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Words From the Heart

Every adoptive parent has a story to tell. Perhaps it involves the day we got the call, a birthmother's broken promise, the elation of holding our baby for the first time, the jet lag that dogged us after miles and miles of travel, or the sense of being a family once and for all. But as much as we love to tell (and retell) our own tales, we love hearing the stories of others. Connecting with other adoptive parents allows us to nod our heads in recognition, laugh out loud, grieve a loss, or fight back tears as we reflect on this sometimes-circuitous road to parenthood.

This November, in celebration of National Adoption Month, the editors of Adoptive Families did a bit of reading (and re-reading) ourselves. We combed through pages of adoption literature and found the 14 essays that we shared in the special pullout booklet. But for each essay we chose, we had several others we loved as well. On this page, we share the many wonderful pieces that did not fit our pages in the magazine. As you read them, we know you'll laugh and cry, as we did.

  • Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother,” by Jana Wolff
    A fiercely honest look at the emotional complexities of the adoption process.
  • Sometime in the Night,” by Doug Hood
    A single man becomes a father.
  • Pre-Parenthood,” by Jeanne Marie Laskas
    It's home study day and I'm not perfect yet.
  • Intimate Strangers,” by Jacquelyn Mitchard
    She was going to have a child but couldn't keep it, I wanted a child desperately but couldn't have one. She was the mother at birth; I was the mother right after. It sounded simple, but it wasn't.
  • An Unexpected Family,” by Bob Shacochis
    For eight years, my wife and I watched our chances of having a baby evaporate. Then our eleven-year-old niece came to live with us, bringing with her a bittersweet deliverance.
  • How Does She Do It?,” by Laura Broadwell
    Yes, solo parenting is hard work. But the freedom's good, too.
  • Guarding Tess: A Father’s Story,” by Timothy S. McCarty
    I learned that the ultimate gift of love comes not from the receiver, but from the giver.
  • Changing My Name to ‘Mom,’” by Annie Kassof
    As she prepares for the adoption of her third child, the author knows it is not just she who must be ready, but also the 9-year-old girl she's fallen in love with.
  • We’ve Always Done it That Way,” by Rose Godfrey
    The uncharted journey of our first Christmas together etched a road of heart-warming traditions.
  • Ready-to-Parent,” by Joe Mills
    The "Daddy Moment" hits in the middle of the baby emporium.
  • The Perfect Season of the Heart,” by Robert Klose
    A father and son find that, in the face of catastrophe, despair, and death, the antidote is life.
  • Old Bones,” by Eliza Thomas
    I've reached a point in life where both my young daughter and my aging mother depend on me. Can I afford to be fragile?
  • Raising California,” by Nelson Handel
    Families are forming in all sorts of ways, in a rainbow of colors, and my son is growing up right in the middle of all of it.
  • Grace Notes,” by Carrie Howard
    When I vowed that my child would get as many bedtime songs as she wanted, I hadn't counted on this particular child's determination.


At Home in Two Worlds

Visit our Transracial Adoption page to find writing on the transracial adoptee experience of growing up Latino, African-American, or Asian-American in America, as well as sound advice for parents.

Been There - Adoptee Voices
Adult and teen adoptees explore a range of topics from identity and birth culture to the family bond.

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