408: The Dance of Adoptive Parenting: When to Lead & When to Follow

Parents slow dancing

One of the distinctions we continually make here on Adoption: The Long View is the difference between "open adoption" and "openness in adoption." The former typically means having some sort of information about or contact with birth family, but the latter is more of an inside job – what’s going on inside us between us and our child. How open are we as parents to dealing with adoption issues as they come up? How comfortable can we become during tough conversations with our child around their big feelings about their birth parents or about being adopted? To what degree are we acknowledging and addressing our own triggers around our child having another legitimate set of parents out there?

Some are wired for openness, yet many of us struggle with the inner clarity we need to cultivate continually for the unique calling of adoptive parenting. To become the open kind of parent our adoptees need us to be, we have to work at it a little more, be more intentional about increasing our capacity to be able to Be There and Go There with our kids.

Enter Maureen McCauley, a seasoned parent of four now adult adoptees. She is so seasoned, in fact, that she co-leads a Seasoned Parents group through an organization called Adoption Mosaic.

Maureen co-edited a new book called Lions Roaring Far from Home. By being privy to so many adoptee struggles in the book, as well as adoptive parent struggles in her work with Adoption Mosaic, you can be certain that Maureen is someone who can help us understand the dance between adoptee and adoptive parent as it relates to openness. When do we lead, and when do we follow?

Show Notes

Website: Light of Day Stories

Book: Lions Roaring Far from Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees

Catapult article: How My Daughter's Pregnancy Made Me Rethink Adoption

Adoption Mosaic’s Seasoned Parents course (and others)

NBC’s This Is Us


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About this Podcast

Lori Holden (The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole) brings to you an array of articulate and thought-provoking guests with lived experience in adoption, each with valuable insights to share about the all-encompassing journey of parenting an adopted person from babyhood to toddlerhood to school age to teenage -- and ultimately to adulthood. Join us as we explore Adoption: The Long View.

Named a Top 25 Adoption Podcast

Lori Holden