Tag Archives: Personal Stories

A group of people stand together, holding a wooden heart after adoption reunions

“A Delicate Balance”

“A Delicate Balance”

Years after reconnecting with her son, a birth mother explores her place in his life.

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An adoptive mom stands in front of a pile of Christmas gifts

“Santa’s Dilemma”

This year, we've vowed to cut back at Christmas. Well, perhaps it wasn't a vow, but at least a serious intent to try. Then again, they are children for such a short time.

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An airplane a family took on a visit to their daughter's birth country.

“A Visit to My Daughter’s Homeland”

Our trip to her birth country gave my daughter a picture of her early life. She discovered that she was, and had always been, real.

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three-real-families-adoptive-legal-biological-emotional-three-hearts-chalkboard

“Three Real Families”

When my granddaughter asked me if I was the “real” mother of her mom, whom I adopted as an infant, I found a way to help her explore her many real connections, through biology, law, and love.

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A father who adopted older children from foster care shares his story, likening parenting and filling in missing pieces to playing Jenga backward

“Parenting After Foster Adoption—Like Playing Jenga, Backward”

As a father who raised a child from birth and is now parenting older children adopted from foster care, I’ve come to see that the game and pieces may, indeed, be the same, but you have to play in an entirely different way.

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A woman looks into the distance and thinks about the stages of adoption

“My Journey Through the Stages of Adoption”

Much like the trimesters of pregnancy, I moved through phases of worry, disbelief, and pure joy while I waited to adopt.

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Sarah Gerstenzang shares lessons she has learned from her mixed race family.

“How I Parent My Transracial Family”

Like all mixed race families in America, we face stereotyping as a matter of course. These six lessions have helped enrich my family.

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Visiting My Daughter's Birth Country: Honduras

“Amanda’s Journey Home to Her Birth Country”

"You belong to two heritages-Jewish and Latin American-and at this special time in your life, when many Jewish families travel to the Mideast, we're heading south." More than a few heads turned when I announced this in my speech to my thirteen-year-old daughter, Amanda, on the occasion of her bat mitzvah.

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"Committed to honoring our children’s African American race and culture, we buy lotion for every room in the house and spend a small fortune on hair products…"

“Keeping Up Appearances” – Our Skin and 4C Hair Care Routine

As the parents of four black children, we drop a small fortune on lotion and products and build time into our schedule to style their hair, all the while questioning whether we know what we’re doing. A recent conversation offered some much-needed reassurance.

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Author Jessica Wagner with her family after her uncertain waits to adopt

“Waiting on a Dream”

Matched out of the blue with an expectant mother, we were told the next call might come within days. But as the wait stretched to weeks and then months, I despaired—would our dreams ever come true?

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How we answer questions about our racially ambiguous child

Raising a Racially Ambiguous Child

We asked our reader panel: Have you ever been asked to explain your child's ethnic identity? How do you respond?

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My Mixed Feelings as An Adoptee Giving Birth

Motherhood? Me? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

Having children was something that other people did. But giving birth has given me a sense of connection I never felt before.

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Our Birth Mother Search in Guatemala

“Looking for Answers in Guatemala”

When it came to locating our daughter's birth mother in Guatemala, we didn't know where to begin. But we knew that we had to try.

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can-african-american-children-wear-clothing-with-watermelons

“Can Black Children Wear Watermelons?”

Many symbols commonly found on children’s clothing connote racist stereotypes of black people. Knowing this, should transracial adoptive parents still dress their black children in onesies and shirts featuring monkeys, zebras, and watermelons?

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the moment this dad learned about a surprise adoption match was caught on home video

“Caught on Camera: Our Surprise Adoption Match”

Have you ever been at a baby shower where they play a home video of the mother-to-be surprising her partner with news of her pregnancy? As we grappled with infertility, my wife and I hated those videos, even as we desperately hoped for one of our own.

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Learning About Ethnic Differences on Vacation

“Our Summer Vacation House Swap”

One summer, we traded our Hawaiian home for Berkeley, CA so our son could learn about more ethnic differences and similarities.

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Praying While Waiting for Adoption

“Memory Givers”

As parents, we shape the memories our children will carry through their lives. What a delightful, and intimidating, prospect!

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