Friday, September 29, 2006

A BIG thank you

If you've read other posts in our blog, or visited our adoption website ( you may have noticed that the open adoption process involves a "search" for a birthmother. One of the most important ways that we are "searching" for our birthmother is through our friends and family. The IAC ( tells us that over 10% of birthmother matches come from knowing someone that knows someone who is considering placing their child. A story we hear over and over again is about a couple who had been waiting several years to match with a birthmother. They were just about to give up on the process when their hair dresser - who they had previously told they were looking to adopt - called them and said that "one of her clients daughters was considering adoption" and that she'd "like to give their names to her." Well, you guessed it - about two weeks later they matched with their hairdresser's client's daughter. At first I assumed this was a once in a life time event, but it turns out things like that happen quite often. Last month four perspective adoptive parents at our agency matched because of a "network referral" - aka an adoptive couple who knows someone, who knows someone who is considering placing their child.

So, at the suggestion of the IAC we A) told everyone - and I mean everyone - we know that we're trying to adopt, and b) we try to keep everyone up to date by sending emails (about once a month) reminding them that we are still trying to adopt and that if they hear anything to please let us know.

At this point you might be wondering why I titled this entry as "a BIG thank you." Well, I chose that title because in the months that we've been searching for a birthmother it's become even more clear that our friends and family are among the most caring, and amazing people on the planet. I had expected that our adoption plans would be accepted well with our family and friends. I had expected that they would keep their ears and eyes open for birthmothers. I never expected the extent that so many of them would go to help spread the word. From what I gather it looks like our original adoption announcement (that we sent out to about 50 people) has now been forwarded to over 1000 people. From talking to our mothers it sounds like they haven't had a conversation in the last four months that hasn't involved at least a small discussion about how their son and his partner are looking for a birthmother.

The list goes on and on - so many of our friends have done so many great things to help spread the word, and further our efforts to find the perfect birthmother. There is one friend who has truly gone above and beyond. Our friend Bridget, who I first met in high school, constantly amazes me with her willingness to do so many amazing things. Not only was she the first person to forward our email on to others, but later she amazed us by regularly sending out an announcement on her MySpace page to all of her 124 linked friends asking them to look for potential birthmothers. Recently she actually started a web group called "William and John should be daddies." If that wasn't enough, when we actually went to the web page to see what was going on with our newly inaugurated group we discovered that it already had 57 members!

The fact that everyone, and Bridget especially, has done so much to help us makes us so proud. It's amazing for us to get so much proof that our friends and family not only think we'll make great parents, but also care enough to help us in our search for a birthmother.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR HELPING US!!! We know that with your help we'll have the family we've dreamed of very soon!


Thursday, September 07, 2006


A recent conversation that I had lead me to think about some of the traditions that we'd like to have in our new family. Many of the traditions that come to mind involve some kind of holiday. Growing up Christmas had lots of traditions - and we hope to continue at least some of them with our future child.

The Christmas traditions started in the beginning of December. Every year my mom would purchase an advent calendar - one of those "count down to Christmas" calendars with little doors that open. Every night, after dinner, my mother would take the calendar off the wall and I would carefully open the door to see what was behind it. Most of the time the little door would reveal little pieces of chocolate shaped like Christmas trees, presents, etc. I loved it! Occasionally, I'd try and convince my mom to let me open up other days as well. I guess she new that opening up other days would ruin the fun because - as I recall - I can't remember her ever letting me open up an extra day.

One Christmas tradition I don't think we'll be able to continue (at least not in Atlanta) involved picking the Christmas tree. As I think I've mentioned before, I grew up in a rural part of Maine, and my back yard was literally acres, and acres of Christmas trees. Every year my parents and I would put on our snow suits and trek out into the woods to find the perfect tree. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. It usually took hours. I'm probably exaggerating, but as a child it sometimes felt like we walked miles. We'd spot a tree that looked good. Make a mental not of it, and then move on to see if we could find a better one. Then, when we'd seen so many trees we could hardly remember the first we'd decided - as a group - which tree was the best. We'd hike back to the chosen tree (through the snow) and my dad would cut down the tree. Then we would all work together to carry the tree back to the house. This was often a difficult task because not only we're we usually fairly far from the house, but we were also trekking through a foot of snow. After we got the tree into the house, and onto it's stand, we'd all sit down and have a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be able to recreate this tradition in Atlanta. First - no snow. Second - I doubt that the city of Atlanta would appreciate us cutting down trees in the park. hahaha

Perhaps one of our favorite traditions is the actual decoration of the Christmas tree. Later the same night that we cut down the tree we'd all work together to decorate the tree. All of our Christmas decorations were kept in an ancient, wooden box. Every year, my mom would un-pack the box one ornament at a time. A lot of the ornaments actually doubled as family heirlooms, and as such would have stories that went along with them. My mom would re-tell the story of how this ornament had been made by my great grandmother, and this ornament had been purchased for my first Christmas, etc, etc. John and I both look forward to decorating the tree with our future child... we can't wait!

There are lots of other traditions we're looking forward to continuing, many of which don't involve holidays - having pancake breakfasts as a family, etc - but the holiday season certainly brings back lots of memories... and lots of hope for the traditions we hope to start soon!!