Adopted persons face challenges their entire lives as they struggle to answer the most basic question: Who am I? The hope of open adoption is that adopted children will develop stronger identities if they have the opportunity to develop healthy ongoing relationships with their families of origin. Making Room in Our Hearts offers an intimate look at how these relationships evolve over time, with real-life stories from families who have experienced open adoption first-hand. This book helps both adoptive and birth parents address their fears and concerns, while offering them the support to put the child’s psychological and spiritual needs at the center of adoption. Based on interviews with more than one hundred adopted children, birth and adoptive parents, extended families, professionals and experts, the book is an effective and invaluable resource for those considering open adoption, those experiencing it, and professionals in the field. Openness has altered the landscape of adoption, and Making Room in Our Hearts will help us catch up to the reality that is open adoption today.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: My Family's Story
Chapter 2: Into the Heart of Child-Centered Open Adoption
Chapter 3: Understanding Each Other's Fears and Concerns
Chapter 4: "This Baby Belongs to Itself and the More People Who Love It, The Better"
Chapter 5: Becoming Extended Family
Chapter 6: Openness in the Public Adoption System
Chapter 7: Opening Closed Adoptions
Chapter 8: Unique Families - Unique Challenges
Chapter 9: Making It Work
Chapter 10: A Call For Change
Micky Duxbury is an adoptive parent of a beautiful and expressive daughter brought to her family through domestic adoption in 1994. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has practiced in the Bay Area for twenty years. Currently specializing in pre and post-adoption education and counseling, she has facilitated pre-adoption support groups for the for eight years. She developed and taught a course on The Psychology of Adoption and offers workshops on Raising Adopted Children. A strong proponent of ethical and child-centered adoption practices, she has worked as a mediator and therapist with all members of the adoption triad.
"Every once in a while, a book comes along that can make an honest difference in the understanding of an important subject—and, therefore, in people's lives. I'm delighted to say that Making Room in Our Hearts is one of those books. It takes on open adoption, which remains too poorly understood despite its growing prevalence, and explains it in the best possible way: through the stories of those who live it. The result is simultaneously touching and enlightening; it's a wonderful combination that I hope and believe will make an honest difference in the continued evolution of adoption from the stigmatized, secretive process that it used to be into one that is honest, healthy and better serves all of its participants, especially the children." - Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
"Micky Duxbury has written an interesting, up-to-date book on the beauty and the complexity of families built through open adoption. She has integrated the knowledge provided by other experts in the field with the poignant sharings of real families who have been living their open adoptions over several years. This is a book well worth reading and owning; I highly recommend it." - Sharon Roszia, co-author of The Open Adoption Experience and Program Manager, Special Needs Adoptions for Kinship Center of Southern California
"Open adoption is not a trend—it is the wave of the future. Making Room in Our Hearts helps us prepare for that future by providing an ethical and child-centered perspective as it puts a human face on open adoption. You will meet real people revealing, as well as struggling, with the ups and downs of these complex relationships. This book fills an important need by providing adoption professionals, birth and adoptive families and their extended familial networks with a wealth of practical and personal information." - Brenda Romanchik, MSW, Open Adoption educator, Birth Parent advocate, and Director of Insight: Open Adoption Resources and Support
"Having been born under the closed adoption system some forty-something years ago, it was a profoundly moving experience for me to read about families—birth and adoptive families—who have come to embrace openness for their children. I believe that the adoption community is moving in a brave and important new direction, and that Micky Duxbury's book will provide a vital map for families and professionals alike. I am grateful for this work and only wish that it had been the standard of practice while I was growing up." - Susan Ito, adult adoptee and co-editor of A Ghost At Heart's Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption
"This book is a valuable inclusion as an educational tool in the arena of open adoption … that can build understanding among those personally involved with adoption, considering adoption, professionals and anyone else who is interested in this topic. Additionally, it offers support to those already in open adoptions who want to hear about how this experience has evolved for others as the years have passed." - Patricia Martinez Dorner, MA, LPC, LMFT, Co-author of Children of Open Adoption and author of How to Open an Adoption: A Guide for Parents and Birthparents of Minors
"I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Making Room in our Hearts, by Micky Duxbury so that I could recommend it to every adopting family I have the fortune of consulting with. Never has there been a volume so compassionate, inspiring and informative about why child-centered, open adoption is the correct paradigm for today's adoptions. Ms. Duxbury understands that openness in adoption is not a quantifiable obligation, but a quality that can be cultivated and resides in the heart of family members touched by adoption." - Leslie Foge, MA, MFT, Adoption Psychotherapist and Co-author of The Third Choice: A Woman's Guide for Placing a Child for Adoption
"Making Room in Our Hearts is an authentic, inside account of the open adoption experience. It offers an opportunity to listen in as the participants of adoption describe the delights and challenges of their journeys. Openness never shines brighter than when it is expressed in the actual words of those who live it day in and day out." - James Gritter, author of The Spirit of Open Adoption, and The Lifegivers: Framing the Birth Parent Experience in Adoption
"This is a wonderful book… and the author seems to have complete control of this often-confusing area of relationships. The topic is covered in a thorough as well as realistic fashion. Duxbury is a skilled writer and has a very friendly writing style that should appeal to the reader….As families become more and more "non-traditional" the notion of openness cannot be stressed enough." - Jon Carlson, Psy.D., Ed.D., ABPP, Distinguished Professor, Governors State University
"Ms. Duxbury excels as a writer and a storyteller. Her book is so compelling and such a pleasure to read because the stories of the families are told in such lucid language with well paced story lines. You can feel the excitement of a family when a baby is placed in their home and the anguish of a birthfather wanting a stronger connection to his son. Ms. Duxbury, an advocate of open adoption, does not spare either the joy or the pain of open adoption." - Ann Wrixon, Independent Adoption Center Executive Director