Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I just read this passage from this book that I am reading by A.M. Holmes:

"To be adopted is to be adapted, to be amputated and sewn back together again. Whether or not you regain full function, there will always be scar tissue."

This book is a memoir of a woman who was adopted in the 1960s. Her birth parents had an affair and the adoption was closed until her birth mother contacted her when she was 31. So, obviously a much different story than our family's story. But that passage hit me. We are currently in the honeymoon phase of our lives as adoptive parents. When we look at Micah's eyes, we do not see our own, but we do see our son. When he looks at us, he sees Mom & Dad. He has no questions at this point that can be verbalized.

I am hoping to avoid the feeling of being "amputated" for him, but I'm sure it is inevitable to some degree. I hope to give him all my knowledge of his beautiful country of birth, every detail I know about his birth mom, his first mom. I hope to take him back to Ethiopia one day - and dare I say it - find his birth mom. I have no idea how he'll respond to my hopes, but you can be sure that he will have some say in how it turns out.

e is so much we, as adoptive parents, have to worry over and think about, while biological parents do not. I'm by no means saying this way is harder, or easier or whatever, but biological parents never have to ask themselves the questions we do about our children's birth families, how they will respond when we talk to them about it, how they will feel about it, etc.

We've been talking about another baby and discussing whether to go through International adoption again or to try domestic. Insert a whole new set of questions we have to think about. If we did an open domestic adoption, how would Micah feel if his little sister had a birth family connection? If we do International again, should we stick with Ethiopia so they can share their heritage? I will say one thing is for sure - we want Micah to have a sibling that resembles him in the way we do not, so we would be pursuing a trans-racial adoption again. For some reason, this is important to us.

So, here we are in the honeymoon stage - no questions - just me telling him stories of how much he was and is loved. How beautiful his birthplace is. How so many people from all over the world cared about him and still do. Mother's Day is approaching and it just occurred to me that I have not figured out how we will honor the woman who, through her own heartache and loss, made this family complete. I want to find a way that is enduring and special. I'm at a loss...


  1. Beautiful post.

    I think that you are doing a great honor to his birthmother by raising him so wonderfully. That is all a birthparent dreams for.

  2. What a great post. You said all of that so well. I wish I had answers for you but I don't. In fact you just made me think of more questions:-) I do know this...whether you adopt internationally or domestically to bring Micah's sibling home, he or she will be one blessed little baby to have you both as parents!! This is obvious not just from this post but from so many of your posts.

  3. Well said. I'm definitely not the writer you are, but I feel everything you said. I think that honoring Micah's first mom is a great thing to think about for mother's day. I'm sure it will be special for him as he grows up.

    Even though we don't even have Eli home yet. I feel very certain that we will adopt again from Ethiopia. And, I can't wait!

  4. Thank god you wrote that! I've been feeling much the same way but I'm to tired to write it!!!!

    One thing my parents did to recognize my birthmom was every year on mothers day my mom told the story of my adoption and how she became a mom through my birthmom. My dad also got my mom white tulips every year for mother's day and got one pink tulip to represent my birthmom. Just little things but it has always stuck with me.

  5. Great post! These are things we worry about as well. We're not sure how what Silas will face. We've talked about how he'll feel in this crazy white household. I think its important to think these things through, it makes you think and helps prepare for whats ahead.

    Silas' story is different of course but like you I wonder how to honor the woman who ultimately gave us our sweet son. I hope you post your ideas too. :)

  6. Oh, Stacie, this is so wonderfully written and it's so good to hear others thinking these same things. It's actually started bothering me lately *a lot* when I hear adoptive moms say stuff about how they are their child's *only* mother. They get insecure about their place in their child's life, which leads to a fair amount of...negativity. I think every single day about Abe's birth mother, and I call her his "first mother" as well (the Gladney workers are his "second" and I'm his "third and final").
    It is SO important to acknowledge our children's re-grafting and scars, especially when the honeymoon wears off. They will ask us questions, and I think the work we do now to prepare ourselves for those is some of the most important work we do as a mom.

