Parents By Choice
An Interview with Darin & Tess DeBlander, authors of Parents By Choice
Interview by Allison Martin
How did you come to write your book and your adoption story?
Can you share a bit about the issues you had with your daughter? How
did you discover that she was concerned? What was successful?
She was very active and happy and never showed the multitude of warning signs discussed concerning toddler adoptions - though we watched and recorded activities and minor incidents to see if patterns would develop. After about a year, she started showing signs of grieving and emotionally couldn't explain what she was feeling. She could shut down and stare off into space during a simple game of checkers. Imagine if you had a death in your family, and a year later, for no reason you cry or become silent - no words or comfort can assist - you have to experience the grief.
What was successful? Creating lists/signs to watch for concerning issues of attachment, grief, post-shock syndrome, sexual abuse, child abuse, abandonment, etc and recording incidents that could be a simple child occurrence, or viewed with other incidents, something more. Most importantly believing your parental instincts and knowing when to stop protecting your child from something they need to experience to move on. We comforted our daughter in a variety of ways with the guidelines from books and professional advice - then we realized our limitations and let the professional counselors assist with structure and a plan we were all comfortable with in family therapy. A realistic guideline for bonding with a true attachment is providing the same number of years with your family, as the number of years away from the family. Bottom line: You cannot rush true love and trust.
What have you enjoyed most about adoption?
What has been most difficult?
Parents By Choice Excerpt for the ComeUnity Website:
"While we were embracing wonderful thoughts, our hearts went straight
to what the birthmother must be feeling. We cannot hide the fact that
on the other end of our joy, someone decided to make an adoption plan.
People can make many unflattering comments about the person that was so
crucial in providing your child. Yes, this person carried a baby for nine
months and chose not to parent. Yes, it seems inconceivable, and from
our perspective can be difficult to fully understand. However, the world
is full of many unforeseen situations, perspectives and changes. It's
not for us to understand, only respect. We respect her selfless act and
only hope she knows her son is loved."
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