children who have been adopted because their parents were encouraged by my blog, birth moms who have chosen adoption instead of abortion because they saw the possibility of hope after adoption in my blog. I have also made so many friends and even “enemies” in the adoption community and learned so much from both. It has also solidified my belief that the adoption community as a whole can do a better job in coming together and supporting each other. Adult adoptees, birth families, adoptive parents…we have so much to offer to each other and to our community.
Tell me about a typical day in the life of Brooke and Adelyn. What are the simple things that make up your days together?
We wake up around seven in the morning and I take her downstairs for what we call “torture” time. She gets her nose sucked (she has trouble clearing her own mucus), meds, teeth brushed, and hair brushed. Somehow mommy is usually the one who administers torture time. Next is prepping her food for the day. She only eats purees and liquids so we blend a special smoothie that she drinks throughout the day that has a lot of added calories, vitamins, minerals, whole food powders, supplements, etc. We also add butter to all of her purees. I think the whole “making food” process takes about twenty minutes for the day, it’s a perfected science at this point. Addie then gets to drink/eat her breakfast before going to daycare. She loves other kids, particularly older ones, so she really enjoys daycare. When we’re home together in the evenings she will sometimes help me in the kitchen; I’ll give her some bowls and spoons and she mixes and makes music while I try not to step on her as I run about the from the stove to the pantry. She has book time every night with her daddy; he read her three books, and always ends with Snuggle Puppy which is her favorite. Then she “flies” over to kiss mommy (I’m usually getting set up to blog for the evening), and then kisses both of her dogs goodnight before heading to bed at about eight.
I sometimes get fearful when it comes to writing on the blog, particularly about my struggles. I tend to have a million filters in place when I write because I get so fearful about what others will think about me, my family, and my role and abilities as a mother. Do you ever feel this way?
I used to care a lot more about what others might think about me as a mom, wife, etc. But I learned that no matter what I write, no matter who I am really, someone will always have a problem with it. So I might as well be true to myself. I make a lot of choices every day, some I’m not always proud of, some I regret, but they are mine.
This will probably be the most important question. What are your favorite chocolate treats?
I’m a sucker for Reese’s. I’m currently obsessed with the minis. It’s a problem. I also love Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate – so much so I order it “iced” in the summer. And then the barista calls out “peppermint chocolate milk” and I feel so deflated. It sounds so much cooler as an “Iced peppermint hot chocolate”, don’t you think?
if you would like to read more about brooke and adelyn's adventures, you can hit up her blog here.
if you would like to read more interviews from this year's adoption blogger interview project click here.
if you would like to read my interview, check it out here!
if you would like to read my interview, check it out here!