Author Archives: Patience Bramlett

Is Adoption Right for You? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

You’ve pictured it a thousand times: You sit holding your child, and, as he or she stares up at you with innocent eyes, you vow to love and nurture him or her until your last breath. There’s no doubt that your desire to adopt burns strongly! But it’s important to ask yourself, “Is adoption right for me?”

This self-exploration is good! Adoption is forever, an irreversible process that requires a lifelong commitment from everyone involved. You should be questioning yourself. In doing so, if you choose to adopt a baby, you’ll know that you do so for the right reasons.

So, how doyou know if adoption is right for you? Adoption Choices of Missouri compiles a list of important questions to ask yourself. We hope they help guide you in determining if adoption is right for you.

  1. Why do I want to adopt?

At first glance, the answer to this question seems easy: You want to adopt because you want a child. But it goes a lot deeper than that! Some people choose to adopt because they can’t conceive a biological child and still feel a strong desire to experience parenthood. In many cases, they’ve tried for years to conceive and explored various fertility treatments but were ultimately unsuccessful. Others want to adopt regardless of whether they can conceive a child. Many adoptive families include both biological and adopted children. Your motivations behind adoption also go beyond whether you can have a biological child — adoption isn’t for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to adopt because you truly enjoy children and want to be a parent, adoption may be right for you.

  1. Can I handle not being biologically related to my child?

To some people, the idea of adopting a “stranger” and raising him or her as their own child just isn’t something that they’re interested in. They can’t imagine that they would feel a family bond with someone who isn’t related by blood. Others are less extreme on the subject, but find that the pull to go through the experience of carrying and birthing their own child, or just to have a child that carries their genes, is undeniable. It’s important before you start the process of adoption to think about whether you’ll feel sad that your child won’t be a biological part of you and your family. You won’t go through the journey of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Not being biologically related to you doesn’t make an adopted child any less your own; it’s just different. Look at it this way — if you’re married or have a partner, you’re not biologically related to him or her, but you still formed a bond. If you decide that you can’t deal with the idea of having a child who doesn’t share your genes, however, that doesn’t say anything bad about you. It’s far more responsible to explore these feelings now than wait until you’re in the adoption process!

  1. Have I Grieved My Infertility?

If you’ve experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, be certain you have resolved your feelings about this before beginning the adoption process. Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, so if you’re suffering from significant grief, depression, or anxiety, you might want to hold off on your decision to adopt until you’re emotionally ready to move forward. Grieve your loss first. If you consider adoption to be “second best” to having a biological child, think about how that attitude would make an adoptive child feel. And if you think that adopting will heal your troubled relationship or marriage, think about the pressure that you’re putting on a child who deserves to have parents who are in a healthy relationship.

  1. Am I okay with birth parent contact?

When you become a parent, your whole life pretty much revolves around what is in the best interest of your child. Teaching him or her to read and write, deciding when and where he or she should take swimming lessons, choosing a preschool – the list is pretty much endless. And when it comes to the concept of open adoption, there is a growing awareness in the adoption community that the child benefits from establishing and maintaining a connection to his or her birth family. It helps the child to understand “Where did I come from?”, “What is my medical history?”, and “Why did my birth parents place me for adoption?” Having answers to these questions can have a huge impact on a developing child’s sense of identity and provide him or her with a greater sense of wholeness.

  1. What support network do I have?

“Baby blues” don’t just happen to parents who have just given birth. Adoptive parents can also experience depression after their child comes home. The adoption process can be so long and exhausting that perhaps they neglected to focus on what life would be like once a child was finally theirs. While some adoptive parents describe a “love at first sight” experience with their child, that’s not always the case. It may make you feel guilty, but it’s normal to build that relationship slowly. Sometimes, it takes years to create a deep bond. You may find yourself with mixed emotions over your decision to adopt your child and feel anger toward the birth parents. This is why it’s important to build a support network before adopting. If you anticipate a lack of support from family or friends, seek out groups for adoptive parents. Some of them are very specific — for parents who adopt from specific countries, for example. You may also need the services of therapists who are experienced in working with adopted families. If you decide that adoption is right for you, now’s the time to make those decisions and begin your journey. Parenthood, no matter how you get there, is a truly amazing experience.

