Open adoption has brought many gifts to my life, not the least of which are my two wonderful children, but it is the gift of inspiration that led me to start My Adoption Advisor.
I remember first considering adoption and deciding that international adoption was the way to go. I was scared, frankly, of birth families and of the risks associated with domestic infant adoption. There are risks for all members of the triad, but my fear is what forced me to hold domestic adoption at arms length. At least that was the case until I heard for the first time some birth mothers speak on a panel at an adoption information series.
Awe. Respect. Love. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. These three words are the ones that came to my mind after listening to women speak about their unplanned pregnancies, the options they were considering, and the choices they finally made.
Now I am not so naïve as to think that all birth families—mothers, fathers, grandparents, and others—have experiences that are similar to the ones shared on that panel or even the ones shared by my children’s birth families. There are many stories out there, both more positive and certainly more negative. Nonetheless, it is incredibly inspirational to me when birth families freely make an informed choice to permanently place in another person’s care the child they love most in this world.
My children’s birth families have inspired me in many ways—to be a better parent, less selfish, more sensitive to others, and to even change careers. In fact, the creation of my company, My Adoption Advisor, is the direct result of not only my experience with adoption in general, but also quite specifically my relationship with my oldest child’s birth father.
I had spent five years in the consulting industry before accepting multiple roles in information technology and product development in a large medical technology company over the course of more than a decade. I was a big company guy leading performance improvement initiatives throughout a multibillion dollar division. I had a comfortable, stable job that provided a nice salary. Things were good, but something was missing.
What I saw in the career choices made by my son’s birth father seemed like the opposite of my own choices. He lacked some of the job security and income that I enjoyed, but he had what I did not—a passion for his work. His eyes would light up whenever he talked about his work. It was as if “work” was not even the right word to use. His hobby and his career interests were one in the same. This harmony seemed to create for him feelings of happiness and satisfaction that I lacked.
So off I went—OK, it was a few years later—to search for a stronger harmony between my passion and my work. Eventually, I connected the right dots and developed the business plan for My Adoption Advisor.
I built my family through adoption, but I also developed new relationships with people who would not have otherwise been in my life. They taught me how to let my passion, instead of my resume, steer my career choices and I have never loved my “work” more. Through my work at My Adoption Advisor I hope to follow my son’s birth father’s lead and inspire others to do what might sound foreign or scary (or both!) to them.