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Navigating the Journey of Open Adoption: Insights from an Adoptive Mom

Updated On: June 18, 2024

In a recent episode of the Family Twist podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with Lori Holden, an adoptive mom who has spent years navigating the complexities and joys of open adoption. Lori’s story is not just one of personal growth and learning but also a testament to the transformative power of openness in the adoption process.

The Untangling Our Roots Summit: A Life-Changing Experience

Lori and Corey both attended the Untangling Our Roots Summit in Denver, an event that proved to be life-changing for them. Despite not being a direct member of the donor-conceived, MPE (misattributed parentage experience), or adoptee community, Lori felt welcomed and valued. This inclusivity set the stage for her to share her unique perspective as an adoptive mom and an ally.

Embracing Open Adoption: A Journey of Understanding

Lori is an adoptive mom to two young adults, and her journey began with the desire to provide the best possible environment for her children. Early in her adoption journey, Lori realized that the traditional narrative of adoption being wonderful for everyone involved was incomplete. Through interactions with adoptees and birth parents, she discovered the importance of acknowledging the shadow side of adoption—the parts often left unspoken or unacknowledged.

This realization led Lori to embrace open adoption fully. She understood that minimizing the space between adoptive and birth families could help her children feel more secure and loved. Lori’s approach was about building genuine, heartfelt connections rather than merely maintaining contact out of obligation.

The Importance of Openness in Adoption

One of the key takeaways from Lori’s story is the distinction between contact and openness. Contact alone does not make an adoption open. True openness involves a willingness to clear one’s emotional space and to be present for the child. It’s about creating a safe environment where the adoptee feels secure enough to express their true emotions without navigating the adoptive parents’ unresolved issues.

Lori emphasized that even in the absence of physical contact with birth families, adoptive parents can still foster an open environment. This involves doing the inner work to clear personal insecurities and emotions, thereby allowing the adoptee to feel safe and understood.

Building Trust and Relationships with Birth Families

Lori’s relationship with her children’s birth families was built on mutual respect and understanding. When her daughter was born, Lori and her husband decided to take their daughter to meet her birth mother’s grandmother, despite initial recommendations for a clean break. This act of compassion and inclusion laid the foundation for a trusting relationship.

Throughout the years, Lori maintained an open and honest dialogue with her children about their adoption. She used age-appropriate language and ensured that her children always knew about their birth families. This approach helped her children understand their identities and feel secure in their relationships with both their adoptive and birth families.

The Role of an Adoptive Mom

As an adoptive mom, Lori took her role seriously, understanding the power dynamics at play. She acknowledged the trauma of separation that adoptees experience and worked towards facilitating reintegration of their biology and biography. Lori’s perspective is that adoptive parents must do their inner work to manage their power responsibly and make compassionate decisions for their children.

Lori also highlighted the importance of honoring birth parents. She co-authored a book, Adoption Unfiltered, which aims to replace judgment with compassion and curiosity. By understanding the context behind birth parents’ actions and behaviors, adoptive parents can build stronger, more empathetic relationships with them.

Lori’s journey as an adoptive mom is a powerful reminder of the importance of openness and compassion in adoption. Her story illustrates that true openness goes beyond contact—it involves a deep emotional commitment to understanding and supporting the adoptee’s identity and relationships.

For adoptive parents, Lori’s insights offer valuable lessons. Embracing openness, doing the inner work, and building trust with birth families can lead to healthier, more fulfilling adoption experiences. Lori’s approach demonstrates that when adoptive parents prioritize their children’s needs and honor their birth families, they create an environment where everyone can thrive.

In conclusion, Lori’s episode on the Family Twist podcast is a must-listen for anyone involved in the adoption process. Her experiences and wisdom as an adoptive mom provide a roadmap for navigating the complexities of open adoption with grace and compassion.

