Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some October pics…

October is almost over and I really haven’t posted much.  We’ve been busy with going apple picking, making apple pies, preschool, a field trip to the pumpkin patch, trick or treating at a Halloween festival, and dressing up for a Trunk or Treat at school.  I really think this is my favorite time of year.  Wish it didn’t go by so quickly…

Also very excited about something else that’s coming up soon…Zoe’s birthmom is graduating from cosmetology school and will be moving back soon!  We’ve missed her so much and can’t wait to see her.  We’re so proud of all that she’s accomplished!








minion pumpkin 2013


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How do you celebrate fall and Halloween?

The end of October is coming up so quickly.  How is that even possible?  Zoe started preschool last month, and she loves it.  She’s learning a lot.  She’ll tell you all about lower case and upper case letters.  She sings songs that we’ve never heard before.  She is identifying numbers and letters with more and more ease every day.  It’s amazing. 

We’ve been trying to squeeze in a lot of fall and Halloween activities.  We’ve made a few projects, decorated the house, and collected leaves on our walks (and those became collages.)  We went to a pumpkin patch last weekend and picked up a couple of pumpkins to decorate.  Once Zoe found the one she wanted, she kept saying that she had found the perfect pumpkin and that she loved it.

pumpkin patch 2013

We have a Trunk or Treat coming up, a couple of Halloween events that are at local places like a park and the mall, a Halloween party, and of course her celebration at school. 

How are you celebrating Halloween or fall this month?  What do you and your family like to do?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review: The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption

Adoption book

A little while ago I was asked if I would be interested in receiving a copy of a new book about open adoption and reviewing it for my blog.  I was very interested – Lori Holden is the author of the book, and I have read her blog, Lavender Luz, for quite a while.  I remember when she wrote about working on the book, and I have been looking forward to it ever since.  It does not disappoint!

In her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption:  Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, by Lori Holden and with Crystal Hass, Holden writes, “Adoption creates a split in a person between his biology and his biography.  Openness in adoption is an effective way to heal that split.”  This quote is the overriding theme in Holden’s new book.  Holden and her daughter’s birthmother, Hass, explain why open adoption is beneficial and how to create a  healthy open adoption relationship.  Openness, according to Holden, is a process, not a point in time – it’s a journey, not a destination.  She goes into much detail about how the process of openness should start even before the child is born and continue as the child grows up.

Holden offers suggestions on important topics to discuss with your adoption agency and with the expectant parents before you are matched or before the child is born.  The author suggests asking specifics about typical wait times, placements, openness, and post-placement support and counseling for all those involved in the adoption.  Waiting couples should also be aware of pre-birth expenses and what is allowed by law as well as how their agency handles birth father rights.  Everyone involved in the adoption should also discuss what they imagine openness to look like and how it might evolve over time.

Throughout the book in various chapters, Holden and Hass describe what openness can look like and does look like in their relationship.  They write about mutual respect, trust, being open to relationships, being open to giving and receiving, a willingness to work through issues and misunderstandings, and the ability to accommodate other family members all for the sake of the child.  Being open to that, as well as being open to communication between the birth parents, the child, and the adoptive parents can be very beneficial in helping to heal the split that Holden writes about. 

Holden describes specifics in terms of what should be discussed before the adoption occurs as well as after the child is placed in the adoptive home.  She examines different areas of possible difficulty – communication issues, fear, lack of sharing of feelings, boundaries, and broken agreements.  She writes about how the adoptive parents need to look at the relationship as what they are willing to “grant” to the birth parents or what they are willing to “welcome” as opposed to what they will “allow.”  It is definitely a mind set that will honor the birthparents’ special role in their child’s life.  Holden writes that the open attitude described in the book is more of a mind set or a “heart set.”

Throughout the book, Hass also shares stories about how openness has been a part of her life and her relationship with her daughter as well as her role as a birthmother.  There are sections in the book that describe how a birth parent or adoptive parent can ask the other for more openness in the relationship or how to deal with difficult situations and issues.

I would highly recommend reading this book if you are waiting to adopt or if you are in an open adoption and looking for more guidance or information.  Holden walks the reader through adoption – from the beginning stages, to the new relationship stage between the child, the birthparents, and the adoptive parents, to a relationship that will grow as time moves on.  Holden and Hass share their views on what makes their adoption work and also share the views of others involved in their own open adoptions.  The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption is a great book and should be used as a tool that can offer advice, anecdotes, and knowledge to anyone navigating their way through an open adoption relationship.