I was excited to be a part of the Adoption Blogger Interview Project for 2012. It just so amazing to me to see how many adoptive Momma's there are out there. I have been so encouraged by so many of these wonderful Mothers and I was blessed to get to learn a little bit more about one in particular!
*You can read a BUNCH of other interviews over at "Production, Not Reproduction"..here.
I was paired with Alissa from Not A Visitor and loved getting to know her! Here were my interview questions and her wonderful answers!!
1. What made you choose adoption as "Plan A"? Was there any "backlash" from friends/family about not having bio children first?
Andrew and I have always had adoption on the table -but we did experiment with getting pregnant before we pursued adopting full force. I had been told since I was a teenager that for various reasons it might be difficult for me to become pregnant, so it wasn't surprising to when it didn't happen naturally. Andrew has never felt a need for biological children, though, so for him trying to get pregnant was more humoring me than anything. What we found out about our fertility was that if we really wanted to reproduce biologically we likely could, but pretty serious medical intervention would be necessary. That helped me get in touch with something I felt I had always known in some way - that adoption was how we would find our children. We did not experience backlash from family or friends, although some folks have asked us if we'll ever try for a child that shares our genetics and we just answer cheerfully that we're happy with the family we have. All of our parents have biological grandchildren from our sibs (Andrew and I each have a brother) so our choice didn't deprive them of that experience.
2. What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about open adoption? Have you faced any of those?
3. What has been the most challenging thing about raising two children outside of your race?
4. Tell me a little about your decision to become a priest? What religious affiliation are you a part of? I grew up Catholic and thought that priests were only in the Catholic faith. Enlighten me! :)Great question! I am Episcopalian, and we also have priests! The Episcopal church is part of the Anglican Communion which descended from the Church of England - the one that started when one of the King Henry's wanted a divorce that the Pope wouldn't grant so split the Catholic church in England off to be under the king. Long story short - a lot of what Anglicans and Episcopalians do with language (priest, bishop, mass, etc) is similar to the Roman Catholics, but a lot of the theology and dogma is less rigid. In the USA we've been ordaining women for several decades. I decided to become a priest because I feel a deep vocational call to do that work. Part of that call - the explainable part - came from discerning that this is a vocation that will use all of who I am: speaking skills, leadership ability, intellect, love of Scripture, love of people, desire to engage in good and meaningful work. It will never be easy but it will also never be boring! (well, sometimes the meetings are boring, but in an overall sense - the liturgy and people sense - not boring.)
5. How do you decide on what to share with your readers and what to keep private?
6. How did your family react to your transracial adoption? Was anyone one way before you adopted and another way after you brought the girls home? Meaning, did you have any "supporters" before that turned into "not so supportive" after?
If anything it was the other way around! Meaning that the few "not so supportive" turned into supporters once they met our J and saw us together as a family. My family is different than me in many ways - the same is true for Andrew and his family - but they are hands down one of the most loving groups of human beings in the universe. From the moment we announced we were adopting and how it would happen they were extremely supportive - with one exception whose generational location among other factors contributed to some anxiety on that person's part over the transracial nature of our adoption plans. Suffice to say one facebook album of photos later and all doubts were gone.
It is my experience that biases against a category of human beings (race, class, sexual orientation,etc.) are much easier to maintain when people don't know or love anyone who belongs to that particular category. I want to be careful how I phrase this, because it is in no way a justification for transracial adoption, but one of the happy byproducts of having my girls in my life is that family members who maybe have never had the chance to be close to and love someone who isn't white now have that opportunity. And just that can change people. We don't have a mono-racial friendship community, but some of our family does, and this has been good for them.