Mother’s Day is a day that celebrates all those wonderful women who have given us life, raised us, and helped make us the people we are today. But for some, the journey to motherhood, begins with a slightly different tale. Our friend Em shares her own experience, a very special road towards motherhood – and the books she believes anyone considering adoption should read.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all! ________________________________________________________
Read This…Not That!
I have known that adoption would be a part of my life since I was 17 years old, at which time I was diagnosed, treated for, and beat ovarian cancer. The fact that I could not have children the old fashioned way never bothered me at the time, as I was more concerned about loosing my hair from chemo than thinking about things like babies (after all, to a 17 year old, having children is just sooo far away!) Well, life happened, I grew up, got married, and still never really thought about having children….until about 2 years ago. That is when it actually started to sink in that if I ever wanted children, it would be through adoption.
There are so many stories (some bizarre) about different conversations I have had with people on the subject of adoption. I have always thought it was funny that people would never dream of sharing horrible stories about giving birth and all the things that can go wrong with a pregnancy, to someone who is expecting, but if you are adopting, then people feel obligated to share stories of horrible adoptions gone wrong that their sisters cousin’s mama’s aunt went through. After all, if it happened to them, then it WILL happen to you, right? Wrong. The worst thing, in my opinion, that you can do if you are considering adoption, is to let unqualified people talk you out of it. On a good day, take their words with a smile and a grain of salt, on a bad day, well, just tell them exactly how you feel….honesty is the best therapy, after all.
If you are like me, then upon making the decision to adopt, you will want to read everything that you can get your hands on. This is good and bad. There are some really great books, that contain some really great information, unfortunately, there are also many books by people, who seem almost jaded by the fact that they had to adopt in the first place.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=160006289X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI decided that adopting through the Texas foster care system was the best option for me. If you are considering adopting from foster care I would suggest reading “Adopting the Hurt Child” by Gregory C. Keck. Keck is very truthful in all of his information, not “sugar-coating” some the more painful experiences he has had in working with abused children. This book addresses issues such as how to parent children who have suffered sexual and physical abuse, and how to help them to grow into well adjusted, happy kids. This book was actually hard for me to read, and I honestly didn’t like it, because it makes you think about things that no one would really want to think about. That being said, I think that it really makes you search your soul and ask yourself the hard questions, so that if you do decide to adopt from foster care, then you know it is a choice that you were qualified to make. Another great source of information is the “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids” association (davethomasfoundation.org). “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids” is a product of the Dave Thomas Foundation, a foundation that is dedicated to bringing awareness to the plight of children in foster care, with their slogan being “Every child deserves a home”, they really do a lot of good in educating people on foster adoption and advocating for children in foster care.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0967214319&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrOne of the few books that I have been tempted to throw out (and I never throw out books) is “Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother” by Jana Wolf. Truthfully, this book should be titled “Secret Thoughts of a Self-Centered Woman Who is Upset Because She Has to Adopt to Have a Child”… I wonder if this title was already taken? From the beginning I did not like Jana. She whines, and worries about all of the things that a mother should not care about. The book claims to address “adoption issues no one else dares to”. These “issues” include questions such as “What if I don’t like the kid I get? Will my child ever feel like mine? Are people staring, or am I being paranoid?, or my personal “favorite”: What if I want to return him?” I am sorry, but I thought that being a mother was a selfless job….So why are all of these questions concerns that she has for herself? It seems like she is having a child to fulfill a personal void, and if the child fails to accomplish this, then she would not want the child. Come on Jana, get with the program, honey! If you gave birth to a child with a special need, would you be worried about people staring at you, or you would be worried about the well-being of the child?
I would say, don’t waste your money on this book. Scratch that! Maybe reading this book isn’t a bad idea. Maybe if you are considering adoption, you should read this book, and if you feel like Jana, then you should maybe re-think adoption and just get a puppy.