Episode transcript:

Corey & Kendall Stulce (00:00.238)
You can still show up to meetings with your child’s family, birth family, and your child, and not feel safe to your child, not feel like you’re doing your own work and working out your own insecurity, envy, jealousy, all that stuff. And if you’re, one thing I’ve learned is that adoptees are super perceptive about their parents’ emotions. They’ve been left once, they’re,

on alert for being left again or disappointing anybody again. Welcome to an adoption themed episode of Family Twist. I’m Corey, and today we’re diving into a topic that’s both deeply personal and incredibly impactful, open adoption. Joining us is Lori, an adoptive parent who has dedicated her life to understanding and advocating for the nuances of adoption. Lori’s journey is filled with lessons and insights that will resonate with adoptive parents, birth parents, and anyone touched by adoption.

So grab your headphones and get ready for a conversation that’s sure to open your heart and your mind. Lori, welcome to Family Twist. Hello, thank you for having me. it’s a pleasure. So you and I both attended the Untangling Our Roots Summit in Denver. I’ve just been telling people it was a life -changing event for me, even as an ally, not somebody in the adoption or donor conception or NPE communities. It was just…

Amazing. So yeah, Summit was absolutely wonderful and just curious about how was your experience and what made you decide to come to Summit? Yeah, like you, I am an ally. I am not a direct member of that. The donor conceived people, MPEs, NPEs, or even adoptees. I’m an adoptive parent, so I’m quite an outlier. And I, my experience there, I intended to go last year on their inaugural year.

and I just couldn’t get there, but this time it was in my own backyard. They were so welcoming, even of somebody who is not one of them. They were all very kind to me. I adored seeing people that I knew online and I interacted with and to get to see people in person, it was wonderful. Yeah, I was a little bit worried just not knowing what to expect and not being a member of the community, but that went away immediately once I walked in.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (02:21.102)
people started recognizing me from the podcast. And then I thought it was really cool because I get a little like, Kendall, Kendall never gets starstruck, but I get a little starstruck sometimes. And seeing people in person who we’ve had on the show, or I’ve only seen them virtual, I was like, look, there’s Brad. my gosh, in the flesh. That was really cool. Yeah. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about your experiences on adoptive. Kendall loves hearing these kind of stories because his adoption experience was really good. Really. Yeah. Wonderful. Really good.

Well, I hope that someday my children will say that as well. They are baby adults. My youngest just turned 21. My oldest is 23. And I have to say I’m digging this stage of parenting, this advising more hands off and like choosing to be together. We hang out together because it feels good. But I credit a lot of the healthy kinds of relationships that I have with my kids to listening to adoptees early in my journey. I bought into the

when narrative back in the early aughts that adoption was wonderful for everyone involved. And when I started spouting that out on in online groups, I was in to find out how to be the best adoptive parent I could be. I got spanked a little bit by birth parents and by adoptees. And I’ve realized there’s something here I don’t know. And I need to know there’s a shadow side that is not looked at acknowledged. And my.

My spiritual practice at that time was like, the shadow will guide you, will direct you without you even knowing it. If you don’t give it some, a voice, give it some air, give it some light. I really wanted to know the full 360 around adoption, what it was like and from different stations of adoption and for various people, because as Kendall, there’s like a wide range of what that experience is on a person, on a one -by -one level.

We were in the kind of early days of open adoption. And at that time, I just thought if my children’s birth parents and I just minimize the space between us, our kids wouldn’t feel like they had to cover the spread. And so we embraced open adoption. And in fact, my daughter’s birth mom and I worked on a book together called the open hearted way to open adoption. And that came out about 10 years ago. And I’ve spent the last.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (04:45.07)
10 years since with my kids in the teen years and learning a new layers of what it means to be adopted, how it feels to be adopted and how to really be present for our children and to see them for who they are, not for who we want to mold them into being. And a lot of that has been with my podcast, which is called Adoption, the Long View, because I realize it’s not just about filling your arms. That’s not the end of the journey. That’s the beginning of a whole new journey. And if I had known earlier,

the things that I had been learning all along and I would have met my children’s needs better earlier. And if I could pass that on to other people, I wanted to do that. Very cool. What were some of the eye -opening things you discovered when you were starting this journey? One of them is that early on, one of the things I learned is that contact is not what makes an adoption open. Although that’s our consensus around what that means.

