Monday, August 20, 2012


Positive Adoption Language - this is something that comes up all the time. I have had friends ask me to explain the right words to use for what. It might not seem like a big deal, but words have huge power, and they will shape the way those in the adoption triad feel about themselves. Most people don't mean ill, or disrespect when they use incorrect terms, but they can be very hurtful nonetheless. Remember, you can always ask if you don't know the answer! Help to educate those around you so that the language surrounding adoption can shift, and with it, dispel misconceptions.

So (with a help from Adoptive Families Magazine) here we go:

Postive Language                          Negative Language
Birthparent                                         Real parent
Biological parent                                Natural parent
Birth child                                          Own child
My child                                            Adopted child; Own child
Born to unmarried parents                  Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights                    Give up
Make an adoption plan                      Give away
To parent                                          To keep
Waiting child                                      Adoptable child; available child
Biological or birthfather/mother          Real father/mother
Making contact with                          Reunion
Parent                                               Adoptive parent
Intercountry adoption                        Foreign adoption
Adoption triad                                  Adoption triangle
Permission to sign a release               Disclosure
Search                                              Track down parents
Child placed for adoption                  An unwanted child
Court termination                              Child taken away
Child with special needs                    Handicapped child
Child from abroad                             Foreign child
Was adopted                                    Is adopted

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mother, Blessing.

It's August! We've been active for 225 days so far. That sounds like a really really really long time, but it actually isn't. Weird.

Still waiting, no word.

I vacillate between stressed and almost forgetting that we're even waiting. Money is scaring me, not knowing how much this is going to cost, fear of the cost of travel, of staying in a hotel for a couple weeks. Adoption is an astonishing expensive thing. It is only through our families that we are able to do this - and I feel so grateful that money is not stopping us from expanding our family, as it does for so many people.

I recently had an amazing "mother blessing" hosted by some very dear friends. Some very close friends gathered in a room and shared thoughts, beads, and lots of tears as they wished us speed and luck and strength, and told me they know this will be beautiful. I felt so loved and held up that for days I was buoyed by that love. I have been to many mother blessings myself, hosted a bunch, intend to host many more. I never had one with Adeline - I wasn't at a place in my life where I had so many sisters. After the miscarriages mother blessings became exquisitely painful. Not that I didn't wish joy and blessings on my friends, just that I knew that I would never sit in that place myself, and rub my belly with expectation. But I did (although there was no belly rubbing, just a little drinking!), and it was more than I ever could have expected. And all of these women have been with us on some part of this path, and all of them know the baggage we carry around, and all of them have carried some of our pain around to help share the burden. As each woman shared the bead(s) she selected to be strung on a necklace for me, she explained why, and gave a bit of her heart. It was hugely moving, and I cried through nearly all of it. Some of the tears were just from having these friends open themselves so wide, some were from the deep significance of the beads and thoughts and words they had brought, some were from joyful and painful memories. They were good and cathartic tears.

I am a Mother, and I get to be a Mother again, and I get to bring this child into a family of women that love him or her very dearly already. I am very very blessed.