featured post: “parents, please educate your kids about adoption…” by Rage Against the Minivan

Lately, I have been wading into adoption blogs – doing some backwards reading (yes, it is me stalking your archives you stats-checker, you) and starting to comment. I didn’t blog about our journey to #1. I didn’t even start reading blogs until I was pregnant and losing my mind with anxiety. I mainly followed other ladies who were also newly pregnant after treatment and slowly, slowly started commenting. The more I speak up in the community, the more I seek out the stories of others. I admit that by now, very few are still TTC#1 journeys, and none of these women are pursuing adoption. As such, despite two years in this community, I know very little about adoption. This is something I am working on – it is important.

A funny thing happened last Thursday. I was reading this post by traathy (someone I recently started following after this month’s theme post, and a fellow Canuck!), and then a day or so later this post came up on my personal Twitter feed. The day after that, none other than traathy emailed it to us suggesting we feature it on the site saying “After writing a post myself just last night about the inappropriate and downright idiotic comments I’ve received since bringing my daughter home just six months ago, Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan  also wrote a post about the same.  She did a fantastic job at expressing how every family looks different and that it is our job as *parents* to educate our children on the differences that exist in families today.” WORD.

This especially poignant post about talking about adoption begins with an exchange between her son and a group of children at a playground:

I don’t think these kids were trying to be cruel.  But the way that they were surrounding him, asking questions and refusing to accept his answer as he repeatedly pointed to me as his mom, made the situation feel confrontational. Kembe looked embarrassed and I decided to intervene.  I approached them and tried, in my most friendly and casual voice, to introduce myself and then asked if they had some questions I could help with.

It was clear from the exchange that what the kids were saying, and the questions they were asking, came from a place of sheer ignorance. Not the “refuse to learn” kind, but the “genuinely don’t know” kind. Kristen recognizes that although her children will inevitably be asked such questions by their peers (and be more and more on their own as they get older), the parents of said peers can do their part too.

This isn’t the first time my kids have been questioned on the “realness” of their family by their peers.  I suspect it won’t be the last.  I know I can’t expect every single kid to have been educated on adoption, and inevitably my kids will be the ones educating their peers.  But is it too much to ask that other parents, whose families don’t have exposure to transracial families, take a couple minutes and explain it to them so that my kids aren’t always the center of the After-School Special on Adoption in the school playyard?

What I took away from this post (and from the other bloggers whose stories I know follow) is that educating your kids about adoption (and different types of families in general) isn’t hard and need not be uncomfortable. But it is important to normalize what they see around them because their peers and their families, are well, normal. This post also had a handy outline for a script to talk to older kids, and a variety of book and movie suggestions as well.

I appreciated this post so much, and I know I still have a lot to learn. It isn’t good enough for me to just think that my children will soak up my attitudes by osmosis, or embrace diversity just because we live in a very multi-cultural city. That isn’t good enough. We have to talk, daily.

Please head over to Rage Against the Minivan and check out “parents, please educate your kids about adoption so mine don’t have to.” It is worth a read through both the post and the comments. Comments on this thread will be closed in an effort for you to connect with Kristen directly and share your thoughts with her.

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If you have a post (of any kind, old or new!) that you would like share, please fill out the form on the main Featured Posts page here. You are welcome to submit your a post of your own! 

memorable moment monday, vol. 6

Remember when waking up to a trail of scattered clothing on your floor meant that it had been an (overly) fun night on the town? A couple of days ago, I looked up from my perch in the bathroom where I was sitting watching Stella while she splashed in the tub, and I realized that the trail of clothing on my floor had an entirely different meaning now. Burp cloth, short-shorts, onesie, and swaddling blanket, all laid out in a row. When it is this scattered, it means I pushed it too long (in this case, at Music in the Park) before getting her home and into the bath, and we were flying through the bedtime routine to avoid any potential breakdowns. How times have changed…

After a long night out on the town…little people edition.

