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Reaffirming Our Commitment

Recently, two visitors submitted some comments that were not supportive of parents who’ve adopted. Although I didn’t approve those comments, this is a great time to reaffirm why Forever Parents came to be and where our commitment lies.

I created Forever Parents in 2002 after being frustrated by the lack of online support for parents who’ve adopted (and those waiting). I was also disgusted by the guilt and online abuse that was being thrown at parents on some adoption sites and blogs. I decided to create a private adoption forum for those of us who wanted a place to vent, celebrate, whine, share happy and sad times, ask questions and give advice without being judged by those who have never adopted a child. It’s 6 years later and that community is still going strong. I’m so proud of the parents (and parents in waiting) who are part of our community (at the forum and here at the blog)…and we are a diverse bunch…some of us are in closed adoptions, others are open…some of us adopted domestically, others internationally…some adopted special needs children….some adopted outside their race….some adopted one, while others adopted many….some of our children were placed for adoption lovingly, while others endured years of abuse before finding their way home.

Through all those differences we all have one thing in common….we’re the parents of adoptees.

There are places on the internet where the bashing of parents who’ve adopted, is acceptable.
This is not that place.

There are places on the internet where parents who’ve adopted have to watch their words.
This is not that place.

There are places on the internet where only some adoptive parents are welcomed, but not others.
This is not that place.

We are committed to parents who’ve adopted….and they have a voice here.
We are committed to waiting parents….and they have a voice here.
We are committed to our children…and they also have a voice here.

If you want your voice to be heard here, it needs to be supportive and respectful of us, and our children.

Make rude comments and I'll delete them. Any questions?

11 Responses to “Reaffirming Our Commitment”

  1. Lori says:

    Joanne, you are the perfect den mother.

    I appreciate your expectation of respect.

    Loris last blog post..Mad props

  2. Joanne says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. It means a great deal to me. Smile

  3. Mei-Ling says:

    “There are places on the internet where the bashing of parents who’ve adopted, is acceptable. This is not that place.”

    Please explain where I bashed you. I do not recall EVER denying that you were real as an adoptive PARENT. I simply said that the birthparents were real too.

  4. Mei-Ling says:

    I’m not trying to harass you, and I *know* you won’t publish this comment. But at least you’ve read them (of course I could be wrong and you might just hit the X out of pure reflex from seeing “Mei-Ling”), and I won’t keep commenting to the point of harrassment. That’d be completely wrong on my part.

    All I’m going to say is that sometimes… people’s opinions *do* change – if you can find a way to support your argument with credible proof. People *do* change to an extent over time depending on what they see and hear.

    Other than that, I will leave you alone. I’m sorry that you assumed I was here to bash adoptive parents. That really was not my intention.

  5. Joanne says:

    Mei-Ling…I’m sorry but I’m not really sure what you’re talking about.

    I never said you bashed me….I don’t even know who you are. This post that you’re commenting on was from eight months ago. Take a look at the dates on the comments. This particular post had nothing to do with you. It was posted back in April. Smile

    I linked to it in today’s post because I received some comments (about a post regarding something my ten year old said) that sounded very unstable and psychotic so I figured it would be a good time to re-post our comment policy. If you posted before this, I apologize, it may have gotten deleted by mistake with some of the insane sounding comments. My personal favorite was the comment that said my ten year old daughter had no right to tell a doll that it’s mother was real. A DOLL!

    My daughter, as an adoptee, has every right to define herself as my real daughter. Apparently that threatened some folks today. My daughter is like me-we have a big mouth and we speak up. They should have seen my daughter rip some kid on the playground a new asshole for saying that her sister wasn’t really her sister because they have different color skin. LOL

    I’m proud of my daughter’s generation of adoptees. There’s not a lot of secrecy surrounding adoption today like there was years ago and they’re emotionally healthier for it. I have a brother who we adopted into our family in the late 1960′s and it was a different time back then.

    Personally, I don’t need validation that I’m a real parent. I know that I am. And my daughters know they’re my real daughters. And yes, birth parents are real also. Nobody here ever said they weren’t.

    We have plenty of members here that are in fully open adoptions and have great relationships with their child’s birth/first parent. Unfortunately that is not the case with my kids but life is what it is, know what I mean?

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope my comment clears up some of the confusion. Smile

  6. Mei-Ling says:

    “This post that you’re commenting on was from eight months ago.”

    I just noticed that. To be honest, I was more focused on the dates for the posts themselves… as they don’t seem to be anything in particular. At least not directly where the post IS. If they are, well… then I’ve clearly missed something. But I could have sworn they aren’t there! @@

    [My daughter, as an adoptee, has every right to define herself as my real daughter.]

    Of course, why shouldn’t she? It was the previous post saying that the birthmothers’ roles are just in the past. I received the impression that there’s no reason to speak of them with any importance because their roles ended when they signed the papers.

    BUT like you so kindly pointed out to me, that post was from a while ago, so things may have changed.

    [And yes, birth parents are real also. Nobody here ever said they weren't.]

    Then I can’t for the life of me figure out why I received the initial vibe that they weren’t thought of as being important. Maybe I’m seeing a different side of you now or something? I don’t know.

    [We have plenty of members here that are in fully open adoptions and have great relationships with their child's birth/first parent.]

    Open adoptions must be really fun in a lot of aspects, but a bit sad at the same time, hm? I wish I could have had that when I was little, even though it would have been impossible.

    Thanks for clearing things up.