I should say that contact is not what makes the difference for the adoptee, having contact with birth family members, because it can be really obligatory. It can be check in the box -ish. It can be, you can still show up to meetings with your child’s family, birth family, and your child, and not feel safe to your child, not feel like you’re doing your own work and working out your own insecurity, envy, jealousy, all that stuff. And if you’re…

One thing I’ve learned is that adoptees are super perceptive about their parents’ emotions. They’ve been left once, they’re on alert for being left again or disappointing anybody again. Not that we would ever do that, but that baby wound that they have. What I’ve come to call open adoption is where you are keeping a clear channel in yourself of your own stuff.

clearing it out as it comes up, it’s an ongoing thing so that you can have a clear channel between you and your child and they end you feel safe to them. They can bring you their actual emotions to the degree that it’s all clear between you, but they don’t have to navigate your stuff. I’d like my kids to only have to navigate their stuff, not my stuff. So that was one of the early things is that this openness, this openness is what really makes the difference. And

Corey & Kendall Stulce (07:07.854)
I think that’s important too, because not everybody can have contact. Sometimes birth parents aren’t known, aren’t present, don’t opt in. Sometimes the adoptee wants out. Sometimes they’re on another continent in terms of international and inter -country adoption. Maybe they’re not safe in terms of a past history. Even in the absence of birth family contact, we adoptive parents, if we are willing to do our clearing, we can show up in a way that

make space for birth parents, even if they’re not there in physical presence. On this podcast, I give my adoptive parents a lot of credit for the way that they handled things when I was a child, and especially a small child. And one of the things, it’s funny, I didn’t know, of course, I didn’t understand the complexities of private adoption when I was a toddler. But I remember my mother and dad were so good at a positive spin.

right? They were like, they almost, and whether right or wrong, they told me that it was hopefully protecting me to not know what it is, because I had lots of questions like,

What do you think is wrong with my birth mother? You know what I mean? Like my assumption was something had, she had to be sick. She had to be, there had to be a reason why she couldn’t, why she couldn’t keep me. And my parents just did a really good job. Now I don’t support private adoption, but that was really their only avenue where they lived. And it was the different time and private adoptions or open adoptions weren’t as common. I get it, but.

I give them a lot of credit for the way that they normalized that experience for me. It sounds like they were doing some of that. They were really trying to see it from your point of view. They were trying to protect you. Yeah. And that is a hard thing for adoptive parents when there is a hard part of the story, either known or unknown. How do you walk that line between telling the truth and building, which is all about trust and protecting? And you have to really…

Corey & Kendall Stulce (09:23.63)
do the age appropriate thing, but you also have to do this clearing so that your relationship with grief and hurt, I’m talking about the adoptive parents, you have cleared away your space for that so you can hold that space for your adoptee. So I’m really glad that you had that experience with your parents, Kendall. It sounds like they really were focused and centered on you. They really were. And I always laugh and say that I have my father’s, my adoptive father’s sense of humor.

because I remember being like a young teenager and I’d be like, were you ever scared that if I had the opportunity to meet my other parents, that wouldn’t you be jealous? And he’s like, you know, I’m the best dad, so no, I’m good. You know what I mean? Like he really came, and he admitted later that was just a bluff. But because of course, in the back of, I think, his mind, not knowing,

what the reality was about my birth. They didn’t know anything about my birth family. There was that fear that they could be dysfunctional or dead or whatever, all the possibilities. And so they just promoted themselves as really good parents and they were. And for me, for many years, that’s what I needed.

I lost them so early that I had 30 years to think about it before I found my biological family. And your parents were not around for that? That was later? No, my mother died when I was 10 and my dad when I was 16. So it’s been, it was, dad died in 87 and then 30 years later in 2017 is when we found my biological family. So yeah, crazy.

