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5 Things You Can Do to Show Your Adopted Parents You Love Them

Returning the love is vital in all relationships.

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When you were adopted, it wasn’t just your parents who adopted you to be their child. You also adopted them to be your parents. If you were a baby, you obviously didn’t have a say in it, but people who cared about you did. They made sure you ended up in a stable home with parents who would love and care for you your whole life. Or you may have been an older child wanting, even pleading, for someone to adopt you. Either way, you were fortunate enough to be brought by loving parents into a family, just as though you had been born there.

My husband and I are parents of five adopted children, so I know how it feels to be an “adopted mom.” When our kids were little, we loved holding them and tucking them into bed with stories and songs. Some days, I was completely exhausted caring for three little ones under 3 years old. Yes, you heard right. Once we started adopting, we went for it, and God blessed us with these three in three years. I loved being their mom. Two more came along later.

Through the years, they’ve all expressed their love for us in many sweet ways. Here are just few of the things they’ve done that let us know they love us. I could list many more, but this will do for now.

5 Things Our Kids Do to Make Sure We Know We’re Loved

  1. They call us.

When we adopted our first child, a tiny baby boy we named Michael, we were happy beyond words. For years we had wanted a baby but could not give birth to our own. Holding this sweet baby in my arms and knowing he was mine was a dream come true. We cannot express the love we feel for this son. He’s a grown man with children of his own now. And what a blessing he is to us! Now here’s the fun part. Even though he lives hundreds of miles away, he calls us every week at least once, sometimes more. Last time he called, which was just two days ago, he said, “Just checking in on you and Dad. Are you doing OK? I sure do love you.”  How do you think that made us feel? He worries about us and always makes sure we’re doing well. That’s what a good son does. It puts a big smile on our faces every time.

We love it when he shares his life with us, tells us about his job and what he and his wife did for fun that week, or shares a hard time he might be going through. Then he asks us what we’ve been up to. He cares. We wish he lived closer, but with today’s technology we keep in touch quite well. He’s a computer geek and keeps us updated on the latest, including how to use Skype. We love seeing his face as we talk. It’s fun when his wife wanders into the room and says “hi” to us, too. They have a cute little dog that we call our granddog. Sometimes when we’re talking, she climbs up on his lap and vies for the camera. It’s so cute. We almost feel like we’re there. As for his kids, they grew up. The fun part is, they call and check on us, too. We love this sweet family he’s given us.

  1. They thank us for hanging in there during the tough times.

When our daughter Lynda was a young teenager, she was a bit difficult (and so were the others at times). She didn’t like our rules. Sound normal? Yes, she was pretty normal in that department. So we had to learn how to discipline her with love. Sometimes it was really challenging. There were a few times we heard the words, “I hate you!” It hurt, but we knew she didn’t really mean it.

I made some mistakes along the way. After all, I had never been a mom before, so I wasn’t all that good at it at first. Even as they grew I still made mistakes. But I kept trying my best to be a good mom. That’s what moms do. We keep on doing the best we know how.

Now here’s the interesting part. Lynda now has a daughter who gives her fits just like she gave us. It makes me chuckle a little inside when she calls and says, “How can she do that to me?! After all I’ve done for her.” Deja vu. I know exactly how she feels. Then she says, “Thanks, Mom, for hanging in there with me when I was such a brat.” I promise her that it will all work out well if she just hangs in there with her daughter, like it has for us.

A few weeks ago this daughter moved about six hours away to a new home. Last week, she sent me a card (well, us—she loves her daddy, too, so it was for both of us). It was cute, with an adorable dog holding a smiling sun. The card said, “You are my sunshine! Thinking of you, both of you.” Then she wrote a sweet message, which in part said, “Just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know how much I love and miss you.”  I love that she sent the card because I can save it. She calls and sends me text messages, too, but you can’t put them in a scrapbook.

  1. They thank us for adopting them.

Many years ago when our other daughter Carol was about 12 years old, something happened that I’ve never forgotten. It was a simple thing, but it meant the world to her father and me. Let me set the stage by telling you that this daughter is mentally disabled. She spent her school years in special education classes. She endured ridicule from insensitive “friends.” Her life has been challenging, for her and us. Through it all, our love is real and never-ending. Here’s what this special child said to me that day as we sat in our living room. I can’t remember what we were doing, but, like I said, I’ll never forget what she said.

She looked up at me and, out of the blue, said, “Thank you for adopting me. No one else would want me.” I assured her again of how much we love her. It broke my heart to think she would say that no one else would want her. But it touched me deeply to hear her thanking us for adopting her. It was way beyond her years and her mental capacity to think like that. She would surprise us every now and then with statements that belied her mental condition. We knew that inside her is a whole person we will someday know in a life beyond this one. In the meantime, we continue to do all we can to make her life as whole as it can be in her situation.

  1. They send us cards with loving messages.

When we receive greeting cards on special days from our youngest son, who is now a principal of an elementary school, he always writes personal messages to us. On my birthday this year he sent me a beautiful card. The best part was the hand-written message at the bottom. He wrote, “I hope you have a happy birthday. I love you and appreciate all you have taught me and do for me. Love, your son, Paul.” Alongside was another endearing message from his sweet wife. I am always filled with overflowing gratitude at these cards and messages.

