Posts Tagged ‘ adoption ’

Would You Choose the Sex of Your Unborn Child?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Well, you can technically do that now… but do you really want to choose the sex of your next kid? Since my family and I are considering either an international adoption or a domestic adoption – and we are awaiting 24 hours of foster training next month – I say: “Yes. I do want to choose the sex of my next child.”

We’re hoping for a daughter.

We already have bio son Sam, 5 and a half. Even our dog is a boy – I need a little estrogen around here for crying out loud. Here’s the news:

HRC Fertility, a fertility clinic on the West Coast, announced today a new educational website,, geared for parents who want to choose the sex of their baby for personal or medical reasons.

The fertility clinic site gives a thorough look at the various technology options available today to help choose the sex of your baby including a detailed description of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), the most common gender selection technology. “This Web site features some excellent videos from our team of doctors on issues like, ‘How gender is determined,’ ‘what is PGD,’ ‘how treatment and travel are coordinated for gender selection’ and ‘the future of gender selection,” said Dr. David Tourgeman.

He said HRC offers 24-chromosone screening and single gene screening for genetic disorders and uses a PGD screening technology to screen for genetic abnormalities before implantation during an in-vitro fertilization cycle.

“Recently, our team used a new PGD Technology for 24-Chromosome Screening and Single Gene Screening for a couple that carried the gene for Tay-Sachs; they now have a healthy, baby girl,” said Dr. Daniel Potter. “Our technology is flexible for gene screening and for gender selection and our goal at HRC is to offer a complete suite of services for all couples wanting to build the family of their dreams.

Readers: What do you think about messing with Mother Nature to this degree? Comment here!

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Part 1: Sexually Abused Daughter Yearns for Foster Care

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Since I’ve been writing this blog for, I’ve received so many beautiful words of encouragement as well as your outspoken and opinionated discussions. I’ve learned which conversations have merit, which ones might be a little fabricated, which stories are real. And now I have an amazing story of survival that I know is real — but I wish it wasn’t!

Reader Carolann still doesn’t believe her story is worth being told. She says she knows of dozens of other neglected and abused women who had it worse off than her.

Warning: The following story will cause sleepless night. Stay tuned for Part 2 on Friday.

She first wrote to me to thank me for bringing difficult adoption situations out into the light. She wrote, “How I wish someone like you could have saved me, Nicole! What a long journey it’s been but I am alive today and while I don’t want to make anyone else shocked or sad at my life, I want you to know this still happens everywhere, in every city, in suburbs, to kids of all ages. So  your kind words are very appreciated. You must keep up the good work to help others like me heal.”

Carolann was born in 1955 into an unbalanced, fatherless and abusive home. “My mom did nothing but beat us and tell us girls [me and my sister] that we were never wanted. Only her son [my older brother] was ever planned or wanted.

“I don’t dislike my mother for her total lack of concern now, some 30 years later, but our entire family inherited profound levels of depression, and my mom was the worst. I view my biological mom as a mentally ill person.”

Amazingly, Carolann’s brother began sexually molesting her when she was very young and it continued for years on end mercilessly. Carolann’s mother was fully aware of it and did nothing to stop the physical and sexual, escalating violence.

When Carolann finally confessed to this violent abuse to a kind teacher at school — remember this was 30 years ago — the teacher contacted authorities who briefly placed Carolann in a foster home, but the poor kid was sent back into her hellhole of a family some months later. And she received the beating of her life “for telling.”

When she finally got up enough nerve to ask her violent older bother why he touched her and hurt her so terribly, he answered: “Because you are the weakest in the house.”

Carolann prayed to go back to foster care or be placed for adoption so someone could love and protect me, she remembered.

Tune in to Part 2 on Friday, where Carolann P. from Florida thanks total strangers for saving her life.

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Adoptive Mom Surprised by Rude Racial Comments

Monday, October 10th, 2011

When Memphis mom Nikki H.  and her husband Jacob adopted Joshua, nearly a year ago, she was met with some strange responses. She said, “People always look. Always. Some people have stopped to ask the oh-so-scary-because-what-if-I’m-wrong question, ‘Did you adopt him?’”

Many folks just openly stare rudely, Nikki said. “Both Jacob and I are white and Joshua is black. We became a multi-racial family when we adopted Joshua in March of 2010.”

 “He is our chubby, cheeky, talkative, mobile, crazy, wonderful, precious, beautiful son.”

The couple had immense family support throughout their adoption journey as well. “Our families have been the definition of acceptance and love throughout our adoption journey. Never once has the difference in race been an issue within our extended family. We are truly blessed. Joshua is loved fiercely by his grandparents, aunts and uncles.