  7. Joanne says:

    >>>If they are, well… then I’ve clearly missed something. But I could have sworn they aren’t there!>>>>

    Nope, you didn’t miss anything. The posts here don’t have dates on them. But when the last comment was eight months ago, it stands to reason that it couldn’t have been a new post. Smile

    >>>>>It was the previous post saying that the birthmothers’ roles are just in the past. I received the impression that there’s no reason to speak of them with any importance because their roles ended when they signed the papers.>>>>

    Are you talking about this post?
    http://foreverparents.com/2008/03/real-parents-2.html

    I didn’t write that. It was written by Deborah McCurdy.

    This blog is an extension of our adoptive parents forums and although we’re all parents through adoption, there is a wide range of viewpoints which stem from our personal experience with the adoption of our children.

    My experience is totally different than some of our members. We have a fully closed adoption with no contact at all. My children have had to work through the emotional scars that their biological family gave them. If you’ve ever read my posts here, you know that my son will never totally heal from what was done to him. It turned him into a victim who accepts when people mistreat and bully him and then uses passive aggressive behaviors to get back at them and self harming behaviors to soothe himself. It turned my middle daughter into a controlling and manipulative bully who acted out the abuse that was done to her, onto her younger sister. Two kids…same abusive situation….two different outcomes. My daughter has healed (and continues to do so), where as my son is stuck in his role and I fear will continue the cycle as he gets older.

    >>>>>>Maybe I’m seeing a different side of you now or something? I don’t know.>>>>>

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t know me enough to know my different sides.

    As far as their biological mothers role as being important….we talk about her from time to time. She doesn’t come up as often as she did in the beginning. It’s taken a few years for my daughter to understand that being abused isn’t the way it was supposed to be. A lot of my daughters anger towards her is gone now because it’s been years and I’ve helped her move past it. We had to separate the action from the person. I created a lifebook for them and in it is the only picture we have of her, which is her mug shot from when she was arrested for abusing them. I also suggested lighting a candle for her on their birthday as a way to acknowledge her. Some years they do it, some years they don’t. My middle daughter has a lot of issues surrounding her birthday so we deal with that every year. When we speak about her, it’s not with anger or hate, it’s more matter-of-factly. I guess the feeling they have now is indifferent. There’s no hate but there’s no love. Like I said in my other comment, it is what it is. Just like we’re a multiracial family. We don’t think about it every day…it just *is*.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen their pictures but I have current ones of my daughters on the first page. Take a look!

    Smile

  8. Mei-Ling says:

    “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t know me enough to know my different sides.”

    No no, I was referring to the entry. You know… when you look back into the archives in, say, 2006, and then you read until 2008, and the person’s writing and perspective has changed over time? I didn’t mean you personally because of *course* I don’t know you! I just meant the writing style, the perspective change.

    Although I guess you’re right, I could have seen the comment’s date, but at the same time, at a blog it is more natural to look for a date *on* on the blog entry rather than the comment. But don’t worry, I see your point Smile It was just very strange to wonder where the date was on the entry itself. Almost every blog I’ve come across does that…

    So are these entries of people who all take turns posting from different viewpoints? I know they’re *about* different viewpoints, but do people take turns and just post entries about their everyday lives in pertains to how adoption has been successful in varying degrees?

    No disrespect intended. ^^

    Mei-Ling

    Mei-Lings last blog post..The Burden of Authenticity

  9. Joanne says:

    Mei-Ling:

    I would say about half of this blog is me and the other half is the members of our adoption forum and other parents that I come in contact with online.

    When I created the forums in 2002, I didn’t want my voice to be dominant one. I wanted it to be more of a community feeling. As the forum grew more popular, I asked a few members to help me run it but I made sure to ask ones that had different adoption (and life) experiences than I did. That was important to me.

    So, when I decided to create this blog as an extension of the forum, I wanted the same thing. About half this blog is me talking about my life with my kids and the experiences we have. Sometimes it’s just day to day stuff (like the recent pictures of Disney) and other times it’s about specific adoption issues that were having…like being a white mother with two brown skinned children or how I try to help my son handle the emotional issues that come from Reactive Attachment Disorder and how it affects the rest of us.

    The other half of the blog is the forum members. I’ll frequently throw up a question for them, get a bunch of different answers and post them here. We have such a wide variety of members so we usually get a lot of different viewpoints.

    What about you? I think you wrote that you were adopted? Would you mind sharing some of your experience? Smile I’d love to hear it.

  10. Mei-Ling says:

    I’m not sure exactly what you want to hear.

    In a nutshell, I had a good experience, but shortly after I graduated high school, I wondered how my other mother would feel knowing who I had become. I wondered if it would have mattered for her to know how much I had accomplished – so I asked my mom if there was a way to contact them through my old adoption papers.

    About half a year after that, I managed to initiate contact. I could explain it to you on here, but I’ll just link you to my blog – http://sisterheping.wordpress.com/

    If you read through some of the entries, you’ll get a very good idea of what things have been like throughout my journey.

    Mei-Lings last blog post..The Burden of Authenticity

  11. Joanne says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your story. I’m going to take a look at your blog this weekend. Smile

    My longest friend (30+ years) was adopted as a toddler and back then (the mid ’60′s) adoption was much more secretive than it is now. Although she had a great relationship with her parents, she always wondered who her biological parents were. She had little information to go by by after her parents passed away she decided to begin a search.

    At that time, I still lived in same city where she had been born and adopted (NYC) but she had moved to Florida so she came to stay with us for a while and my husband & I helped her start the process.

    My husband Billy ended up making a lot of progress and helped her find the right tools for getting information. We found her biological mother still living in our city. It ended up that her biological mother was still in touch with her biological father so she got to meet him also. We hosted their reunion in our backyard. Smile

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