Despite its increasing popularity, adoption remains a complex topic not fully understood by many. This misunderstanding is often perpetuated by the portrayal of adoptions in pop culture.
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.
How Can I Celebrate Adoption Awareness Month?
“There are many things you can do to not only raise awareness but to celebrate this very important month for all of us who are passionate about adoption and raising awareness about our family’s dynamic,” explains Julia K. Porter, Adoption.com.
November is Adoption Awareness Month
Adoption Awareness Month, which takes place every November, was started to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families and dispel myths about adoption.
What is the Adoption Process?
“Thinking about adopting a child? There’s a lot to consider,” writes Lisa Fields, WebMD. One of the first questions we hear from families considering adoption is “What is the Adoption Process?” It’s a seemingly simple question with a rather complex… Read More
Is Adoption the Right Choice?
Coping with an unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming. It’s natural to feel nervous, scared, or even angry. “It’s normal and healthy to allow yourself to feel this,” says clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, PhD. “Anger and shock could be something you’re… Read More
What is the Adoption Tax Credit?
“More than 60 percent of adopted children in the U.S. are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers,” says Jim Daly, President of Focus on Family. “Almost one-half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes under… Read More
Should an Adopted Child Know Their Biological Parents?
“Having a sense of history can be enormously powerful for kids,” writes Angie Gallop, Today’s Parents. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the questions we often hear is “Should an adopted child know their biological parents?”… Read More
How to Talk to an Adoptive Family: What to Say and What to Avoid Saying
When a friend or family member announces a pregnancy, the congratulatory comments come early and often. However, when someone you know announces their plans to adopt, there is often hesitancy to react. People are unsure how to talk to an… Read More
What to Look For in a Maryland Adoption Agency
When a birth mother makes the difficult decision to create an adoption plan, the next big decision she is faced with is choosing an adoption agency. And beyond that, does she want to use a larger national agency, or a… Read More
Dealing with Adoption Fears: Bonding With Your Adopted Child
In an older article, we discussed one of the most common fears of adoption – the discovery of an unknown or unforeseen health issue. Today, we are going to explore another common fear – bonding with your adopted child. The… Read More