But there are frequent occasions when education is necessary. Nikki said, “I had a friend ask me how tall his ‘real mom’ was and I replied, ‘I’m about 5’3.’ You see, I am his real mom. I don’t expect everyone to speak ‘adoption-ese’ but I don’t hesitate to correct them either.”

Nikki remembered, “The night we brought Joshua home, we invited only our parents and siblings to meet him. I remember just sitting there, soaking in the memories of each family member holding Joshua for the first time, cherishing him, kissing him, and telling him how much they have loved him even before they knew him.”

Today, Nikki would like to think that adults still stare at this little family simply because they are memorable — and beautiful. “We are memorable but in a good way.  We recently had a grocery store cashier remember us many months later because we do stand out in the crowd.  Standing out is not always a bad thing.”

Transracial adoption is most commonly defined as “the placement of infants and children of one race with parents of another race,” Nikki explained to me. “When the world looks at my family in the store, at the doctor’s office, or waiting in line for ice cream, they probably see a black little boy with a white mom and a white dad. But, when Jacob and I look at Joshua, we only and purely just Joshua, our son.”

Photo Credit: Nikki, age 27, husband  Jacob, age 29.  Joshua on the night they first held him!  

That is one lucky family right there. Thanks, Nikki, for filling me in on your beautiful life with little guy. Follow her for Joshua updates!

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Adopted Son Steve Jobs was Loved, Adored and… Adopted. RIP

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Of course, the adoption boards are buzzing because this brilliant entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was placed for adoption in 1955, has died after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. Much more has been written about the love and support of Jobs’s adoptive parents who also adopted his sister, Patricia, than his little-known birth parents.

But I’ve been wondering about the biological parents and about the child they placed for adoption at birth. Steve Jobs. Whew.

Bio-father Abdul Fattah Jandali was a young Syrian immigrant in Wisconsin, who never even met his newborn son. When the baby was born to the 23-year-old Jandali — now known as John — and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Joanne Schieble, in 1955, there was no chance baby Steve would be able to grow up with his biological parents.

Joanne, born to a white, conservative Christian family, allegedly could not convince her parents to marry an Arab, and a Muslim at that! You can read much about this slim wunderkind of Apple computers and technology as we know it.  (Interestingly, Jobs was not ever interested in meeting his birth parents although he was aware of them. Years later his birth parents did marry and raise other children. That’s wild too!)

More than anything, though, when you consider the soaring heights and successes this business impresario has enjoyed, how many people his companies employ all over the world… ya gotta admit both sets of parents did something quite right with this child.

First his young and terrified birth mother (in the 50s!) ran to San Francisco from the Midwest to place her child into a caring nurse’s arms in a hospital. Safe and sound. How amazing and selfless and responsible this decision can be.

Then, consider the childless couple who yearned for him, finally found him and adopted him and then joyously nurtured Jobs throughout childhood and adulthood. Growing up, Steve Jobs lived a kind and beautiful life, he lived in a privileged world to Clara and Paul Jobs in the suburbs of Mountain View, Calif., now commonly called Silicon Valley. They adopted his sister Patricia as well!

Imagine? Imagine the possibilities for children who enter adoption or foster care because they deserve a chance like Steve Jobs had? Imagine the possibilities…

This adoptive son made good. Very good, indeed. What a great story. RIP Steve Jobs, adopted son. Next one might be you!

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Part 1: Birth Mother Chronicles Open Adoption Decision

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

birth mother open adoptionMaryland native Kristin Metzger, now 30, keenly remembers getting pregnant at 19 and how many momentous decisions she suddenly had to make. In today’s post she explains the gut-renching choice to place her newborn for adoption. In Wednesday’s post Kristin will explain why she chose one specific family (great insider advice from a birth mom) and also why they opted for an open adoption.

Kristin says, “This is one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can go through, and last-minute changes of heart happen all the time. The adoption agencies have a responsibility to counsel the potential adoptive parents about this very real possibility.”

At the time, she became pregnant, Kristin neither had a car nor or a job and zero family support. “I ended up living in a group home for women facing crisis pregnancies, through an organization called The Gabriel Network. My grandmother wrote me a letter encouraging me to consider adoption, and after wrestling internally, I knew she was right. I contacted an adoption agency called Adoptions Together in Silver Spring, MD and through my social worker was given portfolios of different couples wishing to adopt a child.”

Interestingly, Kristin’s mother was also adopted, born to Armenian and German immigrants, who could not afford to keep her upon immigrating to America. “My mother has never known her birth parents because they did not wish to be found. That is partly why I chose open adoption, even though it is emotionally taxing.”

“I love my adoptive grandparents, but part of me wants to give a big hug to the birth grandparents who gave my own mother a better life when they placed her for adoption.”

“May God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”
– a Franciscan blessing

Tune in on Wednesday for Part 2:  A Birth Mother Chooses New Parents for her Daughter.

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