Monday, January 4, 2010

What I Mean When I Say "Pro-Choice"

I've got your attention now, don't I??
I think it's pretty well known to my readers that I stay pretty soundly left of center when it comes to politics and social issues and whatever.
When it comes to pro-choice and pro-life... I admit to being pro-choice.
I am not pro-abortion.
I believe in a woman having choices. And I believe that no one should judge a woman for the choices she makes.
And one of those choices is adoption.
I used to work in therapeutic foster care and was honored to be part of the adoption of one of my kids. And I saw the kids that wanted to go back home... and the kids who understood they couldn't ever go back home and were desperate for a permanent, stable, loving family.
And I think one of the best advances in adoption is open adoption becoming more and more common and accepted.
Back in the day... most adoptions were sealed, closed, private. People grew up, feeling that something was missing, perhaps, but never having any information available to them to help fill in the gaps. Medical history, who do I look like, etc... and also just having that connection.
While life has forced her into her own silence, Adopting M.E. is a blogging friend who has been seeking her birth mother. While she believes she might have found her birth mom, the woman isn't cooperating and so M.E. is left with millions of unanswered questions.
With open adoption, an agency or attorney helps to facilitate the adoption process- matching up hopeful adoptive families with women who are seeking to find a family for their baby. Guidelines are set up during the pregnancy- how much contact, assistance, support will be provided, how involved the adoptive family will be, how involved the birth family will be.
And now I come to my plea. I know there are lots of families using the internet to seek that relationship. And I know a fantastic family that is starting this process for the second time.
I've got a badge over on the right side there... and if you click it, you'll get to go and visit Stephanie and Jason and their daughter, Maya.
I first met them when Teagan started dance class. Maya was in T's class. And here's what I remember... we mostly saw Maya's mom, Stephanie. Stephanie was always warm, friendly. She took such delight in watching Maya and Maya obviously carried her mom's spirit into the dance class.
Stephanie is also a mom on that local mom online community that I'm part of. And she recently sent me a message, asking if I would post that badge. And I am honored to do so.
But I wanted to do more. I wanted to share more. I wanted to understand better. So I asked her a few questions about why they chose adoption, what the open process has been like for them with Maya and Maya's birth family... and I came away so impressed, so full of spirit and love! They are in contact with Maya's birth mom and family. Maya knows she was adopted. Stephanie is very open about the easy things, the hard things, the rewards, the challenges.
Now they are ready to adopt again. Maya wants to be a big sister. Where Stephanie and Jason previously worked with a family friend attorney, they have since moved states away and are here in Indiana. They have talked with adoption agencies and don't feel confident that they are going to be showcased as the special, loving, warm family that they are. So they are doing the legwork on their own. Hoping that the internet can help them connect to a family, to a woman, to a young woman, to whomever is in the situation... and is looking for a family to open their arms and take in a baby and raise it and love it and nurture it and share it. To be part of providing exponential growth spurts of love through the process of open adoption.
So here is my plea...
If you are someone or if you know someone who is confused, lost, hurting, scared, seeking... please consider my friends, Stephanie and Jason and Maya. They have so much to offer. And their hearts are in the right place, the best place. They are serious about open adoption, about staying in touch, about working together to set boundaries and being as open as you want them to be.
And if you are a blogger and wouldn't mind linking up to this post, sharing their YouTube video, hosting their badge on your site for a while... I would appreciate that so very much, too.
One last request- I'd love to hear your adoption story or how adoption has maybe touched your life. I shared my own story last year and I hope you'll take a moment to check it out, too.


Karen M. Peterson said...

Such a beautiful post, Liz. I've known people that were adopted and I've had friends that have adopted and there is no more selfless and grown up thing a young girl can do than to give her child the chance to have an exceptional life with two wonderful parents.

I hope your friends find the child that's looking for them!

Shell said...

Much luck to your friends!

Unknown said...

We're in the process of adopting a boy through Maine's DHHS, and it has been eye-opening. We officially adopt him this May and can't wait, meanwhile he's living with us as a ward of the state.

It's rewarding, frustrating, fulfilling, and educating.

Mickey said...

Another great blog. I met Stephanie a couple of years ago through our adoption support group. I am so happy that they are trying for number 2 and wish them the best of luck. Here is the link to my family's adoption story

hoteltuesday said...

I'm the same way! I think it is very important that women have the option of making their own decision, but if I were a woman, I wouldn't get an abortion. Then again, I'm not a woman and I can't say that with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty sure.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Mickey!! I loved reading your story!

If anyone has trouble with the link, try this:

C. Beth said...

What a great post. I wish I did know someone I could send to your friends!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post. I have never left a comment before but this is the perfect chance to do so. I am a SAHM to 3 wonderful children. My husband has adopted our (my) oldest. Between my 8yo and 3yo I had a little boy from an abusive relationship and I placed him for adoption. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful adoptive family and we have an open adoption. They love their son so much and I would not change our relationship in any way. Adoption has changed so much over time and it is encouraging to see families continue to adopt and keep ties open.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Elisabeth- thank you so much for honoring this post by sharing your story. I am so glad you did!! said...

I don't think anyone is "pro-abortion", no matter how pro-choice they are. Mainly because I think most of us deeply believe that life begins at conception, despite what doctors and the media may spout.

Good luck to your friends! May they find the baby and woman who are in need of their loving family.

Yogi said...

Hi Liz,

My wife and I have 2 adopted daughters (as well as 2 "natural" kids, like adoptees aren't natural) both open adoptions. All of us couldn't be happier (moms, dads, kids, grandparents etc.)