 

 

Tips on Caring for a Drug-Exposed Baby

Previously, you were in the midst of an inner battle: Should I adopt this child, a child who has been exposed to drugs during his or her birth mother’s pregnancy? In the end, you committed. You’re now ready to love and parent this child for the rest of your life, no matter the difficulty. But what about the next step – caring for him or her post birth?

You need answers! Questions are steadily running through your mind. How will my child behave? What can I do to make him or her more comfortable? What on Earth do I need to prepare for post birth life?

Don’t fret! Adoption Choices of Missouri knows that children suffering from withdrawal are often extremely irritable and have a difficult time being calmed. That’s why we found these 5 tips for caring for your drug-exposed baby.

  1. Research, research, research.

Talk to professionals – pediatricians, neonatologists or genetic counselors. They can and will help you feel more at ease!

  1. Swaddle your baby.

Snugly wrapping infants may also reduce their symptoms. Swaying and rocking the swaddled newborns can help calm their symptoms as well.

  1. Reduce stimuli.

Keeping a newborn with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in a dimly lit room with little activity and noise may reduce his or her withdrawal symptom discomfort.

  1. Stay inside.

Keeping infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in the room with their mothers rather than transferring them to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and hospital length of stay.

  1. Breastfeed your baby.

 Breastfed infants with NAS tend to require less medication and spend fewer days in the hospital!Although you’re an adoptive mother, you may be ableto breastfeed your child by stimulating your breasts to produce milk. You can do this by taking hormones, such as prolactin and oxytocin, or using more natural methods.

Caring for a Drug-Exposed Baby

Learn from other parents who have adopted children with gestational drug exposure, talk with one or more pediatrician, read about the risks and realities discussed in recent studies, and ask adoption professionals what they’ve learned from their experience with these types of adoptions.

Also, remember that every situation is unique, with its own merits and drawbacks! If problems arise, be aggressive in seeking professional assessments and help. Early intervention can make a difference in your drug-exposed baby’s life!

3 Things Birth Mothers Want Their Children to Know

As an adoptee, you’ve wondered about the why’s of your adoption. Why was I placed for adoption? Why couldn’t my birth mother keep me? Why were my adoptive parents chosen? Why am I struggling with my identity? All in all, you were brought into this world and then raised in it in an “unconventional” way. The curiosity you feel is only natural.

While your adoptive parents are able to satisfy most of your questions, there are some left unanswered. Specifically those regarding your birth mother. Whether your adoption is open, semi-open, or closed determines the level of contact you have with her. Regardless, you still wonder. What happened? Did she not want me? Does she even love me? Maybe you have burning questions for her that you’re too afraid to ask. Maybe you can’t ask her because you don’t see her.

Either way, Adoption Choices of Missouri has the answers you seek. While no two birth mothers are alike, they share common threads. Here are the top three things birth mothers want their children to know.

  1. They Didn’t Choose Adoption for Lack of Love

Many birth mothers carry around the fear that their children feel unloved. That they grew up believing they were unwanted instead of adored. In reality, birth moms chose adoption because they wanted the best for their child. They knew that they couldn’t offer him or her the life he or she deserved! Deciding to let their child live everyday life with another family was a sacrifice. Their hormones were all geared up to be mothers, and they quite literally denied their bodies and minds something they were physically and mentally prepared to do and be.

Never for a moment were you placed for adoption because you were unloved or unwanted. Your birth mother chose to place you for adoptionbecause she made sure to put your needs above her own. She neverstops thinking about you, nor does she stop loving you. Try not to let society and personal doubt skew this beautiful act, one that, in actuality, is full of nothing but love and meaningful consideration.