  7. Great post. I've thought many of the same things. Ruby is also too young to understand anything about adoption but we talk about it alot. We read books about adoption and talk about her other moms - birth and foster. We talk about Guatemala. I think my biggest goal right now is not to help her feel one way or another when she's old enough to start understanding but to make her aware that however she feels, it's okay. I hope beyond hope that she never worries about expressing love for her first two families and regret over the situations that lead her to be adopted.
    It interesting to think aobut siblings. I also really wanted to adopt from Guatemala again so Ruby could have a sibling that looked like her. It didn't work out so we'll add another race and culture to our family. I'm sure that it will make some things harder for all of us but I know in my heart that the good of it will outweigh the hard stuff.
    Kerri and Ruby

  8. Stacie, this is a beautiful post. You said such amazing, real, true things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your concerns. To have a mother who is so thoughtful to her child's needs, his future wanderings... it's a fabulous thing.

    We continue looking forward, holding tightly to the hands of those we love.

  9. Nicely said, nicely said. I agree, I think about similar things. We are so thankful for Silas birth mama...I really do tear up when I think about her and look at pictures. I have already told you this before, but we are going to adopt from Ethiopia again (at least once more) because I want Silas to have similar looking family members too and because we love Ethiopia and are planning to stay connected there long term.
    Whew...can we say run on sentence?

    This weekend..whoot. whoot.

  10. Wow... You bring up so many important points. I really appreciate everything that you share because I feel like it is better preparing me for what my family will face when we move forward with our adoption plans. I really admire how open and honest you are about everything with Micah and how much you care about honoring his birth mom. You really are great parents! :)

  11. What a beautiful post - it brought tears to my eyes and expressed many of the thoughts I also have had. Thank you for sharing.

  12. It seems like adoption in some ways is such a mental struggle, especially when faced with the thoughts you posted about. Many times I have asked God why He thinks we can do this, and then I am reminded that it's not about us. I really appreciate your thoughts and your heart on this. I also appreicate the reality check. Thanks~

  13. That is an amazing quote. We feel the same way about pursuing transracial adoption again. We have decided for now to pursue domestic infant adoption. I'll keep you updated on how things go, but believe me, I was just as torn as you for months.

  14. Stacie,


    That post was very very beautiful....and so honest. I am so thrilled you guys have decided to adopt again...I know you have put a LOT of thought and heart into that choice....wow it is so exciting. I am excited just talking about it!

  15. Great post. And you've inspired me to write a post about adoption from my point of view as an adoptee.

  16. I read this earlier today and was blown away! Your depth of emotion is so strong and pure.

    You are right, this adoption journey does not stop when we bring our children home....it is really just beginning. At times I'm daunted by all that is to come (for the exact reasons you stated), but I'm at peace when I think of what our pastor said recently, "When God calls us He has already equipped us."

    Your desire to reflect, anticipate, learn, and understand adoption and it's intricacies is part of that divine preparation....that too is life-long. It will continue throughout Micah's life and you'll be right there supporting him every step of the way.

    There are so many beautiful layers to adoption, some very complex and heart-wrenching. I can hear and sense your sincerity just through this post on a computer screen! Your obvious depth and understanding will speak volumes to Micah throughout his life even when you are unsure and have few answers to his questions.

    I don't know how to honor birthmothers on Mother's Day... that's another layer we get to grapple with. You are honoring Micah's birthmom every single day by the life you are teaching Micah to live.

    Dee Dee

  17. Oh my gosh...sorry that was so long. I didn't realize it until it was too late. ;)

  18. Just coming back to say that I'm linking to this today!

  19. I'm linking to this too. Hope that's okay..post me a comment if it's not. Thanks!

  20. Stacie,
    You are a great mom! You demonstrate that all of the time with thoughtful posts such as this one. It is very poignant. You show respect to Micah's birth mother every day by doing your best to raise Micah with such love.

  21. I know when we were originally planning on adopting 1 child (knowing full well that we'd want at least 2 children in our family)we discussed this very issue. Do we adopt internationally? Domestically? Transracially? Same culture as our first?

    We ultimately ended up spending more time in the preparation for adoption than we anticipated and decided to adopt both of our children at once-but we, too, think it's very important that our children be alike in a way that we are not alike to them.

    I also like that you're trying to figure out a way to honor Micah's first mom. It will likely mean a great deal to him later in life, especially if you do find her.

  22. What a great post... It really made me think about things I haven't thought of before. I am excited to see what route you take with your next adoption.