The Best of Open Adoption Blogs list celebrates the best of online writing about openness in adoption from 2011, as selected by the blogging community. Bloggers could contribute posts they wrote as well as posts written by others. Submissions will be added to the list through January 31, so if your favorite isn't listed, be sure to add it.
The submissions are listed in the order in which they were received--no "best of the best" or rankings here.
Section I: Recognizing Our Own Writing
A modest proposal. I mean, question. by Lia of Lia - Not Juno
Christmas and Adoption by of Mandy W. of FourAgainstTwo
Family is Family by Socialwrkr24/7 of Socialwrkr24/7: Eyes Opened Wider
(my) love bites by Alissa of Not A Visitor
My Sister Lives in Texas by Dana of Life Unexpected
The Fun Side of Waiting by David of Seeking Fatherhood
What I Get to Do by Robyn C of The Chittister Family
I'm Just as Scared of You as You are of Me by Racilous of Adoption in the City
Processing Adoption: Conversation with my son (part 2) by Lori Lavender Luz of Write Mind Open Heart
Not What I Expected-Everything I Ever Wanted by Julie Corby of The Eyes of My Eyes are Opened
Dear Adoptive Parent... by Cynthia Christensen of Wife, Mother, Birth Mother, Author, Homeschooler
It's Not Easy Being Green by Monika of Monika's Musings
Open Adoption Roundtable #30: The First Time by Sheeps Eating Me of Sheeps Eating Me
Bile by Barb Sobel of Sideshow Barb
Are You an Attuned Adoptive Parent? by Rebecca Hawkes of Love Is Not a Pie
Did I Get the Call? by Cindy Rasmussen of Recipe for a Family
What Kind of Mother Gives Up Her Kids by Jenna Hatfield of The Chronicles of Munchkin Land
A Plea for Adoptive Parents by Lindsay Smith of On Loan From Heaven
Open Adoption Roundtable: Write About a First Meeting by Amber of Bumber's Bumblings
Why We're Adopting by Lindsay of Fortunes Full
Adoption Doesn't End by Heather Schade of Production, Not Reproduction
How I (Almost) Shied Away From Openness (And Not Why You Think) by Luna of Life from Here: Musings from the Edge
Birth Mothers by Amber of Life in the Last Frontier
RAD, Trauma, and Attachment by Carol Lozier of In My Child's World
The Things I Didn't Know by Danielle of Another Version of Mother
My Plan A by Whitney of On a Journey to Adopt
Birthmother, J by Tiffany of Finding K: A journal of love through infertility, cancer, and open adoption
Thoughts on Open Adoption by Camille of Embracing the Odyssey
Section II: Recognizing Great Writing by Others
Up the Duff by Susie Book of Endure for a Night
Writes Lia, "This post was insane. I've always loved Susiebook's blog and stumbled onto it when we were roughly the same amount pregnant - me with my first son, who I eventually placed, and her with her second son, who she parented after placing her first 18 months prior. I love her insights into parenting in a complicated situation--missing Cricket, loving Joey, and dealing with a less-than-ideal open adoption relationship. 'Up The Duff' was the announcement of Susie's third pregnancy (second child to be parented) and was just so goddamn INTERESTING. It's like a really well-written TV show, where the main characters know what the 'correct' thing to do is and yet somehow still manage not to do it because it's HARD. (And it IS so very very hard.) Seeing how Susie dealt with disclosing her pregnancy to her family and then to Cricket's adoptive moms was fucking fascinating and relatable, and I spilled my coffee the first time I read this post."
Goodbyes by Jenna Hatfield of The Chronicles of Munchkin Land
Writes Mandy W., "I know this was a hard moment for Jenna, but it shows how amazing an open adoption relationship can be. It can be very difficult, but it is so worthwhile for all involved. I find her to be an inspiration in how hard she works to have a relationship with her first child."
Positive Stuff about Jacket's Mom by Rebecca of Fosterhood NYC
Writes Socialwrkr24/7, "I cheated a bit as this isn't so much a post about Open Adoption--it's kind of the reverse actually. Rebecca was a foster parent to 'Jacket' for 18 months and then she returned home to her mother. Jacket's mom has some pretty serious and difficult limitations--and their relationship was NOT ideal when Jacket was in Rebecca's care. But out of Rebecca's desperation to stay involved in Jacket's life, an amazing (albeit sometimes insane) relationship has formed. Despite much self-doubt and continuous redefining of the boundaries, Rebecca's 'whatever it takes' attitude is something to be admired. Whenever I read her blog, I can't help but wonder and wish that more adoptive parents could open themselves up to what could be possible if they decided to do whatever it takes to keep their child's first parents in their lives. Its not an easy road Rebecca has chosen--but I know she will never regret it."
