Lois Melina has been a voice of wisdom and authority in the world of adoption for decades. We connected with Melina upon the publication of her latest book, The Grammar of Untold Stories,a collection of personal essays, to discuss immigration and international adoption, transracial adoption and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the many ways adoption and infertility continue to surface in her writing.
Maintaining Connections to Your Child's Pre-Adoption History
When an open adoption fades or isn’t possible, adoptive parents find other ways to maintain a connection to their child’s past.
Six months after she came home to us, our daughter stopped speaking. As I searched for clues as to her sudden silence, I became profoundly grateful to her Chinese foster father, a man I had never met, for teaching me a valuable lesson about selfless love.
“Would knowing that somewhere, out in the world, she has a biological sister—but one she can’t get in touch with or live with as a sibling—help our child, or be harmful?”
For years, my daughters’ birth mother dropped in and out of our lives as she battled a drug addiction. Now she is back in our lives, back in her own life, and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for all of us.
A mother who adopted from foster care seeks advice about contacting the adoptive parents of her children’s birth siblings. Fellow adoptive parents weigh in.
At a recent gathering, an acquaintance made a comment based on the astonishingly misguided and downright vulgar assumption that my child’s birth parents are unworthy or subpar. Here’s how I responded.
“I know that my children’s birth siblings were abused by their birth parents, but my children don’t talk about trauma in their earlier lives. How should I talk with them about this?”
Three years after her adoption, we returned to our daughter's Russian orphanage to visit her caregivers and friends there.
Lois Melina offers personal reflections on making relationships between birth parents and adoptive families healthier—for the sake of our children, using the principles of The Four Agreements.
Years after reconnecting with her son, a birth mother explores her place in his life.
Two families, linked by a shared adoption experience, discover that they are bound by DNA, as well.
We asked our readers: What talent or trait do you see in your child that must be from his or her birth family? Read the answers from adoptive parents.
“We are adopting my sister-in-law’s teenage son after fostering him for five years. What can I say to her at family gatherings, to family who still don’t get that we’ll be his legal parents—and to my son, who hears all of this?”
The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.
We carefully choose our children's names. But wait—our children will soon have their own ideas about who they are and what they should be called.
Questions from their peers get more complicated for our teens—and their peers' questions may reflect their own worries about adoption.
The vast majority of our children have birth siblings, yet parents may wonder how to approach the topic. Adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share how they talk about biological siblings, and build brother-sister bonds.
A mother of three seeks advice on adopting her child’s birth siblings. She worries that her child will feel hurt if they don’t, but also that they won’t have the energy or resources to parent more children.
From my own search for my roots through adopting older children from foster care, life has taught me to treasure my children’s biological connections while knowing that we don’t have to look alike to belong together.
Whether you see your child’s birth parents frequently or have never had contact, you can still imbue your adoption and your relationship with your child with openness.