The timeline is strange. So your life has been a series of gains and losses and gains. Yep. For sure. For sure. I have no regrets. I, of course you want your parents as long as you can have them. But the years that I did have with them were really good. That’s what I try to, it’s what I remember every day. Corey’s never got to meet them, but.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (11:46.19)
I bet he feels like he knows them because I talk about them all the time. Yeah. Yeah. I thought just occurred to me. That’s a hard time to lose parents. Maybe the reason why you don’t like roller coasters at theme parks is because you’ve been living on a roller coaster for your entire life. Yeah. I just, I’m a pragmatist though too. I just, I guess you learned to roll with the punches and I’ve never tried to dwell on anything negative.

And I’m not blaming people who do. I’ve had so much positivity in my life that it definitely outweighs the negative things. And I do think it’s a state of mind, but I also feel very fortunate in what I’ve gotten to experience. So Lori, can you talk a little bit about building that relationship with the birth family? Yes, we had a couple of really trust building things that happened early on. We…

We met my daughter’s birth mom just a couple of weeks before she went into labor and delivered. And she invited us to be in the delivery room, which is I now recognize as perhaps crossing a line. But at the time I didn’t, I didn’t know that I should probably push back on that, but it was such an honor to be there. A daughter, our daughter was born super early in the morning. Her mom had.

a day and a half in the hospital with her. And everybody was able to come and see the baby except for Crystal, Crystal’s her birth mom’s name, except for Crystal’s beloved grandmother. She had been battling cancer and living not too far away from the hospital. And we live near Crystal.

We were the ones who drove her to the hospital because she called us that morning said, I think I’m in labor. So I went and stayed with her all day and we made chocolate chip cookie dough together because that’s what we did. We were strangers. We didn’t know each other well. And then we had to go buy our house. And, you know, we were being very cautious with even telling her our last names. And all of a sudden she’s going to know where we live. She’s invited us to be there. This feels like we’re like integrating and we can maybe let our guards down. And so we did. So then when it was time to leave the hospital and we knew that.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (14:07.438)
She was grieving and she was also grieving the fact that the baby hadn’t met her grandmother. So we decided that instead of going to our house and doing the kind of clean break that the adoption agency had recommended, we would offer to go to where her grandmother was at her mom’s house. And so we did that. That was our first stop from the hospital. And so I remember the scene where there were the four of them on the couch, the baby.

Crystal’s mom, Crystal’s grandma, and they were all comparing the family toes. The baby had the wonky family toe, pinky toe. And I had this moment of, crap, I don’t have the wonky pinky toe. I’m an imposter, I can’t do this. What was I thinking? And it was Crystal who said, you got this, you’re good. And so we parted, coming home with our daughter for the first time, who was also her daughter.

with her blessing and her validation and all that came from our gift to her. I say it in quote marks because it wasn’t really a gift. She was still the mom. She could have done, she could have taken whatever path home she wanted with the baby. But that was how it gelled that we were really committed to each other, to valuing and seeing and meeting the needs of each other.

It just continued. Is Crystal open with you sharing the circumstances as to why she decided to give up the baby for adoption? Yeah. And my daughter is two. Our daughter is two. She was already parenting a four year old boy as a single mom. Hadn’t really gotten on her feet. It just seemed like having another baby would have put everything that she had been trying to build at risk. She did want an open adoption.

which at that time we just thought meant we’ll be in contact, but we built a friendship. We built a, what I call, she was more like extended family. She came to birthday parties. She came to kindergarten graduations. She was invited to volleyball games, all this stuff all along the way. She was a valued member of the family. She wasn’t an, there was no othering and she invited us to her son’s stuff. So it was.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (16:36.174)
There was a emerging of families. It’s interesting with it being a four year age difference. At what point do you explain to the children the circumstances to where they can understand it? What was that like? We decided that we would just use the words from the very beginning. The agency said, start having the conversation on the way home. This is ridiculous. She can’t, she’s.

