Working at Adoption.com

Confession time: Feeling vulnerable is not the only reason why I have been out of touch here.

In October, I took a job with a re-vamped Adoption.com as their Editor-in-chief.

The R House and Adoption.com.jpg

The new CEO called me last summer and asked if I would be interested in working for Adoption.com and if I was, what job I would want to do.

I told him I am not good at math.

Or talking on the phone.

I told him that I am disorganized and not a Grammar Snob. (Obvs.)

This is probably not the best way to respond when someone offers you a job, just FYI.

I DID tell him what I love. And that is you.

I told him that I am a storyteller and I love the adoption triad. I told him I would want to work with the writers. And so here I am.

I helped with a MASSIVE re-branding, re-design, and re-routing of our website that released mid-April. Have you seen Adoption.com recently? Learn more about the NEW Adoption.com. 

My job at Adoption.com is to amplify the voices of our community to Adoption.com’s 4 million monthly pageviews. The absurdity of that number and the burden that I feel on my shoulders because of it is enormous. I want to share powerful voices with you that will educate, inspire, and even uplift you.

Each member of our Content Team has been carefully selected. It has been an honor to get to know them through their writing. So many of my work days (during nap time, or the middle of the night) is spent with me in tears over the passion and power that is being shared from my staff writers. I love their words and I love their heart.

I mean, look at these gems:

 

It's Not About the Baby

Myra, a birth mother, explains her reasons for placing. I’ve heard her present many times before and her fire always inspires me. And man, she is funny.

This was never about a baby. My pregnancy and my adoption were about a person. A lot of images flood the mind when a pregnancy is announced, including lots of adorable little clothes and toys. But for me I was thinking about his life to come. I was thinking about his calculus homework, his first date, and the day he becomes a father. The weight of this entire person with his entire amazing life was resting on my shoulders and my bladder. It was now up to me to get that boy to calculus and to his wedding day, and I was sorely unprepared. I had never even taken calculus.

 

What Not to Say to a Birth Mother

Sierra, a birth mother and an adoptee, shares What Not to Say to a Birth Mother.

When speaking to an adoptee or birth mom, it is okay to ask questions. I am an open book! However, be sensitive.

 

Adolescence Can Be Rough

Kenna, an adoptive mother and an adoptee, shares her experience of being adopted by her step-mom.

Adoption is not something to sweep under the rug, to shut away in a safe and throw away the combination. My parents never spoke of my adoption, so I assumed that they were ashamed of me and how I was added to the family.

 

Foster Parenting

Megan, an adoptive mother and foster mama, shares how foster parenting first took root in her heart. 

I could love a child who needed me, if only for a little while. 

 

Supporting Birth Mothers

Marilee, an adoptee through the foster care system and a birth mother, shares her Top 5 Ways to Break a Birth Mother’s heart. In my opinion, it’s a must-read for all adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents.

Your child cannot have too many people to love him or her. This includes lots of possibilities, but talk to your birth mom! Follow her lead and trust her judgment. 

 

THIS is one of the happiest posts I have ever read!

And then there’s THIS, THIS, and THIS one. Oh and THIS one! Like woah, right?

I honestly have the coolest job in the world for me. I had no idea it would be like this!

I’ve learned things that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know–about adoption, adoption misconceptions, writers, rebranding, coding, and so on. It’s humbling and usually overwhelming, but always a blessing.

I want you to know that I take this opportunity very seriously. In the end, Adoption.com answers to YOU, the adoption community. If you can’t use what we are creating, then it doesn’t matter how pretty our site is. And it is very pretty! 

I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure. The R House isn’t going anywhere, I will still do most of my writing here (in fact, I’ve only written one story for Adoption.com so far!), but I get to share the stories of so many others who inspire me TO NO END.

Every Friday I will share my Editor’s Picks from Adoption.com right here. These are stories that my incredible Content Manager, Rachel, and I have been touched by. I want you to get to know these incredible voices that I get to work with everyday!

Let’s do some good, people.

xo

 

 

Gave Up vs. Placed

The language we use matters. 

Especially the language surrounding sensitive topics like infertility and adoption. I’ve already written about some of those phrases. 

This is why I am loving the new #Placed Campaign sponsored by Birth Mother Baskets. Hear from birth mothers about why we use the words “placed” instead of “gave up.”

 

Gave love. Gave life, but NEVER gave up!

Adoption Language Gave Up vs Placed
 

To find out more about the #Placed Campaign, head to Birth Mother Baskets and see how you can get involved.

xo

Children of my own.

Children of my own.

Every time someone separates children who were adopted and children who are biologically related to the parents using the above phrase, it makes me cringe a little.

“She has 1 of her own and 2 adopted kids.”

“Are you going to try to have children of your own?”

“They decided to adopt after they couldn’t have children of their own.”

I understand that people don’t always know the correct terminology or know what positive adoption language is. That’s why blogs like mine exist. It’s why support groups exist on a local and national level.

Education is powerful and it can be done lovingly.

You belong. | therhouse.com

Let’s take, for example, when someone says that they want to adopt but first they want to have children “of their own.”

I feel a sadness for the child that this person may adopt and that he may feel from his adoptive parents he wasn’t “their own.” Why? Because words are powerful.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” <—-Lies. 

While I feel strongly that children are not possessions or trophies to be collected but rather on loan during their mortal journey from a loving Father in Heaven …I can’t help but think that every child deserves to feel like they belong to and with someone. Connected.

As I’ve read accounts of and talked with individuals who were adopted, many express the feeling of not fitting in or belonging. Even Superman felt this way! Their stories have had a profound influence on my parenting. (Behold the power of telling your story, friends!)

Their stories are part of the reason that we feel so passionately about open adoption and why I want my children to have a relationship with their biological families that does not go through me. It’s part of the reason my kids know their stories already–even the harder parts of their stories. It’s part of the reason my husband and I continue to study and learn and be involved in the adoption community.

We seek for ways to help these kids feel like they belong while giving them the freedom to feel how they need to feel and validating that. (If that even makes sense. My husband is especially good at this. I think it’s one of the perks of being a therapist.)

They belong to their Father in Heaven.

They belong to their first families.

They belong to their biological cultures.

They belong to our family.

They belong to their adoptive family’s heritage.

They belong to the adoption community.

They belong to the multiracial community.

They belong to our neighborhood and church communities.

They belong to their schools, to their sports teams, to their friends.

They belong to their choices, their faith, their passions, their talents.

They belong in their own skin.

They are important. They are loved. They are heard and seen.

I love to tell my children the sacred experiences I had when their birth mothers asked us to be their mom and dad. I let them know the joy and intense emotion that filled their birth mother’s heart and soul when she looked into their little face. They were always wanted.  

I tell them about when I held them for the first time. I tell them how my spirit recognized their spirit and my body welled up with peace and warmth. I tell them how I still feel it. I tell them how honored I feel to be their mama.

My whole world is wrapped up in my husband and my children. They are the loves of my life. I just cannot imagine how a biological child could feel more “my own” then these boys do and are. They are my people.

“I belong with you. You belong with me. You’re my sweetheart.”

I guess for me “belonging” is more of a feeling than a biological thing.