Prior to 1990, fewer than five percent of domestic infant adoptions were open. In 2012, ninety percent or more of adoption agencies are recommending open adoption. Yet these agencies do not often or adequately prepare either adopting parents or birth parents for the road ahead of them! The adult parties in open adoptions are left floundering.
There are many resources on why to do open adoption, but what about how? Open adoption isn't just something parents do when they exchange photos, send emails, share a visit. It's a lifestyle that may feel intrusive at times, be difficult or inconvenient at other times. Tensions can arise even in the best of circumstances. But knowing how to handle these situations and how to continue to make arrangements work for the child involved is paramount. This book offers readers the tools and the insight to do just that. It covers common open-adoption situations and how real families have navigated typical issues successfully. Like all useful parenting books, it provides parents with the tools to come to answers on their own, and answers questions that might not yet have come up.
Through their own stories and those of other families of open adoption, Lori and Crystal review the secrets to success, the pitfalls and challenges, the joys and triumphs. By putting the adopted child at the center, families can come to enjoy the benefits of open adoption and mitigate the challenges that may arise.
More than a how-to, this book shares a mindset, a heartset, that can be learned and internalized, so parents can choose to act out of love and honesty throughout their child’s growing up years, helping that child to grow up whole.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Lori Holden was named a Top 10 “Must-Read Mom” by Parenting magazine and was honored at the annual BlogHer Conference. Her articles have also appeared in Parenting magazine, Conceive magazines, andAdoptive Families magazine Her blog, LavenderLuz.com, has been listed by Adoptive Families Circle, Circle of Moms, and Grown in My Heart websites to be one of the top adoption blogs. She is a monthly contributor to MileHighMamas.com, a Denver Post site. In addition, Lori has written for The American Fertility Association, CreatingAFamily.org and Kaiser Permanente’s Partners in Health magazine. With Crystal, her daughter’s birth mom, she teaches classes on building a child-centered open adoption. Lori Holden was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute.
Crystal Hass has taught about open adoption with Lori Holden at Colorado Free University and at adoption agencies.
Table of Contents
Part One: From fear to family: Parents come together
1: What is open adoption?
2: What to consider when choosing an agency or adoption professional
3: The parents (first- and adoptive-) in an open adoption
4: Guideposts from families who have traveled the path
Part Two2: Orienting on the Child, Open Adoption’s True North
5: Openness and the adoptee
6: Heading toward wholeness: integrating the child’s biology and biography
7: Reality check: it’s not always easy
8: Openness in foster, international and donor situations
9: Especially for birth parents and those who want to connect with them
10: Fare Well
What People are Saying About This
Not only is Lori Holden an acknowledged thought leader in the area of open adoption, she is also truly beloved by the men and women who look to her for guidance, humor and balance when considering this route for themselves.Her book will be cherished by many and inspirational to all.
This fine book offers an honest look at the inner workings of open adoption with all its challenges and delights. Holden skillfully writes with the voice of experience, a voice seasonedwith the gentleness of her heart and honed by frank discussions with countless other participants who share her determination to do adoption in a manner that honors children. Those who long to see adoption done in a big-hearted way will be encouraged by her hospitable words.
While many books focus on the mechanics of adoption, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption stays focused on the well-being of all involved. While this should be mandatory reading for anyone who has ever uttered the words, 'just adopt,' all readers will come away as smarter, more understanding family members.
Here, at last, is the book many adoptive parents have been clamoring for, as they grapple with the questions, “What is open adoption?” and "Will it work for everyone in our family constellation?" Using real-life examples and a gentle, intelligent approach, Lori Holden and Crystal Hass answer with a reassuring "yes."
The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption helps readers understand that open adoption is a mindset, one that moves from thinking the adoptive/birth family relationship must be "either-or" to trusting that it can be "and." If I ever doubted the wisdom of open adoption, I finished the last page a believer. This book deserves a place on every adoption bookshelf.
Lori Holden's book opens with a simple yet poignant snippet of conversation with her young daughter in the car. It's about her daughter's loving feelings toward her birth parents. Holden generously invites us into her mental tai chi process ("Don't take this personally…") leading to her wise responses. If this book were just a series of such glimpses it would be a treasure. But it's so much more: a tapestry of instructive real-life insights together with the latest research and philosophy, all aiming to "de-freakify" open adoption. The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption covers what this adoptee wishes my parents had known, and beyond. The definitive post-modern guide to enlightened adoption.
Just as a panoramic photograph changes your understanding of a physical landscape, Lori Holden's panoramic book on open adoption will change the way you understand the family building landscape. By bringing in all voices in the adoption triad, Holden simultaneously holds everyone's hand and fills in the advice that has been sorely missing from the universe before this point: how to live well all the years that come after the adoption. Adoptive parents, birthparents, and children have all been asked to partake in a situation without a guidebook, and in doing so, stumble blindly sometimes through difficult conversations and emotional interactions. Holden's book smooths the road between all people in the triad, giving them a space to walk between one another in order to have easier interactions.
The adoption community needs more resources to offer to families – birth, first, adoptive – all the REAL families – that intersect and interact through open adoption. This book offers real, tangible, useful information that parents anywhere on the continuum of openness can make use of as they navigate through their adoption experience with their child.