Table of Contents: Summer 2013 Issue

This issue is all about you! Every family formed through adoption has a story to tell, and we wanted to hear every last one. We reached out to the Adoptive Families community and asked you to send us personal stories and treasured family photos, and the outpouring was tremendous. Adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents shared reflections on every stage of the journey, from the moment adoption first entered your mind to recognizing the strength of your bonds to ongoing family traditions. The variety of your experiences is amazing, but one common element runs throughout: families are built through love, not biology.


Our Path to Adoption

“How I Finally Got into Club Mom”

After years of struggling with infertility, I finally took the first step toward forming my perfect family.

“Giving Me Her Quilt – and Her Dream”

When my dreams of finding someone and starting a family stalled, I began to explore adoption to fulfill my grandmother’s dreams of a little girl.

Parent to Parent: Sharing Our News

Parents share the first person they told when they decided to adopt.

When I Knew I Was Ready

Even after we turned in our paperwork, I wasn’t 100 percent certain I was ready to adopt. But when the time was right, I knew.

“Our First Choice”

One mom’s decision to adopt a child with thalassemia, a condition she also has.

Getting the Call

Let the Games Begin!

One family’s frantic 24-hours after receiving “the call” after only two months of waiting.

What Plans?

An adoptive mother of two children writes about struggling with a miscarriage, health problems, and more before pursuing their adoption plans.

Parent-to-Parent: Was It Fate?

Parents share the amazing coincidences that they encountered on their journeys to adoption.

Our Happiest Meal

When we got the call, we started freaking out. Then a miscommunication almost led to us missing our baby!

A Night I’ll Never Forget

After 10 years, my husband and I were starting to doubt we’d ever be parents. But when the phone rang, I knew it was “The Call.”

Meeting Our Child

Dear Daughter

“I awoke at dawn knowing that this was the day that I would finally meet you—my baby girl.” One mother describes her journey to meet her adoptive daughter for the first time.

My Moment of Peace

As a birth mother, my path to adoption was full of conflicting feelings. But at the moment my son was born — when two women came together in the same instant to love him — I felt at peace.

“A Hat Just Like Dad’s”

How a hat forged a family connection and what happened when they lost it.

First Family Photo Contest Winners

We asked to see photos that documented your first days and weeks together. Thank you to all the members of AFC who shared their memorable moments.

My Son Needed Me

Typically, I would have spent weeks — if not months — gathering information and exhausting every possible scenario. But there wasn’t time for analyzing. My son needed me.

“You’re Up, Dad”

One father’s fears while waiting for the adoption of his son to become final.

Four Indelible Introductions

A family’s adoption from Russia, and the special moments when he and his wife met their four children.

Welcome Home!

The Promise of a Thousand Memories

In this personal essay, one mother describes bringing her daughter home for the first time, and how everything seemed different…better.

Parent-to-Parent: Happy Adoption Day

Parents share the special ways they commemorate the day their child’s adoption was finalized.

Our Adoption Announcements

When traditional baby announcements don’t quite capture the joy of their new arrivals, many adoptive moms and dads get creative! AF staffers and readers share their adoption announcements–some hand-made, some customized, all filled with love!

Our Initiation Into Parenthood

Before we became foster parents, my husband and I went out to eat when we wanted, went to movies when we wanted, and traveled when and where we wanted. I never would have imagined our adoption journey would take us where it did.

Becoming Attached

My Resilient Son

Dr. Jane Aronson shares her own story of adopting a child with developmental delays and reflects on the healing powers of love and permanence.

Finally Feeling Like Mummy

Attachment isn’t always instant. This mother describes the moment she knew her love for her son was real.

Parent-to-Parent: Like Parent, Like Child

We asked our readers, “How are you and your child surprisingly alike?” They shared.

Music to My Ears

How playing the violin helped one girl overcome reactive attachment disorder.

“Blood Doesn’t Mean Family”

A young woman who joined her family through international adoption writes a personal essay about the bond she feels with her adoptive family.

“My Nights with Tiana”

Sacrificing sleep for a few months was a small price to pay for a lifetime bond with my daughter.

Taking Moms for Granted

An adoptive mother writes about dealing with the concept of gratitude in her adopted daughter, and if it’s better that she takes her parents for granted.

Parent-to-Parent: My Child, My Role Model

Parents share the ways that their children are different from them, the things that they admire.

The Joy of Siblings

The Baby Sister Effect

Who could have known an infant sister could have such a positive impact on my two sons? One family’s story of the bond between adoptive siblings.

Adopting Slaid’s Sister

When we were given the opportunity to adopt our son’s sibling, we jumped at the chance.

Sibling Snapshots

An album of adopted and bio children sharing brotherly – and sisterly – love. 

A Test of Character

In this personal essay, one dad shares a poignant moment when he say that his children had found the special love between adoptive siblings.

Honoring Birth Parents

A Love We Never Expected

We were all for open adoption, but we never expected how fulfilling our relationship with our child’s birth mother would end up being.

Our Kids Are All Right

A birth mother shares the conversation that reassured her that her daughter and birth son are not at all confused by their fully open adoption.

My First Mother

An adoptee reflects on a her high school years, when she learned a classmate was pregnant and was reminded of the situation of her first mother.

A Mother’s Day Not About Me

It struck me that the three children we adopted from Ethiopia thought about their birth mother more often than I realized. I told my daughter she had two mommies who love her. One gave birth to her through her stomach and one gave birth to her through her heart.

I Have Four Moms

For many parents who adopted children internationally, a birth mother relationship is uncharted territory.

Family Traditions and Special Memories

My First Mother’s Day

My first mother’s day was one of the longest of my life.

“A Table Laden With Meaning”

Cooking Indian food with my transracially adopted daughter helped connect her to her birth heritage and encouraged multiculturalism in our family.

Parent-to-Parent: Time for Cake!

Parents share ideas of what to write in icing on an adoption finalization cake.

My Christmas Dream Come True

A mother’s story of hanging a special ornament with her daughter.

Our Family Snapshots

An album of our readers’ most memorable family portraits.

At Home

To Those Still Waiting

An examination of the conflicted feelings that adoption brings. Should you be happy or sad? Or both?

The Experts

Setting Boundaries in Open Adoption

In open adoption, your child’s birth parents become part of your extended family. Here are some common questions when it comes to managing those relationships.

Hiring Your Adoption Professional

How can you find an adoption professional you’re comfortable with? Start with these questions.

In Every Issue

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Thank you to this issue’s Sponsors:

America’s Christian Credit Union
Camp Clio

Adoptions from the Heart
Bethany Adoption
Children’s Connections, Inc.
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Embryo Adoption Awareness Center
Independent Adoption Center
Nightlight Christian Adoptions
Show Hope
Spence-Chapin Services to Family and Children
Valley Health System

Adoption by Shepherd Care
Christian Adoption Services
Cono Christian School
European Adoption Consultants, Inc.
Parent Match