48 hours old, she doesn’t understand this. And I’m like, eventually along the way I realized, this isn’t so that she can hear it. This is so that I get practice saying it. And I’m finding my rough spots. I’m finding my grief points. I’m finding the places where it still pokes at me a little bit. And while she’s not understanding is when I can work those things out so that by the time we are having more of a give and take conversation about it, I have smoothed my rough edges.

And she always knew that Tyler was her birth brother. She always knew that Crystal was her birth mom. And then as, you know, age appropriately, we got through all the developmental stages. It helps in fifth grade when they do changing and growing or whatever it is in school. And also it helped when my younger sister was pregnant. That was an opportunity and my daughter was at the age where she could understand.

the difference between my sister’s situation and Crystal’s situation. Not everybody has a birth mom and a mom. The norm in our culture is, as it should be, is you stay with the person you’re born to as much as possible. So there’s a two -year age difference between your children, right? What was the situation like with the second adoption? He was a surprise to his birth mom. And…

So we met him when he was about three weeks old. She had tried parenting and then he spent a little bit of time in cradle care while she tried to figure out what she was going to do. She picked us because we had already had an open adoption and she wanted that option. I think though she didn’t want to be as present. So I got a little bit more practice with making space for her in her absence with my son. She is around once in a while.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (19:02.734)
I did eventually find both birth fathers knowing that they were going to be as integral to our kids identity formation as birth mothers are. We have had in and out relationships with all four of them. I came up with a concept about 10 years ago called the open adoption grid. And it breaks out contact as a measure from openness as a measure to give you four quadrants.

So in the lower left quadrant, you have a closed adoption, low contact, low openness. If you move to the lower, you have contact, but no openness. That’s the duty, the obligatory. Okay, we’ll send the pictures this month. If you go into the upper left corner, you have no contact or low contact, but openness, which is where we were with my son’s birth mom for a while. And this is where birth parents aren’t available, but you still can talk about things.

And then if in the upper right quadrant, you have openness and you have contact and that’s like extended family. So why I wanted to bring that up is because what I realized with all four of the birth parents is that we were going in and out. It was more like a kaleidoscope than a plot on a graph. And it, cause it changes over time. We’re going through our stages of parenting and our growth just as humans, our kids are going through rapid changes.

over that 18 years, every day they’re in a new developmental stage. And the birth parents are going through their own development too, getting into relationships, getting out of relationships, jobs, moves. And so there’s just a lot of this going on. I’m swirling my hands around. Yes. The kaleidoscope is a good image though, I agree with you. It’s what I’m curious about, did either or both birth fathers,

at least know that the children existed or were going to happen? They did. And they both signed off, sadly, and welcomed contact. And actually, it’s my son’s birth father, who in modern times and these days is the one who’s the most present for us. So you can’t predict how things are going to be. Wow. Can you talk a little bit about your podcast?

Corey & Kendall Stulce (21:27.054)
Yes, I’m in my fifth season of adoption, the long view. I’ve interviewed lots and lots of adoptees because I think that’s where the best insight for adoptive parents can come from. I’ve interviewed lots of birth parents as well, because I think honoring birth parents is one of the most crucial things we can do for our adoptees. And by honoring, I think there’s so much judgment. There’s a lot of mystery about birth parents, but there’s also a lot of judgment. And I would like to.

get the message out to replace that judgment with compassion. I recently co -authored a book called Adoption Unfiltered with a birth parent, Kelsey VanderVleet -Renyard, and with an adoptee, Sarah Easterly. And one of the things I learned from Kelsey is that they’re, pay attention to the context. There’s always context. So when I hear adoptive parents talking about some problematic behaviors that their child’s birth parents are displaying, not showing up for visits or.

