As we mentioned on the Facebook page a few days ago, this week is National Infertility week. The following is the story of Jennifer, an adoptive mom who went through infertility with her husband Antoine before considering adoption as an option. At Adoption STAR we say that adoption can cure childlessness but not infertility.
Jennifer always had one goal in life, to become a mother. She said that even as a child, when someone would ask what she wanted to be when she was older she would say she wanted to be a mother.
Jennifer and Antoine have been together since they were 19, and Jennifer said she had always had painful menstrual cycles and continually asked her doctor if this was normal. Eventually her doctor sent Jennifer to an OB/GYN who explained all of the infertility statistics, and ran a series of tests on the couple.
All test results came back normal. Jennifer and Antoine worked with this doctor for more than a year-and-a-half before finally deciding there may seriously be something wrong.
“I said to the doctors, that you’re telling us there is no problem, but we’re still not pregnant; there still has to be something going on,” Jennifer said. “Through all of this I would always have terrible menstrual cramps.
As a woman you know you’re body better. I would urge any woman that you “know” your body better than any doctor.”
Jennifer said that at a certain point she began the process of at least thinking about adoption. She said she looked at foster-care websites and would think about cousins who had been adopted. However she still wasn’t ready to give up on becoming pregnant.
“I went and pressured my doctor for a laparoscopy, (and the results came back that I had) stage 4 endometriosis, which is the worst you could have.”
Two years earlier Jennifer had her first dye test, which tests the openness of the fallopian tubes. The results came back healthy. However, after receiving the results of the laparoscopy, Jennifer had a second dye test which showed her left side was completely closed up, but there was a 75 percent chance of openness in her right fallopian tube.
The doctor administered to Jennifer a six-month treatment to shrink her endometrial scar tissues, and also told Jennifer and Antoine about a grant that would severely reduce the price of invitro pregnancy. While they were excited about the grant, the doctor warned Jennifer and Antoine that they would only have one shot at the invitro process. Unfortunately this process did not result in a pregnancy either.
“I would never do it again,” Jennifer said. “I can say it now, hindsight is 20-20 and I have my daughter now, so I can say it…. I went through a lot of tears and prayed to God; ‘why are you doing this to me? Why do you want me being a mother, and not letting it happen to me? Why don’t you take this want from me?’”
Eventually Antoine, who is a technician for a cable company, met a family through his work that had adopted a child through a private placement. In December 2009 Jennifer and Antoine started their adoption journey, and by March 2010 had adopted their daughter Noelani.
“Noelani was born in January, nine months after our invitro treatment, so it feels like our daughter was born especially for us,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer said all of the waiting and heartache was worth it to bring Noelani home. If she had to do it over again, she would look to adoption first instead of invitro or other treatment. However, she believes that her struggles, pains and questions of her faith were all necessary in her journey because her daughter was a result of these steps. Today Jennifer, Antoine and 16-month-old Noelani, which means a beautiful gift from heaven, live happily together as a family.
If you are currently struggling through infertility, and are interested in the adoption process, the Adoption STAR website provides a great starting-point to your journey.
Good Morning Everyone! I hope everyone has some fun and exciting plans for the weekend.
Today’s article is very interesting, because it’s a creative and out of the box way of marketing adoption.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis along with the Indiana Department of Child Services created an exhibit of photos of adoptable children called the “Heart Gallery Exhibit.” They hope the exhibit will create interest in adoption.
The article from the Indiana Daily Student says that “Contributing photographers volunteered their time and talents to capture the spirit and individuality of each child.”
I will be very interested in seeing if this exhibit accomplishes its goal of creating awareness about adoption, and hopefully finding at least some of these children their forever families.
If you are curious about the adoption process, the Adoption STAR website is a great resource to start your journey, whether your are a expectant parent or adoptive family.
