Adoption Means Loss

Adopting Intentionally – Day 2

For 31 Days I will blog about Adopting Intentionally, you can find an overview and links to daily posts here.


Adoption first means loss.

Andrew and I became Foster Parents in 2008.  We learned with the first child that was in our home, and every child ever since, that the bond between parent and child is sacred.  When you bring a child to Social Services to have a visit with their parents, even if there is abuse, if there is neglect, there is a bond.

Andrew and I came to have a tremendous heart for broken parents and for broken families.  We found that we longed for healing and celebrated the possibility of reunification.

In the majority of cases we have seen in foster care, children go home to their parents.  And there is something beautiful about that.  Because those families are better resourced, there have been better supports, and healthy changes that have been made.

Before we talk about adoption it is important to celebrate birth, family, and reunification.  These are all really wonderful, healthy, normal, joyful truths in the world.

Yet there are times when birth cannot mean family, when brokenness cannot end with reunification.

When this is true, there are broken bonds.  A woman has carried a child within her, she has been physically connected to another being, and that child has been connected to her.  There is a story that could play out, a story with a father, with siblings . . .

And these bonds and these stories are lost when Adoption is needed.

The truth is that birth stories are beautiful, intact families are valuable.

And the truth is that adoption is needed.

In the United States over 100,00 children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. Worldwide there are over 17 million orphaned children.

Adoption is needed.


Choose to Think About Adoption

Adopting Intentionally – Day 1

For 31 Days I will blog about Adopting Intentionally, you can find an overview and links to daily posts here.


The Family That Nobody WantedI first thought about adoption when I was six or seven and read the book The Family that Nobody Wanted with my mother.  I was mesmerized by the story of a family being formed through adoption.  I felt deep excitement for all of those siblings as they were welcomed into one family from different ethnic backgrounds and life circumstances.  The story stayed with me.

I next remember thinking about adoption when I was eight and nine.  I reveled in the rags to riches story and music of Annie singing with emotion behind the couch in my living room.  And my heart broke and soared watching a movie called The Orphan Train (that is now on YouTube).  Stories of children who did not have parents were absolutely heart breaking to me.

As a camp counselor in college we worked with children from a local orphanage, and all I wanted to do was adopt them all. And when I would see stories of Adoption on TV I felt like I had to watch it and at the very same time as if I needed to turn away, my heart felt so tethered to other’s stories.

I did wonder if I was meant to adopt.

There are stories of adoption all around us, children who have been adopted have stories, parents who adopt have stories, siblings, grand-parents, birth families all have stories.  It is a thread woven into our communities.  It can be visible and it can just as easily be invisible.

Have you seen the thread?  Have you thought about it?

I invite you to a month of talking about it. 

I challenge us to think about it, consider it.

And for some of you . . . I invite you to perhaps take a step forward and perhaps adopt intentionally.


31 Days of Adopting Intentionally – Introduction

Adopting Intentionally Button

Adoption is an incredible journey. 

Andrew and I have walked through this adventure two times in two different ways. 

SharpteamWe have one little boy who looks a great deal like us, and a one who is Cambodian, conspicuously different in our Caucasian family.

We have one little boy who was taken from his birth family, and one little boy whose mother chose us from a book of couples.

One little boy who has no contact with his birth mother and one who was able to see her weekly.

One little boy that does not get to know about his birth family and one who is able to visit his half brothers and cousins.

One little boy with no health issues, and the other who has many doctors and will be undergoing surgery during these 31 Days.

We have two different little boys with different adoption stories. Every adoption is unique, every child has a story.

As adoptive parents we longed to be intentional in walking through this process with open hands. We enjoy sharing our story and we love hearing the stories of others.

We invite you to spend the next 31 days dialoging about Adopting Intentionally.

Here is what the month will look like:

Adopting Intentionally

October 1 – October 5, 2014


October 6 – October 12, 2014

Intentionally Deciding to Adopt

October 13 – October 19, 2014

Intentionally Preparing to Adopt

October 27 – October 31, 2014

Intentionally Living as an Adoptive Family

Intentionally Be Proactive About How You Feel

Each Tuesday I write a blog post to share with you a way to be in more intentional in your day to day.


I love a to do list.  I love setting a goal and meeting it.  I have kept lists of things to do, reviewing and completing them, since I bought a Daytimer my freshman year in college.  I still use a to do list (one that I love, Busy Cal, because you can set repeating to dos).

But getting things done is not as important to me as living well.

One does not have to have just re-active emotions.  In fact we can be pro-active about the way we feel.

Often when I walk through my day I can be reactive to my environment, circumstances, and the feelings of others.  I can feel frustrated by the chaos of a disordered kitchen, annoyed by a slow driver in front of me, and uncertain about sharing with a friend.  These feelings are often reactive.

I can choose how I want to feel and focus my to-do list around the kind of day I want to have.

For instance I often want to feel productive.  I can feel that way if I am proactive by choosing well in the morning.  Instead of staring at a list of 25-30 to dos, I can choose what tasks would make me feel most productive.  Then I need to anticipate how I will get them done, and choose a time and tackle those two or three things that will most help me feel productive.

I may want to feel calm.  Before the day even begins I can choose actions that will help me to feel that way during the day.  I could choose to leave early for work, adding an extra ten minutes to my commute time.  I can choose to listen to my favorite podcast (The Lively Show), on my ride.  By making these choices about how I want to feel I am more likely to feel calm.

If you are wanting to feel connected to your spouse or your child, choose something small that will help you feel that way today.  Choose to Skype your spouse just to connect with them.  Set up a task for you and your child to accomplish together (it can be an art project or something simple like preparing dessert together).

Choose how you want to feel, actively name two to three things that will you help you feel that way, and live the life you choose.

Fall Mantel 2014

As we embrace a new season in New England, we look forward to a shift in our intentions and in our decor.  A new Fall Mantel is a reminder that it is time to shift and re-align.


We began with a chalkboard, and Andrew agreed to re-create this image.  Pretty lovely, I think.

Fall Mantel - Pumpkin Art

We wanted to bring the outside in . . . simply . . .

Fall Mantel - Cloches

so a couple of little pumpkins and three pinecones have added a great deal of Autumn to this tiny space.

Fall Mantel

I also brought back our Andrew Wyeth Print and the little ladder Andrew built to accompany it.  It is a reminder to keep on climbing.

Hello to Fall, and Hello to you, dear reader.  I know we have been away a while.

Fall Mantel 1