Friday, February 13, 2015

About the Title-- "Confused Stork"

          Some people would love to "see their stork" but he refuses to show up, while others experience him barging in, uninvited. This was the idea behind the title of the blog-- the stork is confused about who actually wants to see him, and that combination is usually where adoption begins. However, someone pointed out to me today that the title of the blog "When the Stork Gets Confused" could be interpreted in a hurtful way to someone coming from another point in the adoption triad. The concern was basically that I was implying that the wrong person became pregnant with my child, and after reading the message I have to admit that I can totally, 100% understand how it could be interpreted that way. I honestly had not considered it from that perspective, and I am deeply sorry if anyone else has seen this and thought that I was suggesting any such thing. The title was simply an attempt to be witty (apparently not a great attempt, at that!) based on a couple of different jokes that have been made by people close to me (neither in the spirit of criticizing first-parents/bioparents). Here's a quick explanation for the title of the blog, and a sincere apology to anyone who may have stopped by (or seen a link somewhere else) and interpreted it as anything critical, hurtful, or offensive.

         You'll notice that I don't refer to the baby we will someday be adopting as "our child" or "my child" anywhere on the blog. I don't believe children are things to be owned by one person versus another, or that a woman who places a child for an adoption would be the "wrong" person to parent that child or that she is the "wrong" person to be carrying that child. Or, that being a part of an adoptive family cancels out or negates one's family of origin. We are seeking a semi- or fully-open adoption and want a healthy, on-going relationship with the biomom and always want her to be a part of her child's life and vice-versa (that's why I use the term biomom instead of birthmom-- I don't see her only role as giving birth to the baby).

        So, the two things that gave me the idea for the title: First, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine thought she might be pregnant and REALLY did not want to be, and in the one lighthearted moment of a very serious conversation she said something along the lines of "That damn stork better not get confused-- I do NOT want to see him!" Second, my husband and I were talking about how the titles of all of the adoption books on our agency's suggested list were so clinical and medical-textbook sounding, and then he said something about "When a confused stork shows up uninvited" or something like that (I don't remember exactly what it was, just that it made me laugh). For some reason, that phrase said those two different times stuck out to me when I was trying to think of a title.

          The way that I see the title is that we (like most potential adoptive parents) would have liked to be able to become pregnant (see the stork), while at the same time there are other people who have been "visited by the stork" during a season in their lives that, for some reason or another, is not conducive with parenthood. I don't believe that being pregnant at an inopportune time makes someone the "wrong" parent, and I don't believe that anyone should ever feel pressured or coerced to place their baby for adoption due to other people interpreting their life circumstances as creating a "wrong" situation for parenthood. But, for those who seek out adoption as their only/best solution* to an unintended pregnancy, those who see their stork as having shown up uninvited and those whose stork has failed them can come together and create a unique family. Hopefully, a family that works for everybody involved.

        There's my ramble. I do welcome feedback, and I recognize that I am only seeing this from one side of the triad. While I do have friends who are now adult adoptees, I know that everyone's experience is different and what may seem benign to one person may be a triggering or offensive statement to another. Like I said, we are just starting this journey, but I want to be as sensitive as possible with every step.

     Thank you for reading.

*I have come to realize that the language of adoption is difficult. I would have said "who choose adoption", but many people don't feel like they had a choice. Others don't like the phrasing of "solution" because sometimes adoption doesn't truly solve anything from the biomom's perspective-- there can be lifelong sadness and feelings of loss for some. I am trying really hard to be sensitive with my language and have been reading first-mother blogs to try to have a better grasp on the most commonly preferred language versus the terms and phrases that can trigger feelings of hurt and loss, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to word something in a way that considers all of the complexities of everyone's feelings.All I can tell you is that it is never my intent to be dismissive of the bioparents, to minimize their role, or to make it seem like our desire to adopt a child is more significant than any conflicted feelings they may have about placing their child for adoption.


  1. I'm very happy to have found this blog - it has tons of very useful information! I personally interpreted the title in the way that some people found offensive, but I personally didn't take any offense at all and found it clever. I actually prefer that meaning, but hey, everyone is different!

    I do want to provide you with a few words of caution however - I was adopted, along with my sister, when I was a baby and she was about 2 years old. Our parents always allowed our "biomom", as you say, to be a part of our lives, and it ended up DESTROYING our family in many unforseen ways. By allowing a child to have what amounts to two parents, it can create a very confusing situation for the child (I know this from experience!) and can cause a lifetime of heartache for both the biomom and the adoptive parents. You are putting a massive amount of trust in someone to let them play a role like that in your child's life. Just my two cents - I wish you the best in your adoption and a lifetime of happiness with your children! :)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! I have been trying to read as many adoptee blogs as I can to get a sense of how different people have felt about their open adoption experience. What you have said gets right to the point of the issue that we have found in trying to "plan" what our adoption might look like: every adoption is different. There are so many human elements involved that a situation that works well for one family can be a disaster for another, and vice versa. There really is no way for us to fully plan what this is going to look like, because we just don't know what the dynamics are going to be.

      Being very private people, you hit on one of the things that has been of concern for us: we ARE placing a massive amount of trust in someone we don't know. I guess that our perspective right now is that we are entering this acknowledging that the same is true going the other direction-- the bioparents are placing a massive amount of trust in us, as well, in entrusting us to raise their child in the way that they desire him/her to be raised that, for some reason or another, they cannot provide themselves. We have talked about the possibility that if the open adoption arrangement should ever come to a place that it is not healthy for the child or our family dynamic, we will have to re-evaluate. We are willing to be in a situation that is uncomfortable for us, but if it ever moves from uncomfortable to unhealthy, we will definitely seek to modify things in a way that places the child's well-being first.

      Thank you so much for your comment!