  1. They Still Grieve

Most birth moms, in time, find peace and acceptance with their decision. They’re happy that their child is being raised by loving parents. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t still grieve the loss of their child. There are so many joys in adoption, but there are also losses experienced by everyone. One of those losses is the loss of the birth mother’s opportunity to raise her child. That loss never goes away, and birth moms grieve in different ways, and in their own time.

Deciding to place you for adoption was no easy feat for your birth mother. Understand that while she may not regret her decision, she still grieve the loss of you. She knows she gave you a better life, a life you deserved. She only wishes she was the one able to offer it to you.

  1. They Will Always Honor The Adoptive Family

Birth mothers don’t love their child and then refuse to honor his or her adoptive family. If anything, they respect the family for stepping in during a time of need. When birth moms place their children for adoption, they give up a lot with that decision. For them to be angry with the adoptive family simply because they’re in pain and grieving loss would be contradictory. Do birth mothers hope that their child’s adoptive family has integrity with their promises? Yes. Do they hope the family speaks well of them? Yes. But as long as their child’s adoptive family is raising said child and taking care of him or her, birth moms will honor that love forevermore.

Your birth mother hand-picked your adoptive family. There’s a reason she chose them to raise you! She will always honor and appreciate them for that. Just as she’ll always love you.

Birth Mothers Want Their Children to Know

Your birth mother made the hardest decision of her life when she chose to place you for adoption. She loves you. She continues to grieve the loss of you. You are, and always will be, her world.

Adoption Choices of Missouri is ready to walk your adoption journey with you. Call us Toll Free at: 1-877-903-4488

 

 

 

The Basics of Adoption

As you face an unplanned pregnancy, you’re considering your next steps. While you’ve contemplated placing your child for adoption, there are several questions sitting between you and your final decision: What is adoption? Who chooses adoption? And why should I consider it as an option?

Adoption Choices of Kansas & Missouri is here to help by giving you the information you need! Below, we’ve broken down the need-to-know basics of adoption.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is a way of providing the security, permanency and love of a new family when it is not possible for you, the expectant parent, to raise your child. It’s a selfless act of love. One in which legal parental responsibility is transferred from you to your child’s adoptive parents.

To define adoption and what it means to the people involved, however, is trickier. If you ask anyone affected by adoption what it means to them, you’ll likely get a personal answer that reflects their own experience with adoption. So, there’s really no singular definition of adoption — just the understanding that it’s a celebrated way of creating a family. You can define adoption for yourself!

Why Choose Adoption?

Whatever you’re facing in life, whatever is preventing you from raising your child in a healthy environment, the decision you make when facing an unplanned pregnancy is a sacrifice. Adoption Choices of Kansas & Missouri knows that! In an ideal world, you would be able to keep your child. Adoption, though, is an option that allows your child to have the life you always wanted for him or her.

Too often, expectant parents are made to feel that placing their child for adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In reality, choosing to place is the best way to make those temporary problems notpermanent.As long as you do the right thing for your child in the circumstances you’re in, you can’t make the wrong decision.

Who Adopts?

Upon delving further into the adoption world, you may begin to wonder what types of people choose adoption when trying to grow their families. The answer is simple! Adoptive parents come from all walks of life: older and younger couples, homosexual couples, single parents, families with other biological children, interracial and transracial families, and religious and non-religious families. Anyone who wants to grow his or her family and has been deemed a fit parent by a professional can adopt a child.

Adoptive families are just as unique and diverse as traditional families, and the options for the kind of home your child can have are expansive. If and when you begin looking for an adoptive family, you will likely find just the kind of family you want your child to grow up with.

Knowing the Basics of Adoption: It’s a Great Option

Over the last few decades, adoption has transformed into an increasingly positive experience for everyone involved. From choosing a family to deciding how much contact to have with your child, you will be in charge of the entire process, and you will have access to support and guidance the entire way. By being actively involved in the adoption process, you can feel certain that you are not “giving up” your child: you are giving him or her the gift of a family.

Adoption with Adoption Choices of Kansas & Missouri is an option for you! Call us Toll Free: 1-877-903-4488

Contact Us 24/7