What have you been up to recently? Show us your memorable moments on this fine Monday– just drop us a link in the comments to your Memorable Moment Monday post on your blog, or shoot us a picture on twitter at @PAILbloggers!

weekly summary, vol. 8

PAIL Posts This Week:

  • Jules (formerly Julie Anita) kicked off the week with a Memorable Moment Monday post that was filled with hungry babies. 🙂 16 of you also joined in the fun by linking in the comments – check out all of the great pictures!
  • SRB brought an article to our attention that was featured in Fit Pregnancy magazine. The article discusses the author’s struggle with infertility and her subsequent worries during pregnancy. What do you think about her term “Former Infertile” being used in a mainstream publication like that? It is just good that the message of some of the fears that women in the ALI community feel is being communicated to the public at large?

Featured Posts:

Ongoing Projects:

  • We welcomed Nisha of The Prairie Plate to PAIL as our new PAIL Book Club Host! Nisha introduced the first book of our book club reboot— click on over to see what it is if you missed it, and sign up to read along with us!
  • Have you submitted any helpful resources for our Resource Page yet? We are slowly but surely building a PAIL Resources List– please submit any helpful links and recommendations in the comments here. We especially need links about adoption, so please leave a comment with any websites that you have found helpful!

Community Corkboard:

This is a new section we’re adding to the Weekly Summary. If you have a question, need support, or want to give a shout-out to someone who you think is particularly awesome, email us to have your message added to next week’s summary!

New to the Blogroll This Week:

  • Bleeding Tulip – Surprise pregnancy after 2+years of unexplained IF & 1 MC. Struggling w/ overweight pregnancy, Eastern Orthodox and a little granola.

Stay Connected:

news item: “formerly infertile”

This article popped up in our Twitter feed a little while back, and I read it, favourited the tweet and then promptly forgot about it. Not because it wasn’t interesting, but because, you know, shiny things on the internet! I’m not ashamed.

Anyway, last night Josey sent it to me and then it popped up in the twitter feed from Circle+Bloom again this morning so I took it as a sign. Let’s discuss.

Health writer Leslie Goldman has written an article published in Fit Pregnancy magazine briefly discussing her struggle with infertility, and focusing on coping with anxiety and worry during her pregnancy after IVF.

Here are a few excerpts from “Formerly Infertile” that I found interesting:

“For us, procreation swiftly morphed from a pleasurable journey to a daily grind. Our baby was ultimately conceived not in our candlelit bedroom but in a darkened lab, where a man I’ve never met introduced my husband’s sperm to my eggs. Five days later, I swallowed a Valium and had two embryos inserted in my uterus through a catheter before eating a Snickers bar and passing out (that’s what I was told; the drugs caused amnesia). Eleven days after that third IVF attempt, we received the phone call that would change our lives: “Congratulations!” nurse Jamie proclaimed. “You’re pregnant!” Our bodies flooded with shock and elation. Then, the fear set in, and instantaneously, I knew: My pregnancy journey would not be like most women’s.”

“I was certain the worrying and pain of infertility would vanish—Poof!—the moment we got our positive result. Instead, my concerns simply shifted from “Will I ever get pregnant?” to “Will this pregnancy last?”

“….the reluctance to share or celebrate the good news on the fact that FIs have often exhausted themselves emotionally, physically and financially, creating “a deep-seated fear of losing the pregnancy or of something going wrong with the baby’s development.”

You will also want to check out the “You Know You are Pregnant After Infertility If…” graphic. Because, YES.

There are a few things that I found interesting about both the above quotations and the article as a whole. Firstly, I was very surprised to see this article was published in Fit Pregnancy. I’m not sure why I was surprised, but it was still my first thought. I read an issue while I was pregnant, and there was nary a peep of anything with even a whiff of infertility. So, in addition to being surprised, I was also very pleased to see this. Seeing this out in the open brings a certain measure of relief to those of us who have struggled with it. I was also very happy to see that Goldman discusses that pregnancy after IF can be just as isolating as IF itself, and that an understanding support network is critical to this stage of the journey.