Oh, the Legality of it All by Thanksgivingmom of I Should Really be Working
Writes Alissa, "I love TG's willingness to call out fear in adoptive parents and the various ways we can be tempted to deal with those fears that are unfair to first parents (and by extension our children). This post is about the double standard in terms of who has legal rights to participation in a child's life and who really matters."
Unpleasant Truths by I Am of Statistically Impossible
Writes Dana, "I Am is the only birth father blog that I have come across and he writes real, raw and from the heart material. I think his perspective is crucial in trying to gain a full picture of open adoption. I think this post has great meaning and I love the question, 'Why do you want to parent?'"
The Potty Jar by Bobby of Those Two Daddies
Writes David, "Really fun, down to earth post that made me laugh and laugh."
The Future of the Adoption Tax Credit by Dawn Davenport of Creating a Family
Writes Robyn C, "It's not sexy or emotional, but the Adoption Tax Credit is not well understood. I like this post because it's informative and useful."
No One Said I *Had* To Search/Reunite by Mei-Ling of Exile of Xingnan
Nominated by AmFam
Love Is Not a Pie by Rebecca Hawkes of Love Is Not a Pie
Writes Racilous, "First, I love reading what Rebecca has to say. I think she her posts are always well thought out, respectful of all in the world of adoption, but they also challenge me to think how I approach adoption. I can honestly say that although I read many blogs of both adoptive parents and adoptees, it's not that common that I find one that I'm always excited to read, yet this blog represents both those parts of the triad and I can't wait when I see a new one in my reader.
When I was looking for a post I found more than one of Rebecca's that I truly enjoyed, but this one in particular I think is an amazing explanation of how openness can work for our kids. I honestly cannot believe it was her first blog post, but what a way to kick off a blog and show your voice to the world."
Why I Do This, Part 3 by Heather Schade of Production, Not Reproduction
Writes Lori Lavender Luz, "Heather explains why she stays up late at night building an open adoption community. 'I don't think any one of us has all the answers. I think precious few among us deserves any "adoption expert" label (I'm certainly not one of them). But all of us put together? We can be a life-changing resource for each other.' I have learned so much from the people in this sector of the blogosphere, and I'm grateful to Heather for getting us together once in awhile around her table."
Love Universal by Rebekah of Give All to Love
Writes Julie Corby, "I always hate when people say, 'All you need is love' in regards to adoption. This post talks about love and adoption in a way that I really responded to."
It Is What You Make Of It by Kelsey Stewart of A Birth Mother Voice
Writes Cynthia Christensen, "I grow consistently frustrated with the anti-adoption, haters world that is predominantly made up of people 'stuck' in their own negative thought patterns. And Kelsey is raw and honest all the time about this."
Adoption Guilt by Harriet Fancott of See Theo Run
Writes Monika, "I just plain loved this post. I love Harriet's writing anyway, and this one was so emotional and thought-provoking (if you read the post and see my comment on it, you can actually see how thought-provoking it was for me. Also, I wrote a post on my own blog inspired by this post and my comment)!"
Open Adoption Roundtable #31 by Rebecca Hawkes of Love Is Not a Pie
Writes Sheeps Eating Me, "Rebecca tackles the question of fear in open adoption by talking about the myth of the hateful birthmother monster--and she includes those who have lost their children to foster care. This is a story that is hardly ever told, but she addresses it clearly from the perspective of adoptive parents' fear in open adoption. This was something I badly needed to read at the time she wrote it, and it's haunted me since."
A Kid-Shaped Hole by Sheeps Eating Me
Writes Barb Sobel, "She understands and has always made an effort to be in contact with the birthparents for the sake of her kids. Because SHE WANTS TO. Because it's important to her. I've read this blogger for 6 years now, through various blogs and I'm so proud of her."
Long rambling post that fell out of my fingers by Tiruba Tuba of Tubaville
Writes Rebecca Hawkes, "I chose this post because it shows that adoptions can be open even when the conditions for openness are less than ideal. I also love the way the author describes her own transformation over the years. And I was touched by the simple beauty (and truth) of the the sentence 'There can never be too many people who love a child.'"
