Starting a family almost always carries a certain bit of uncertainty. What will the future hold? What will the child be like? Will my child be healthy? It can be scary. And adoption is certainly no different. “Most of us are… Read More
I am Dean Kirschner. Why "Libby's Corner?" This blog, actually, all of Adoption Makes Family, is a tribute to my mother who brought adoption to our family in 1956 when my older sister was adopted.
When my mother died in 1967, she left a legacy of love for children that transcended any biological connection. Having been only 8 years old at the time of her death, I do not recall hearing specific words about adoption from my mother. However, through the years, having many conversations with her friends and our family, I have learned so much about my mother's feelings toward children, toward adoption.
Personally, the experience of adoption has been in my life since my own birth. I'm the little brother of an older sister who was adopted at birth. Adoption was never a big deal in our family. We were all treated the same. Biologically conceived by our parents or adopted, there was never a sense for me that we were loved any differently.
I remember at my first home study meeting in preparation to adopt my first son. The social worker asked if I had any personal experience with adoption. My first reaction was a sense of connection. I lived with adoption all my life. I embrace adoption. Now, I am the father of two boys, both adopted.
Every day I realize how much I love my sons. I laugh with my sons. I play with my sons. I parent my sons. Some days there are frustrations. More days, there are fun and joyful times with my sons. Some days, I have had to be a disciplinarian. More days, I am the supporter, the advocate, the fixer, the helper, the confidant, the teacher, the guide, the safety net, the protector. To sum it up, I'm Dad.
My sons are adopted, yet we don't hold that term as a distinction of difference. We celebrate adoption as a means by which I became Dad and they became my children. When I introduce my sons, I introduce them as my sons. Introduce my sister as my sister. The stories of how we became a family are amazingly wonderful. We share our adoption stories proudly. The adoption stories speak to the excitement of becoming a sister, a brother, a son, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew.
I have spoken with my sister and my sons about their feelings about their birth parents and the adoption. No one has forgotten that they were adopted, because adoption is an open conversation in our family. However, there is no angst about adoption. We answer questions honestly and allow complete and open discussions about birth parents and their adoption story. There are no mysteries or secrets. There are stories of love, excitement and family.
As for how we get along as siblings, my sister and I have our disagreements. More often, we have our agreements. We have fought, loved, laughed, played. We are just normal siblings. I don't feel adoption plays into our relationship. We have had wonderful discussions about adoption and birth parents. However, when it comes down to just being brother and sister, we are just that. Brother and sister. My sister has actively reached out and chatted with birth mothers who have created an adoption plan with Adoption Makes Family.
My sons have the same type of relationship. They love like brothers. They fight like brothers. They protect each other and look out for each other. They are not biologically related. They are related through adoption. But, above all, they are brothers.
And so, I turn back to my mother, Libby. I learned from my mother the unconditional love for children. Starting in her own little corner of our family, she shaped me, my sister, my sons and our world. Hopefully, this blog, Libby's Corner, can do the same for you.
“Adoption among gay and lesbian couples has never been more common or more socially accepted,” writes Kate Bayless, Parents.com. Still, there are some hurdles to overcome with same sex adoption. “Gay and lesbian couples looking to adopt face unique challenges… Read More
Considering the degree of openness in adoption is important for both birth and adoptive families “Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says Haley Kirkpatrick, Adoption.com. If you decide that adoption… Read More
One of the questions we hear often from birth mothers is whether or not the birth father has to be involved in the adoption process. The answer is yes and no. Legally, the birth father must consent to the adoption… Read More
There comes a time in every adopted child’s journey when they start to ask questions about their adoption story. How adoptive families handle these questions is very important. Talking to Your Child about Their Adoption Story “My children were born… Read More
For many birth mothers, the most stressful part of the entire adoption process is the birth – particularly what happens to the child after delivery. Will you see the child? Will you spend significant time with the child? And do… Read More
One of the toughest questions birth mothers face is, “How can you give your baby up for adoption?” Unfortunately, the term “give up” has become synonymous with adoption when, in reality, birth mothers who choose adoption are not giving up… Read More
It can be an incredibly difficult decision to create an adoption plan. That stress is only magnified when your child has medical, developmental, or other special needs. Will there be a family to adopt my baby? This is the question… Read More
The decision to create an adoption plan is anything but selfish. Most birth mothers opt for adoption in order to give their child a better life – a life that, for whatever reason, they simply cannot provide at that moment…. Read More
Creating an adoption plan can be a difficult time for a birth mother. This is especially true when there is a rocky relationship – or no relationship – with the birth father. Does the Birth Father Have to Agree to… Read More