Monday, March 22, 2010


Heather at PRODUCTION NOT REPRODUCTION is hosting an interview project between bloggers that have experience with adoption or are waiting to adopt. My partner was Camille who has a blog The Adoptive Mother. I think it's interesting that we've been partnered because she's adopted 5 and I only have 1. She gives me a lot of hope for the future!

Here is a picture of her lovely family. My interview with Camille.

QUESTION: So, maybe you can guess my first question....why did the birth mom keep getting pregnant? I've read some of your blog...where you say you kept getting calls, but I'm confused as to why she didn't use birth control?

From what I understand she really wanted to get pregnant the first time and have a baby. The next two pregnancies were unplanned and she was not prepared to raise three small children all by herself. We met her when she was pregnant with her third child. With the next two children, she was married both times before she got pregnant and I know she really wanted to be married and have a family of her own. Things did not work out the way she planned and again she found herself unable to care for another child, so she asked us to adopt her daughter (this happened twice). She did have her tubes tied with her last pregnancy and my husband and I have adopted all five of her children.

QUESTION: How did the other kids handle the birthmom deciding to try and parent and then the child coming back into your again? Were they nervous about possible not seeing the newest child again?

This was a very hard thing to deal with, with my younger boys, when my oldest son went back it wasn’t that big of a deal because he was only 9 months old. The hardest time was with the birth of my daughter Ava. We spent time with Ruth (my children’s birth mother) before Ava was born going to doctor appointments and they knew she was having their sister. When we didn’t get her, we had several long talks about “why” and I tried to answer their questions the best I could. They knew they would at least see their sister because we would see Ruth, but the inevitable question was “why did she keep them and not me?” Luckily we don’t have to answer that question now because my husband and I have ALL of her children.

QUESTION: Do you plan on adopting more children?

No - I am good with FIVE!

QUESTION: How do you finance it all?

Our adoptions were actually quite inexpensive, I think all combined we paid less than $1500 for attorney fees and our attorney didn’t keep any of that money, he donated it to a victim’s reparation fund. The most expensive thing was doing the home studies (average $800-1000 each, but we only had to have four). The rest of the costs were minimal and were just absorbed in our monthly expenses. We were very blessed to find our attorney; he has been a God send to us. He doesn’t even do adoptions normally; he just did ours to help us out. I also did a lot of the paperwork myself to help with costs.

QUESTION: What has been the greatest joy with your children?

I love being the one who is there for them. I love when they hug me and tell me that they love me. I talk a lot with my older boys and I love when they tell me “I am so glad you are my mom.” I love being a mom!

QUESTION: What has been the hardest part of adoption?

Missing the first part of my children’s lives and having them get treated differently because they are “adopted.”

QUESTION: What kinds of questions do the children ask about their birthfamily?

“Why didn’t she keep me? What would my life be like if I lived with my birth mom? Where is my birth father? Why does she keep having children and giving them up? Is he/she happy? Do they miss me?

QUESTION: What do you think needs to change in regards to adoption these days?

This one is hard for me to answer only because I did all of our adoptions privately. I had no idea what to expect with open adoption. I just readily agreed to about everything they said because I wanted to be a mom so badly I didn’t care about the negative part. It was really hard for me in the beginning as I tried to adjust being a new mother and still having my children’s birth mother and grandmother come over all the time to visit, usually unannounced. I think I would require prospective adoptive parents and birth mothers to attend classes discussing options and ideas about what they would be willing to share and how open they want the adoption to be (and let them understand that this will change over time).

QUESTION: What is the biggest misconception that people have about you?

That I am this great mother for adopting these children and that I must be really patient. I am really just a normal mother blessed with extraordinary children that I adore! I have good days and bad days just like everyone else, I am not always the best mom, but I try my best.

QUESTION: Was your family accepting of this whole process?

My entire extended family have been very supportive and also my husband’s family. They treat my children just like any other grandchildren or niece and nephews. I think most people forget they are even adopted.

QUESTION: How do you answer rude questions from strangers?

I try to just answer honestly (even though it is hard not to be sarcastic when they ask stupid questions!) It really bothers me when people ask private things about my children in front of them. I just tell them that it isn’t appropriate to talk about it, or that it isn’t any of their business. I really hate that people assume that I love them less because they are adopted, that is so absurd! i.e. “they are not really YOURS?” – my answer - What kind of statement is that, of course they are mine you idiot!” One of my favorite sayings is “Do I look real, then YES, I am their REAL mother!” I love them more than I could ever imagine a mother loving her children.

QUESTION: How young were your kids when you started explaining to them that they were adopted and what that meant?

My boys were about 3, only because they either already knew (my son was 3 ½ when we adopted him) or their older siblings told them first. My daughter, who is 7, knows about Ruth, but I don’t really think she understands the entire concept yet. I think they understand more around age 9-10 because that is when they seem to start asking the most questions. I just try to give each of them an honest answer when they ask a question about their birth mother or father.

Camille is a new blogger and would probably love some new followers and comments. Stop over and read the entire adoption story. It's very fascinating!


Adoption of Jane said...

Five!! She is truly a selfless person, great interview!!

Shannan said...

what a fabulous interview! Great questions Tracey. I am totally going to go now to see her interview with you. She seems like a great example for us both right!! We need someone to look up to right now in the adoption world!

Shannan said...

"Having to jump through numerous hoops to "prove" we are good people, when others who can't even put food on the table pop out babies one after the other really bothers me. I wish EVERYONE that wanted to have children had to go though the paperwork, background checks and home visits that we did. We'd have children growing up in much more stable environments and the abuse and neglect would be greatly curbed too. Stupid questions are also annoying."

I totally agree with this!! I could have said it word for word. One day after Ammon was born our social worker came over and asked if i felt attached to him, or if I loved him or something like that. I wouldn't answer her! I told her I was insulted she even asked! That no one ever asks any other new mom that question and I refused to answer!
Luckily she knew me well enough to understand where I was coming from.
Anyway..your interview was great! Really insightful. I learned even more about you and Richard. you seem to be on a great path Tracey and have a good perspective on adoption. I mean I already knew that but it was evident in your interview.

I read on someone elses blog that they had birthday visits with natural moms too...but their kids started getting anxious around their birthdays and even dreading their actual birhtday because it meant they had to visit with their moms. I don't know all the details...but something to think about.

Anyway..great job!