having a rotating, always coming with a friend and maybe the friend seems a little sketchy or whatever, but there’s always context for why visits are hard for birth parents, if that’s the thing you’re experiencing. And if you look at it with curiosity instead of with judgment, that it can bring out the compassion for what that person is going through. It’s not that the moment you get your baby is the, it feels like the end for you, like I said, but it’s.

just the beginning of a very long grief journey for birth parents. And there’s so many ways that people deal with that grief. Some of it is shutting it off and putting it in a box and not looking at it, but that means they can’t look at it. Some can try to stay present and be at the visits, but there’s a toll, there’s a cost. Every seeing comes with a leaving and that’s hard too. That’s hard on the child. That’s hard on the adoptee. These are some of the things I’ve learned from my podcast.

I’ve talked with some attachment therapists. I talked with somebody who had an IVF oops, where her embryo was transferred to somebody else and she went and her and she carried somebody else’s. So she ended up carrying that pregnancy, giving the baby to his genetic parents. So in one fell swoop, she became a birth mom after going through IVF.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (23:54.126)
And then later on, she had a surrogate carry her to more embryos. And so she became an adoptive mom in a way of her own genetic material. So anyway, there’s some really fascinating guests that I’ve had each and you probably feel this way too. Each episode is my favorite. Yes, the newest one. Yeah. Yeah. I recently did one about adoption in the Bible because of how, especially in some Christian spaces and other religions.

Adoption has an imperative to do it and exploring where that comes from actually in scripture. So that was a fun one. So you’ve hinted at this earlier, but there are definitely some adoptees and birth parents who are very anti adoption, like completely across the board. How do you navigate those conversations? Yeah, I can understand why there is that sentiment out there. Adoption is the way we’ve done it with our 20th century.

structures that were not child based and not listening to adoptees caused a lot of hurt and hurt people. They know hurt and I try to listen to what they’re saying without it bringing me down. It does make me question the whole thing. I can’t go back and undo my adoption nor would I want to. My kids will ultimately be the arbiters as they continue to come into their adoptee consciousness on whether it.

how they feel about it. I think we put it in such binary terms. Are you good with it or are you bad with it? And there’s so much nuance in between there. We really can’t ask people to negate their whole life to go back to the beginning and change something. I try to listen, but not listen with discernment. Yeah. I have been so surprised because of my own experience. I’ve been so surprised when I see the reactions.

the people who are anti -adoption. And to your point, I get it, I get why, but that shouldn’t, you’re allowed as an adopted mother, you’re allowed your feelings too. And I feel like those aren’t always acknowledged. And if my mother and father were still, my adoptive parents were still alive, they would be, they were supportive of the thought that I might find my biological family, but they also,

Corey & Kendall Stulce (26:23.566)
know that they did a good thing when they took custody of me. Somebody looted too, in their opinion.

They didn’t want to see children grow up in forced into foster care, that sort of thing. Yeah. Family is always going to be better than institutional care, right? Yeah. And stability, I think, was the name of the game. And they definitely gave me that. So I can’t imagine how that isn’t a good thing. And I wish for your sake and for the sake of other adopted parents that people would just show a little bit more.

grace when it comes to speaking with and about adoptive parents. There’s definitely room for everyone’s stories and opinions on this podcast, but I feel a little bit like the loudest voices are sometimes dominating the conversation and there needs to be room for everybody’s story and everyone’s voice and everyone’s opinion because every experience is going to be different. And as Kendall said, I can certainly understand circumstances where birth family and adoptees

feel like their particular situation was not the way to go, that there were alternatives. But then there’s also room for your story too. I’m not hearing anything. I feel like you did the best you possibly could navigating the kaleidoscope. You sound like the kind of adoptive mom I had. It means a lot. She’s my adoptive mother has been gone for 43 years. So it’s bizarre to.

