"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This word seems to be ruling my head, heart, and everything right now. I'm a reader, I LOVE to read and when I'm interested in something I try to learn as much as I can about the subject. So, after reading some suggestions over on Thoughts From a Blonde's post, I ordered I think 7 books. I've read two and am half way through a third. And here's the report I have on that...

Dear Birthmother by Kathleen Silber and Phylis Speedlin
This book is all about OPEN adoption, not semi-open, or anything like that and it's adamantly against closed adoption. I'm not pro any kind of adoption, as I've never been involved before in adoption, so I can't fully form an informed opinion. I will say prior to starting my journey, I wanted a completely closed adoption, no information, no contact, nothing. But if you've read my blog you know that's not what happened or how our path progressed. This book was enlightening on many different things. I can't say that I agree totally with all of the points of this book, but I know that I learned from it, and that I can appreciate that these women are highly educated and affected by adoption and have the best of intentions. I know that having some knowledge about your birthmother/father can be very helpful and useful, especially when it comes to medical history and knowing what to look for or expect/anticipate in the future. I also feel that letting your birthmother know that her child is developing well and is happy and well loved can be nothing but good for her.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff
This book was amazing and I highly recommend it. Her adoption was one of mixed race and the truth that she shares in this book regarding that and all other topics adoption are refreshing. As is evident by my blog, I'm an open book, I have a hard time holding back or not being honest, and this book is just that--HONEST. Some things are so hard to read because you know they are true, but you don't want to say them to yourself, much less anyone else. This book touched my heart and I recommend it to all adopting parents.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge
I'm only halfway through this one, but it's good. It's hard to read as well. As adoptive parents (and families) we'd love to believe that adoption is a complete win, that there is no sadness and no loss involved, but that is ridiculous. There is loss, for everyone involved and honesty is, in my opionion, the best policy. Hearing how some of these children feel, I pray my child doesn't ever feel some of these sadnesses, but I know that as a parent, it's my responsibility to be there for and support my child no matter what. It is not an option to put my head in the sand and act like my child should never be affected by her adoption. So, I'm trying to arm myself with as much knowledge as I can to be able to fully support and help my child develop into the most beautiful, strong, confident person that she can be. Some of that is embracing that she will sometimes be sad and want to ask about her birthmother and know things about her, of which I hope to have plenty of information to share. This book is enlightening so far, and though some of the points aren't completely relevant, the author says that she was a child of closed adoption that wasn't talked about in the 40's. So, our situation will be different, but the points are still very valid and helpful.

Also on my list to read is...
20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed by Sherrie Eldridge

Then onto...
The Happiest Baby on the Block
On Being Baby Wise
What to Expect in the First Year

I'm open to suggestions as well.

It's easy to be scared when you are about to have a baby, that happens when you are adopting too, if not moreso. I'm not experiencing the impending signs of motherhood, no kicks, no inability to sleep, no mood swings (though this may count as nesting, along with the nursery prep), and so it's hard to internalize what's taking place. I just pray that I am prepared enough to give my child all that I can and love her the best that I can!

If anyone has any suggestions for preparing Dad, I'm open to those too, as I know Sean isn't going to read all these books, but some tips or anything would be appreciated!

I wanted to share one more thing today and that was that my BFF from grad school called to tell me today that she is in fact, having twins!!! I'm so thrilled for her, but that's not the whole story. She has a patient at her nursing home who is 60and recently had a stroke. For those of you who don't know depending on where the bleed happens it can affect you in many different ways, well her patient was telling her about her children (she has 2 or 3, a little confused too) and she was very fired up and had no inhibition whatsoever, and said "When people talk about having to be pregnant to have a baby, I just want to tell them to take a flying leap!! Being pregnant doesn't make you a mother, and just because you aren't pregnant doesn't mean you aren't or won't be a mother!". She said she thought of me and told the lady I was adopting and the patient asked when I would be bringing my baby home, and was told shortly after she is born. The patient said that was wonderful and that I would be so blessed by this baby. So, thanks random patient lady, I appreciate your thoughts!! And I ask you all to pray for the safe arrival of these sweet twins that I can't wait to meet!


  1. I work for an adoption agency and I just recently designed a training based on the "20 Things" book. It's a good one!

  2. Hey Deni,

    I highly recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block. It is awesome. I got the book & the DVD. The DVD is VERY helpful. Also, get Baby 411. It is the go to book for every question you will ever have in the first year. With all your research, you are going to be ready for anything! I was the same way & I think it helped. =) Happy reading!


  3. I also thought the Twenty Things book was a difficult, but very necessary read. I am going to have to order Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother - it sounds really good. I have always appreciated people who tell it like it is.

    I almost forgot how soon things will be happening for you - we can recommend parenting books. How exciting to be preparing for your little one! I would recommend Baby Bargains for reviews/recommendations of what to buy. They break down what is really needed so I think it is especially good for new parents.

    And how cool is that when encouragement comes from a stranger!

  4. Hey Deni - thanks alot for the adoption book recommendations. Unlike you, I'm not a reader, but I need to read about this subject as I'm not at all familiar with many aspects of the process. And it's very scary. Thanks again!

  5. Baby Wise is great! It really works! I've done it with my kids. It make life so much easier with a baby. It was always hard to get Ryan to read all the baby books too. Once you read Baby Wise, if you're on board with it, let me know and I'll send you what I call the cliff notes of babywise. It's basically a typed up sum of the important parts that my friend put together, who taught me how to do babywise. It would be something Sean could read and not have to read the whole book. Another good book for scheduling is The Baby Whisperer. It's very similar to Baby Wise, except that it breaks it down into 4 types of babies. I've been following your blog and really praying for you!

  6. Hi Deni !

    I absolutely admire you for how you are preparing for baby Calas arrival .
    I am not ready for adoption yet myself but it makes my heart happy to see how you approach it .
    You will be a wonderful mother for Cala and I do believe with all my heart that you will help her and be there for her in happy and sad moments .
    Im sure she will have moments when she thinks about her birthmother and wondering about her .
    I think thats probably one of the most difficult things to handle as an adoptive parent but if you can embrace those feelings and handle them in a good way then you will gain so much , it will bring peace in your and your girls heart.
    I have no experience in adoption myself but I grew up with a stepfather after my parents divorced when I was five years old .
    My father moved abroad and I didnt see him for tén years after they divorced .
    During that time I was thinking about him often and many questions went through my mind .
    I have to say my mother and my stepfather didnt really handle those questions so well , they preferred not to talk about it and I was left alone with my thoughts .
    When I was 15 I went to visit my father and we got closer even if I felt he was like a stranger to me sometimes because of the time that had passed .He did reconnect with me by telling me stories about me when I was a little girl, what I had said and done in different situations , that made me realize that he did love me even if he had left.And it brought me healing .
    My point is that I wish that my mother had talked openly about what happened with me but she didnt and she was also dissapointed with my father and let that show .
    And in your situation I think its important that you take time to answer Calas future questions and stay patient and loving even if she asks them and even if it might hurt your heart .
    I wish you luck on your new path as a parent and Im confident you will be a wonderful mother .
    Love Angie

  7. Sweet Friend,

    You are doing it all right...the rest you learn by winging it, as there is no "perfect" manual for this journey. Glad you are enjoying the books, as knowledge is power!

    You and Sean will be wonderful parents to sweet Cala and I can't wait for her to arrive in your arms and see that big smile on your face :)

    Much Love