This is the post that was supposed to run on Wednesday, but it didn't. So you get it today.
Meet Natalie @ Old Georgia House. She and I were matched by Heather @ Production, Not Reproduction as part of her 2012 Adoption Blogger Interview Project. Natalie has the cutest kids (one whom she gave birth to, the other joined their family through open adoption. And she's so crafty and talented. And, oh, that house - it's amazing. Here are her answers to the questions I asked her. You can read my answers to her questions here.
* In what ways is blogging important to you? Do you use it as a way to keep in contact with family (including your son's biological family, and your family as a whole)? Or is it more of an online journal?
Blogging used to be SO important to me--I've been blogging in one way or another since the beginning of 2004, but since Moseby's birth, well, it's taken a back burner. And it's not because I don't have the time--I've always made time for it before--but because I don't know, I guess I value privacy--his privacy--so much more now. Also, I've never told his birth family about my blog--I don't hide it, but definitely don't scream it either, you know--and I value their privacy and I want them to trust that I would never say anything about them too revealing or too negative or anything. All that being said, I miss my blog and I hope I get over this "slump" soon. My blog has always been a virtual diary and I miss reading back through the tidbits of our days.
* How do you think your experience with infertility has shaped your parenting?
We experienced infertility before we got pregnant with Mary Margaret so I honestly don't know what it's like to parent with anything but a history of infertility. I think I treasure (aka SPOIL them rotten!) them more, but I don't have any way of comparing it to, say, fertile person parenting, you know?
* How has your experience of being adopted shaped your relationships with your son's birth family?
Everything I do in life is seen through "adoptee glasses", just like the way I parent is seen through "infertility survivor glasses", so it's hard to separate the two. I definitely think being adopted has a HUGE (gigantic, enormous!) impact on why I work so hard to have a relationship with my son's birth family. I want to give him everything I did not have growing up as part of a closed adoption. I will say that the time in the hospital we shared with him and his birth mom was very hard on me because all I could think about was J. (my birth mom) and the pain she described after she placed me. It was almost like my absolute joy was twinged with guilt because I knew Moseby's birth mom, M., was hurting and I felt like I was the cause of the pain. Oh, that adoptee guilt--I sure can rock it!
I have also tried to establish a relationship with Moseby's birth father. At first we didn't think he would want any contact, but have been pleasantly surprised that we've become Facebook friends and he'll email me pictures of himself as a little boy (and boy, those two guys sure favor!). While I have reunited with my birth mother, I don't know who my birth father is so I think it's wonderful that Moseby will know his. What a gift!
* What does adoption look like in your family? Do you have contact with your son's birth parents, or your own birth family? And how does that work?
Adoption is such a part of our family I cannot discern which parts don't have a trace of adoption in them. We talk about it often--I swear, sometimes I think we do daily!--and my three year old (biological) daughter's biggest question is why she doesn't have a "Mama _________" (we call my birth mom "Mama J." and Moseby's birth mom "Mama M.") and she can't figure out why she didn't get to grow in someone else's tummy. I think she's a tad jealous! HA
* How do you address those (inappropriate) adoption questions we tend to all get asked (i.e. why did his parents "give him up"?, where's he from?, etc...)?
I think it's easier that's he's a baby--he doesn't understand what I'm saying in response to people's questions, you know? Of course, I'm VERY aware of my daughter because she has very big ears and is always listening.
I think it all depends on the way a question is asked. I had someone I know ask, 'What is it?' when he was born. I answered, 'A baby', and walked off. They are lucky I didn't say more! Then there are those people that have a heart for adoption--three of my friends have actually started the adoption process since we adopted Moseby--and I will talk to them all day long about it. Now, if random people start asking nosy questions I will say, 'And I'm adopted too!'...and then it takes the focus off him and the won't ask me the same nosy questions about my adoption situation. I'm not sure why this is, but it works every time.
* What about adoption do you find most challenging?
The most challenging part? I want to raise Moseby proud of his two cultures/roots. As a white woman I'm "out of the loop" on how to raise an African American-Native American man who is proud and knowledgeable of his roots. Since before he arrived I've been reading books, going to multicultural events, expanding our friendship circles, etc. Our family is constantly evolving in this area and it's something we're constantly striving to do better--but it's certainly the most challenging.
* I'm always trying to find new easy recipes for my family, so what's your favorite, go-to meal for your family?
Favorite meal that all of will eat? Man, that's tricky! We have salmon, rice pilaf, and broccoli (Mary Margaret is going through an anti-broccoli phase right now though) at least once a week. We're also fans of homemade pizza and breakfast for dinner.
Today's Lesson: Adoption looks so many different ways. Also, I still don't eat fish but pizza is awesome.