When we practice empathy we connect. When we receive empathy we feel seen, known and loved. In other words, we all feel not so alone in this huge, hard world.
Practicing empathy means being willing to sit with someone in their discomfort. It means being willing to just be with someone, maybe not saying a single word or simply saying, that is so hard, that sucks, I can't imagine, ugh.
Lots of families celebrate the day they met their adopted child and became a family. But while I appreciate the love and everything else my parents give me, Gotcha Day can be a mixed bag -- one that leaves kids like me sad and confused.
We must continue to break this silence. It is only through talking about our stories that we will be able to embrace it all. Through this embracing we will be able to practice our recovery no matter what our version of the happy ending is.
This year, in our church's All Saints celebration, I lit a candle to my birth parents Ken and Sophia, to birth grandparents Clinton and Jessie, to Katie and John, my saints I'll never meet, but whose genes are the weft and warp in the tapestry that is me.
I am acutely aware that for me to gain my family, two women across the world suffered a massive loss. I can't imagine their pain. I don't know what I would say to them. But I won't ignore that they exist.
Sanitation worker Nathan Binnie was on route in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, in front of a residence on Pine Lane. A puppy, stuffed in a garbage can. "...
I grew up to become a vegetarian turned vegan, volunteer for town shelters, and now am currently employed as a 'dog caretaker' at a no-kill animal shelter. I guess you can say I kind of love animals.
Stephen was the one, for me. The one who embodied all the failures of a system so broken that to heal it would take far more than the casts that heal the literal broken bones of the children growing up within it.
Sometimes he screams that we're not his family because, biologically, we're not. Adoption can be harder than most people know. Sometimes our little boy truly believes he hates us and he wants his "real" mommy back, even though he never really knew her.
On occasion, someone will send me a story which needs a larger audience and nothing else from me. This is such a story, sent (along with the photo) from Anne Sallot.
I fought really hard to be a mother. I paid lots of money to be a mother. I endured painful tests and procedures to be a mother. I put my body and my surrogate's through synthetic hormonal hell to be a mother. I put my faith and trust in many doctors and other humans to be a mother.
While I won't downplay the part that men play in the fight for children and the rights of them and all of their mothers, I firmly believe that we are led by fierce women and that the world will be a better place for children and families because of the reasonable thought leaders on both sides of the adoption fence.
My husband I may have fought our own little culture war to get here, but as I contemplate my family under the bright stadium lights on a warm Friday night, I believe my boys will be just fine.
Adoptive parents like Brad and Angie are adamant that they love their adopted children the same as they would, or do, love the children born to them. They love them and treat them equally and want the best for all their children. But most states' laws do not treat adopted and non-adopted people equally.
I am a white gay dad of two African-American kids as well, and I can surely relate to the feelings of these men in an intimate way. But honestly, I am taken aback by the commercial.