I also appreciated Goldman describing her experience with anxiety during pregnancy after IF, which I still think is something we don’t talk about enough even within this community, let alone with the larger community. Particular when she says “I was certain the worrying and pain of infertility would vanish—Poof!—the moment we got our positive result. “ I think it is important to have a realistic view of how your emotional journey (including negative feelings) may continue after the positive beta so that you are better able to cope with it.

Lastly, I (SRB) need to admit that (personally) I am not particularly comfortable with the title “Formerly Infertile” of the term ‘former infertiles’ (FIs) used in the article. If this is how the author chooses to define herself, I have no issue with this. However, as this article is published in a magazine with wide circulation (although granted within a niche audience) I think it does a disservice to the ALI community as a whole by implying that once pregnancy and birth have occurred, you are “formerly infertile”.

On the whole, however,  this article being published in Fit Pregnancy does shed light on the myth of the Rainbow and Unicorn Farts Pregnancy, and ultimately, that’s a good thing.

What say you?

*****

What do you think of the article in general? What are you thoughts on it appearing in Fit Pregnancy?

Can you relate to the author? Why or why not?

Did you have a support network for these types of feeling while pregnant? What did it look like?

What do you think of the term “former infertile”? What do you think of it’s use in this article?

And, as always, anything else you wish to add.

featured post: “Formula Moms are not the Devil” by 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Baby

I am a regular follower of Julia’s, and when I first read her post a few weeks ago, I felt badly that she felt people were judging her for making an incredibly difficult and personal decision.

Admittedly, breastfeeding vs. formula feeding (or some combination of the two) is a hot button issue for many in the mothering world. That being said, when I read the article Julia linked to in her post, I didn’t find it offensive – I found it to be filled with information I wish I had known when I was struggling with breastfeeding in those early days and weeks. I’m not a fan of posts written from the baby’s perspective, but that’s just personal preference, and overall, it seemed to be an article that was very informative.

But then I re-read Julia’s post and went back and read that article from the perspective of a Mom who was formula feeding her baby, and I understood how it could make her feel defensive. When Julia wrote to us about her post, she said:

Through my journey of TTC, I dreamed of extended breastfeeding, so imagine my guilt and shame when we were unable to do so… and then the horror of the judgement I received from all angles of moms (from my moms group, to family) that I was being lazy or that I didn’t love my child. Then one day, a friend on facebook posted a blog link that sent me over the edge.

Just because I formula feed doesn’t make me a worse mother than one who breastfeeds. No mother wants less than the best for their child, and for us, formula was the only option.

I hope that bringing [my] post to light, and the topic about how we formula moms feel about the eyes we know are upon us will help show the world that we love our children the same that you do!

So many of us know the feeling of being judged for everything from pursing ART to achieve our baby-making dreams to co-sleeping, baby-wearing, or any other number of “hot button” issues. I think Julia’s post is a great reminder to check our judgments at the door, and remember that this is how all of us feel about our babies:

I love my son more than life itself, and to imply otherwise will awaken the beast.  Remember, don’t anger the makers of the tiny humans… they will eat you alive.

Please head over to 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Baby and share your thoughts with Julia on her post “Formula Moms are not the Devil.” Comments on this thread will be closed in an effort for you to connect with Julia directly and share your thoughts with her.

*****

Remember – PAIL’s March Theme Posts were all about feeding our babies, and there are lots of wonderful posts about breastfeeding, formula feeding, and everything in between. Check them out!

If you have a post (of any kind, old or new!) that you would like share, please fill out the form on the main Featured Posts page here. You are welcome to submit your a post of your own! 

And a reminder – there is a group of fabulous featured posts from June indexed under the June 2012 collection

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