for me to say those words, but I love her with all my heart still and always will. Yeah, and she lives on. I don’t think two days go by without us talking about either or both of Kendall’s adoptive parents. There’s definitely, and always in a positive way, I just have to really hand it to people like your mom, who in those days, there was no internet. There was no way to go listen to adoptive voices. She was just wired.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (28:30.83)
to be open to you. And that’s a wonderful thing. You made me think of something. And it’s a very serious thing, right? When we’re thinking about our biological heritage, right? But I remember being a child and I would express interest in, I love Italian food. My dad would be, he was so cute. He was so funny about it. He was like, you could be Italian. So,

We just like dove into all of these conversations and I would want Mexican food. He’s you never know that can be part of you. So I just, it was such a, it was through levity, but it was such a, which is for me, it was a healthy way to approach all the possibilities that were out there. And he was trying to help normalize these conversations. Curiosity is such a hallmark of openness.

He used curiosity to follow your interests and let you know he was willing to follow you anywhere. That’s the stuff he was doing it to. And what I hear you saying, Kendall, is that you that openness vibe is what you got from your parents, even though there was no contact. That’s right. You were in that upper left third quadrant where your parents couldn’t provide you with one thing, but man, they had an abundance of the other. The openness really did. And there was no.

stigma attached to being adopted at all. Quite the opposite. They felt very fortunate to, they wanted a child, but they adored me and they made me feel that way constantly. Wonderful. Yeah, there’s a, in the introduction to our book, we say that, is this book for you? And our answer is it is for you unless you’re somebody who has to see adoption is all good or has to see adoption is all bad.

Our book will frustrate you because our book is about the messy middle. And I think there is a onus on adoptive parents because we become the power holders for at least 18 years, if not longer. It’s psychologically, we may hold a lot of power for our kids. Even after that, one thing I learned from working with Sarah and she has a background, Sarah Easterly has a background in attachment through the Neufeld Institute. Separation is trauma and that early separation.

Corey & Kendall Stulce (30:58.414)
at birth or as an infant means you don’t have a pre -trauma personality. This is not nothing. And I think that’s part of what the Nguyen narrative erased is that any room for this to be something. So we should do it less. We should do it very judiciously. We should do it a lot less than we do it. The Nguyen narrative has us separating moms and babies more than we should. And we’ve mixed up.

meeting the needs of people who have fertility issues with meeting the needs of babies who maybe shouldn’t stay with their family of origin for whatever reason. So when adoption does happen, which should be less than it does, this is one thing I do hear and do agree with some of the louder voice. Adaptive parents need to do it. We need to do it in the ways that.

My, in my first book, my, one of my premises is that adoption creates a split and then adopt D between their biology, the DNA they’re born with, their attachments that they’ve had for nine months and their biography, the life that’s written by anybody we call family. And when adoptive parents are managing that power, well, keeping themselves clear, we can help, we can facilitate a reintegration of that split to the.

It’s really up to the adoptee to do that, but we can create the conditions for that to happen. And so that’s why I do think adoptive parents, we do get to have our feelings, we do get to have our stories, but as the power holders, we also need to really take our responsibility seriously and see more than we start. When we go into it, we don’t see, we need to see more so that we can make those wise and compassionate decisions. Yeah. I think that’s a wonderful message to close out on.

But listeners, we will be sharing the links to Lori’s books and podcasts in the show notes. So please check those out. Lori, this has been great. This is a perspective that we haven’t explored too much on the show and really appreciate your insight. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure talking with both of you and hearing some more, especially Kendall, about your experiences. Thank you. Thanks. Yeah, I can only applaud you. Thank you for joining us on this episode of Family Twist. Lori?

Corey & Kendall Stulce (33:14.766)
Your story and insights have been incredibly enlightening and we really appreciate your honesty and compassion in sharing them. Listeners, be sure to check out the links to Lori’s book and podcast in the show notes. And as we launch into the next 100 episodes, Kendall and I find that every family twist brings a new perspective and every story has the power to connect us all. And remember, family secrets are the ultimate plot twist.

The Family Twist podcast is produced by How the Cow Inced the Cabbage, LLC, presented by Savoir Faire Marketing Communications, and features original music by Cosmic Afterthoughts.


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