Last night was the Adoption STAR staff dinner and training, and as a group we watched a PBS documentary from the POV series entitled “Off and Running.” Here is a link to the “Off and Running”trailer on pbs.org, and I would certainly recommend watching the full documentary to anyone, whether they are going through an adoption journey or not.
I would rather not spoil the movie by talking about the plot-points, but the basis of the documentary is two white Jewish women in Brooklyn are raising three adopted children of different races. The story specifically follows their 17-year-old daughter Avery as she searches for answers about her past as well as her future, and how her relationship with her family changes as she searches for these answers.
There were about 30 guests at the dinner last night, and we all took part in a lengthy discussion after watching the movie. As you would expect there were a lot of different opinions regarding Avery and her parents, none of which were right or wrong. I think the one thing everyone agreed upon was that this movie was a great proponent for open adoption. If Avery had more contact with her birth family growing up she most likely would not have had the same questions she was faced with as a teenager.
I would love to share all of my opinions about “Off and Running”, as well as share some thoughts from other staff members, but I’d like to give everyone the opportunity to watch it for themselves first. So I will be returning to this topic sometime in the near future, but for now make sure to check out “Off and Running,” which you can find on Netflix
Good Morning everyone! One of the big stories yesterday was the White House’s release of President Obama’s official birth certificate. According to a CNN article, this was to dispel rumors that President Obama was born outside of the United States. How does this relate to adoption you ask? Well, that same CNN article interviewed Adam Pertman, who is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, about that very question along with many other adoption issues.
Bergman believes that because the White House released President Obama’s birth certificate as proof that he was in fact born in America, they are stating how important a document it is. This of course leads to his question, about why adoptees are unable to see their original birth certificates, which would not only give them a window into their birth family’s background, but could also be helpful to build a medical history which is very important. Bergman covers this issue, and many more, much better than I ever will be able to, so I encourage you all to read the interview.
It seems like the learning process never ends. As a kid you think you’re done learning after college, but you quickly realize that is far from the case. I was hired at Adoption STAR to be the E-Marketing Coordinator about one month ago and have been learning about the adoption process ever since.
On my first day in the office I was given a packet to read, and on the first page there was a list of “positive” and “unconstructive” adoption terms, which I found very interesting. The reason for using “positive” adoption language is to make sure that children see adoption as a positive event in their life.
At Adoption STAR we feel it is very important to always use the correct terminology, so each week I will take a specific “positive” term along with it’s negative counterpart, and share why it’s so important that we use the correct terminology.
This week we will start with the positive term: My child, and the unconstructive term: Adopted child or own child.
Once you have adopted your child, he or she is yours just like a biological child would be. I was speaking with someone today and they shared that they tell their child “though you didn’t grow in mommy’s tummy, you grew in her heart.”
I think this is a wonderful sentiment, and really hits home the point that whether your child was adopted or biological, they are all your children. There is no need to classify them as adopted or “own.”
Good Morning everyone! We’re half-way through the week and the sun is shining bright here at Adoption STAR Head Quarters.
Every morning when I arrive at the office the first thing I do is a quick search of Google for adoption terms (after I check into Facebook of course.) Today’s search was very interesting because at the bottom of the search, I found a result from 1925 from the “Evening Independent” in St. Petersburg, Fl. Apparently in 1925, a single wealthy man paid birth parents for the right to adopt their baby. It’s not clear if there was a law at the time against paying for the adoption, however there was a law against single/divorced men or women adopting children. It’s a quick story and a very interesting read.
I came across this AP article this afternoon about the increase in American families adopting infants who were born HIV positive. There are a lot of misconceptions about the differences between HIV and AIDS, and it is nice to see that there are people willing to take on the inherent challenges of raising a child who is HIV positive.
I found it interesting that all three families interviewed in the article said that they were very open with the local community about the fact that their children are HIV positive. One of the mothers interviewed in the article went as far as saying that her three young children with HIV “are great ambassadors…They’ve dispelled a lot of myths.” This may be true, and I’m sure it does a lot of good, but isn’t that a lot of pressure to be putting on children to be “ambassadors” for living with HIV at such a young age?
