Lora is Spencer’s cousin and she and her husband John are some of the kindest people. When we were first beginning the approval process, they had us over for breakfast and we talked about adoption for a couple of hours. John and Lora were blessed to find their sweet little Maya through adoption.
We learned so much from their perspective and experience when we were first starting out on our own journey. Now, John and Lora are hoping to adopt again.
Lora is hosting a month long adoption bonanza, where she will be sharing adoption information, factoids, and challenges. So far she has written about: their families adoption journey, adoption etiquette, and all of the requirements to be approved for adoption.
Lora is an excellent writer and I think you will learn a lot by reading her words. I asked her if I could interview her about her adoption experience, and she graciously agreed.
Could you give us just a quick intro about your family?
Quick intro: John and I have been happily married for seven years. He always tells people he fell in love with me at first sight and then took a year to convince me. :) John is a black belt in Taekwondo and works as an engineer at a Utah-based company. Lora taught elementary school for five years before staying home with Maya. She loves scrapbooking, photography, blogging, and reading (you can literally always find a stack of books on her night stand). Maya is our energetic three-year-old. She loves to play with friends, run, jump, and be a mommy to her dollies. We just started her in Taekwondo, and I do believe that she is the cutest Little Dragon I have ever seen, ever!
What were the hardest moments when you went through the adoption process the first time? What were the best?
I think the hardest moments during our first adoption was the waiting. Always the waiting. There is no control in waiting. The best moments were meeting Maya's birth parents and then then having them choose us while her birth mother was in labor. We had two days to get ready for a new baby, and they were the craziest, busiest, happiest, most exciting days ever. It was like taking nine months of pregnancy and condensing it into two days (crazy emotions included).
What was something you didn't know about adoption, or maybe a misconception you had about adoption before you adopted Maya?
Before adopting Maya we were crazy, stupid scared of open adoption. We just couldn't fathom how it would be ok to still have contact with the birth family after placement. Now that we have Maya, we understand. The birth family is an important part of who she is, and we wouldn't want to loose that. It's also fun to see traits that Maya shares with her birth mother and father.
I'm always on the hunt for good adoption literature, do you have a favorite children's book about adoption?
I don't actually have any children's books on adoption. *Gasp!* I am hoping to write one myself. :)
You talked a little bit in one of your recent blog posts about adoption etiquette; how do you encourage others to use positive adoption language (especially in front of your daughter)? The older my kiddo gets, the more I think about ways to respond to inappropriate adoption questions. I would love to hear your input.
I think the best way that we can encourage positive adoption language is to talk about it, blog about it, and use it ourselves. I also go to local high schools and middles schools to give an adoption presentation in connection with FSA, and that is one of the topics that we discuss. I love it! I get to teach for a day about a subject that I am passionate about. I think the best solution that John and I have found to deal with inappropriate adoption comments is a sense of humor. I am pretty sure that 99% of the time people say something inappropriate or offensive it is unintentional because they aren't familiar with the intricacies of adoption. I just know that we are going to encounter comments, situations, and conversations that a typical family wouldn't have to deal with (especially since Maya doesn't look like us). We also plan on being very open with Maya about adoption, so that she can grow up understanding her story and how to respond to comments she might get. Describe your open adoption relationship.
There is a whole spectrum of openness. Some adoptive families only correspond annually, while others see each other on a weekly or daily basis. John and I enjoy an open adoption with Maya’s birth families. We e-mail them frequently, post regularly on our family blog, and visit in person a few times a year. When Maya's birth parents come to visit, their parents (Maya's birth grandparents) usually come too. This girl is very loved.
Do you have any adoption role models?
Adoption role models? Hmmm? I admire any adoptive couple that can stay positive through the hard moments and the waiting. I also really admire our friends and family who have embraced this new culture along with us and have tried to understand our sorrows and joys connected with adoption.
Thanks so much for sharing, Lora!