  1. They call us their “real” parents.

Our son, John, filled my heart with warmth and love the day he told his younger brother that when friends ask him if he wants to meet his real mother some day he says, “I’ve already met her. Every day when I come home from school, she’s there with snacks for me. That’s my real mother.” I love that he feels that way because that’s what I consider myself. I can’t imagine having any children besides these precious ones that heaven brought into our home.

We feel so blessed to have these five delightful, interesting, caring children as our own. And we’re getting the message that they feel the same about us. That’s what I call happiness.

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AUTHOR / Joy Lundberg  

Joy Lundberg and her husband, Gary, are the parents of 5 children, all of whom were adopted. They are also the proud grandparents of 20 grandchildren. Joy is a prize-winning lyricist and has written/co-written several books and articles about marriage and families with her husband. Learn more about her on their website.

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12 Comments

Filed under Adopted And Happy!, AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude, Sad and beautiful, Stop Saying That, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal, WTF?!, You're going to Hell for this.

(meta) Drat.

I (obviously) won’t be posting every day in November after all. A’mom in hospital (she’ll be fine).

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Oh Hell Yes.

Again, no words from me, just this.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hello, Darkness….

Today I’m sad and sore, so instead of my words, I offer my readers the words of one of my heroines.  Claudia, you are the bravest woman I know.

Leave a comment

Filed under Srsly

Demons In Adoption

The votes have been tallied, and this award couldn’t have gone to a shadier, shittier bunch of people.

This year’s recipient of the Demons of Adoption Award is a good example of being among the worst in an industry that thrives on bad practices.

Founded, in 1978 by attorney James S. Albers, Adoption by Gentle Care has been in the spotlight before. Already in 2011, the agency was nominated for a Demons of Adoption Award for their handling of the case of Benjamin Wyrembek.

In that case Adoption by Gentle Care placed a boy with an Indiana couple, in November 2007, knowing that the paternity of the child was not established. Benjamin Wyrembek, the father of the child contested the adoption and after a long court battle, the adoption was dismissed.

As a result, the child was officially in custody of Adoption by Gentle Care, which was ordered to show the child to his father on February 8, 2010. The agency failed to comply with the court order and through it’s executive director John Cameron was held in contempt on July 2, 2010.

The Indiana couple appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but eventually October 30, 2010, the boy was handed over to his father.

Adoption by Gentle Care quickly dismissed executive director John Cameron, who was replaced by Trina Saunders. This change of leadership however didn’t change the way Adoption by Gentle Care operated.

Nope. After “cleaning house,” they snatched Baby Camden, using every dirty trick in the book:

When the issue of paternity came up, the agency coached Carri Stearns to list the father as “unknown” on the birth certificate, even though the father was known.

The case worker, having learned her lesson from the case of Dusten Brown (baby Veronica) asked if Carri had any Native American blood. When she answered truthfully that she did, the case worker responds: “Carri, you can’t say that. If we name Native American blood, then this adoption won’t happen. He’ll go to foster care.”

[…]

During the relinquishment [Carri] had to testify that she was of “sound mind and body”. In such testimony one must state that they are not under any mind altering substances and are making this decision of their own free will, independently of any coercion of duress. At the time Carri was still under doctor’s prescription for Vicodin and Dilaudid, but was advised by Adoption by Gentle care worker to say “no” to the question whether she was using any medication.

Three days after the relinquishment, reality what has transpired set in and Carri came to the conclusion she had made a terrible mistake.

Adoption by Gentle Care refused to revoke the consent and pushed through with the placement of Camden. However, the family chosen to adopt the boy, returned him to the agency and he has been in foster care ever since.

Yes, the same “foster care” the agency used fear of to bully Carri out of her baby. Only it’s worse than they threatened: Camden had now been declared “special needs” because he has de Morsier’s syndrome. Not only does no one seem to know what sort of treatment he’s receiving, the condition also makes him less adoptable than the average white male baby. Doesn’t matter: He’s still white and little and cute, there’s still a chance he can be sold, and Gentle Care is keeping him.

Remember how awful it is to take a child from “the only family s/he’s ever known”? Camden is reportedly now in a second foster family. Including his real one, that makes four. He’s only seven months old.

 

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Filed under AdoptoLand, Forever Family, You're going to Hell for this.

It Never Goes Without Saying

I had the good fortune to participate in a fiction writing workshop with a famous writer of short fiction and novels today. I had submitted a piece that addressed adoption in a sideways, maybe magical-realist way. The famous author asked me why I had written it and, when I replied that I’m adopted, asked me to tell my adoption story. She wasn’t picking on me–she had used this technique with other participants already, asking them why they wrote their stories and then suggesting they write the story of what really happened instead.

Folks, my adoption story is boring. It’s the classic Baby Scoop Era story everyone thinks of when they think of adoption. I warned her about that and told her the story, ending with “…so they got me when I was two months old and I’ve never known anything else.”

The famous author let a beat go by before adding “And you love them very much.” And although she had said some harsh things about my writing during the workshop, that was the only moment at which I felt angry at her. Rather than saying, “Yes, I love them very much,” like a good puppy, and rather than saying what I thought, I settled for this: “That’s the part I think goes without saying in adoption stories.”

Yes, famous author, I love my parents very much. Why is that never assumed with adopted people? Why, about us and us alone, does it always have to be said?

5 Comments

Filed under Adopted And Happy!, General Ignoramitude, Stop Saying That

Cinematic Panic

Adoptees and others, please name an adoption- or adoptee-themed movie you love, hate or love to hate.

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Film