It shouldn't be this way... by Becky Fawcett of An Infertile Blonde
Writes Cindy Rasmussen, "I agree with her wholeheartedly and I am inspired that she is taking action to help other families. Bravo!"
The Only Choice by Danielle of Another Version of Mother
Writes Jenna Hatfield, "Not only is it well-written, but the more we understand about that pre-placement process that birth parents go through... the better."
Open Adoption and the Man Who Makes Mine Bearable by Lisa Anne of Living Through Today
Writes Lindsay Smith, "Lisa's perspective on open adoption has opened my eyes to the ugly side of adoptive parents not upholding their end of their agreement and promises to a birth mom... Lisa is a birth mom and I think this post sheds some light on a birth mom's heart."
Embracing Duality in Adoptive Families by Rebecca Hawkes of Love Is Not a Pie
Writes Amber, "I thought it was a beautiful example of selflessness in adoptive mother. So many times you hear how selfless the First Mom is, but you don't hear that often about Adoptive Parents. I found it inspiring and encouraging for my involvement in open adoption"
Being a Birthmom is Bittersweet by Coley of Living the Bittersweet Life
Writes Maureen Horan Benes, "This post is simple and straight to the heart of the matter. I think about it once in a while, and I can't say that for many blog posts, because I read so many!"
The Bedroom as a Metaphor for the Neglected Inner Sanctuary by Kristen of Rage Against the Minivan
Writes Lindsay, "Because I WISH my side of the bedroom was as clean as hers in the picture..."'
This Is Not An Adoption Blog, and I Am Not an Adoption Specialist by Martha Crawford of What a Shrink Thinks
Writes Heather, "A powerful post about being open, particularly as non-adopted persons, to all that we do not know. Starting from the author's personal experience, it builds to conclusions like these: 'Birth mothers, first mothers, natural mothers, adoptees, adopted persons, adult adoptees, adoptive parents, forever families, adopters – every word becomes an injury, a wounding – language itself becomes impossible and insufficient to describe all of the light and darkness, joys and sorrows, connections and disconnections, contradictions, ambivalence and dissonance. I’ve learned to think of all of the voices in the adoption community, as dissonant as they are, as part of some whole, that I can never grasp.'"
7 Points About the Birth Mom Conversations by Lori Lavender Luz of Write Mind Open Heart
Writes Luna, "Lori's moving series about discussions with her son as he processes his adoption is a rare gem. As always--but particularly with such a sensitive subject--Lori conveys her experience and sage wisdom with insight and compassion. While everyone touched by adoption could benefit from this series, I think it is a must-read for adoptive parents. (I actually love part two best, but that one is already on the list!)"
Courage by Brittany of Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal
Writes Amber, "I love how Brittany writes about the transformation of her heart from aching to be a Mother, to actually being a mother. I also love that having Brie with her at church made that day mean so much more to her. This is what open adoption is about!"
Must Read News Article by Rumor Queen of China Adopt Talk
Writes Carol, "I chose this article because it talks about how important it is for many children to find their birth family. And it gives helpful information for children from China where identifying information is scarce."
Open Adoption Roundtable #31 by Barb Sobel of Sideshow Barb
Writes Danielle, "She presented this idea that was in my head, that I had yet to form into words for one reason or another--the idea that some of my wounds (adoption wise) would always be there. And that I have to figure out there is a good chance that I will never have peace for some of the things that happened. It was a powerful moment for me, brought on by a powerful, yet simple post."
Sometimes by Kayli of Becoming Kayli
Nominated by Whitney
Why I am anti anti-open adoption: a public response to private statements by Lori of Write Mind Open Heart
Writes KatjaMichelle,"When the Best Open Adoption Blogs of 2011 list was announced I couldn't decide on how I'd ever narrow it down to just one. As I was thinking of all the great posts I'd read over the year this post (actually the first of a two parter so I'm kind of cheating but regardless read it then click through) kept returning to my mind. It took me a bit to re-find the post, but I'm glad I did. Go read Lori's words. No seriously go. read. Lori's words."
Talking more about open adoption by Wendy of Our story: A blog about open adoption
Writes Tiffany, "Because I recall wanting to learn more about the open adoption relationship and how it can work."
What Not to Say to a Birthmother by Red of One More Day
Writes Camille, "This was one of the first blogs I stumbled across when I started looking for resources to better understand a birth mother's point of view. I'd thought a lot about the stupid things people said to me as an adoptive mom, and this post helped me realize that birth moms have to deal with similar ignorance on a daily basis. I appreciate her honesty, compassion, and genuinely good advice. :) "