For this year's Adoption Blogger Interview Project I was randomly matched up with Kathleen, an adoptive mama who blogs at Our Tree of Hope. I had a lot of fun reading through Kathleen's adoption story and the long journey through foster parenting, examining international adoption, and finally domestic infant adoption that led her and her husband Clint to their gorgeous daughter Layla. Read further to find out what I asked Kathleen and how she answered and then head over to her blog to read her questions for me! If you're interested in reading more interviews from the Adoption Blogger Interview Project follow this link to Heather's blog post where they'll be compiled.
Big Thanks to Kathleen for being such a great interview partner!
- You are a step-mom, have been a foster mom, and now you're an adoptive mom. You've written about what is common to these experiences - the love of a mom for a child - but what can you say about what is different about these different mother roles for you? In all honesty I would say that in the role of foster mom I felt like I do now with Lyla...except I knew he wasn't mine. I knew there was a possibility that he would be taken from our home to be placed with his siblings. There was such an unstable/scary feeling with all of that. You fall SO madly in love with a child to have them taken from you. My role as step-mom has always (until recently) been a bit bitter-sweet. I came into their lives before the ink was dry on the divorce decree (I didn't know that at the time)...so I dealt with a LOT of bitter feelings from my husbands family, his ex, etc... So I kind of feel like that role has always been tainted. I love them SO very much and I consider them my children....but I have been through A LOT to be their step-mom and sometimes I just wanted to give in. Not because of them...but because of all the grow-ups making it nearly impossible to be a family! Being an adoptive mom is pure joy. She is mine and I am hers and there is just such love and peace that comes with that. It's nothing like the other roles and I feel so very blessed every day that I get to be Lyla's Mommy!
- Congrats on the fairly recent arrival of your adorable baby girl Layla! What have you learned in the past few months about being a transracial family? What is the best part for you? Worst or most uncomfortable? I have learned that not everyone will agree with our decision to adopt transracially. I have learned that those opinions really don't matter to me anymore. I have learned that love is colorblind. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have a chocolate skinned daughter. The best part is that God chose us to be Lyla's family. He was faithful and has blessed us with the most amazing gift ever! I would say the worst or most uncomfortable part is just not knowing what will come out of ignorant people's mouths. I'm not looking forward to when Lyla is old enough to understand. I pray about that every day. That God will give me the wisdom and words to explain to Lyla why people would say closed minded things. It's not something I'm prepared for yet. I'll get there I'm sure. :)
- It's not clear from you blog if your adoption is open, closed, or somewhere in between. I'm curious what your relationship, if any, with Layla's first mom is and how that has been going? We have a closed adoption. We were open to the idea of a semi-open adoption, but her first mom wanted no contact. We have not had any requests from her since Lyla was a month old. I am happy to keep the lines of communication open, but so far it has not been an issue. I mainly want to stay in some contact with her so that one day when Lyla decides if she wants to know her, she can.
- Deciding how to talk about my family and how much to reveal on my blog is a constant ongoing conversation I have with myself. How do you decide how and what to write about on the internet? I think that is one of the biggest hurdles that I have yet to overcome. I have not blogged nearly as much as I did before we came home with Lyla. I have a lot to say, but just don't want to say things "wrong". In the long run, my blog is for our family and for Lyla one day. It's not really for everyone...even though its a public blog. Does that make sense? I mean, I want to reach out and say things that may help someone who is going through what I did...but I just have yet to have the words. I'm kind of in a funk and need to just dig myself out of it!
- What do you like to do when you're not blogging - I saw on your family blog that you run an etsy store - I'd love to hear a little more about that if you still do it. I do have an Etsy shop and I still work hard to keep it open. It's VERY time consuming, considering I work full time and have 3 kids at home. Sewing is something I love to do and my Etsy shop provided a source of income when we were fundraising for our adoption. It still does. We have incurred some unexpected debt with our adoption attorneys that we are paying off now and Etsy is a way to help out a little. www.craftycreations2.etsy.com
- What is your biggest pet peeve? (of any kind or sort!!) Fakeness! Just be real. Be true. Be yourself!
- Favorite meal to cook for your family? (I'm always looking for recipe ideas!) I really love to cook baked ziti, chicken pot pie and cream cheese enchiladas. I'm always looking for quick meals. With a 9 month old, a 12 yr old boy and a 16 yr old girl...our house is BUSY! I need quick meals! :)
- Is there a question you sort of wish someone would ask you? What is it - and what's your answer? I feel like through infertility, foster care, step mom life, and now adoptive mamma life...I have been asked every question imaginable. :)