Dr Jane Aronson, who is a pediatrician in New York City and works with children who were internationally adopted, was interviewed for this article, and she believes that the choice to disclose to the world that they have HIV should be left to the child. “Some parents have made a decision to define their children’s identity now – it’s more about them than about the kids,” Aronson said in the article. “That could be very challenging when the children grow up. They didn’t have a choice.”
This is not meant to disparage any of the families featured in this article, or any family that has adopted a child with HIV and decided to disclose this information. They have obviously made an educated decision that is the right one for them. However, I tend to agree with Dr. Aronson that by disclosing all of the information to the community while the child is still too young to make the decision for itself, you are almost branding that child as “the one with HIV” for their entire youth. I’m sure he or she will be faced with many challenges growing up HIV positive that many of us will never experience, I just wonder why it’s necessary to add being an “ambassador” or “myth dispeller” to their responsibilities at such a young age?
Here is a very interesting story by the AP from Yahoo! News , along with an ABC video from the Denverpost.com, about high school student Gabby Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a 17 year-old senior at a Washington High School. She recently conducted a 6-month “social experiment” where she faked her pregnancy, only telling her boyfriend, mother, school principal and few others, in order to see the reactions from the town and her classmates.
In the ABC video, Rodriguez talks about the fact that she received a lot of hurtful feedback, and is now looking to show the results of her study to city officials, so that something can be done to help pregnant-teenagers.
This is obviously a very unorthodox idea, but you need to give Rodriguez a lot of credit for her bravery and fortitude to follow through with her plan for six months, accepting the stares and comments that a pregnant high school teenager is sure to get.
What is your opinion of this story? Did Rodriguez do the right thing by leading everyone to believe she was pregnant for six months? How would you have reacted if this situation had happened while you were in high school, or even just in you’re town today?
After the initial shock of finding out Rodriguez wasn’t pregnant, I’d like to believe that I would have respected her commitment to her study, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who feel lied to or deceived. I am also wondering if while being “pregnant” she explored what options a teen in her position may consider? Was adoption something that she explored? Is it information she will share?
It’s hard to say if what Rodriguez did is right or wrong, but I am certain she learned a great deal. I hope she releases the findings of her study publicly so everyone can learn from her experiences.
Good morning everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend.
Here is a quick Q&A with 20-year-old independent film-maker Alex King from the San Francisco Examiner. He recently won a Gold Remi prize for his documentary on adoption entitled “Born to be our children.” King was born in Bulgaria and adopted at “5 years and 10 months.”
A sad story from the Toronto Sun about a Canadian-run orphanage in Ethiopia, that seems to have a happy ending.
For those who are looking for some energy for the day on this Monday morning, Twist and Shout by the Beatles always works better than coffee for me!
In the adoption world, it is not uncommon to see single women looking to adopt, but what about single men? Until recently we had never had single male clients at Adoption STAR, but that has changed in the last few months, and it does not seem to be just a “blip on the radar.”
According to this recent article by Good Morning America more single men around the country are looking into adoption. According to the article, “The National Adoption Center says that one-third of its adoptions are by single parents, and while most are women, the number of men adopting solo is growing.”
The article goes on to share that single men looking to adopt is a positive trend. “People used to think that being placed with a two-parent family was the ideal, that this was the only way,” says Gloria Hochman, director of communications for the National Adoption Center. “It was mother, father, boy, girl, picket fence and so forth. The image of a family has changed dramatically.”
The article specifically deals with single men adopting older children domestically, and while Adoption STAR deals primarily with infant adoptions, we are intrigued by this trend. The more loving, caring, responsible people looking into adoption the better!
What are your thoughts on single parent adoption, and specifically single men looking to adopt?
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Denise RIchards: Adopting as a Single Mother
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